Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Cold and A Broken Hallelujah

The xmas song sweeping the nation at the mo is 'Hallelujah.' The song is incredible. The original by Jeff Buckley is incredible. Even the Shrek version stops you in your tracks. But for me - sorry X Factor fans - the new cover is distinctly average.

Nevertheless as I was lying in bed this morning listening to Radio One, I realised for the first time that the lyrics reference King David of Bible fame:
'I heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the lord.'

Hallelujah literally means 'Praise the Lord', and the cool thing is: David wrote the majority of the songs in the Bible, which do just that.
The King goes down in history famed for being 'a man after God's own heart.'

But...

...the 'Hallelujah' song, in the second verse, chooses to focus on an affair David had:
well your faith was strong but you needed proof
you saw her bathing on the roof
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you


By choosing to cover up his actions in an intricate web of lies, the affair ended up with murder!!

HOW? How can an adulterer and a murderer carry the title, 'A man after God's own heart'?!!!
It even took David a long time - and a load of prodding - til he fessed up.

But he did say sorry eventually. And straight away David hears the words, 'The LORD has taken away your sin.'

AMAZING. Forgiveness is amazing! Forgiveness happens instantly.

We often think that forgiveness simply became part of God's plans when Jesus rocked up. Yet David received a totally fresh start, living centuries before Christ. Forgiveness has always been who God is. Love has always desired to forgive.

In response David penned these moving and groundbreaking lyrics, connecting deeply with the character of God:

‘Take away my sin, and I will be clean.
Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
…Create in me a pure heart, God.
…Give me back the joy of your salvation
…God save me from the guilt of murder
…You don’t want burnt offerings.
The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit.
God you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin.'

(Psalm 51:7-17)

As Jeff Buckley sang,
'love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.'

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