Music Monday: “Lord From Sorrows Deep I Call” by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell

Disclaimer:

  1. I am not a musical expert. The opinions I give are just my thoughts as a listener.
  2. The passages and theological observations made are what run through my mind when I listen. I have not spoken to the author regarding his or her theological convictions.

Introduction. I was introduced to this song through the ministry of Keith and Kristyn Getty. I first heard it through the Sing! Conference they host and then saw it on the album, “His Mercy is More: The Hymns of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa.” I’ve come to appreciate the ministry of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa and this song is a strong reflection why. It is biblically rich, relevant, and edifying.

Personally, I believe one of Christianity’s strengths is its ability to give answers for life’s most difficult questions. It is not a fair weather religion. Christianity does not try and hide life’s difficulties under a rock, nor promise health, wealth, and prosperity. Christianity understands sin and the devastating impact it has on all of creation.

In today’s world, there is a lot of heartache and hardship. Christianity recognizes times in life that are difficult and decidedly turns them to God. In life’s most difficult moments Christians feel the pain, but have a place to turn for comfort and answers—the Maker of heaven and earth, God Himself.

That’s what this hymn accomplishes. It embraces life’s difficulties but brings the Christian back to God. It reminds us of our sure hope in Him.

Theological Comments. The song recognizes the origin of our hardships is the fall. The doctrine of original sin is an emphasis on the song. Man cannot blame God for life’s difficulties, we introduced sin into the world. Sometimes the only explanation we need in times of hardship is that we live in a world filled with sin.

The entrance of sin exposes our human weakness. Theologically, the song is biblical in its anthropology. The sin we experience in a personal and real sense can shake our trust and hope in God. This is the frailty of humanity, even believing humanity. Even believers have moments where God feels distant even though He is ever with us.

The desperate state of humanity leads us to one place—God. We cannot place our hope in anything else other than God and we must constantly draw our minds back to Him. God is our place of solace, He is our home (Ps 90:1–2).

The psalm is a proper lament. It is a cry out to God in a difficult circumstance. It understands that life is not always fair. Sin creates a chaos and we are in the middle. As a result, we cry out to God and end with a firm statement of trust in Him no matter the consequences.

Musical Comments. The music matches the tone of the lyrics. In the version above, the simple use of the piano and strings are played to convey sadness and lament. The turn to the chorus maintains the tone, but the melody of the lyrics resemble a moaning or crying out to the Lord. It has a declarative feel that conveys perseverance and commitment through difficulty.

Recommendations. This hymn will prove helpful to those struggling in their faith or life in general. I would imagine this is a song I would listen to during personal struggles of faith, the loss of a loved one, or world events of tragedy (e.g., war, pandemic, economic depression).

It is helpful for congregational singing as well since the melody and instruments are simple. Sometimes churches can experience hardship (e.g., tragic death of a member, divisive and unbiblical leadership, or persecution). In those times this song is appropriate for corporate worship.


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