O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
Your hand will find out all your enemies;
your right hand will find out those who hate you.
Though they plan evil against you,
though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power. Psalm 21:1, 8, 11, 13
When Delilah saw that [Samson] had told her all his heart, she sent
and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for
he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came
up to her and brought the money in their hands. She made him sleep on
her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks
of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.
And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke
from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake
myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. And the
Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to
Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in
the prison. But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had
Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice
to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given
Samson our enemy into our hand.” And when the people saw him,they
praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into
our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.” And
when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may
entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he
entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. And Samson
said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the
pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” Now
the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines
were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who
looked on while Samson entertained.
Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember
me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be
avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” And Samson grasped the
two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight
against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the
other. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he
bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and
upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his
death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. Then
his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him
up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his
father. He had judged Israel twenty years. Judges 16:18-31
Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you
are. You did me no wrong. You know it was because of a bodily ailment
that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition
was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me
as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What then has become of your
blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have
gouged out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your
enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good
purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. It
is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, . . .
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at
that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who
was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the
Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of
the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So,
brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
Galatians 4:12-18, 28-31
Heavenly Father, we have certainly deserved Your punishment. You may
surely use the devil, . . . or Muslims as Your rod of anger against
us. But they want us, together with themselves, to sin atrociously
against You. . . Our sin against them is that we preach, believe, and
profess You, God Father, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit, the one right
and eternal God. . . .
Do look on us [the baptized of Your Church], merciful Father and Judge
of our enemies! For they are really Your enemies, and if they
persecute and attack us, so persecute and attack them Yourself. For
the Word that we preach, believe, and profess is the work of the Holy
Spirit in us. Muslims want to set their Muhammad in the place of Your
dear Son, Jesus Christ. They slander Him and say that He is no real
God and Muhammad is greater and better than He is. If it is sin that
we hold You, the Father, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit to be the right
and only God, and so confess and praise You, then You would Yourself
be the sinner who calls us to that. When they therefore hate, attack,
and punish us, they do this to You.
Therefore awake, dear Lord God, and sanctify Your name that they
defame; strengthen Your kingdom that they would destroy in us; and
accomplish Your will that they would suppress in us. Let Yourself not
be trodden underfoot because of our sin by those who want to
annihilate in us Your holy Word, name, and work, so that You would be
no God and have no people who proclaim, believe, and profess You. [The
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, pastor, theologian, reformer 1483-1546.]
DAILY PRAYER for SATURDAY
Lord God, heavenly Father, once again a week comes to its end. Forgive
us for having sinned again this week. We pray You not to look upon our
guilt: forgive us every sin of thought, word, and deed; forgive our
inner blindness, disbelief, doubt , feeblemindedness, impatience,
arrogance, evil desires, lust, secret envy, hate, resentment, and our
Redeem us by Your mercy. We know that a single sin eternally destroys
our fellowship with You. We know that we have eternally earned Your
wrath. We know that by our sin we are not worthy to be named Your
children. But our hope is not in our works; our hope is found in Your
grace alone, O God. We pray You to forgive us for the sake of Jesus
Christ, Your beloved Son. Through Him, grant us the power to hate our
sins, so that we may lead a life well-pleasing to You in true humility
and in the knowledge of Your holy will. O Lord, teach us to number our
days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Let the coming Sunday be a blessing for all Christians and for me.
Waken in us a hunger for Your Word and Sacrament. Prepare our hearts
that we may take part in the eternal liturgy sung before Your throne,
and grant that in the Sacrament we may join the never-ending feast,
until that final day comes. Hear our prayer for the sake of the Lamb,
Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.