Saturday, January 21, 2012

Soundtracking the Bible Pt. 2

The next set of books of Bible after the Pentateuch (the first five) play out like a great drama or a summer blockbuster.

It is amazing to see how God continues to use flawed characters to overcome challenges and accomplish great feats.  The people who take a major role are multidimensional.  They have have problems.  Doing the right thing is not always done, and there are consequences for decisions made; but Grace is the main dynamic throughout. 

The God of the Old Testament has a stereotype for being angry and judgmental but again and again he proves to be a God of second chances. 

God never gave up on Israel and he never gives up on us. 

5. Joshua - Wake Up : Arcade Fire

The book of Joshua opens in epic fashion as a new generation has a new leader; Joshua.  A nation that has been marked with 40 years of failure will now be a generation of promise.  The song Wake Up plays a dynamic backdrop as a Israel becomes a nation walking into the Promise Land and in an ironic way finally wakes up to be the people God called them to be. The reprise in Wake Up would also play well in contrast to the anticipation of the wall of Jericho falling... cue for the horns.

6. Judges - Heroes : David Bowie

People who say that the bible is a boring book haven't read Judges.  This book breaks all the rules.  The melodramas continues with graphic depictions of violence and sex, but also of redemption and hope.  Perceptions are turned on their head as the underdog becomes the hero and women become empowered.  The lyrics from Heroes by David Bowes are the cliff notes to this amazing book..."though nothing, nothing will keep us together/ We can beat them, for ever and ever/ We can be Heroes, just for one day." (I prefer the Wallflowers version because I love the 90s and this song was the only good thing from the movie Godzilla).

7. Ruth - I Was Meant For You : Jewel

The story of Ruth is a brilliant bookmark in between the larger than life stories of Judges and 1 Samuel.  It is a tender story of woman who in the eyes of society is a nobody only to find her true love to help her become somebody.  Ruth lost her husband and her country, and what happens next mirrors the words of Jewel, "Dreams last so long/ even after you're gone/ I know you love me/ And soon you will see/ You were meant for me/ And I was meant for you." Boaz would not only redeem Ruth but the nation of Israel (however the guy in this video is no Boaz).

8. 1 Samuel - Paranoid : Black Sabbath

King Saul on the surface had all the characteristics of a great king.  He was tall, charismatic, and intelligent.  However, underneath Saul was a tortured soul.  Ozzy Osbournes Paranoid, tells a story of a  protagonist who pushes people away but longs for support. "All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy/ Think I'll lose my mind if I don't find something to pacify /Can you help me occupy my brain?" Enter David.  Who would come to pacify Saul's internal struggles but over time would intensify his insecurities. The lyrics and pace of Paranoid play an erie contrast to the conflicted character of Saul, "I need someone to show me the things in life that I can't find /I can't see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind."

 9.  2 Samuel - Mr. Brightside : The Killers

David was the bright side to Saul's dark side of the moon.  That being said, David was not without his faults. The second book of Samuel is split into two parts; David's triumphs and David's tragedies.  His downward spiral began with his failure to go off to war and instead decided to go off the the roof and give in to temptation.  Brandon Flowers lyrics paint a picture of a sinful tale with an upbeat melody, much like David's life. "Jealousy, turning saints into the sea/ Swimming through sick lullabies/ Choking on your alibis / But it's just the price I pay/ Destiny is calling me/ Open up my eager eyes /‘Cause I'm Mr Brightside." (I was torn to go with All These Things That I've Done because the message fits well too, but my wife liked Mr. Brightside better).

What songs make you think of stories and characters from the bible...?