The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Offensive Worship Songs: LORD, LET YOUR GLORY FALL by Matt Redman

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

It is a historical fact that the nation of Israel has always treated Yahweh like garbage (and she continues to do so today).  After reading through the Old and New Testaments, we cannot possibly come to a different conclusion, for in those pages, we find both Jesus and Yahweh stating in some very strong terms how abominably Their “chosen people” have treated Them from the beginning.  Of course the Church today tries to deny the truth of this.  Not only does she deny it, she goes to the other extreme of exalting Israel as being spiritually superior to everyone else, thus you are taught to feel like a lesser Christian in God’s eyes if you don’t happen to be an ethnic Jew (see More Lies from Paul: God Loves Jews More Than Gentiles).  Such is the idiocy of the Church, and as she encourages us all to fawn over Israel and treasure all things Jewish, she acts as if the feelings of our Gods are totally irrelevant.  Well, this is pure rot, and we certainly don’t want to follow the Church’s horrible example of exalting hardcore rebellion as a wonderful thing. 

Respecting God’s feelings and treating His Divine perspective as superior to our own are essential elements of worshiping Him correctly.  We can hardly do either of these things if we’re totally discounting the things He has shared with us, and in the Bible, we find Yahweh sharing quite a bit about His personal experience of Israel.  Let’s now review some comments that Yahweh makes about His personal dynamic with Israel in the Old Testament, and ask yourself “Does Yahweh sound like He’s pleased with the way His chosen people are treating Him?”

“I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but forgot about Me.” (Hos. 2:13)

“I know what you are like, O Ephraim. You cannot hide yourself from Me, O Israel. You have left Me just as a prostitute leaves her husband; you are utterly defiled. Your deeds won’t let you return to your God. You are a prostitute through and through, and you do not know the Lord. The arrogance of Israel testifies against her; Israel and Ephraim will stumble under their load of guilt. Judah, too, will fall with them. When they come with their flocks and herds to offer sacrifices to Yahweh, they will not find Him, because He has withdrawn from them.” (Hos. 5:3-6)

“These people say they are Mine. They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And their worship of Me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” (Isa 29:13)

“No one is more blind than My servant Israel  or more deaf than the messenger I send. No one is more blind than the person I own or more blind than the servant of Yahweh.  Israel, you recognize what is right, but you refuse to act on it.  You hear, but you refuse to listen.” (Isa. 42:19-20)

“Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? No, yet My people have forgotten Me, days without number.” (Jer. 2:32)

“My inheritance has acted toward Me like a lion in the forest. She has roared against Me. Therefore, I hate her.” (Jer. 12:8)

Now let’s hear from some of Yahweh’s prophets. Isaiah says:

 “Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future? Who caused Israel to be robbed and hurt? It was Yahweh, against whom we sinned, for the people would not walk in His path, nor would they obey His law. Therefore, He poured out His fury on them and destroyed them in battle. They were enveloped in flames, but they still refused to understand. They were consumed by fire, but they did not learn their lesson.” (Isa. 42:23-26)

For this is a rebellious people—they are false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of Yahweh. They say to the seers, “You must not see visions!”; and to the prophets, “Stop prophesying to us what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Get out of the way, get off the path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” (Isa. 30:9-11)

Moses says:

“Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that Yahweh your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people. Remember, do not forget how you provoked Yahweh your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against Yahweh.” (Deut. 9:6-7)

And just before Moses died, Yahweh looked forward in time and described to Moses how Israel would treat Him:

“You are about to die and join your ancestors. After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon Me and break My Covenant that I have made with them. Then My anger will blaze forth against them. I will abandon them, hiding My face from them, and they will be devoured. Terrible trouble will come down on them, and on that day they will say, ‘These disasters have come down on us because God is no longer among us!’ At that time I will hide My face from them on account of all the evil they commit by worshiping other gods.” (Deut. 31:16-18)

Since Yahweh Himself predicts that Israel will treat Him like garbage—which of course she does—are we not grossly insulting Him when we pretend that His history with Israel has been some wonderful thing?

So why are we going over all of this?  Because you need to understand how clearly Yahweh’s disgust with Israel is spelled out in the Bible.  This isn’t a minor theme.  He complains about her incessant rebellion and idolatry over and over and over again.  When Jesus comes onto the scene in the Gospels, He shares the same feelings of frustration, anger, and disgust with the incessant rebellion of Israel.  Now as a Christian, you are discouraged from ever acknowledging what the Bible actually says.  You’re taught that you’re some halfwit who can’t possibly grasp the meaning of those sacred pages, thus you need some anointed fathead to decode the book for you.  This is garbage of course, but the Church loves to keep you ignorant about what the Bible actually says.  This is an essential part of her getting you to just accept the many lies she jams down your throat—teachings which directly contradict what God says about Himself in the biblical records.  Then along come famous leaders like Matt Redman who compose worship songs in which he teaches you that it would a fabulous thing to imitate those rebellious twerps in the Bible—those Jews who treated Yahweh like such dirt for all of those centuries.  This is what Matt’s song Lord, Let Your Glory Fall is all about.  In this song, we are specifically addressing Yahweh, and we are telling Him that it is our goal to love Him the same way as those idolatrous twerps in the past did.  In other words, “Hey, Yahweh.  We want to treat You just like all those folks who You said broke Your heart over and over again.  Doesn’t that sound great?”  How do you think Yahweh feels about this?

Suppose you married someone who abused you horribly and caused you endless heartache for many years before you finally got a divorce.  Then you go on to meet someone new, and just when you think it’s going well, your new person says, “I know that you were married before, and I’m planning to treat you just like your ex did.”  Wow, really?  What is this person saying when they talk to you this way?  Well, either they don’t give a flip about your feelings, or they aren’t interested enough in you to actually understand what your first marriage was like before they declare their intentions to imitate it.

You see, as a Christian, it is extremely problematic for you to start promising God that you’re going to try and treat Him the way some person from the Bible treated Him, because most of the folks we read about in the Bible treated our Gods with great disrespect.  Certainly there were a few God honoring individuals, but you won’t find any large groups who are actually treating God right.  Where there are large groups, hypocrisy abounds, and in the Old Testament we find Yahweh frequently complaining about how phony the Jews are being as they group up to go through some religious hoopla.  And yet in the song Lord, Let Your Glory Fall, Matt Redman is specifically referring to a mass gathering of ancient Jews who have come together with an eager desire to see Yahweh wow them with miraculous theatrics.  Matt then writes lyrics in which we not only plead for Yahweh to impress us in a similar way today, but we also tell Yahweh that we’re planning to treat Him just like those insincere twerps were treating Him in the past.  Wow, talk about insulting.  No, Yahweh really does not appreciate our promise to imitate those irreverent snarkers that we read about Him fighting with throughout the Old Testament.  Matt is modeling some very poor leadership to be encouraging us to think like this.  Talk about showing no regard whatsoever for Yahweh’s feelings.  In this song, we use excessive repetition to try and provoke Yahweh into putting on some kind of dramatic show for us.  We don’t want Him—we just want His glory to fall.  This isn’t worship, it’s insulting.

[Verse 1] Lord, let Your glory fall, as on that ancient day,
Songs of enduring love, and then Your glory came.

Matt begins his song by referring to a specific incident in the Old Testament when Yahweh provided a miraculous sign to symbolize His Presence with His people.  Matt will drop more hints as the song progresses, but when we put all the hints together, the incident he has in mind becomes clear.  He describes Levite priests offering sacrifices to Yahweh while a large throng of Jews stand around singing songs which are essentially pleading for Yahweh to give them some visible sign of His Presence with them.  Matt describes Yahweh’s Presence coming in the form of a cloud, and he also describes Yahweh consuming a sacrifice with a fire that falls from the sky.  There is only one Old Testament account which matches these details, and it is found in 2 Chronicles 7 when Yahweh demonstrates His acceptance of the newly built Temple in Jerusalem.  At the start of this chapter, King Solomon has just finished a very lengthy prayer  in which he asks Yahweh to “Arise and enter Your resting place” (see 2 Chron. 6:41).  At the start of Chapter 7, we read:

When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious Presence of Yahweh filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of Yahweh because the glorious Presence of Yahweh filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious Presence of Yahweh filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised Yahweh, saying, “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” (2 Chron. 7:1-3)

The ancient Jews were a very superstitious people who were huge fans of miracles.  So when they see this fire show, they respond by working themselves up into an excited lather during which they offer Yahweh 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep.  Meanwhile, the official Temple worship choir is belting out, “His faithful love endures forever!” over and over again.

So, what is really going on here?  Is this really love or is it just people going fruit as their adrenaline spikes to new levels?  When Christians work themselves into some excited lather at their worship concerts today, is that real love or just a surge of adrenaline?  You see, in this song, Matt is encouraging us to all be like the Jews in 2 Chronicles 7 who were going spastic in response to a mind-blowing miracle.  Imagine how shocked you would be if some terrifying pillar of fire suddenly roared down from the sky and consumed some pile of meat that was roasting on your barbecue.  You’re going to stumble back in shock, possibly even fall down, and stare at the scene with bulging eyes and a gaping jaw.  But considering that you’d have the same reaction if an angry rhino suddenly came charging through the wall of your living room, can we really call this worship?  When humans are feeling overwhelmed with shock, their minds tend to get all mushy and they revert to instinctive, self-protecting responses.  It is when we are super excited that we give the least thought to what we’re saying and doing, thus our responses in such moments are the most lacking in sincerity.  Well, Yahweh wants honesty from us, and He knows that the things we say to Him when we are sober and calm tend to be far more sincere than the things we scream, shriek, and swear in the midst of emotional frenzies.

In Verse 1 of this song, we call on Yahweh to “Let Your glory fall as on that ancient day.”  But why?  We aren’t standing in front of some massive Temple anxiously wondering if Yahweh finds the place acceptable.  We aren’t superstitious ancient Jews who want to coast from miracle to miracle without ever having to do the work of faith.  We’re Christians.  We claim to have submitted to Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the only true Gods.  We already know that Yahweh is with us at all times, so why are we asking Him to throw down some column of fire?

The fire that fell in 2 Chronicles 7 was not just some harmless light show.  It was a real fire which utterly consumed the things it touched.  So, really?  You’re asking Yahweh to throw down some massive column of real fire?  And when your house, room, or church goes up in flames, what then?  Do you find it fun to have your sensitive tissues being seared by heat?  Are you looking to be permanently crippled in life?  What kind of idiotic request are you making here?

And as a sign to You that we would love the same,
Our hearts will sing that song: God, let Your glory come.

[Chorus x2] You are good, You are good, and Your love endures.
You are good, You are good, and Your love endures today.

“As a sign to You that we would love the same”—the same as what?  The same as those bimbos from 2 Chronicles 7?  Do you really think all of the people who came out for the Temple’s dedication ceremony were  sincere believers?  Of course they weren’t.  They were just coming for the show.  It’s not every day that regular citizens get to see their king delivering some big speech in public.  This was a fascinating event to behold.  There was all of the royal pomp, plus all of the Levites going through their holy motions with some great music playing.  As a citizen, it’s your money and labor that has helped make this Temple a reality.  People have been slaving over it for years.  It’s a new defining landmark in your nation.  You don’t have to give a flip about Yahweh to want to show up for this grand ceremony, so why are we trying to imply that this was a gathering of sincere believers?

In the chorus of this song, Matt works hard to work us into a frenzied lather as he has us repeating “You are good” too many times.  You see, as humans, we can’t say the same things over and over right in a row without losing sincerity.  We’re not robots, and droning simply doesn’t work for us.  Once we understand how important sincerity is to our Gods, we want to take note of when our words are becoming meaningless noise and stop singing.  It’s far better for you to stop singing a repetitive chorus and instead use the time to say something meaningful to God in your mind than it is for you to just drone at Him.  Remember that worship is supposed to be about your soul expressing its love to God.  It’s not about you blending in with the other Christians around you.

It’s quite helpful to realize that throughout the Bible, Yahweh likens worship to sex.  He does this to underscore what an intimate and personal act it is to Him, as well as to help us understand how enraged He is by His people worshiping beings other than the true Gods.  Should a married woman be jumping into a bed with ten men?  Certainly not. A married woman should only ever be having sex with her husband, and we Christians should only ever be giving our worship to our three glorious Gods.

[Verse 2] Voices in unison giving You thanks and praise,
Joined by the instruments and then Your glory came.
Your Presence like a cloud upon that ancient day,
The priests were overwhelmed because Your glory came!
[Repeat Chorus x2]

In this verse, Matt tosses out some highlights from the first part of 2 Chronicles 7.  Then he throws us back into the chorus which is supposed to be an imitation of what the ancient Jews sung to Yahweh.

[Bridge 1] Oh, Your anger lasts a moment, but Your favor lasts a lifetime. [repeat]

This bridge is very problematic, because it trivializes the wrath of God.  Notice that Matt doesn’t add any conditions to this statement.  Instead, he puts out this blanket statement about how Yahweh responds to us.  Well, hello, what is Matt doing with the reality of Hell?  Hell is not Satan’s domain, as the Church so idiotically claims.  Hell was created by our Gods and it functions as a place of eternal torment for creatures who defy Them for too long.  We can hardly look at Yahweh chucking creatures into Hell and then say, “His anger is always momentary.”  Give Yahweh too much smack, and you’ll discover just how fierce and enduring His anger can be.  You see, not only is this song grossly disrespecting Yahweh by valuing Him only for the miracles He can perform, but it also discounts the fact that He is a very vengeful God.

All three of our Gods are intense swirls of polar opposite extremes.  They are great love and fearsome wrath.  They are incredibly merciful, but They also delight in getting revenge, and you’ll find Yahweh talking about both of these things throughout the Bible.  A very common mistake Christians make is in deciding that God can only have the qualities that they want Him to have.  Of course we like the idea of a God who never gets mad at us, but such a God does not exist.  Being accepted by Them does not mean we can now spit in Their faces for the rest of our lives without consequences.

[Verse 3] A sacrifice was made, and then Your fire came;
They knelt upon the ground, and with one voice they praised.
[Repeat Chorus x2]

The history lesson continues with Verse 3.  And yet are we pleasing Yahweh by reminding Him of how the Jews treated Him during the dedication ceremony?  Is this even a positive memory for Him?  Do we even care enough about His feelings to wonder?

[Bridge 2] And they sang that You are good, And they called upon Your Name,
Sing it out, sing it out.
Come like the wind; Come like the fire; Work in our hearts; Our souls to inspire

It is so very tiresome to our Gods when we’re always telling Them to act like the natural elements of this world.  Even more insulting is the way we’re always talking as if They’re not with us.  “Come like the wind.  Come like the fire.”  Hello, our Gods are omnipresent. They are already with you everywhere you go, so stop asking Them to “come.”

You never talk this way to your fellow humans. You would never sit across from your friend in a coffee shop and say, “Come like the wind.  Won’t you bring your presence here?   I want to feel you near me.  I want to know that you’re close.”  Such talk would no doubt irritate your friend, who would find it insulting that you’re discounting the obvious fact that he is sitting right there in front of you.  Yet this is how annoyingly Christians talk to their Gods all the time.  Think about what you’re doing in this song: you’re speaking directly to Yahweh, so obviously you are acknowledging the fact that He is present.  Then you tell Him to “come.”  Really?  If you don’t think He’s there, then why are You talking to Him?  These kinds of games are irritating to God.  He does not find it pleasing when His people stand around celebrating their denial of His Presence with them by constantly telling Him to “come.”

You are good [x8]
[Chorus x2]

As this tiresome song comes to an end, Matt makes one last stab at trying to work us into an emotional lather by having us repeat the phrase “You are good” eight times in a row.  Then we’re dragged through two more rounds of the chorus.  In total, you end up singing the phrase “You are good” forty times in this song.  Wow.  And after you make it so clear that your only purpose in saying this is to try to provoke Yahweh into putting on a fire show for you, that’s forty times too many.  Clearly this song miserably flunks the test for true worship.  But then again, the moment we made it our goal to treat Yahweh as the ancient Jews did, we were a million miles away from honoring Him.  Worship is a very serious issue.  Don’t let Matt Redman or any other Christian leader turn it into some flippant game in your own relationship with God.

FURTHER READING:
Hymns from Satan: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Songs that God Hates: Before the Throne of God Above
Worship Songs from Satan: Lord Reign in Me
Corrupted Worship Songs: Your Grace is Enough

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