January 4, 2011

The King of Victories

Category: Theology - Liturgical :: Permalink

In an essay in Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth, which I’m rereading, Doug Wilson comments on one of the names used for God in Beowulf.  God is the “Lord of Victories”:

“No man could enter the tower, open hidden doors, unless the Lord of Victories, He who watches over men, Almighty God Himself, was moved to let him enter, and him alone” (ll. 3053-3057).  Whether the victory is Grendel falling before Beowulf, or Satan crushed beneath the heel of Christ, God is the only One to bestow any victory.

The psalmist asked the God of Israel to rise up and scatter His enemies; whenever the Power of His right hand is pleased to do so, those enemies are driven before Him like smoke in a gale.  The Church today is a stranger of victories because we refuse to sing anthems to the king of all victories.  We do not want a God of battles, we want sympathy for our surrenders.  We need to be taught to sing as Alfred the Great taught his men before going into battle — “Jesu, defend us” (43).

And that starts with us learning to sing the Psalms.   Do we not have enemies?  Do we not love our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in the Middle East and in Darfur and throughout the world?  How can we truly love them if we are not singing the imprecatory psalms and hymns like them, calling on the King of Victories to rise up and overthrow their enemies and rescue them?

Posted by John Barach @ 4:41 pm | Discuss (0)

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