The Prodigal Son via Breaking Benjamin’s “Medicate”…

Medicate

I got somethin’ up my sleeve
I know you will cover me
Inside out and in between
I know you will cover me
I’ve got bruises on my knees
I know you will cover me
Inside out and in between
And I know you will cover me

[Chorus:]
Run away
Make hate
And get laid
And get laid
You tie me up
I’ve had enough
So medicate
Medicate

I’m already incomplete
I know you will cover me
Broken by your empathy
I know you will cover me
I’ve been lyin’ here for weeks
I know you will cover me
Inside out and in between
And I know you will cover me

Some who hear this song will think it sung in praise of rowdy behavior, though it isn’t…some would just be plain offended, (“What’s all this ‘makin’ hate and gettin’ laid?!”).  Move past that if you can, if not, move on…

When I listen to it, in all of it’s rock angst glory, it reminds me of the story of the prodigal son, and all the sin that is forgiven us, past, present, and future, when we turn to God in faith.  Was this Ben Burnley and the band’s intention; hardly.  Again, my blatant disclaimer; Breaking Benjamin is NOT a Christian Band, far from it.  Most fans agree that this is more of a human relationship-centered song…but I can’t help the connections I make, though I’m pretty sure they are unintentional.

As I’ve said before, one of the ways I tend to think is in terms of the “sacred secular;” there are certain things that I hear/read/watch in the “secular,” or mundane world that reminds me of a lesson or story in the “sacred,” usually as how it applies to me.

So, let’s look at the prodigal son:

Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Well?  The younger brother took his money, ran away, got laid, squandered all the wealth his father had given him.  Lest anyone think that “riotous” living just means partying…the greek is “asotos.”  He was living “profligately” that means “utterly and shamelessly immoral.”  Utterly immoral.  I’m pretty sure the prodigal would indeed have tried to self-“medicate” at some point…to go through all that money, booze has got to be involved somewhere.

He hits the bottom pretty hard, pretty fast.  He’s lusting after pig slop folks.  He does something else very important; he realizes all of it.  He realized what he’s done, where he’s at, and further, he realizes what he left behind.  He’s sorry.  Not just because of where he finds himself, but what he has done, the sin he’s committed against heaven, and his father.

He’s ready to go home and ask for the position of a servant.  But, there’s a surprise; he can’t out-love his father.  Before the son even gets one word out, before he’s even all the way to the front door, his father is there; Grace – unmerited favor.  Remember the line in the song?  “Broken by your empathy…” this is how we should all be, because the father is representative of our Heavenly Father; God Himself.

He’s waiting for all His prodigals to come home.  Find yourself having run away?  Alone? Scared? Doing things you could never imagine yourself doing before taking on a certain lifestyle?  Get out of the pig slop, ask for help, turn to you Father.  It won’t be all smooth sailing in this life, in fact believers are promised persecution.

I’ve got bruises on my knees; I know you will cover me” I know that when I slip, for I do and I will, that Christ has and will “cover” me.  I am also quite familiar with my knees hitting the floor in prayer, and in sorrow for the grief I must cause my Father…or them hitting the floor in order to show praise and worship.  We should never be tempted to sin all the more so that grace can abound, that is not what we are called to do.  But we should be absolutely certain that God, our Father, is there, He loves us, and we can be covered because of Christ’s sacrifice for us, if we only “return” to Him in Faith.

Breaking Benjamin’s “Medicate” off their album Saturate

Posted on youtube by wrestler805

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2 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Conversion, Of Interest, Sacred Secular, Theology

2 responses to “The Prodigal Son via Breaking Benjamin’s “Medicate”…

  1. dwilli58

    You said, “I’ve got bruises on my knees; I know you will cover me” I know that when I slip, for I do and I will, that Christ has and will “cover” me.”

    Me too!!

    “I am broken by your empathy.” This was what I experienced when I returned to God, almost twenty three years ago, and He came and embraced me. I expected condemnation, and what I received, instead, was healing and acceptance. “Wretched man” that I had become, was, in an instance, put back on the path of grace, love and righteousness (God’s, not mine!).

    As a musician, I too see the “sacred in the secular” (sometimes).

    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: “Carry on, love is coming, love is coming to us all. Rejoice! Rejoice! We have no choice but to carry on.”

    Like Paul in Philippians 4 (I think), “Rejoice in the Lord and I’ll say again, Rejoice…” and “The one thing I do, while not looking back, is press on towards the goal and the prize of the upward call of Christ.”

    1 more: Stevie Wonder, “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer. Superstition’s not the way!” This speaks for itself.

    This post is a great reminder to me, and a great blessing!

  2. Kliska

    I love songs that aren’t necessarily “meant” to be Christian or Spiritual songs, but that I hear the message in them…and to me, they become very meaningful.

    As always, thank you for your comments!

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