3. Though devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us,
We tremble not, we fear no ill;
They shall not overpow’r us.
This world’s prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none.
He’s judged; the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.
When I am afraid, especially at night, and the sound of a branch scratching on the roof while it blows in the wind makes me think it may really be evil at the door, I like to think of this verse of the beloved Luther hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. It is comforting to know that even though the dark spirits in the world may try to torment me, may try to snatch me out of the Father’s hand, the battle is already won. Jesus Christ defeated sin, death, and the devil through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the tomb. I like to think that the “one little word” mentioned at the end of this stanza of the hymn is “Jesus.” Jesus can send the devil and his demons away trembling. One of the best lines in the 2003 movie “Luther” is spoken when the character Martin Luther is being tormented. He says, “I am Yours, save me!” Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that God is with us, that Jesus has saved us, even when we are afraid.
Here’s a great Luther quote that I discovered today:
The devil, the originator of sorrowful anxieties and restless troubles, flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God….Music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men. Thus it drives out the devil and makes people cheerful. Then one forgets all wrath, impurity, and other devices.
Maybe Luther knew when he wrote A Mighty Fortress how anxious Christians could use the song for their own comfort and remembrance that Jesus is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. And next time I am afraid I will sing that hymn out loud to remind me that Jesus is with me and He has conquered sin, death, and the devil.