Advent Devotion for December 6

O Clavis David

O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel, You open and no one can close, You close and no one can open:
Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and the shadow of death.

Reading: Numbers 24:15–19

The key and scepter have been traditional symbols of kingly power and authority. In this final oracle, Balaam announces that one will rise up out of Israel, a scepter, an anointed one with kingly authority to crush the forehead of its enemies. Jesus Christ the Messiah, He alone has crushed and still restrains our greatest enemies, sin, death, and the devil. With eyes joyfully fixed upon His coming, we look to our King of kings who unlocks the fetters of sin that keep us tightly chained in darkness and gloom. Only the Key of David brings light and freedom to a dark, captive world that no one can close.

Prayer: O Key of David and scepter of Israel, what You open no one else can close again; what You close no one can open. Come, lead the captives who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death and bring them to eternal life for You alone have set us free with Your holy, innocent, precious blood; in Your holy name we pray. Amen.

Hymn LSB 334:3

I lay in fetters, groaning;
You came to set me free.
I stood, my shame bemoaning;
You came to honor me.
A glorious crown you give me,
A treasure safe on high
That will not fail or leave me
As earthly riches fly.

(Jeffrey Kazmierski, Sem IV)