DiM | “I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe

Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

March 31, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe which currently sits at #16 at 20theCountdownMagazine.

We’ll continue using this top 20 song list until I find a better list. Your feedback in this would be greatly appreciated.

Today’s song is beautifully sung, and wonderfully (and simply) composed. Overall, it is reminiscent of the writing style of the Psalms, the singer is both calling out to God and confessing that He is the singer’s Salvation. I would have liked to have seen the song progress into more of a corporate understanding of God being our salvation and I really wish the industry as a whole would drop the whole “walking through deep waters” bit (more on that later). All in all, I think this song is fairly helpful for the individual Christian, though it does not preach Law and Gospel so it does not benefit the unbeliever.

VEVO Lyric Video

Lyrics (via KLOVE)

I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe

When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear

I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You
Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear

You amaze me
Redeem me
You call me as Your own

You’re my strength
You’re my defender
You’re my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You’ve always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul

Publishing: © 2014 Worship Together Music / KAJE Songs (BMI) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / Small City Music (APRA) (admin. by Music Services) / Sony/ATV Tree Music Publishing / Upside Down Under (ASCAP) / Ben Davis Publishing / Watershed Music Publishing (BMI) (Admin. By Watershed Music Co.)
Writer(s): Kari Jobe, Marty Sampson, Mia Fieldes, Ben Davis, Grant Pittman, Dustin Sauder, and Austin Davis

Discussion

The first verse paints a picture of persecution, reminiscent of several of the Psalms that call out for help from the Lord God. For the life of me, I don’t know why the industry is fixated on this “walk through deep waters” bit save for following Hillsong’s lead. Perhaps it is just a bit clunky of an attempt to invoke the sense of drowning in one’s circumstance, but we aren’t led to walk into deep water, so why is the singer walking into deep water? We are led through valleys of shadow, which is a good place to round out the first verse. The middle portion reminds me of Nebuchadnezzar’s Furnace. Again, they were thrown into the fire for having stood on the Word of God in opposition to a false god, and idol. Let us look at that story in Daniel 3 first, and then we’ll look at a couple of Psalms to maybe better frame the imagery of this first verse.

Daniel 3:14-28 (ESV) | The Fiery Furnace

14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. Andwho is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so,our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took upShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

I copied the whole portion, because the point of this entire narrative isn’t simply that “we can stand in the fire and God will be with us”; rather, that no matter what happens, all is done by God for the Glory of God (Soli Deo Gloria).

Now, let us look to the first portion of Psalm 69 for a framework to deal with the whole deep waters bit.

Psalm 69:1-18 (ESV) | Save Me, O God

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David.
1 Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
3 I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
4 More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?
5 O God, you know my folly;
    the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
O Lord God of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
O God of Israel.
7 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
    that dishonor has covered my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my mother’s sons.
9 For zeal for your house has consumed me,
    and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,
it became my reproach.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
and the drunkards make songs about me.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
    At an acceptable time, O God,
    in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
14 Deliver me
    from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
    and from the deep waters.
15 Let not the flood sweep over me,
    or the deep swallow me up,
    or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
    according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17 Hide not your face from your servant;
for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
ransom me because of my enemies!

It’s quite the wonderful Psalm, I do encourage you to read the full Psalm, we’ve only read half of it. Finally, for the closing out of the first verse, we have an allusion to the 23rd Psalm.

Psalm 23 (ESV) | The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3     He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

The Chorus is simple and straightforward. I am not alone, for God will go before me and will never leave me. The second verse keeps within the framework established in the first. I was really excited to see the lines at the close of the second verse, “Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear“. Amen, what a wonderful confession. The Lord fights our every battle, and It is Finished. There is a wonderful shift in the focus of the song toward the end… a shift from the singer to the Lord.

You amaze me
Redeem me
You call me as Your own

You’re my strength
You’re my defender
You’re my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You’ve always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul

If there were anything else I’d want from the song, is that should this song be incorporated into Sunday Morning worship, as a special or what have you, there should be a switch from the Individual to the Corporate. We are not alone, for there are many members of the Body of Christ.

Romans 12:3-5 (ESV)3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

2 thoughts on “DiM | “I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe

  1. God used the crossing of deep water all the time to teach his people to depend on him. The Hebrews crossed the Red Sea with Moses. They crossed the Jordan with Joshua. Peter was invited out over the deep water to walk with Jesus.

    More than that, deep water is just scary in a way everyone understands.

    I will say that this particular iteration of the deep water trope, the light and dark trope, and every other trope is pretty cliché… And I still love the song. Lol.

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