Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).
It is good to be back on this DiM Tuesday, the first of 2015. Not a lot of new music in the 20theCountdownMagazine chart, so today we’ll be taking a look at the #8 slot, “He Knows” by Jeremy Camp. Today will be the first we time we take a look at a Jeremy Camp song.
This is a good song of encouragement for sinners that God isn’t ignorant to our sins, nor our struggles, hurts, pains, or fears. By sinners, I’m including Christians. We often hear of God’s omniscience as something to fear as in “God is not mocked”, but it is also a point of comfort for the believer. He Knows, so your confession isn’t to surprise and disappoint Him, it’s to seek His forgiveness, as promised by the Blood of Christ.
VEVO Lyric Video
VEVO Acoustic Video
VEVO “Behind the Music” Video
from the album He Knows
All the bitter weary ways
endless striving day by day
you barely have the strength to pray
in the valley low
how hard your fight has been
how deep the pain within
wounds that no one else has seen
hurts too much to show
all the doubt you’re standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
EVERY HURT AND EVERY STING
HE HAS WALKED THE SUFFERING
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
LET YOUR BURDENS COME UNDONE
LIFT YOUR EYES UP TO THE ONE
we may faint and we may sink
feel the pain and near the brink
but the dark begins to shrink
when you find the one who knows
the chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one are starting to break free
every time that you feel forsaken
every time that you feel alone
He is near to the broken hearted
Publishing: © 2014 Capitol CMG Genesis / Stolen Pride Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / CentricSongs / 2 Hour Songs (SESAC) (Admin. at Music Services)
Writer(s): Jeremy Camp and Seth Mosley
As mentioned in the introduction to this post, this is a wonderful reminder of the comfort we have in the omniscience of God. He knows. Too often we hear the law-heavy exhortation plucked out of its context:
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
Now let’s look at this verse in its context:
Galatians 6:1-10 (ESV) | Bear One Another’s Burdens
6 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Okay, so now that is out of the way, let’s move on with this song. Jeremy provides a good foundation for the purpose/intent behind the song in the interview above. Let’s look to the Word to expand on the ideas he presented.
John 11:28-37 (ESV)28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jewswho were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
I encourage you to read the full chapter, because Jesus knew that everything was being done for God’s glory. He told His disciples that they were going to raise Lazarus from the dead. This was going to be a demonstration/confirmation that Jesus is indeed the Resurrection and the Life. Still, He was moved in His spirit, and He wept. There was much pain and confusion surrounding the death of Lazarus, and the Children of God were hurting from the loss as well as confused as to how God would allow such a death. Jesus did raise Lazarus for a season (Lazarus would die later, as all men do), and not too far in the future His disciples would have to endure the death of Jesus Christ on a cross. He knows. Moving forward a bit in time, let us look at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:36-46 (ESV) 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Without sinning, Jesus met sorrow, even to death. He knows first-hand the weakness of the flesh, without ever succumbing to sin. He knows… even more than any of us can know in this life. By His Blood, my brothers and sisters in Christ will never taste the full brunt of the wrath of God poured out on us for our sin. He bore that price on our behalf, He drank of that cup, He laid down His life on our behalf. Looking at that underlined statement Jesus made, “sleep and take your rest later on”, notice how He is separating sleep and rest. What does this mean? For this answer, let us look to the second passage Jeremy Camp referenced, Hebrews 4. Only to better understand the rest of which Jesus referred, let us begin in chapter 3.
Hebrews 3 (ESV) | Jesus Greater Than Moses
1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
Hebrews 4 (ESV)
1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Amen. He knows. Your confession of sin isn’t about revealing to God a disappointment He didn’t know about already, it’s about agreeing with Him about your sin, your temptation, your weakness and placing your faith in His Word, in His Son, for the forgiveness of sin. “Please forgive me, Lord, for I am a sinner”.
Luke 18:9-14 (ESV) | The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee,standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
He knows… and our humble confession and repentance is true worship.
The one concern in this song is that it doesn’t complete the thought. “Lift your eyes up to the One who knows” isn’t clear enough to indicate confession and repentance to anyone except a Christian who is well established in the Faith.
Luke 24:44-49 (ESV) 44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
This song also carries with it the typical burden of antinomianism, meaning the accusation that those who preach “free grace” are often accused of being “soft on sin”. This is a false-accusation, but one that rears its ugly head often, especially from those who hold to a works-based salvation (such as Roman Catholicism according to the Council of Trent). We preach Law and Gospel together, not holding one above the other, understanding that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and His blood atones for our failure to uphold the law since Adam, and this entire message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am a fan of this song, it is a welcomed comfort for all who struggle with sin (every Christian). He knows, so confess your sins to Him and be forgiven by Grace, through faith, which you received from God when you heard the Word of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 (ESV) | Final Instructions and Benediction
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
In Christ Jesus,