Earlier this week we bought My Soul Among Lions (Psalms 1–10), an album of retooled psalms. The band, also called My Soul Among Lions, is seeking to bring the lost beauty of psalms back into Christian worship by setting them to contemporary folk music.
I’m not reviewing the album here (I may do that later), but I wanted to express how much I really appreciate their desire. The album cover says that there are a lot of topics covered in the psalms that you never hear in worship music anymore because they are uncomfortable, and they want to change that. I’m all with them; if we are uncomfortable with some of the topics in the psalms, the fault is not with the psalms.
Let’s take Psalm 2, for example. Their version of it, called “The Nations Rage (Ps 2),” has the following lyrics in it (source):
The God of heaven laughs at them
He laughs them all to scorn—
“I’ve set my King on holy Zion’s hill”
He rebukes them in His anger
Says, “Today My Child is born
And woe to those refusing My goodwill”
“My Son, just ask of Me
And I will give the nations of the earth
For You to rule them with a mighty iron rod
For You to dash them all to pieces
And then pound them into dirt
Until You spread Your fame and power and love abroad
’til all the nations bow before the Son of God”
That’s not exactly something you’ll hear on the radio anymore. “It’s not loving enough,” says American Evangelicalism. “It’s not uplifting and encouraging enough. God isn’t like that.”
There’s only one problem with that: they’re wrong. Why? Because the Bible says so:
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
So there you go.