We’re living here on the devil’s turf. (1)
Sport teams frequently name their stadium, arena, court, or field, after a local hero. We have:
- Lambeau Field for Packers Coach Curly Lambeau;
- Wrigley Field for Cubs owner William Wrigley, Jr.;
- The Dean Dome for UNC Coach Dean Smith;
- Coach K’s Court for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
When I coached basketball we frequently reminded the boys, “This is our house!” The reminder was offered as an exhortation during a home game in which the Visitors were walking all over us and our poor defensive play.
Why would Martin Luther refer to earth as the devil’s turf when scripture affirms in Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.
Luther’s comment is not a declaration, rather it is a warning about present reality!
Satan does not rule the earth, but it is his playground. He is constantly recruiting players who will play for his team and by his rulebook.
His players eventually become his victims!
Martin Luther’s words are a helpful warning, not a denial of God’s sovereignty. Additionally, his words are one’s of comfort and consolation.
The local news can be depressing. Daily headlines are about murders, robberies, thefts, and crime, all in our own community.
There are days when it seems as Satan is winning the battle. Yet Satan is always one Word from defeat.
In his great hymn, A Mighty Fortress, Martin Luther writes:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate.
Though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.
The last line in these lyrics is critical: One little word shall fell him.
That one little word is Jesus.
This world may be the devil’s playground, but the earth is the Lord’s.
Satan plays, but God wins!
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Luther, Martin; Galvin, James C. (2009-05-19). Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional (p. 80). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.