Wittenberg Door Campus Ministry’s fourfold emphasis - history, integrity, truth, Scripture - all leads to our Tuesday and Thursday posts. Sparking meaningful discussion of the Scripture, the Old and New Testament, is heart and center of what we do. Isaiah chapter 4 is challenging to modern readers. It speaks within a culture where by nature women are relatively powerless. When the men are casualties of war, the women have virtually no protection from harm. The prophet describes God’s work to raise up a true protector, found in Christ.
Luther, Martin, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, translated by Herbert J.A. Bowman) Luther’s Works, Vol. 16, Lectures on Isaiah Chapters 1-39. St. Louis: Concordia, 1969. Logos Electronic Edition. In some environments page numbers are visible but in others they are not. I will generally provide a page number and make sure the reader knows what verse Luther is commenting on.
“Isaiah Chapter 4”
In the poverty and destruction recorded in Isaiah 4:1, Luther notes the extent of trouble indicated by “seven” women seeking out one man. “There will be such great poverty that without men the women will be left abandoned” (LW 16, 50, Is. 4:1). The normal order of society is overturned. Yet even in this time of trouble, the Lord will preserve a people (LW 16, 51, Is. 4:2). This remnant is pictured as wonderful and glorious. Verses 3 and 4 Luther applies to Christians, those whose sins have been washed away. This cleansing is pictured by Luther as an ongoing purification (LW 16, 52, Is. 4:4). To accompany the cleansing, God will care for his people by establishing his presence. Isaiah uses terms to refer back to God’s provision for his people in the Exodus (LW 16, 53, Is. 4:5). Luther identifies this as Christ, the living Word of God, as well as the presence of God’s preached word, guarding all of God’s people. Luther continues with a lengthy meditation on the care of God in Christ for his people, referring to numerous Scriptures as encouragement to trust in God through all our trials.
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