Broken Mortals Playlist – Holy is the Lord
Music has always been important to me. I remember as a teenager having a chat with my Dad who was concerned about my choice of music. He was very clear that he was not against my music choice even though he did not understand most of the lyrics and beats of my favourite artists. His advice to me at that time has proven to ring true in my life. He told me that he would prefer me to appreciate a broad spectrum of styles because other types of music have value.
That truth still rings true in my life as I have found that my musical tastes have grown wider and I can appreciate many different styles. As I worked through Broken Mortals I found that some songs reflected the feelings I was dealing with during the writing. Some songs resonated with the whole book and others were very chapter specific. The book originally included more references to lyrics but I discovered that getting permission for lyrics was costly and almost impossible. It’s too bad, some of the lyrics from these songs speak truths in a way that I cannot with my meagre talents.
I am going to highlight some of the songs that inspired the book in my blog. I hope you check out the artists and give them a listen.
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Broken Mortals to explain this song.
As a camp speaker, I love the drive to the camp. It feels to me a bit like Christmas Eve, It’s a time of preparation. The sermons have been written and the prayers have been prayed. I’m heading into the purpose of what God is about to do and I get the privilege to be a part of it.
If there is a magical time in the world it’s usually on that drive. My heart is prepared and ready. I’m ditching the cares of the rest of the world and eagerly anticipating the next five days in my life.
On one such drive, I had recently picked up a new CD (City on a hill: The Gathering) with a collection of worship songs. I popped it into my cd player and drove on into the sunset of that warm July night. The first few notes of Holy is the Lord by Andrew Peterson came through the stereo and I wasn’t expecting anything powerful to happen. I was just listening to the songs, praying and thinking about the coming week.
I heard the words and started to listen very carefully, asking myself these questions. What is this song about? Isaac? Is this song really about Abraham and Isaac? It isn’t, it can’t be? Is this a song about a Dad singing to his son? A Dad who is planning to kill his own child in obedience to God’s command? Can the response to this command really be Holy is the Lord?
Is this really a thought? Holy is the Lord? With this kind of a request?
As I drove I listened and I cried.
I cried because for the first time in my life I saw Abraham’s heart. I looked behind me and in the back seat of the car was my first-born son, Kasyn, sleeping. He rested quiet and peaceful while I was having a moment. I cried and cried.
What must Abraham have been thinking? What kind of God is this? I left my family for you and came to this place for you? What about the promises, what about my descendants? I thought you were a different kind of God.
I have never liked the Abraham and Isaac story in Genesis 22. I never understood why we teach it in Sunday school. Was Abraham a sociopath? Is he so callous that striking down his own child seemed like a good plan?
I hated this story; I had really not found any peace in it. Until that moment in my car.
I understood that Abraham was a broken mortal, trying to follow God. Trying to figure out how to please the God of the Universe who had promised him the world but was about to take it away.
I understood that Abraham would be walking to that mountain with an anger and frustration that we all get when there are bills to pay and lawns to mow. When life doesn’t make sense and times are tough. I can see a man determined to do what God asked of him even though it is making his insides roil.
There’s probably a plan in Abraham’s head, and that plan probably changed with every step closer to the mountain.
At that moment in the car, I cried out to God. “Why would you ask a man to kill his own son?”
I felt God respond saying, “I do not want dead kids, I do not want broken families. I simply want obedience. I need your will to die. This was a way that Abraham would see me, to understand me and I would know him. This one act of obedience would establish me as a God above all other gods. Through me, you can accomplish great things but nothing will ever happen if you will not be obedient to me.”
Genesis 22 is about having a heart of obedience and it is a foreshadowing of another Father and Son, on another hill not far from this one.
I finally had a glimpse into the heart of the Father God, the heart of One who died to his own self and sent his own son to the slaughter for the sake of mankind.
What Can We Learn From Genesis 22?
God is asking all of us for a sacrifice. To die to ourselves. To daily pick up our cross and follow him.
To let our first decision turn into a series of good decisions.
Most of us do not make the first decision because we fear the rest of the decisions. God is only asking us to step forward, in faith, to trust that he will be faithful, that he will be there, that he will supply all our needs.
Abraham is a man who knows he has screwed up before God more times than he is willing to admit. He is a man who undermined God’s providence too often. A man, who was often impatient, inconsistent, and at times completely ignorant of God’s plan for him and his family. A man, who like us, often chose stubbornness and selfishness over God’s will and obedience.
This time though, Abraham was prepared to go the distance, he was determined to obey his Creator. He had no idea how it was going to work, how God would fulfill his promise, or how this would all turn out in the end. Step by step he headed to the mountain, determined to follow while desperately, praying for another way.
Check out the playlist on spotify and pick up a copy of Broken Mortals on Amazon today.