This hymn can be found in the Lutheran Service Book on pg 655. It is another one of those classics I had never heard until I became a Lutheran. I am guessing that like the last one it might only a classic amongst Lutherans. Something that is easy to pick up on is the Trinitarian format. There are three verses to the song. The first verse is to the Father, the second to the Son, and the third to God the Holy Spirit. As such, this probably isn’t one of those songs you want to skip verses in.
Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;
Curb those who by deceit and sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son
And bring to naught all He has done.
Something my pastor pointed out the last time we sang this is that this verse has actually been changed. Instead of “curb those by who deceit and sword” it used to say “Restrain the murderous Pope and Turk” (Und steur des Papst und Türken Mord). For those who don’t know, Turk in this context is Islam.
Historically there would be good cause to pray such a prayer back then. You had Islam on one side poised to conquer Germany and the Pope on the other with kings submitting to him fixing to do the same. Praise God that this is a prayer he has already answered:
“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18 NASB
Lord Jesus Christ, Your pow’r make known,
For You are Lord of lords alone;
Defend Your holy Church that we
May sing your praise eternally.
Notice the author makes it clear that he is speaking to Jesus. That’s a nice improvement over the last song I reviewed. This passage comes to mind as I read verse 2:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NASB
In this verse of the song I see Luther claiming the promises of scripture that God will not let his church be wiped away.
O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.
Above we have a plead to God the Holy Spirit to do what he has already promised to do in scripture.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NASB
“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 NASB
The theology in this song is great, with or without Turks and Popes. It should be commended for uplifting the Trinity and for claiming the promises of scripture.
|Is this song confessing Biblical theology?||X|
|Is this song centered on God instead of yourself?||X|
|Would this song make an Arian heretic uncomfortable?||X|
|Is there Biblical Gospel in this song?||X|
|Is there Biblical Law in this song?||X|
|Is this song clearly addressing God in any capacity at all?||X|