- Religion and Philosophy
Look At The Stars - How Sara Bareilles changed my view of one beautiful song forever
When Chris Martin from Coldplay wrote the lyrics "Look at the stars, look how they shine for you", I don't think he realised the spiritual significance of what he had created. Coldplay's famous song 'Yellow' was released in 2000 and quickly gained worldwide praise.
To most, it is a love song about a man who would do anything to prove himself to the woman he loves. And this is true. It is a love song; a beautiful, heartfelt, love song. However when you really, truly read the lyrics, there is a far greater love story behind this song than I first realised.
Sara Bareilles Cover of Coldplay's 'Yellow'
I have always loved Coldplay's original song 'Yellow'. In fact it was one of the songs my husband and I chose for our wedding. It is a beautiful and striking song that has touched the hearts of many, but for some reason, when I heard Sara Bareille's version, it struck a chord in me that had never been struck before. Suddenly, I saw God's love in it. I saw the lyrics as if they were words from God's mouth to my heart. "Look at the stars, look how they shine for you."
Look At The Stars...
Genesis 15:5 - Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
This was God's amazing promise to Abram. He used the stars to demonstrate the weight of His promise to a great man of faith. God mentions it again in Genesis 22:17 - I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies.
Then (just in case Abraham wasn't quite getting it yet) again it comes up in Genesis 26:4 - "I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed."
Look at the stars... Those stars certainly meant a lot to Abraham, and no doubt he spent countless nights looking at them remembering God's promise. The Bible tells us that Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God (Romans 4:20).That promise God made to Abraham was also His promise to us....
Acts 3:25 - You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, 'Through your descendants, all families on earth will be blessed.'
To receive the gift of this promise we only need to believe. And the stars are there to remind us of that gift. As Romans 4:16 reminds us, So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham's. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.
If we look at the stars with God's promise in our hearts and truly believe, then we are accepting His great gift of unconditional love into our lives.
Even David spoke of the significance of the stars in Psalm 8 when he says in verses 3-4:
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers - the moon and the stars you set in place - what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?
Why indeed would the God of the universe think of us? Why would He care for us so deeply? Why would He love us enough to send His only Son to die upon a cross for our sins? As Romans 5:8 tells us God wanted to show us how much He loved us by sending his son to die for our sins while we were still sinners.
Psalm 33 also makes mention of the stars in the sky in verse 6, as does Psalm 136 in verses 7-9. It seems God wants to remind us of His unfailing love through those beautiful night lights that twinkle so brightly.
Your Skin... Oh yeah, Your Skin And Bones...
Adam and Eve were the first humans God created (Genesis 2). Eve was created to be Adam's companion, to share in God's love together. As Adam exclaims when he first lays eyes on Eve,
“At last!... This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!" (Genesis 2:23).
We are the descendants of Adam and Eve. We are all skin and bones and we were born that way. We are human flesh. But it is God and His love that can turn us into something beautiful. In sending Jesus to die for us, even while we were still sinners, God was giving us the opportunity to come back to Him and His infinite love and to be His lights in this world.. to share His love and gift of grace with others. As Romans 10:15 points out "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news." The Good News of God's love is ours to share. We too can be beautiful if we let God turn us into something beautiful.
So Then I Took My Turn...
God just wanted his people to love Him. He wanted them to follow His commands. But unfortunately the human race wasn't very good at following the law of Moses. So God in His infinite wisdom had to come up with a plan to save us humans from ourselves.
So God took His turn. He made Himself flesh in His Son Jesus Christ and walked among us. He was tested, tempted and ultimately suffered the worst possible death on a cross... all for us, all because He loved us and wanted us to never be apart from Him. Next time we are suffering or are tempted, we only need to read passages such as Matthew 4:1-11 where Jesus is tempted by Satan to realise we have an understanding God who knows what we go through.
Hebrews 5:8 says: Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
Jesus chose to take His turn. To become skin and bones, to walk on this earth and to die on this earth in order to save our souls.
I Drew A Line For You....
When I looked at this line in the lyrics of 'Yellow' it brought to mind John 8:1-11 where the adulterous woman is brought before Jesus in order to trick Him with a question about the law. The law said she must be stoned to death for her crime. Jesus knelt down and wrote something in the dust with His finger and then said: "let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (Verse 7). Then again, He stooped down and wrote in the dust. One by one people left... obviously aware of their own sins. Although it is unknown what Jesus actually wrote on the ground, I like to think He was drawing the line. He drew the line for us setting us free from the burden of the law by offering us His gift of grace. Suddenly, all we had to do was believe in Jesus and that would be enough. By faith we could now be saved and spend eternity with our loving Heavenly Father.
Romans 4:13-25 explains all this in more depth and links everything back to the promise God gave to Abraham when he looked at the stars all those years ago. As verse 13 points out:
Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.
For You I'd Bleed Myself Dry...
And so He did it. God became man in His Son Jesus Christ and literally bled himself dry to prove His love for us.
As 1 John 5:5-7 states: ...Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross (verse 6).
God knew us and loved us from long ago. This much is clear and is made mention of many times in the Bible. 1 Peter 1:2 speaks of this:
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
He bled Himself dry for you.
You Know I Love You So...
And why did He do all this? So we would know how much God loves us. The Bible speaks so many times in so many ways about God's love that it would be near impossible to list them all. However the following few passages and verses stand out to me.
1 Corinthians 13 is a good place to start. This is a passage that is often used at weddings for it's beautiful descriptions of what love is and does. Verses 4-7 summarise it well:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Again Psalm 136 which mentions the stars also makes the point in every verse that God's "faithful love endures forever."
Romans 8:31-39 is also a beautiful passage and verse 38 in particular gives me shivers:
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
It Was All Yellow...
When I hear this line, I think of the light of God and what heaven will be like. We are told there is no sun in heaven and no need of one, as the light of God is so bright.
...the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light (Revelation 21:23).
It was all yellow... The face of God is brighter than the sun. More glorious than the day. God's glory will shine forever. His love will endure forever.
Next time you hear the song 'Yellow', whether it be from Sara Bareilles or Coldplay, I challenge you to stop and listen and see if you can hear the greatest love story of all time, within it's lyrics. Thanks to Sara Bareilles, I did. The beauty of her interpretation of this song really did change my view of 'Yellow' forever.
The Lyrics to Yellow
If you want to access all of the lyrics you can do so here on Coldplay's Official Website.