"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" by Martin Lutherby Dr. Zelda Robinson on March 14, 2022
Throughout the bible, we are encouraged to put our trust in God and Him alone. Because He loves and cares for us, we can depend on Him to take care of us. Solomon says, we are to, “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding.” The same thought is continued in Psalm 118:8-9, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man…”
Man’s self-dependency is what helped to bring about the fall of man and has been at the root of many of mankind’s troubles ever since. Although God has given us strength to accomplish some things, all our help comes from the Lord. He is the source of our strength.
The world is in turmoil, there are wars and rumors of wars. People are afraid to walk outside their homes and sometimes even in their homes. The hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” offers hope, it speaks to God’s faithfulness. The hymn expresses the confidence God’s people can have amid a threatening world, knowing God is their strength and protection.
Martin Luther, the great German reformer and ‘father’ of the Reformation is the composer of this hymn. James Howell says it was during a period of “profound depression and discouragement,” that Martin Luther wrote the famous hymn. It is said that Martin Luther was inspired by the words of the psalmist in Psalm 46. The opening words of Psalm 46, declares that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The hymn captures the spirit of the Protestant Reformation when Protestant emigrants were forced into exile and martyred. The Protestant exiles continued singing this hymn even on their way to death, demonstrating their confidence in God’s ability protect them no matter what.
The word “refuge,” translates from the Hebrew word “fortress,” meaning we can count on Him to protect us from danger. It is comforting to know that no matter the dangers, threats, or challenges, you can flee to God for refuge. He is a safe place to retreat and finding healing and renewal. God is our refuge and our strength, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God!”
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging… 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46
of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe does seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.
2 Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God's own choosing. You ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth his name, from age to age the same; and he must win the battle.
3 And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God has willed his truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.
4 That Word above all earthly powers no thanks to them abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours through him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God's truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever!