Both His hands are “Equally Skilled”

August 15, 2010

Jon Foreman is one of the best lyricists I know of right now. I have recently been listening to his EP’s, and have both enjoyed and been greatly edified by them. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to go buy all of his EP’s (Winter, Fall, Spring, Summer) or the compilation album “Limbs and Branches” right now. You won’t regret it. Trust me.

The song that has been playing constantly in my car (and in my head) has been “Equally Skilled.” off of the “Fall” EP. The music is beautiful, but what strikes me most is the lyrics, especially the chorus. The song is basically Micah 7:1-9 put to music. I love the transition in perspective that happens throughout the song in the subtle changes of pronouns in the chorus.

The first chorus is:

Both of our hands are 
Equally skilled at doing evil,
Equally skilled at bribing the judges,
Equally skilled at perverting justice.
Both of our hands,
Both of our hands.

He begins with the sinful nature of man and his ability to destroy all things. I love the image of our hands being “equally skilled” at doing evil. We’re good at it. He admits fully the responsibility. It is “our hands,” not someone else’s.

Then, Foreman looks outwards to others, and how we can’t trust anyone. The chorus changes to “Both of their hands…” Evil spreads around throughout our community and homes. He looks at the evil that is out in the world around him.

But the beauty is the last verse and chorus (which, Foreman begins with a key change — a change in musical perspective! Love it!) — the focus switches to God and His character:

Both of His hands are 
Equally skilled at ruining evil,
Equally skilled at judging the judges,
Equally skilled administering justice.
Both of His hands,
Both of His hands.
And again this beautiful principle comes into play: God is a God who “leads captivity captive” — He takes what men destroy in sin and what is evil and uses it for good. Where men in sin ruin good, God in righteousness ruins evil and uses it for His glory and our good. But He doesn’t stop there! He keeps going above and beyond what we ruin. The song ends with the last chorus:
Both of His hands are 
Equally skilled at showing me mercy,
Equally skilled at loving the loveless,
Equally skilled administering justice.
Both of His hands,
Both of His hands.
It’s a beautiful song with amazing lyrics and arrangement. I would encourage you to read Micah 7:1-9, and then listen to “Equally Skilled” and reflect on the truths and perspectives presented.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Sarah August 15, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Great post! I love the break down. Thanks

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