It is a wonderful thing that when God manifests the greatest grace toward men by sending His Word, than which this world has nothing more precious, yet under this light He sends famine, pestilence, and countless other plagues.
But in this way God disciplines His saints and strengthens their faith. At the same time He punishes the ingratitude of the world. Today we have the rich gift of the ministry of the Word, but we see how it is received by ungrateful hearers. For the tyranny of the princes, usury, deceit, and plundering are raging against the church privately and publicly. They are exhausting all Germany. And if men continue in this manner to give free rein to lusts of every kind, a horrible change will undoubtedly follow. Germany will take on a much different appearance if matters stand this way long. For there will come a time when marketing and the luxury of buildings, clothing, food, and pageantry will be taken away, but not without great harm to Germany.
Luther’s works, vol. 8: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 45-50