But what can and should God do? Man will not listen and observe. Teaching, praying, exhorting, pleading, begging, meekness, patience, threats, miracles, portents—all are futile. We are deliberately forcing God to be wrathful and will not let Him be gracious as He would want. I could surely not hold it against our dear Father if for once He were really to discipline us. It simply cannot be otherwise. Our sin and ingratitude is too ripe and beyond all bounds, as was the sin of the Jews when they would not accept Christ and the apostles with love and gratitude.
And yet, together with all dear friends of Christ, I would like to do everything I can to turn aside or at least to postpone and delay God’s wrath. That is why I have labored diligently in teaching and in exhorting people to be grateful. That is also why I bring this psalm to the attention of Christians, that they may not merely become willing and inclined to gratitude but may also have definite, fixed, and fitting words and ways to praise and thank God. Thus there will be no fault or lack of diligence of mine or on our part, and they will not be able to complain that they did not know the right words and ways. I can boast with a good conscience that I have done my part. Beyond this, may God’s will be done. As St. Peter says (2 Peter 2:9), He knows how to rescue the godly from trial while He punishes the ungodly, just as He rescued Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah. Please God, it shall not be my fault or that of my fellow believers if things go wrong.
Psalm • 111
Daniel E. Poellot
Luther’s works, vol. 13:
Selected Psalms II
Note: This was from a letter written to Kaspar von Köckritz in 1530. Does anyone reading this blog know anything about him?