O Come, O Come, Thou Lord of might, who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height,
in ancient times did give the law in cloud and majesty and awe.
If you asked me to write a couplet based on the prophecy of one called the Lord of might, or mighty God, coming for His people, I would instinctively be inclined to a much different angle. After all, the people of Israel were often under attack – in need of a mighty God to be their champion; or else they were in captivity – in need of a mighty God to be their liberator.
So why would the author of this antiphon choose instead to highlight the Lord of might as the giver of the law? Surely there are any number of other monikers with which this would pair better.
As I’ve reflected on these today, I wonder if the link comes in the timing of God’s giving the law to His people. It took the Israelites three months to reach Sinai from Egypt. Their entire way of life had been uprooted, they were headed to an unknown land, they were vulnerable, with no army and no king, their food had long run out and they had to trust that manna to show up day by day. Surely that would lead to significant insecurity and fearfulness. Surely they would be longing for a foothold.
Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.
In the middle of chaos and uncertainty, what hope there is in structure, order, and direction. When our world is in upheaval, let us also take comfort in knowing our mighty God is establishing his Kingdom firmly in the midst.
Isaiah 9:6 – For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God…