Herrenhuter readings for Thursday, the 5th February 2013

germany-s-children-starve-1924 KKolwitz

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. (Psa 57:2 KJV)

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Mat 7:11 KJV)

There are good reasons to pray. First of all, God wants it so. He has ordered us to call upon him in every need and life’s situation. Secondly, he has promised that he will hear us and bid our calling: … and I will answer you. Ask and it will be given to you or with words of today’s NT reading: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”  Thirdly, the need of others and our own is ever so great, that we need divine intervention for salvation and preservation. In the “Our Father” Jesus Christ teaches, how we should pray and the Church has through the ages used these petitions to guide its daily prayer. It follows the mandate of its Lord, who said: “Watch and pray, that you don’t fall into temptation.” This prayerful life has characterized the Church throughout the Ages. The Psalms teach us, how the old Church prayed just as the canticles from the New Testament and the hymns and chorals of the reformation and into our times too. We are taken up into this cloud of witnesses and with the Psalmist cry out: “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.”

Our prayers are not just vain lament and complaining. It’s not just blowing into the wind. No, God performs all things for me. Now that is a heavy, weighty and momentous confession and truth. It too has various aspects, which are made clear in the various translations:

  • A83 Psalm 57:3 Ek roep na God, die Allerhoogste, na God wat my sal help.
  • ESV Psalm 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
  • KJV Psalm 57:2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
  • LEE Psalm 57:2 (57:3) I will call unto God, the Most High; unto God that accomplisheth his kindness on me.
  • NAS Psalm 57:2 I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.
  • NIB Psalm 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfils his purpose for me.
  • NIV Psalm 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.
  • L45 Psalm 57:3 Ich rufe zu GOtt, dem Allerhöchsten, zu GOtt, der meines Jammers ein Ende macht.
  • LUT Psalm 57:3 Ich rufe zu Gott, dem Allerhöchsten, zu Gott, der meine Sache zum guten Ende führt.
  • BGT Psalm 56:3 κεκράξομαι πρὸς τὸν θεὸν τὸν ὕψιστον τὸν θεὸν τὸν εὐεργετήσαντά με
  • WTT Psalm 57:3 אֶ֭קְרָא לֵֽאלֹהִ֣ים עֶלְי֑וֹן לָ֜אֵ֗ל גֹּמֵ֥ר עָלָֽי׃

    VUL Psalm 56:3 clamabo ad Deum altissimum Deum qui benefecit mihi

God, does not only end my calamaties, but brings all to a very good end. He benefits me – does truly good and the very best to me – That is his kind and favourable purpose. Thus he helps me and vindicates my trust in him. So let us join Adam Reusner and together with him sing the wonderful hymn:

1 I trust, O Lord, Your holy name;
O let me not be put to shame
Nor let me be confounded.
My faith, O Lord,
Be in Your Word
Forever firmly grounded.

2 Bow down Your gracious ear to me
And hear my cry, my prayer, my plea;
Make haste for my protection,
For woes and fear
Surround me here.
Help me in my affliction.

3 You are my strength, my shield, my rock,
My fortress that withstands each shock,
My help, my life, my tower.
My battle sword,
Almighty Lord–
Who can resist Your power?

4 With You, O Lord, I cast my lot;
O faithful God, for sake me not,
To You my soul commending.
Lord, be my stay,
And lead the way
Now and when life is ending.

5 All honor, praise, and majesty
To Father, Son, and Spirit be,
Our God forever glorious,
In whose rich grace
We run our race
till we depart victorious.

Adam Reusner, 1496-1575; tr Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878. Melody: “In Dich hab ich gehoffet Herr, hilf, dass ich nicht Zuschanden werd’,  noch ewiglich zu Spotte…”

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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