The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
Thu., Oct. 22. 2020 1:42pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here's some more behind-the-scenes info about the two songs on our new single:
The lead song on our new single is about a man with leprosy who was healed by Christ. We've done three previous songs about lepers — "The Boulevard of Both Extremes" (2006), "Bad Case of Leprosy" (2014), and "Mr. Uzziah" (2020) — but none are about the same person.
"Boulevard" was about one of 10 lepers Jesus healed all at once (and the only one who returned to give Him thanks) in Luke 17. "Bad Case of Leprosy" was about Naaman, a Syrian commander with leprosy whom Elijah healed in 2 Kings 5. Mr. Uzziah was about a Jewish king named Uzziah (a.k.a. Azariah) who was stricken with leprosy in 2 Kings 15 and 2 Chronicles 26.
"Lonesome Leper" is about a solitary leper Jesus healed in in Matthew 8, Mark 1, and Luke 5. I find Mark's account of the events to be especially touching: "Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I am willing; be cleansed'" (Mark 1:41).
Something else Jesus said in Matthew 11:5 and Luke 7:22 seems to suggest He may have healed other lepers we didn't specifically hear about. And He also gave his disciples the command and the power to heal leprosy (Matthew 10:8).
Back in the day, I owned the Little River Band album "Lonesome Loser" came from, First Under the Wire. This track features me on lead vocals and Rich Mannion and Tom Milnes on harmonies. Usually, we record our parts separately, but Tom suggested that we all sing around the mic together simultaneously on the choruses. So that's what we did in the studio on October 15. Tom also played guitars on this song, and Rich played the keyboards.
IF YOU DON'T LOOK AT NUMBERS
The title of the Bible's fourth book is a bit misleading. Actually, the Book of Numbers is about Israel's desert or wilderness years before they finally entered the Promised Land. The original Hebrew title was a word that meant "in the wilderness."
Unfortunately, when the Bible was translated into Greek (the Septuagint or LXX version) in the second and third centuries B.C., all of the books were given Greek names, and this book was called "Arithmoi" ("Numbers"), because it begins with the LORD telling Moses to take a census of Israel in chapter 1. He also tells Moses and Eleazar to take another census almost 40 years later, in chapter 26.
But there are so many interesting and action-packed stories elsewhere in the book! If you don't check it out, you'll really miss out. In fact, there was so much ground to cover, I didn't have enough room to do it in the original verses and choruses, which is why I added a rap section during the lead. I hope people will think it's a good rap, because the Book of Numbers has gotten a bad rap for far too long.
I got the idea for "If You Don't Look at Numbers" while sitting in church — I think it was either 2016 or sometime in 2017. This parody is also an allegory: By the time you make it through the second half of Exodus and all of Leviticus and into Numbers, you may feel like you're in the desert. But if you press on like Joshua, Caleb, and the second generation of Israelites did, you will get a great reward.