DiM | “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells

Presentation1CCM Edition.

June 21, 2017. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells which currently sits at #8 on 20TheCountdownMagazine.

This the first song I’ve heard/reviewed from this artist. I genuinely like this song. I’m considering adding it to one of my youtube playlists for background music. It doesn’t earn an “Approved” status because it doesn’t stand on its own theologically, it doesn’t proclaim the Gospel in any meaningful way. However, what it does accomplish is serving as a reminder to doctrinally sound Christians of the promise that Christ is with us and that our Hope is in Him and that Salvation belongs to the LORD. Let’s give the song a listen and read through the lyric.

TaurenWellsVEVO (Official Lyric Video)

Lyrics (via KLove)

I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held Your blessings
God You give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love

(chorus)
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone

I’ve watched my dreams get broken
In You I hope again
No matter what
I know I’m safe inside Your hands

(chorus)
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone

Father You give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all You will remain over it all

On the mountains I will bow my life
In the valley I will lift my eyes

(chorus)
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone

And I will choose to say
Blessed be Your name
And I am not alone

Publishing:© 2016 Be Essential Songs/Crucial Music Entertainment/Jord A Lil Music (BMI)/So Essential Tunes/Not Just Another Song Publishing (SESAC) All rights admin. at http://www.EssentialMusicPublishing.com
Writer(s): Tauren Wells, Chuck Butler, Jonathan Smith

Discussion

To give this song its best possible construction, we have to assume this song is being sung by a Believer, a member of the Household of Faith in Jesus Christ, and that this song is referencing Him. The statements being made in this song are reflective of several of the Psalms.

Psalm 23 (ESV) | The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
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.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Psalm 3 (ESV) | Save Me, O My God
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah

There are more related Psalms we could discuss, but I think these 2 cover the song well. I would also encourage the reader to examine Psalm 65. In reading through the Psalms selecting good sources for this song, the clear proclamation of the Gospel in this Psalm really struck me, particularly in the very first stanza:

Psalm 65:1-4 (ESV) | O God of Our Salvation
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.
When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!

Amen.

So, in the introduction, I connected this song to the promise of God to always be with us, those who have been baptized into His death and resurrection unto eternal life. I was pulling primarily from the close of the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Conclusion

As I said in the intro, I genuinely like this song. I find no fault in the individual statements made throughout the song. These are a valid source of encouragement for the doctrinally sound Christian. They aren’t particularly instructive in themselves, but they are not untrue. I think the author does a good job of mitigating the “me” focus with reminders of God’s willing and working. It’s a good song. It doesn’t meet our “approved” criteria of having the Gospel in it. If you are concerned or confused by this designation, be sure to check out our Music Archive page for more info.

In closing, I’d like to share what is commonly referred to as Christ’s High Priestly Prayer from the Gospel according to John. Christ prays for the Apostles and for us, the Church, who’ve come to saving faith in Christ Jesus through their teaching.

John 17 (ESV) | The High Priestly Prayer

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

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