This is the first #BackToTheBook series.You can learn more about the reasoning behind this series here. “Forgive me” (you can listen to it here) was actually on the Islands EP. It struck me the first time I heard it, and every time it comes on, I have to stop to listen. I think it’s rare to find a piece that adequately captures the parallel between the “original sin”, our lives today, and merciful God who is kind in the midst of our unfaithfulness.
When I listen to the first verse of the song, I can just imagine Adam, recently expelled from the Garden of Eden, replaying everything in his head. Genesis 3:9 “The Lord called to the man asking ‘Where are you?’ ” After eating the fruit, everything changed, and Adam knew it. He made a terrible mistake; so, he hid as God called out for Him. For a moment, eating the fruit was exactly what he wanted. When he was done, he was still unfulfilled, but he couldn’t take it back. He was made in the image of God, to be God’s own prized creation. He walked with God and talked to Him.He lived in the definition of Paradise, and now, he could never go back. Now, a lot of people would ask how God expelling them from the Garden is kind. In all honesty, God didn’t owe Adam anything. God could have easily destroyed Adam and Eve and just started over, but he didn’t. Even though Adam and Eve chose to disobey, God was still loving and kind and merciful. There are always consequences for our actions, and the Bible tells us that God disciplines those He loves(Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6). That doesn’t mean that discipline is pleasant. The first verse of Adam’s regret fades into the chorus of repentance.
Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me, Lord- for living like I’m not yours. I forget how kind you are. You are light for my foolish heart.
The second verse reminds us that we, too, fall into the same trap as Adam. We may not live in a physical paradise, but the spirit of God dwells inside of us. Time and time again, we choose our own desires over God’s will for us. Those sins, whatever they may be, have no place in our lives…unless we give them a place. Fox was an interesting choice for TAN to use. The best reference to them in the Bible was Song of Solomon 2:15. In this verse, foxes are what spoil the blooming vineyards. We each have foxes in our lives that spoil the blessings God wants to give us. Whether it be an addiction, a mindset, or that habit we just can’t kick. It destroys every good thing God is trying to do in our lives and every situation God wants to work in. The problem is, we allow these things in. We give the foxes permission to run wild in our lives. Why would we do that? The second verse gives a good explanation. “I thought You(God) were holding out on me now, to keep me from being free.” John 10:10 says”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” God doesn’t want to hold anything back from those who follow him(Psalm 84:11). The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy the blessings God has for us. God wants to give us the full, abundant life that we’ve been missing without him. Yet, we think we know better. We forget that we are His. We choose what we think is best instead of trusting our Creator. We are just like Adam, sitting outside of the garden and regretting our decisions. We live as if we don’t know who God is, and like we don’t belong to Him. We forget that God could easily choose to ignore us and leave us alone, but He doesn’t. He continues to pursue us. His love is constant and relentless in winning us back to Him. Even when we choose not to follow Him, He loves us.
It’s after we realize what we’ve done, in that moment of repentance where we say “Forgive me for living like I’m not yours”, that we truly remember who God is.There is no one who can ever compare to the faithfulness of God. He alone is the one who that brings light to the darkest parts of us. I love that the song ends with them repeating “You are mine, Lord, and I’m yours.” The echo of Song of Solomon 6:3 that “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.” The permanent, forever kind of love that God promises us if we choose to trust Him.