Satan Defeated

Lent 4, March 14   Shamburger “Satan Defeated”

Ps. 91:9-16

 

Sermon Text: Ps. 91:9-16

 

[9] Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—

                        the Most High, who is my refuge—

            [10] no evil shall be allowed to befall you,

                        no plague come near your tent.

           

            [11] For he will command his angels concerning you

                        to guard you in all your ways.

            [12] On their hands they will bear you up,

                        lest you strike your foot against a stone.

            [13] You will tread on the lion and the adder;

                        the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

           

           

            [14] “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;

                        I will protect him, because he knows my name.

            [15] When he calls to me, I will answer him;

                        I will be with him in trouble;

                        I will rescue him and honor him.

            [16] With long life I will satisfy him

                        and show him my salvation.” (ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here in our text tonight, the Psalmist speaks of our comfort in distress, where evil is all around us and the devil seeks to destroy us, and the full effects of the Fall and our sinful flesh rob our comfort. For you and I have a true and certain enemy, and that is not the person we may think it is, for our neighbor is not our real enemy. As Paul reminds us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  (Eph. 6:12 ESV) and Peter, who knew all too well the deception and lies he caused when he wrote, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV) Since the beginning, in Gen. 3, where Adam and Eve listened, not to our Lord’s Word, but to the twisting of it from the serpent. We have seen and lived the reality of the devil’s work to bring accusation, shame, and death to God’s creation, and to us. Jesus reminds us in John 8:44 “When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

It is in this context that the Psalmist writes, not of the devil’s methods, but of God’s gifts and salvation over the enemy of our souls. For apart from the hand of God we are powerless against the devil and his schemes, but on account of Christ Jesus and His victory over sin, death and the devil, we are told, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 ESV) Psalm 91 gives us the comfort of Christ FOR US and with us in our distress and trouble. Jesus Himself protects, strengthens and upholds us during our suffering our difficulty. Verse 9 tells us that our refuge is Yahweh, the God who has created sustained, cared for, and delivered you out of darkness and into His marvelous light. It is He who delivered Israel in the Book of Exodus from the hand of Pharaoh, through the Red Sea, providing for them in the wilderness and bringing them into the land He promised. His name is a strong tower according to Prov. 18:10 where the righteous run in and are safe. He is our High Priest who is with us in our weakness, for He was tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin. His care, love and delivery of Israel was not because of their goodness, merit, worthiness, or anything in them, but out of His grace alone, just as it is for you.

You are given His name in Baptism, where you are delivered from sin death and the devil. For, “Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God’s command and connected with God’s Word.” The Catechism reminds us. His name is revealed to us in Matt 28 for the first time in fullness as “the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” The name Jesus declares that Yahweh is Salvation, the One who is the very Word of God, who created the heavens and the Earth, and is also the One who is promised to Adam and Eve after their fall into sin. He has re-created, or redeemed His creation through His death and resurrection and He forgives the sinner with His Word of Gospel. Yahweh is our refuge, and according to our text, on account of His name “no evil shall be allowed to befall you,

                        no plague come near your tent.”vs. 10

 

We bring nothing of ourselves to the victory that Christ won for us on the cross, that we anticipate during the season of Lent, and when we confess each Divine Service that we are poor miserable sinners, we are not merely saying that we feel bad about our sin, but that we are spiritually bankrupt because of Original Sin. We are confessing, not just that we aren’t good people, but that we “cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him;” We are confessing that we are, “poor in spirit”, and that we have no hope in our own abilities, strength, reason or effort to save ourselves from sin, death and the devil. We MUST be saved, and this MUST come from outside of us. Thanks be to God that he has done, and continues to do what we cannot,

 

“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, [4] in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3–4 (ESV),

and the Psalmist declares that Yahweh is our fortress to protect us and keep us, with His servants, the holy angels “guarding us in all of our ways” according to vs. 11. The great hymn by Martin Luther clearly confesses this victory that is ours by grace ALONE  through faith ALONE, on account of Christ ALONE:

 

Though devils all the world should fill

All eager to devour us

We tremble not, we fear no ill

They shall not overpower us

This world’s prince may still scowl fierce as he will

He can harm us none

He’s judged the deed is done

One little word can fell him.

In the Name of Jesus,

AMEN

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