The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Worship Songs from Satan: Awake My Soul

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

A favorite trick that Satan uses to get you to lower your guard is to quote Scripture. Just stick a verse in the middle of the lies and that makes it all okay. And while we’re at it, let’s yank things out of context and try to pretend God was talking to Christians when He so wasn’t. Whenever you hear someone quoting the Old Testament and trying to say God was really talking to YOU—a New Covenant believer—when He said whatever He said, you need to be extremely cautious. While the Old Testament provides us with an invaluable education about who our Gods are and what pleases Them, many of the passages we love to quote are being grossly misapplied. Malachi 3:10 is a prime example of this—the old “Bring the whole tithe into My storehouse.” Let’s take a quotation from a furious Yahweh who is reaming out a bunch of snarky rebels and pretend He’s talking to Christians who actually care about pleasing Him. Can we get any more foolish?

Now Christian leaders know that you don’t know your Bible very well. They know that they can yank Scriptures out of their contexts and make them say whatever they want. Since you’re too lazy to look up the passages for yourself, you’ll never realize how many baloney sandwiches you’re being served on Sunday morning. It’s a classic trick, and you’ll find that many false shepherds rely heavily on verse quotations to woo you into trusting them.

Worship leaders have their own style of abusing Scripture to exalt themselves in your eyes. By slipping famous one liners from the Bible into the lyrics of their songs, they get you to assume they’re super holy. How many times do you hear Christians calling some famous guitar player “a humble man of God.” Hello, they’re standing in a blazing spotlight showing off for an hour and soaking up your applause while they point to the ceiling—where’s the humility?? Don’t be so quick to give your respect away.

Now when you’re trying to rhyme, alluding to Scriptures is easier than quoting them outright. But now and then someone puts out a song in which a portion of Scripture (or at least a close paraphrase) is actually read during part of the song. It’s awkward, but it can be well-received by Christians who want to believe they’re not being led astray. Well, it turns out that you ARE being led astray much of the time when passages of Scripture are being stuffed into the middle of songs. A classic example of this is found in the much acclaimed worship song “Awake My Soul.” The passage of Scripture being misapplied here is from Ezekiel 37: the famous vision of dry bones. Most Christians have no clue what that vision was really about, so they’ve all decided it’s about God raising dead people to life. Well, no, that isn’t at all what it’s about. Whenever you’re working with a prophetic vision, you need to realize that the images are metaphorical. You also need to realize that Yahweh usually provides a very detailed explanation of His prophetic visions, and if we’d actually read the passage for ourselves, all the mystery would go out of it. But we don’t read, we just believe whatever our leaders tell us, then we assume they’re telling us the truth because they’re leaders. This is very faulty logic.

Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
I come alive, I’m alive when You breathe on me
I come alive, I’m alive when You breathe on me

This song is annoying right from the start. First of all, there’s a limit to how many times God wants to hear you say the same thing to Him right in a row. He’s not deaf or hard of hearing. Secondly, what’s with this guff about God breathing on you? “I come alive when You breathe on me.” And what happens when He doesn’t? Do you flop over dead? Are you singing this song as a corpse? The way you’re carrying on, it sounds like you haven’t been breathed on for quite some time. What does this say about God? You talk to Him like He only gives you an occasional puff of life-giving breath only to then leave you languishing for more. This is insulting. Our God cares for us night and day. He is constantly sustaining us, providing for us, and defending us. So where do you get off suggesting that His care of you is lacking, therefore you must stand in church crying out for Him to breathe you back to life again?

Chorus:
Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, for You alone
Awake my soul

Really?? You’re claiming to be dead? You’re the loudest dead person we’ve ever met. What obnoxious lyrics! Here God is giving you all this stuff and you’re pretending to be so deprived that you’re actually a dried up corpse. Your bones are dead. Your soul is lifeless or in some kind of coma. Is it fun for you to live in a land of such ridiculous delusions?

Speak to me, Word of God, speak to me
Speak to me, Word of God, speak to me
I come alive, I’m alive when You speak to me
I come alive, I’m alive when You speak to me

We can only hope you’re using the term “Word of God” to refer to Jesus and not the Bible. God detests the way Christians have turned a physical book into a fourth god, so don’t even go there. Meanwhile, it’s annoying to God that you’re suggesting He now not only leaves you as an un-breathed on corpse, but He also refuses to speak to you. You see, we humans only ask for things that we don’t believe we have yet. So when you keep asking God to speak to you, you’re saying that He doesn’t. Well, yes, He does. Maybe not in the way you want Him to—maybe not in some clear voice in your head—but He DOES speak to you. You’d be much better off exercising some faith in God’s claim to be intimately involved in your life than singing these ridiculous lyrics.

Chorus:
Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, for You alone
Awake my soul

It’s another chorus—another round of telling God to please resurrect you from the dead. This is what we call a hype song. It has very few lyrics and it’s extremely repetitive. This is the kind of song you use to get the crowd all amped up on adrenaline. With lyrics this dumb, you have to juice the music to keep the energy level going, and that just leads to a frantic frenzy. Oh, but wait—here’s where we break for the worship leader to read a major paraphrase of Ezekiel 37:4-10.

Spoken:
Then He said to me,
Prophesy to these bones and say to them,
Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!
This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones,
I will make breath into you,
And you will come to life.
So I prophesied as I was commanded.
As I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound,
And the bones came together, bone to bone.
And I looked, and tendons and the flesh appeared on them,
And skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then He said to me,
Prophesy to the breath,
Prophesy, son of man, and say to it,
Come from four winds, oh breath, and breathe.

There’s nothing like picking and choosing which parts of the passage you want to quote so that no one has the chance of understanding what God’s actual point was. Clearly the writer of this song wants us to think the dry bones vision was about God resurrecting dead people back to life. Then he wants us to make an insane, delusional leap and think that we Christians should try to apply this vision to our lives today and think that God’s really saying WE’RE the dry bones. WOW. Talk about mangling Scripture. But now that he’s fed us this gross misapplication of this passage, our song writer now leads us on to more zombie talk.

Chorus:
Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, for You alone
Awake my soul

Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, for You alone
Awake my soul

Well, someone needs to rev up the shredder and feed this baby through. What a disastrous song! It’s not worship, it’s wallowing in some strange zombie mentality and acting like God must think it’s cool because we quoted Ezekiel 37 in the middle of our droning. Good grief.

So if Ezekiel 37 wasn’t about Christians acting like they’re dead and ignored by a God who’s hard of hearing and miserly about who He breathes on, what was the point of it? It was actually Yahweh’s response to a popular Hebrew saying that was getting on His nerves. The saying was “Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.” Who was saying this? A bunch of whiny brats who Yahweh had exiled to foreign lands because of their incessant rebellion. The point of this cultural idiom was to say, “We have no hope. God took us from our homeland, and He’ll never bring us back. Boo-hoo.”

If you knew how much flak Yahweh has taken from these people, you’d understand why He found this saying so annoying. Not only has He already told them fifty times that He will restore them to their homeland after a season of exile, but the little jerks so deserve what they are getting. So it’s perfectly fine to stuff Yahweh’s Temple with satanic idols and worship demons on every hill in Israel, yet if Yahweh gets fed up and drives you out of the land HE gave you then HE’s the jerk? Not so much. Yet once again, Yahweh demonstrates mind-blowing grace towards these little twerps by giving the prophet Ezekiel a vision of hope. The vision is a creative spin off of the saying “Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.” Since the people have chosen the imagery of dried up bones to symbolize their despair, Yahweh starts His vision off with a valley filled with dry bones. This symbolizes the people’s hopelessness. He then turns the bones into people one stage at a time: first adding muscle, then skin, then infusing them with the breath of life. The resurrected bones do not symbolize dead people brought back to life—they symbolize Jewish exiles being brought back to Israel. It’s a picture of despair ending in hope—but it’s a very specific despair: the belief that the Jews will never get to see Israel again. Yes, they will. Yahweh has already told them that they will. They don’t believe Him (naturally). So He gives them yet another vision to underscore that He will keep His promise to not keep them in exile forever.

Once we understand Yahweh’s original point, is it appropriate to apply this passage to Christians? Not hardly. This vision has NOTHING to do with Christians, it has nothing to do with actual resurrection, it has nothing to do with anything that this song tries to say it does. So don’t sing this song. You’re not dead, you’re alive. You’re not a pile of dry bones and God resents you implying that He randomly ditched you because He wanted to keep His breath to Himself.

FURTHER READING:
Parables of Yahweh: The Valley of Dry Bones
Worship Songs from Satan: Fall Afresh
Worship Songs from Satan: Create in Me a Clean Heart

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