“So Will I (100 Billion X)” Lyric and Commentary

Hillsong United has come out with a relatively new song (2017), entitled “So Will I (100 Billion X).” Its songwriters are Joel Houston, Benjamin Hastings, and Michael Fatkin. I am personally a big fan of the song, particularly its melody and lyric. Click here to listen to it for yourself on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLURTvUQoTM

VERSE 1

God of creation
there at the start
before the beginning of time
with no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
and fleshed out the wonder of light.

 CHORUS 1
And as You speak
a hundred billion galaxies are born.
In the vapour of Your breath the planets form.
If the stars were made to worship so will I.
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made,
every burning star
a signal fire of grace.
If creation sings Your praises so will I.

 VERSE 2
God of Your promise
You don’t speak in vain,
no syllable empty or void.
For once You have spoken
all nature and science
follow the sound of Your voice.

 CHORUS 2
And as You speak
a hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
evolving in pursuit of what You said.
If it all reveals Your nature so will I.
I can see Your heart in everything You say,
every painted sky,
a canvas of Your grace.
If creation still obeys You so will I.

 BRIDGE
If the stars were made to worship so will I.
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I.
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I.
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I.
If the wind goes where You send it so will I.
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I.
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy,
then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times.

 VERSE 3
God of salvation
You chased down my heart
through all of my failure and pride.
On a hill You created
the light of the world
abandoned in darkness to die.

 CHORUS 3
And as You speak
a hundred billion failures disappear,
where You lost Your life so I could find it here.
If You left the grave behind You so will I.
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done,
every part designed in a work of art called love.
If You gladly chose surrender so will I.
I can see Your heart
eight billion different ways,
every precious one,
a child You died to save.
If You gave Your life to love them so will I.

 TAG
Like You would again a hundred billion times.
But what measure could amount to Your desire?
You’re the One who never leaves the one behind.

I do, however, have some concerns about the lyric, especially the mention of “creatures . . . evolving” (chorus 2) and Christ dying “again a hundred billion times” (tag). Admittedly, I have not spoken to the writers of the song, so I don’t know for sure the meaning behind these phrases, but they are, quite frankly, peculiar.

In a worshipful attitude of “spirit and truth” (Jn 4:24), are we supposed to envision God guiding (manipulating?) His creation through a process of (macro) evolution, or does the term “evolving” simply mean “growing”? If the latter, “growing” seems to fit just fine. E.g., “And as You speak a hundred billion creatures catch Your breath [growing] in pursuit of what You said.” If the former, why use a worship song to take a scientific/philosophical stance? Either way, interesting choice of words.

And how about the idea that Christ could die for us over and over and over again? Scripture is clear that Christ’s atoning sacrifice was “once-for-all” (see Rom 6:10; Heb 7:27; 9:12, 26; 10:10). But, perhaps, what is meant here is not so much a possibility as a sentimentality (a would rather than a could). Christ would do it “a hundred billion times” if he had to.

What I do find refreshing about this song, something that Christ in the gospels practiced over and over again (e.g., Matt 12:10-12), is the argumentative art of a fortiori, which simply means that the final conclusion is stronger (more convincing) than the previous conclusion. The way I see it, “so will I” could be interpreted as “how much more so would I.”

E.g, Instead of reading “If the stars were made to worship, so will I” (chorus 1), how about “If the stars were made to worship, how much more so would I?” Or, maybe, this is more of a sentimentality than an argument. After all, the authors seem to like that.

Chester Delagneau


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