Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Soundtracking the Bible Part III

What happens in the next five books of the Bible will send ripples through the pages of history. The nation of Israel reaches highs as King Solomon builds a vast kingdom only to find a nation torn in two and then sent to Exile.

It is a story of lost and found and how God can use ordinary people to do extraordinary things

The characters that take stage range from Kings and commoners to prophets and priests who all play a part in this story; God is an author who never wastes words or an opportunity.

10. 1 Kings - Kings & Queens: 30 Seconds to Mars

Written during the Babylonian exile of Jews, 1 Kings opens with King Solomon and his quest for wisdom. Author Jeremiah does not hold back tracking the positive and negative choices of the Kings of Israel. This historical book is grand in scale and mirrors the anthem of Jared Leto's Kings and Queens.   "We were the kings and queens of promise/ We were the victims of ourselves/ Maybe the children of a lesser God/ Between Heaven and Hell."  It is here that the split of Israel (North) and Judah (South) begins and sets the stage for the struggles of Israel to come.

11. 2 Kings - Viva La Vida : Coldplay

There is not a main character in the second book of Kings, however human nature is the major theme throughout.  Israel is a broken mosaic of choices made that set a nation of promise into a nation in captivity.  Chris Martin's bittersweet symphony matches the tone of nation searching to pick up the pieces, "One minute I held the key/ Next the walls were closed on me/ And I discovered that my castles stand/ Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand."  If there was a bright spot in the dark cloud over Israel it would be Elisha and Elijah, a beautiful illustration of how God can use us despite our insecurities.

12. 1 Chronicles - Iris: Goo Goo Dolls

It is said that Ezra wrote these next two books of the bible, and at first glance could look like a retelling of OT texts, but there is more.  The audience of this book was written for a nation returning from Exile.  Like an artist putting together pieces of a mosaic, Ezra rebuilds the fractured history of Israel to show how they fit together into God's plan. "And I don't want the world to see me/ 'Cause I don't think that they'd understand/ When everything's meant to be broken / I just want you to know who I am," there is a common thread of wanting to belong that echoes thru Chronicles much like thru the song Iris; and that's something we all can relate to.

13.  2 Chronicles - Sigh No More: Mumford & Sons

The second part to Chronicles focuses on Judah.  The book is very historical, but there is a purpose to giving the past a second look.  It is amazing how seeing things from a different persecutive can make even the toughest parts of the past find meaning and purpose. "Love; it will not betray you/ Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free/ Be more like the man you were made to be." The lyrics from Mumford & Sons are a poignant epilogue to Chronicles that although a nation maybe in downfall, it is not the end.

14. Ezra - My Hero: Foo Fighters

After years of exile under the Babylonians the Israelites were allowed to return home and find second life.  Ezra is a reminder that even the ordinary can be a hero.  Ezra was a humble low-profile leader, that played key role in bringing together a community to rebuild a temple and also a nation.  "There goes my hero/ watch him as he goes /there goes my hero/ he's ordinary." Some thought that "My Hero" was written about Kurt Cobain, but Dave Grohl says the song is a "celebration of the common man." We all want to make a difference, but most of us lead ordinary lives, Ezra shows us that we can do both. (Check out the acoustic version of "My Hero" which brings out the heart and message of the song).

What songs today remind you of characters in the bible?

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