DiM | “First” by Lauren Daigle

Presentation1Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

August 25, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “First” by Lauren Daigle which currently sits at #15 on 20theCountdownMagazine’s top 20 and at #8 on the KLove top 10.

Let me begin by first acknowledging just how powerful and mesmerizing Lauren’s voice… particularly in the chorus of this song. To make the jump from the verse to the high note of “First” in the chorus is difficult, and she absolutely nails it. I get chills during the chorus, her voice is that awesome. I am also a fan of the break-beat techno feel. But we are here to discuss the lyrics. The song is vague, and the best construction we can put on it is a song of expressing a desire to feel a certain way about (we assume) God. Let’s listen to the song, read through the lyrics, and discuss.

LaurenDaigleVEVO Lyric Video

Lyrics (via KLove)

First by Lauren Daigle

Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
Before I lift my cares
I will lift my arms
I wanna know You
I wanna find You
In every season
In every moment
Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
And seek You

(chorus)
First
I want to seek You
I want to seek You
First
I want to keep You
I want to keep You
First
More than anything I want, I want You
First

Before I speak a word
Let me hear Your voice
And in the midst of pain
Let me feel Your joy
I wanna know You
I wanna find You
In every season
In every moment
Before I speak a word
I will bring my heart
And seek You

(chorus)
First
I want to seek You
I want to seek You
First
I want to keep You
I want to keep You
First
More than anything I want, I want You
First

(bridge)
You are my treasure and my reward
Let nothing ever come before
You are my treasure and my reward
Let nothing ever come before
I seek You

(chorus)
First
First
I want to seek You
I want to seek You
First
I want to keep You
I want to keep You
First
More than anything I want, I want You
First
First

Publishing: © 2014 CentricSongs (SESAC) / Sony ATV Timber Publishing (SESAC) / Sony ATV Timber Publishing & Open Hands Music (SESAC) / Sony/ATV Tree Publishing & Upside Down Under (BMI) / Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing & Bentley Street Songs (ASCAP)
Writer(s): Words and Music by Lauren Daigle, Paul Mabury, Jason Ingram, Mia Fieldes and Hank Bentley

Discussion

The song does not clearly identify who the “You” is. Sure, most would assume the God of the Bible, but why do we make that assumption? Because of the station that is playing the song, or because of what we think we know about Lauren Delaigle… but there is nothing in this song pointing there. In truth, there isn’t anything in this song that would distinguish between the Mormon god and the God of the Bible.

Even when we assume the audience of the song to be the One True God of the Bible, the focus of the lyric is not the audience; rather, the focus is on the singer. The entire song is a chain of vocalized desire. The desire is to want/seek the right things, namely to keep God (assumed) first in the singer’s life. It is a desire to keep the Law.

Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

 Now, the song’s hook comes more from a different passage of scripture.

Matthew 6:25-33 (ESV) | Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

This is the Law of God, seek Him first. As sinful, fleshly beings, we cannot in our own strength/zeal fulfill or keep this Law. It is by Grace through Faith that we are justified in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:10-20 (ESV)

10 as it is written:

None is righteous, no, not one;
11  no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
    they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14     “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

We sin, we fall short, even as believers. The unbelieving world is lost and bears the guilt of their sin fully. We pray that they might hear the Word of Christ and have their ears opened by the Holy Spirit so that they might come to penitent faith in Christ. For those who believe, we understand that while we desire to keep the Law, we must daily seek forgiveness for falling short of it.

Luke 9:18-23 (ESV)

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered,“John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying,“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Romans 6:1-11 (ESV) | Dead to Sin, Alive to God

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.For one who has died has been set free from sin.Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

1 John 1:5-10 (ESV) | Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Amen. Now we have clearly explored the Law of seeking God first, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ that grants us forgiveness and Grace to walk in newness of life. Within this context, the song can serve as a motivational cheerleader of sorts… kind of like “B-E Aggressive” motivates football players on the field.

Conclusion

The song is vague and doesn’t remotely stand on its own. It doesn’t bring Glory to God, it’s a bit pious and empty without infusing a lot of Biblical context. I hope we’ve been able to provide some for the listener. In its best light, the song is an appeal to Law… don’t lose sight of the Gospel.

Romans 15:13 (ESV) 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

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