June 06, 2005

Days of Elijah

Yesterday I found out that many people at my church, not just myself, disliked the song "Days of Elijah" by Robin Mark. Our pastor had actually received complaints about this modern hymn.

For me, it was the fact that the song has too many words and you find yourself being forced to catch up on the lyrics whenever you're singing it. Secondly, I found the words were lacking real meaning, at least to me.

The chorus bothered me because it had pictures God riding through the clouds like Superman would. Airplanes, birds — the things ride through clouds. The idea of that the almighty God sharing the skies with birds, airplanes and Superman. There's nothing pristine about that. True, God is omnipresent — so we could just as easily be singing "Behold He comes, riding on the subway".

And the bridge. "There's no God like Jehovah." I prefer to skip the bridge when I sing this song. There are two things I dislike about it — redundancy and blasphemy. It repeats 4 times, that there is no God like God. Wow, very enlightening. Really? God is God? Wow! The blasphemous part, is that it's almost as if they are saying that there are several gods but that none of them is like our Jehovah. He's saying all the other gods fall short of the Jehovah. There is only one God, period. What we really should have been singing is "You are the One true God and the rest are phonies."

Just my opinion.

I had a discussion with a friend about this and it made me think more about the words and their meaning.

Robin Mark has written an article that sums up why he wrote this song, and its purpose because — apparently I'm not the first to ask: "What's the point of this song?"

Robin's idea was to write about a song of hope. It's the notion of bringing back the OT days as a reminder of these great prophets and leaders who took hold of their own lives to proclaim God's kingdom. That despite any kind of trials or tragedy, God is here and alive, we should also follow in their (Elijah, Moses, Ezekiel, David's) example.

Or a converse way of looking at is, is that we are living in a time where we have never faced the kind of tribulation that those guys did, and thus we should have all the more reason to be shouting from the rooftops.

Regardless, it is an interesting read, and has given me something else to think about the next time we sing it.

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