Pentecost 20 Saturday
“For God has spoken once; I have heard it twice that there is power with God. And with you, Lord, is kindness for repaying each as he has deserved it.”
The first sentence simply means in plain English: “I know one thing for certain; I am sure of it.” For God himself who cannot lie said that God is a Lord, which I have heard more than once. This is to say, do not be so vain and godless. If not, if you want to be proud of people–fine. I tell you that there is power with God; that he is the true emperor, king, prince, and lord, above all of you and your lords just as above everyone else. Take note of this. For God himself said it, and I have heard it often and have experienced how he proved it true by bringing “the mighty from their throne,” Luke 1:52. Beware lest you suffer the same fate as your lord. Let Saul be Saul; let the emperor be the emperor; let princes be princes; let men be men–but fear God. For it is only a single phrase “there is power with God,” but there is a great resonance about it. People have often experienced that it is so; God will certainly not spare or fail you either, even though you despise him now and are vain, offending us and doing us injustice for the sake of men. God certainly has power to punish all the godless mightily; they cannot escape from him; for he alone is the Lord and all rule is his and from him. Yet he is also kind and merciful to help the poor. He cannot tolerate that they should perish and finally be defeated by the hypocrites and Saulites and be abandoned. Just as it says in Luke 1:52, “He brings the mighty from their throne and also raises up the lowly”–the former experience his might, the latter experience his kindness…”That you may repay each as he has deserved it” means that God repays the godless with violence just as they have been violent. God repays the poor with kindness and grace, just as they have been kind and patient, without violence. Yet the world does not ask for this; it goes on and on with its vanity and sacrilege. God permits this to happen, but he too goes on and on with his power and kindness, so that this one word, among all of God’s other words, might be adorned by many examples and many accounts come out of this one text showing how he overthrows and breaks the movers and shakers like a mighty Lord and how he helps the poor and forsaken like a gracious, kind Father. This is what he did with Saul and David. This is what he does now with the pope and the gospel; with the bishops and the Christians. He will continue to do so until they go to the mat and experience that it is true what David says here: It is a single Word of God that he is mighty and kind, but it is heard many times and experienced often. Let him hear who has ears to hear.