I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD is a song that I wrote while reading through Exodus and realizing that God uses a lot of wedding language. The whole idea of God ransoming his people, calling them out, and preparing a place for them -it’s all traditional Jewish wedding language. He was not just helping them escape from the land of Egypt, He was calling them into a covenant relationship with Him. He was inviting them into a marriage.
There is possibly no stronger relationship within the human experience than that of marriage. The marriage relationship is rivaled by a parental relationship, but it probably shouldn’t be. In marriage, the two become one flesh. Parenting is the natural product of a loving marriage.
Of course, God uses both of these relationships as symbols of the kind of relationship He desires to have with us. He is our Father, and we are called to be the bride of Christ.
About the Song
In writing this song, I married the wedding language of Exodus to the promises of God from Isaiah 43.
But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:1–4, ESV)
The second verse actually jumps to the New Testament, specifically John 14. In that passage Jesus is telling his followers to take heart. The world will bring them trouble, but do not be troubled because he has overcome the world. He also uses this incredible language of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit being One, united.
This song is very meaningful to me because it reminds me of the promises of God and it reminds me of the kind of relationship He desires to have with me. What an honor!
We can trust in Him! He is the LORD, and He loves us! He asks us to give Him our life, but He willingly gave us His. What a Savior!
This song was used as a theme song for the annual I AM Fall Youth Retreat, so I am excited to finally have a recording of it -especially for all of those students who were deeply blessed, challenged, and encouraged by it at the retreat.
This song will be be a part of the Polen Band “There is Nothing New Under the Sun (Vol. 2)” album to be released on June 1, 2018.
About the Recording
This was a pretty run of the mill recording for me. I used my Martin D-28 Custom acoustic guitar with the Blue Blueberry microphone on the sound hole and Neumann KM-184 on the fretboard. I played a Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass through the Line6 Helix guitar amplifier modeler. Nick Mast (Polen Band) played the drums for the song. Mark Rowe (Polen Band) played keyboard. Elijah Beachy (Polen Band) played the electric guitar.
I played my Gibson Les Paul Standard to record the main electric guitar riff that comes in throughout the song. I wanted it to be big, and I accomplished the bigness that I was looking for by playing through my JHS Bonzai overdrive pedal. Heather Schlabach sang Background Vocals. I added some percussion, and it was a song…
Although this song is on the Polen Band “There is Nothing New Under the Sun (Vol. 2)” album, we decided against using the Multitude of Voices because it just felt weird hearing a group of people singing a song that is meant to be God speaking to us. This will be the one song on the album that does not have the Multitude of Voices. There was one song on Vol 1 without the Multitude, as well… I wonder if anyone noticed.
I spent several hours mixing this song and then sent it off to Nathan Dantzler at The Hit Lab for Mastering. He is the best!
This song just feels great to me. Some people will think the big guitar is too big. I wanted it that way. Artistically, it reminds me of God. He thunders from on high, and yet He is kind and tender towards us. I wanted that tension in the song. I also have a bit of a distortion on my voice that is not normal. Again, this was desired. I liked the idea of having my voice sound a little different than it typically does because you are not supposed to hear me speaking / singing. I want people to hear God speaking / singing to them through this song. I feel good about everything in this song.
Areas for Growth
These two Record & Release songs (March & April) received a LOT of attention. They were worked on more than the January & February songs. I wonder if I can get the rest of the songs for this year sounding as good as the March & April songs. That will be my challenge to myself. I have room for growth in actually getting the R&R songs to 100% completion before they are actually released. Now that the recording for “There is Nothing New Under the Sun (Vol. 2)” is over, let’s see what we can do with the May 2018 R&R song…
What Do You Think?
I would love to hear your feedback on the R&R song for April. Feel free to comment on the good, the bad, and the ugly. You won’t hurt my feelings (you won’t puff me up too much, either).