October 24, 2007

A Needed Exhortation

From Luther's Isaiah Lectures, on the Old Testament reading from last Sunday, Isaiah 55:1-9:

1. Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money.

This is an exhortation for Christians in the midst of their trials, lest disgust take control of all of them. This is a most destructive pestilence in the church. We must be acutely on guard and alert, although we dwell in the sluggish flesh, and be militant in the exercise of the Word. No matter how much the secure flesh sleeps, as in the case of those who are seized by the pestilence, we must nevertheless persevere against this temptation and overcome it. Let no one seem to himself to have accomplished much in Scripture and to have heard many things, since in spite of that he loses the knowledge of the Word in forgetfulness day by day. From there let the mind be restored and recleansed as from a fog of ignorance, so that the heat and fervor in the Word may increase against the gates of death. Where people have been especially trained in the Word, there they are most negligent. This is a common complaint of preachers. Such exhortation is therefore especially necessary, lest they fall into contempt and loathing of the Word.

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