The Pursuit of God

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Offensive Worship Songs: Days of Elijah

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Peppering worship songs with references to Scripture is a very popular tradition with Christians. Quoting the Bible makes us feel, well, more Christian.  Even if we’re quoting it wrong, we still like doing it.  It doesn’t matter if what we’re quoting is utterly irrelevant to our lives, our place in history, and, well, Christianity.  We’re being biblical, darn it, and that must put a smile on God’s face, right?  Wrong.  God doesn’t appreciate us slapping the “worship” label on a bunch of idiotic yammering, and this is all we find in the utterly absurd song Days of Elijah.  Its composer, Robin Mark, writes in his blog that he’s gotten a lot of questions regarding the meaning of his lyrics since he penned this bomb back in 1994.  Well, there’s no surprise there since the song makes no sense—especially for New Covenant believers.  Mark’s very long explanation of his lyrics does little to clarify.  Essentially he claims to have written a song of hope which anticipates the coming of Christ.  Of course he claims that the Holy Spirit inspired him to write it. Well, no, the Holy Spirit knows His Scriptures far too well to put this mess together. For the sake of getting better at actually thinking about what we’re singing to our Gods, let’s now go through the lyrics of this song line by line and see what we can make of them.

[Verse 1] These are the days of Elijah, Declaring the word of the Lord

Elijah was a prophet who lived in a nation that was steeped in idol worship.  The people in his time had pretty much all forsaken Yahweh, and the rulers (King Ahab & Queen Jezebel) were systematically hunting down and killing all known prophets of Yahweh.  Their efforts were so successful that Elijah reached a point of honestly believing he was the only prophet left in Israel who was faithful to Yahweh (see Know Your Bible Lesson 14: Ahab & Elijah).

Okay, so why on earth would you sing words like this to God?  Well, perhaps you’re a Christian who is feeling discouraged by the spiritual darkness in the world around you.  Perhaps you identify with Elijah—you feel like you’re one of the few true believers left who are shining that light and not trying to hide the fact that you are a Christian.  Alright, we can work with that.  Let’s see where you go now.

And these are the days of Your servant Moses, Righteousness being restored.

Here we run into major problems.  Since when did Moses restore righteousness?  Mark’s grasp of the Old Testament had to be very poor for him to put forth such an absurd idea, because if there was anything that stood out about Moses’ life, it was the shocking lack of righteousness that he had in his face 24/7.  The grumbling mob that Moses led through the wilderness for those forty years didn’t give a flip about Yahweh.  In fact they were so rebellious, that they frequently threatened to kill Moses, and Yahweh kept mowing them down by the thousands.  And let’s remember why they were in the desert for four decades in the first place: that was due to their willful defiance of Yahweh (see The Last Straw: Israel Refuses to Enter the Promised Land).  So when exactly did Moses restore righteousness?  Moses himself never made such an absurd claim.  In fact, at the end of his life, he summed up his experience of the Israelites like this:

“Remember, and 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. 9:7)

Is Moses sounding pleased with the spiritual maturity of his people?  Not hardly.  No righteousness was restored.  It’s more like everyone kept wallowing in rebellion no matter how many spankings Yahweh dished out.  So why on earth are you bringing up Moses in a song you’re singing to God?  We can see the stretch to Elijah, but this reference to Moses restoring righteousness is utterly absurd.

So are we being nitpickers here?  What does it really matter?  Well, worship is supposed to be when your soul expresses its love and adoration of God.  Suppose you were a man who went through some horrific marriage to a sadistic woman who found perverse pleasure in trying to hurt your feelings and publicly despise everything you cared about.  If you so much as said you liked something, this woman would get out a hammer and smash whatever that thing was just to stick it to you.  Whenever you asked her to do something—no matter how trivial—she’d make a point to do just the opposite.  After living with this monster for over ten years of hell, you finally divorce her.  Then you start dating a new woman, who claims to really care about you.  As trust builds, you tell her about what a nightmare your first marriage was. But then one day your new woman says to you, “I was just thinking today about how great your first marriage was—how much love and joy there was in that for you.  You must really miss those days, huh?”  How does such a comment make you feel?  How can your girlfriend make such an obnoxious comment to you?  Wasn’t she even listening all those times when you talked about how bad your first marriage was?  Is this her idea of a joke?  If it is, it’s not funny at all.  When your girlfriend talks to you this way, she makes it very clear that she’s not paying any regard to your feelings.  It’s like you don’t have any feelings.  And as for your personal history—well, she’s not interested in facts.  She has already invented some fantasy about what your experience of life before she met you was, and that fantasy is all she acknowledges as truth.

This same attitude of total disrespect that your woman was giving you in our fictitious scenario is what we Christians dish out to our Gods all the time in real life.  You see, Yahweh is the central Character of the Old Testament, and you can hardly read through the accounts about Moses without noticing how much anger and disgust Yahweh is expressing.  You can hardly miss account after account of Yahweh piling up the corpses because those idolatrous twerps just would not respect Him.  In fact, Yahweh’s anger with His people is so in our faces in the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy that material from those books is widely quoted among God hating atheists as proof that “the God of the Old Testament” is a sadistic creep.  Yet, here you are, a modern day Christian who claims to hold “the Word of God” in high esteem while you sing some idiotic line about righteousness being restored during the days of Moses.  What is wrong with you?  How can you say such an obnoxious thing to the God who was there at that time and knows far too well how very little righteousness there was?  Well, the truth is that you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.  You’ve clearly never read those accounts for yourself, or if you did, you were not asking God for His input.  But here’s the thing: it’s okay to not know what you’re talking about when it comes to the biblical records.  Yahweh doesn’t give a hoot if you can quote chapter and verse.  He isn’t going to spring some pop quiz on you.  But He does want honesty from you, and that means that you don’t stand around summarizing  His experience of Moses when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

You see, what makes this kind of nonsense so totally rude is that Moses is not an unknown figure.  Yahweh has supplied us with historical records in which He gives us a good idea of what His experience of the wilderness period was.  And since worship is supposed to be about you pleasing God, it is not okay for you to just launch into a bunch of thoughtless words while you totally disregard His feelings.

When Yahweh talks about wanting righteousness from His people in the Bible, He means that He wants them to sincerely care about honoring Him.  Righteousness is not a trivial subject to Yahweh.  It is not a word you should just be flinging around with no concern for how you are using it.  In this song, you’re saying to Yahweh, “Hey, God, remember how all those folks under Moses’ leadership all turned back to You and sincerely cared about pleasing You?  I see the same thing happening today.  These are ‘the days of Moses.’”  Can you be any more annoying with this comment?  For starters, no, Yahweh certainly does not remember a bunch of folks returning to righteousness in Moses’ day, but He does remember a bunch of folks crafting a false god for themselves and crediting that dumb lump of gold as saving them from Egypt.  He remembers raining food down from the sky and causing water to flow from rocks while the people He was helping worshiped idol gods in their tents.  He remembers His priests publicly disrespecting Him.  He remembers Moses griping at Him and no one ever bothering to thank Him for the billions of miracles He was heaping down on their snarky little heads.  That’s what He remembers, and if you actually read the notes He saved for you, you’d get this.

After trying to rewrite Yahweh’s memories for Him, you then claim that the world around you is in the midst of some epic revival, because you say that these are “the days of Moses” in which “righteousness is being restored.”  Who are you kidding?  You can’t have it both ways.  First you say that these are “the days of Elijah,” which is the same as saying that the world around you is entrenched in spiritual rebellion.  Well, yes, that’s quite true.  But then you make this ridiculous comment about Moses.  So what you’re really saying is “Hey, God.  These are the days of epic revival and epic rebellion.”  Make up your mind. You can’t have it both ways, and God is not some blind halfwit who needs you to tell Him what state the world is in.

So then, in the first two lines of this song, you’ve totally discounted what Yahweh says about His own history with Israel, and you’ve tried to tell Him that most people care about Him today when they so obviously don’t.  Clearly we’re a million miles from worship, but we’re doing a fabulous job of being irreverent.

And though these are days of great trial, Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!”

Right.  We who have shown so little regard for our Lord’s feelings now boast of being some parallel to John the Baptist, who was referred to as a voice crying out in the wilderness.  The composer of this song claims that this song is supposed to be about Christ, and that he threw in references to Elijah and Moses because he considers such men to be a “type” of Christ.  You’ll find such irreverent nonsense is very popular in certain Christian circles—especially among those who want to act like Christ is the superior God while they virtually ignore Yahweh.  It is very common for Christians to imagine references and parallels to Christ in Old Testament passages where none exist.  Why do we do this?  Well, apparently we agree with the God haters that Yahweh is some big Meanie.  Well, no, He’s not.  It is Yahweh, not Christ, who does most of the teaching about grace, love, and mercy in the Bible.  It is Yahweh who Christ is quoting when He throws out the famous commands to “Love your neighbor” and “treat others as you want to be treated.”  But do we ever get around to giving Yahweh the admiration that He so richly deserves?  No, because we’re too busy waxing on about Christ, and acting like we’d never heard of love until He showed up in New Testament Israel.  What nasty little things we are.

[Chorus]
Behold He comes riding on the clouds, Shining like the sun at the trumpet call,
Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee, And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.

Do you even know what the year of Jubilee was?  Most Christians don’t, and if you’re one of them, then what are you doing?  Do you think your Gods enjoy you throwing a bunch of meaningless guff in Their faces?  Do you even understand where Zion was and why it’s associated with salvation?  As we said before, there’s nothing wrong with not knowing something.  Just don’t lie about what you don’t know—especially when you’re talking to your Gods.

This reference about riding on the clouds originates from the book of Daniel when the prophet Daniel saw a shocking vision of Yahweh exalting some supernatural, heavenly Figure who had a human like appearance.  That Figure was Jesus of course, but Daniel didn’t understand this.  Yahweh was the only God that Daniel knew, and he marveled at the way Yahweh so greatly exalted this mysterious Being who looked like a human or a Son of Man.  When Jesus showed up in Israel centuries later, He referred to Himself as the Son of Man specifically to make a link between Himself and that supernatural Figure who Daniel saw (see Understanding Jesus’ Use of Titles: Son of God, Son of Man, I AM).  Jesus then quoted this bit about coming on the clouds during a private discussion with His disciples when He was speaking of His Second Coming (see Know Your Bible Lesson 63: The End is Near (The Olivet Discourse)).

In the chorus of this song, you’re supposed to be joyfully anticipating the Second Coming of Christ.  But then you go on to mention the year of Jubilee and Zion’s hill—two references which have absolutely nothing to do with Christ.  This song comes across like a stew which Mark has just sprinkled a bunch of random, unrelated biblical concepts into.  They all swim around in a nonsensical mess, which you then offer up as worship.  Well, no, this is garbage, and a very dishonoring way to treat your Gods.

So what was the year of Jubilee?  Well, the Promised Land which modern day Israel is still fighting to get her greedy hands on was a specific patch of land which Yahweh said He would let the Israelites use.  But while you’ll hear some ethnic Jews today claiming that the Promised Land belongs to them, Yahweh actually said that it didn’t.  Here’s a handy little verse from the Torah which never gets out for obvious reasons:

“The land must not be sold without a way of getting it back. That is because it belongs to Me. You are only outsiders who rent My land.” (Lev. 25:23)

Yahweh said that He is the true Owner of the Promised Land, and that the Jews were just acting as tenants.  As tenants, Yahweh laid down a bunch of rules for how He wanted His land to be managed. One of those laws was the law of the Jubilee Year, which came around once every fifty years (see Jubilee & the Sabbath Year).  During the Jubilee Year, all Jewish slaves in Israel were to be freed and all property that had been sold or leased was to be returned to its original owners.  What does this have to do with Christ or even a coming Messiah?  Nothing of course, but today Christians ignore the complete Jubilee package and think of it only as a time of freedom and joy.  This is not correct, for there was a lot more to Jubilee than that, but as we’ve already discussed, we’re not very good listeners when Yahweh is the One doing the talking.

So now let’s talk about this reference to salvation coming out of Zion’s hill. What does that mean?  You don’t know, or you wouldn’t be saying it, because to talk about Christ coming from Zion is really being absurd.  You see, the ancient city of Jerusalem spanned across the tops of four hills, only two of which (Zion & Moriah) get mentioned in the Bible.  Because Zion was the hill that David placed the Tabernacle on (which was later replaced by Solomon’s Temple), we find copious references throughout the Old Testament of Yahweh dwelling on Mount Zion, and coming from Mount Zion.  Realize that in Bible times, building a physical shrine to worship your god in was a very common practice, and gods were viewed as literally inhabiting the statues and temples that were built in their honor—but only if you kept their holy paraphernalia in good condition.  If you treated your god badly, then he might refuse to inhabit the idol you built for him, and then you’d have a harder time communicating with him.  It was all rubbish, of course, but this is how people thought, therefore Zion was a huge deal to Yahweh followers because they imagined Him as actually meeting with them on that sacred mount.

Now as a modern day Christian, there are two points you need to grasp. First, you worship three Gods: Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Second, Zion was only ever associated with Yahweh.  Christ had no association with Zion, so when you talk about Christ “riding on the clouds,” then you turn around and say that salvation is coming from Zion, that makes no sense because Christ didn’t come from Zion.  Yahweh was the God who figuratively dwelt on Zion, and since you’re a Christian and you know that Christ’s brief tour in Israel ended nearly 2,000 years ago, what’s with this guff about Christ coming from Zion?  Why are you talking about salvation coming from any physical location on earth when you know darn well that it comes from your three Gods?  You see, in this chorus, Robin Mark is just parroting a phrase that is frequently found in the Psalms when various Jews are celebrating some time when Yahweh saved them from trouble in the past or when they’re anxiously awaiting for Him to do so in the future.   But you’re not an Old Covenant believer, and given that both Yahweh and Christ put an end to the old sacrificial system with all of its trappings, why are you singing about salvation coming from Mount Zion?  This is just more nonsensical guff, and it is as irrelevant as your reference to the year of Jubilee.

[Verse 2] These are the days of Ezekiel, The dry bones becoming as flesh,

As we begin Verse 2, Mark demonstrates once again what an ignoramus he is about the Old Testament as he throws out this reference to Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones.  This particular vision is famously misapplied by Christians, who have cranked out whole songs that are focused on the imagery that Yahweh gave to Ezekiel in this vision (see Worship Songs from Satan: Awake My Soul).  Of course none of us are bothering to pay attention to how Yahweh Himself interprets this vision, or His own explanation of why He gave it to Ezekiel.  No, because we don’t really care about Yahweh, do we?  We just want to rock out to some zippy song, and we don’t care in the least how our twerpy lyrics are being received by our Gods.

So what was going on in the vision of dry bones?  Well, there were a bunch of snarky, ungrateful, Yahweh hating Jews who were going around griping that He was a big Meanie for spanking their rebellious little behinds.  These particular gripers had come up with a saying that they liked to use when they were throwing a pity party for themselves about how hard their lots had become.  The saying went something like this: “Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off” (Eze. 37:11).  Well, Yahweh was tired of listening to this mantra—especially when He’d already told the little brats countless times that He would both restore them to their homeland and protect them from total annihilation.  They certainly deserved total annihilation after the way they’d spat in His face for centuries, but that’s just how gracious the God of the Old Testament is.  Then, to give the little jerks a dramatic illustration of the future grace He was planning to bestow on their ungrateful little heads, Yahweh came up with a vision in which He dramatically reversed the imagery that the Jews were using in their nasty little saying.  He showed Ezekiel a valley of dried up bones and then showed those bones being restored into living humans one anatomical layer at a time.  Later on in the time of Ezra, Yahweh makes good on His promise to bring the Jews back to the land which He drove them out of.  Were they grateful?  Did they shed their rebellious ways and decide to start truly honoring Him?  Of course they didn’t.  Yet here you are as a Christian, throwing the old dry bone vision in Yahweh’s face and acting like it’s somehow relevant to your time and place.  Well, given that you’re not a rebellious, idol worshiping Jew who has been driven out of your homeland by a God who is fed up with your attitude, just how is this vision relevant to you?  You don’t use the same mantras that the ancient Jews did.  You don’t go around saying, “My bones are dried up and I’m cut off.”  So what are you doing talking such guff at your Gods?  Are you appreciating how annoying the words of this song are?

And these are the days of Your servant David, Rebuilding a Temple of praise.

Wow, really?  How much more of a dingdong can Mark be?  There was no Temple in David’s day.  David worshiped at the tent Tabernacle.  It was only after David was dead and gone that his son Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem—you know, that’s why people refer to Solomon’s Temple today.  But hey, this song is already a bomb, so why not just start making stuff up?

These are the days of the harvest, The fields are as white in Your world,
And we are the laborers in Your vineyard, Declaring the word of the Lord!

It’s more than a little tiresome to hear you saying that you’re declaring the word of the Lord when you’ve proven how little attention you’ve been paying to any of His words up until now.

“These are the days of the harvest”—says who?  Jesus once spoke of it being harvest time—but that was nearly 2,000 years ago and He was talking to His disciples, not you (see Understanding Jesus: More Workers for the Harvest).  But look how you’re now putting yourself on God’s level by claiming that you can accurately assess how all of the souls in the world are responding to Him.  See, you have to make such an arrogant claim if you’re going to tell God that the harvest is ready.  But of course you can’t really see into the souls of others and it’s pretty obvious that the world hates God.  Not that you care about truth, you’re just excited about launching into another round of that annoying chorus.

[Chorus]
Behold He comes riding on the clouds, Shining like the sun at the trumpet call,
Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee, And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.

[Bridge]
There’s no God like Jehovah! (Repeat x15)
Hey!

Notice how you repeat this line about Jehovah being the only God fifteen times.  Really?  Can you honestly claim to be able to say anything fifteen times in a row and still mean it?  Our Gods do not like it when we humans shout the same words at Them over and over again as if we’re a bunch of malfunctioning mp3 players that keep repeating the same few seconds of a track.  You certainly wouldn’t stand there without protest if some human you knew started saying the same thing to you fifteen times in a row, but you expect your Gods to be pleased with this guff?  Why should They?

Let’s talk about the Name Jehovah.  It’s a problematic choice for God the Father, because this is the same name that the Jehovah’s Witnesses use for their false god.  Jehovah’s Witnesses are monotheists who say that their false Jehovah is the only true god, while Jesus is just an angel whose “second coming” already happened invisibly back in 1914.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus is not God, and they don’t recognize the Holy Spirit as the magnificent Being that He is.  So if you’re trying to praise that Jehovah in this nasty little song, you can just imagine how well that won’t go over.

But let’s say that you know the difference between the Jehovah that the Witnesses worship and the true God who Christians refer to as both Yahweh & Jehovah (see Yahweh or Jehovah?).  The fact still remains that Christianity is a polytheistic religion in which Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are recognized as being the only true Gods in existence—Gods who are equal to Each Other in every way.  Ah, but then here you are, exclaiming fifteen times in a row that there is no God like Jehovah. Great.  So now you’re saying that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not Gods?  Yes, that’s exactly what you’re saying if you’re saying that Jehovah is incomparable to any other being.  See the problem?  This song just goes from bad to worse.

[Chorus]
Behold He comes riding on the clouds, Shining like the sun at the trumpet call,
Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee, And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.
(Repeat x4)

Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee, And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.

With more absurd references to Jubilee and Zion, we finally end this tiresome bit of rot that has done nothing but grossly insult our Gods and demonstrate what oatmeal brains we are about the Bible.  If you don’t know what the Bible actually says then you shouldn’t be singing songs that are loaded with biblical references because you don’t know what you’re talking about. How can you possibly say anything sincere to your Gods when you’re using terminology that means nothing to you?  Any responsible worship leader would not encourage you to sing Scripture based songs without first making sure that you understood what the references are about so that you could have a chance to decide if those references have any personal meaning for you.  The likelihood is that they won’t.  Many of our Bible based worship songs are nothing more than the products of Christian songwriters who are trying to impress people and boost sales by sounding Scriptural when they really have no idea what they’re saying.

Worship is not a game to our Gods.  It’s very serious, and you need to start taking it a whole lot more seriously than the Church does if you want to have any chance of being invited to share in intimate communion with your Creators. Our Gods will not invite us to know Them well if we’re refusing to have any regard for Their feelings, priorities and perspectives.  So think about it.  Pray about it, and ask Them to help you improve your treatment of Them in every area.

FURTHER READING:
Hymns from Satan: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Worship Songs from Satan: Create in Me a Clean Heart
Hymns That Lead Us Astray: Showers of Blessing

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