14 March, 2007

War Psalms of the Prince of Peace

Those of us who sing the Psalms in public worship know the benefits of singing imprecations against God's enemies. The imprecatory Psalms are a way for the Church to cry out to God for the suppression of his enemies and the advancement of His kingdom. When evangelicals speak against the imprecatory Psalms, they are speaking against a tool that the Lord has given for His glory and our good.

When the Lord Jesus taught the Church to pray, he gave both positives and negatives for His kingdom work. We too, as we sing imprecations, and pray for the suppression of God's enemies, should remember that these songs are part of the corpus of inspired songs. I fear that many evangelicals have chosen not to sing these because they appear to be less-than-Christian. They do the Church a disfavor.

The hatred is there in the imprecatory psalms- festering, gloating, undisguised- and also we should be wicked if we in any way condoned or approved it, or, worse still, used it to justify similar passions in ourselves.
-CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (New York: Hartcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1958), p. 22.


Robbie said...

Great Book!

Terreth said...

War Psalms of the Prince of Peace is a great book and I wish every christian, especially every Pastor, would read it. It is the best thing I have yet found on this difficult subject.

Daniel Ritchie said...

Nate, I once heard a minister over here quote CS Lewis as saying that the imprecatory psalms were 'devilish'; however, your quote here seems to entirely contradict this. Which is right.

Nate said...

He says wicked as well. This book gives all the juicy Lewis quotes.