“Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” (Luke 22:31-32)
Satan wanted Peter to fall, and fall he would (v. 34), but Christ had prayed for him that victory would come. The second verse of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” reflects our vulnerability on our own and our invincibility on His side.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He,
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
After revealing many thrilling blessings, Paul asks: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Furthermore, neither “principalities, nor powers” nor any thing else in all creation is “able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). With Him, Satan cannot win the battle for our minds or destinies. But on our own, we cannot win.
The term Sabaoth is the Hebrew word for “hosts,” in particular the “host of heaven.” The term Yahweh Sabaoth or “Lord Sabaoth” occurs some 300 times in the Old Testament and constitutes a most majestic name for God. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called” (Isaiah 54:5). This is none other than “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). Creator (Colossians 1:16), Sustainer (v. 17), Redeemer (v. 20)—He must win the battle. JDM
Click here for the sheet music for this hymn.