Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"He has put down the mighty from their seats."
"The learned, saintly, mighty, great and rich, and the best that the world has must fight against God and the right, and be the devil's own. As it is said in Habakkuk 1:16: "His food is rich and choice"; that is to say, the evil spirit has a most delicate palate and is fond of feasting on the very best, daintiest, and choicest morsels, as a bear on honey. Hence the learned and saintly hypocrites, the great lords and the rich, are the devil's own tidbits. On the other hand, as St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:28, those whom the world rejects, the poor, lowly, simplehearted, and despised, God has chosen, causing the best part of mankind to bring suffering upon the lowest part, in order that men may know that our salvation consists not in man's power and works but in Gods' alone, as St. Paul also says (1 Cor 3:7). Hence there is much truth in these saying, "the more men know, the worse they grow"; "A prince, a rare bird in heaven"; "Rich here, poor yonder." For the learned will not surrender the pride of their hearts, nor the mighty their oppression, nor the rich their pleasures. And so it goes." (Luther's commentary, vol. 21)