#14 - "Oh My God" by Jars of Clay
Kevin Davis reflects on one of the most influential bands in his own life and their new song "Oh My God."
I’m eternally grateful to the music of Jars of Clay for helping bring me to Christ. From the opening notes of “Flood” and then my continual listening of “Liquid” and “Love Song For A Savior” from the self-titled debut, they quickly became my favorite band.
A few years later, I became immersed in Christian music and gave my life to Christ in 1999 thanks to Christian music leading me to the truth of the Gospel which is I’ll never be good enough to earn eternal life. Jesus paid that price on my behalf and died for my sins and wants me to call on Him. 1st John 5:13-15 sums that up for me.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
“Oh My God” is one of my favorite songs from Good Monsters and really brings me to my knees in prayer of adoration to my Savior and makes me cry out “Oh My God."
I recently spoke with lead singer Dan Haseltine about this song and he had this to say:
"With 'Oh My God,' we wanted to communicate that everybody at some point intersects with God, whether they choose to believe or not. People have all their reasons for crying out to God, and some of those are really deep, deep doubts. There are times when I wrestle with that now, but growing up I didn’t know the gospel could stand up to the scrutiny. It’s a question that I think needs to be asked.
This song has three parts. It starts out being many people’s stories questioning various aspects of disease and death, including the ultimate crisis of faith: wondering if Christ’s resurrection is real. The verse “turn a phrase and rise again, or fake Your death and only tell Your closest friends” is an example of the depth of doubt people sink to when they ask if Jesus is who He claims to be.
The second part is a mix of people with diverse and even diametrically opposed viewpoints (whores and angels) yet connected by calling out to God.
The third part is my personal story--why I cry out to God. In essence it is my rant about why things like suffering and despair happen.
God is not afraid of our questions, or our anger. He wants us to call on Him “Oh My God” in prayer and it may seem arrogant, but it is part of the process of questioning what is going on around us.”
Lyrics to “Oh My God”:
Oh my God, look around this place,
Your fingers reach around the bone,
you set the break and set the tone
For flights of grace, and future falls
In present pain all fools say, "Oh my God."
Oh my God, why are we so afraid?
we make it worse when we don't bleed,
there is no cure for our disease.
Turn a phrase and rise again,
or fake your death and only tell your closest friends,
Oh My God.
Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief and graft my soul upon your grief.
Weddings, boats, and alibis,
All drift away, and a mother cries...
Liars and fools, sons and failures, thieves will always say..
Lost and found, ailing wanderers, healers always say..
Whores and angels, men with problems, leavers always say..
Broken hearted, separated, orphans always say..
War creators, racial haters, preachers always say..
Distant fathers, fallen warriors, givers always say..
Pilgrim saints, lonely widows, users always say..
Fearful mothers, watchful doubters, Saviors always say..
Sometimes I can not forgive
and these days mercy cuts so deep,
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep.
While I lay, I'd dream we're better, scales were gone and faces lighter,
When we wake we hate our brother, we still move to hurt each other,
Sometimes I can close my eyes and all the fear the keeps me silent,
Falls below my heavy breathing, what makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder, we all have the need for wonder.
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the plunder.
Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven,
All the times I thought to reach up, all the times I had to give up.
Babies underneath their beds, in hospitals that cannot treat them.
All the wounds that money causes, all the comforts of cathedrals,
All the cries of thirsty children, this is our inheritance,
All the rage of watching mothers, this is our greatest offense
Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God.
Wow, what a prayer to our God. Dan’s final verse really connects with me as sometimes I feel lost and confused on what God’s will is in my life and when I look at the world, I know our suffering is temporal and we need to live for heaven and cry out to God and He’ll hear us.
You can listen to the song here.
Posted September 16, 2008 | Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music as well as, movies, TV shows and multiple PodCasts. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.