Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;
their idols are on beasts and livestock;
these things you carry are borne
as burdens on weary beasts.
They stoop; they bow down together;
they cannot save the burden,
but themselves go into captivity.
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
“To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
Those who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!
They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.
“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
“Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”
ISAIAH 46 (ESV)
These verses were the seed of 'None' for me. We wrote the majority of the song around the idea that there is none (nor will there ever be) anyone or anything like God. He is unique and perfect, endlessly worthy and glorious, always in control and always caring. However, a lot of the song was written before ever intentionally searching for this scripture.
My wife, Amanda, was out one night in August 2016, so I spent the time at home, sitting on the couch and writing - mainly just in free worship, but I started singing what is now the chorus - the simple lyric of 'There is none like You Lord'. It was a beautiful moment for me as those words sunk into my soul. The voice memo from that night though sat on my phone for about 10 months - pretty much until we started really working on pulling together tracks for Pilgrims and I did the classic songwriter thing of scrolling through voice memos, searching for a little glimmer of something to start forming into a song.
Taking a voice memo as an idea into the studio is always a little daunting, especially when it was recorded in your 'casual clothes', relaxing on the couch, having not warmed up or taken any care with your vocal technique, sounding flat as a pancake and almost as bad as your tone deaf uncle. But showing Jordi, our producer, was one of the best things I did - he came along side and together we tweaked and laboured over lyrics, developed new melodies for the verses and found this scripture which wrote the bridge. I say that the 'scripture wrote the bridge' because that's pretty much how I feel. When I read Isaiah 46, it was like I found the heart of the song, laid out for all to see on the living pages of the Word of God.
'None' is a song of remembrance. It was written to remind us of who God is and what he has done. He declared the end from the beginning of time - His words shall stand for all time, never to be shaken, never to be forgotten - He was there for us as children and He will still be there as we grow old & tire - He cannot be compared to anything, cannot be likened because there is nothing in all creation that comes close to His majesty and glory. He is God and there is none like Him.
Remembering these things always creates a response. The enemy cowers in fear, but we rise in worship! In all seasons, through all things, God is consistent. We may not be consistent, but our response can be. Through it all, remember who God is, what He has done for you and for people like you throughout history. He has never failed! His purpose IS accomplished. His word IS fulfilled! He can be trusted and will always be worthy of our praise and adoration.
No matter where you are in life, I'm praying this song brings peace and healing. That through it you remember God's goodness, His faithfulness and strength that reveals itself in His gracious love.