TIS: Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
So begins ‘Truth in Sound’, a new series of semi-regular blog posts, resulting as a continuation of my original Top 10 God-bothering songs posted here. In that post, I said that:
So often I find myself listening to songs on the radio and hearing within them lines of solid gold, expressing perfectly something of the nature of God and the truth He has revealed in scripture. Undoubtedly, most of these incidences were not the Artist’s desired expression and the rest of the song may travel some distance wide of that mark, but in that one moment, in that one lyric, the truth is there nonetheless.
In this new series of posts, I hope to pick up on and point to the truths about God, faith and the life He calls us to, that are frequently found nestled in the heart of the songs we hear on the radio.
Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
This year at Glastonbury, Jason Mraz performed his international breakthrough single ‘I’m Yours’ to a crowd that loved to sing along. He caught them out however, by changing some of the words. I was already a fan of the song before hearing it on Radio One’s coverage of the festival, but it was this performance that really caught my ear, so to speak. The video posted here is taken from Mraz’s performance at Glastonbury. To hear the original, click here.
So what was it about this performance that drew my attention, and gave Mr Mraz the much privileged position of first song in this series? It all stems from this lyric change. In the original, Mraz sings the line:
And it’s our God forsaken right to be loved
To be honest, that line has always irked me. Firstly, the Bible uses the word ‘forsaken’ relatively frequently throughout the Old Testament, however it is almost always used to refer to people forsaking (forgetting/abandoning/renouncing) God. There are a few occasions where we hear of God forsaking men. One such time is preceded by men forsaking God. Consider, for example, the princes of Judah:
Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD. These testified against them, but they would not pay attention.
Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'”
2 Chronicles 24:17-20
In light of this, the second part of my irkedness stems from the slightly arrogant assumption that we have any ‘right’ to anything, especially as God forsakers, enemies of God as we either were or are (Colossians 1:21). Who are we to rise up against our Creator, spit in His face and demand anything?
This is where Mraz’s new words really bring new meaning. In his Glastonbury performance, he sung:
And it’s our God-intended right to be loved
Why he made this change I do not know. What I do know is that it steps closer to a glorious truth of the Gospel. You were created to love God and be loved by Him. Unconditionally. The other use of ‘forsaken’ in Scripture highlights this point brilliantly. On the cross, dying in our place, Jesus, echoing the prophecy of Psalm 22, cries out to God:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
And in this moment, we see the Son of God forsaken by His Father, bearing the wrath of God, so that we who have rebelled and forsaken God can be forgiven and brought into relationship with the God who is love (1 John 4:16).
Whilst Christians can no more call it our right to be loved, by the grace of God we are loved and are purposed to experience and share that love for the rest of eternity.
God is good.