Why Do The Heathen Nations Vainly Rage?
(by Andrew Dionne) Following the release by the Good Shepherd Band of "Wake Up Sleepers," Christ the Word's Everlasting Word Band is pleased to join the musical reformation by releasing a track from its first EP due later this year.
Psalm 2 (hear and download here) from Calvin's Genevan Psalter, modernized and arranged by Douglas Wilson, quickly became a congregational favorite when we introduced it several years ago. Instead of dispensing with instruments as Calvin would have preferred, we enfolded the text into music and instruments appropriate to its forceful declaration of the wrath of God--a force rendered all the more striking by its contrast with the softness of most church music today.
What prideful schemes are they in vain devising?
The kings of earth and rulers all engage
In evil plots, and in their sin contriving,
They take their stand against our God's Messiah;
They claim they will not keep His binding chains.
The one enthroned in highest heaven, higher,
Mocks them to scorn, on them derision rains.
He speaks to them in righteous, holy wrath;
God vexes them and shows His great displeasure.
"Yet have I set My King upon the path
That upward winds to Zion, My own treasure."
"'You are My Son, today You are begotten,'--
I will declare what God has said to Me--
'And not one tribe will ever be forgotten.
You will receive the world, just ask of Me.'"
"'The nations come; You are the only Heir,
The ends of earth will be Your own possession
And broken with a rod of iron there,
Rebellious pottery comes to destruction.'"
Now serve the Lord, with fear and gladness trembling,
And therefore, O ye kings, seek wisdom here.
How blessed are those who trust without dissembling,
Who kiss the Son and bow in reverent fear.
It's our hope that by singing songs which encompass both the wrath and the love of God our worship will more fully reflect the glory of our Father, the tenderness and power of Jesus Christ and the comfort and uncheckable strength of the Spirit. Look for more music later this year...