Sarah-in-Carmel-Studios-signing-croppedLefanecha ( I Am Before You) is the first worship project released by Sarah Liberman. Most of the work on this CD was done on Mt. Carmel Israel. Here’s a “behind the scenes” look at the inspiration for the project and the songs that make up this album.

The Name

The name Lefanecha means I Am Before You, in Hebrew.  It was chosen because it reflects the heart of this worship, coming before the living God. Every day God presents himself to us: through his creation, through his plan for our salvation. We have a choice to make: will we respond or will we walk away? When we come before the Lord, when we truly come to seek him in full surrender, it is a life changing experience. There are many examples in the Bible of God asking men to present themselves before him, like Moses, Elijah and others. When they came before him, He commissioned them and empowered them to change history. We too, can come before the Lord, and learn of our true identity and God’s wonderful destiny for our lives.

The Journey

When you listen to this CD in its order from start to finish, you will go through a journey of worship and personal transformation. From the origins of worship in the First covenant, through a journey of personal relationship with God, to the glorious sounds of heavenly worship we find in the texts of the New covenant. The album starts with the sound of Israel’s ancient worship, in the desert with – El Maleh Rachamim (God Full of Mercy). It continues through the message of Messiah – Ata Gadol  (Stronger)- and of His Holy Spirit in Shfoch Et Ruchacha (Pour Out Your Spirit). Esh Ruchacha (Fire Of Your Spirit) takes us to the scenes of tabernacle worship set up by Moses and later the temple of David and Solomon. The middle part of this journey reflects the personal, deep emotions, of crying out to God and finding him. They are songs about the amazing grace and power of God to transform us and they speak of the intimate relationship between man and God, through the sacrifice of Yeshua our Messiah. Finally we come through to the sounds of heaven with Raui Haseh (Worthy is the lamb) and Achat Shalti (One Thing). The final track on the album –  Mincha (Offering) is a moment of reflection, a space to breath and ponder and to seal God’s word upon your heart.

The voices

The voices you hear in this album are of young Israeli believers who worship on Mt. Carmel in worship watches and worship nights. We were also blessed to have some friends from the nations who gave their talents to this project. It is the soundscape of God’s purpose – with one heart and one voice – to worship Him.

Carmel-Studios-control-room-computer-(blown-out)The songs

El Maleh Rachamim – God Full of Mercy

This song is a modern day Psalm. Its words and Spirit mirror the way the Psalmists wrote the Psalms in the Bible. The musical arrangement also reflects the sound of the desert and our heritage of tabernacle worship. The first instrument you hear is called a ‘Kamancheh’, which is a bowed string instrument that traces its ancient origins to the area where Abraham came from. You can also hear local percussion instruments mixed with the sound of electric guitars, drums and violins. The text reflects declarations and praise of our God, his great power but also his goodness and mercy. All the glory and the honor and the power is to His Name.

Ata Gadol – Stronger (Hillsong)

This song is a translation of a wonderful song written by Hillsong that is called Stronger. Its message is clear and it covers the entire story of salvation , God’s faithfulness and the hope we have in him. He is Lord of all! At the end of the song as it was written, you hear a spontaneous chorus of voices that came as a response to the song. The words sung are: Hallelujah x3 Yeshua, Kadosh Ata (Yeshua, You are Holy) Shem m’al kol Shem, Yeshua (Name above all names, Yeshua)

Shfoch Et Ruchacha – Pour Out Your Spirit

This song was actually the first song written in this journey of worship reflected in the album. It is a heart cry written from a place of hardship and feeling  in a desert for a very long time. I had come to the end of myself and needed God to revive me. I wanted Him above my own will and I was seeking him to transform my life. I knew I needed him to pour out his Spirit upon me and I was desperate to see His Glory manifested. The simple musical arrangement reflects the simplicity of its words – God, would you pour out Your Spirit upon me? Would you transform me?

Esh Ruchacha – Fire Of Your Spirit

This song embodies the sounds and texts of the worship of the people of Israel in ancient days. At the beginning of the track you hear portions of the Aaronic Blessing, sung by descendants of the priests of Israel who served the Lord in the temple. These sounds were recorded in Jerusalem, during the feast of Sukkoth (Tabernacle). The next sound you hear is an instrument called a ‘Tar’, and is another string instrument originating from the area of Persia. After the first verse you hear the sound of a shofar being blown. The entire soundscape reflects the desert and middle eastern sound, that is our heritage as descendants of the people of the Bible. The song ends with the sound of interwoven voices singing a never ending chorus of worship, reflecting King David’s heart. The words are from the first song ever written in the Bible – the song of Moses:  Who is like thee? Majestic in Holiness, Awesome in glory, working wonders.

Kol Ma Sh’bi – All That Is Within Me

This song is fondly known as the nine word song. It came out of a moment of true desperation crying out to the Lord one night. Originally it seemed this would be the chorus of a song with verses etc. but as time went on and people responded so deeply to it, it kept its original form, as it was written in the middle of the night. The song reflects our cry to the Lord in a moment of deep desperation: God, Here I am before you, everything that is within me is crying out to you. But it also represents another true heart cry – that of God’s heart towards us. God made us so he could have a relationship with us. This is why he came each day and walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. From the moment sin entered this world and we became separated God has been crying out to each one of us on this earth: I sent my son whom you threw down at your feet, and as he hung on that tree God said again “Here I AM Before You, everything within me cries out to you”, will you come and accept the greatest gift I have given to you? Will you come back to me and let me walk with you?

Eshtachaveh L’cha – I Will Exalt (Bethel)

Translated from English, Amanda Cook’s song, has resonated with many around the world. We sing it in Hebrew during worship nights and congregational worship as well. The reading in the middle of the song is actually portions of Psalms put together to reflect one theme: Psalm 77:11, 77:14, 103:3, 145:8.

Ani Edvock B’cha – Rescue (Desperation Band)

This beautiful song is a translation of the song ‘Rescue’, written by Jared Anderson and sung originally by Desperation Band. It is a prayer, a very personal plea to the Lord and commitment to the one who captures us with grace: This world has nothing for me – I’ll take hold of you.

The Great Exchange

This song was spontaneously written during a worship watch. The final portion came as I was working through the song again at home, when I realized what it truly meant to give all to Him. It was a reaction to God’s goodness and healing power. To the realization of what God has done and the journey with him. It is also a play of words on that idea that surrender is a bad thing. Many are afraid to give their all to God. They have somehow been taught wrongly that God will ask you to do something you don’t want to do. That he wants to take all the fun out of life and ask you to live a hard life of never ending sacrifice. The truth is that God wants to take all of you, all of the pain and shame and sin and darkness. He wants to save you out of a life that leads to death; and in return he wants to give you all of his blessing, all of his treasure and a life of eternity with him. Even here on this earth, when we give him everything, we find out who we really are and what we were made for. A life that is given over to him, is a life of health, and great joy, even in the midst of great hardship. It is a life of true satisfaction and blessing beyond what we can ever imagine or hope for.

Raui Haseh – Worthy Is The Lamb

A few years ago when I started my journey of full time worship I secretly asked the Lord to show me the sound of heaven. I wanted to know what it sounds like. I realized that as a human on this earth, I could not create or experience the full breadth of the sound of heaven, but this was my hearts cry. I wanted to know how to worship God fully, in the way he is worshipped in heaven. I did not dare tell anyone that this is what I was asking God for. One day a group of people from Poland came to my regular worship watch atop Mt. Carmel (in the Carmel Congregation Sanctuary). Not knowing anything about me or this secret in my heart they prophesied that I would bring the sound of heaven to earth and that sound would rise back up to heaven from earth. I was dumbfounded. How could these people know what was in my heart? At the time all they heard was me, one voice and a keyboard. I continued to ask God what heaven sounds like. One day I heard this melody, it was not a song with words, it was just this joyous melody. As I sat at my keyboard to find it, I begun to sing the chorus of this song. It was a variation on a text the disciple John tells us is sung in heaven, in the book of Revelation chapter 5. Later as I sung this chorus I felt God sing the words from Isaiah 60:1 over me and when we first sung this chorus during a worship night I started it out with this call from Isaiah – Arise and Shine for your light has come. I was on a quest after God’s Glory and this was one of the milestones on this road. After that point whenever we would start this song with the melody, it would always erupt into a beautiful spontaneous sound of many voices all singing and worshipping the Lord. This is how the track on the CD starts, with the melody I heard and our human voices interacting with this sound. I knew that in heaven every tribe and every nation are represented and so, I wanted to reflect this in the track. I added an ‘international chorus’ to the song. Just before that you hear many voices calling out declarations about God and about Yeshua which is what is going on in heaven – a great multitude calling out and worshipping our king. In the international chorus you hear several voices overlapping: there is a Hallelujah chorus, worthy is the lamb sung in Korean, in Dutch and a line sung in French saying: The Honor and Glory and Praise. Finally at the very end of the track, as we sing: ‘Here he is, Here is comes, the King of Glory” you will detect the sound of thunder. I have not been to heaven so I do not know what it sounds like, however all these elements appear in the book of the Revelation of John and thus provide us a glimpse of what we can create on earth to pattern the sounds of heaven. More on this in an upcoming Blog post and the description of another song of this CD called: Achat Shalti – One Thing.

Lo Yafridu Oti Mimcha – Nothing Can Separate Us

This joyous sound came forth as a song of victory. I needed a fast song, to sing while leading worship in our congregation. I wanted it to go along with other fast songs we would normally sing in the same key. Unlike all other songs I’ve written, which come to me in a moment of divine inspiration, I actually sat down deliberately to write a song. I had never done that before. As I started to reflect upon my life I realized that the devil had tried his best to keep me away from my destiny as a worshipper. I saw that my weapon was to declare the goodness of God and that nothing, absolutely nothing could separate me from God’s love. His love towards me is so intense that no man, and no circumstance, nothing at all, could separate me from him. Each time we worship God it is a victory over Satan, who wishes we would worship him. The harder the devil tries, that louder we shout praises to our God. The passage from Romans 8 came to my mind as I wrote out the words to the song. The first verse reflect adverse circumstances. The second verse reflects the good things this world has to offer, because even those things will not separate us from God. If you think about this long enough – its gets really exciting!

Achat Shalti – One Thing

Originally the CD was going to have ten tracks on it. As this was my first project, I did not want to bite off more than I could handle and ten seemed like a good number. As work progressed several people impressed upon me that I should include this song on the CD. At first I shook them off. I had enough going on, just trying to capture the sound of worship nights and creating arrangements for the songs already selected. I did not want to add more scope to the project. But as time wore on, I realized it would not be hard for me to add it and I heard a beautiful arrangement for it in my head. So, I started to work on it. I am so happy that I did. This track is one of my favorites because its words reflect my heart and it really took me to an even higher level on my quest to find the sound of heaven (as I describe in the explanation of the song Worthy in the Lamb/Raui Haseh on this CD). The song starts as it originally did when I wrote it, the words David wrote: one thing I have asked to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon your loveliness and to dwell in Your sanctuary. As I worked on the song I wanted to move from the sound of this earth to the sound of the heavenly sanctuary so after the first part you hear ethereal voices singing a Hallelujah chorus as if from another world, beckoning you to a higher place . The floor drum resembles the sound of thunder pealing off from the throne of God. I heard this chorus of many voices singing different melodies, from verses I remembered from the book of Revelation. So I started to piece them together with the help of the singers that sing with me during worship nights. Each time I added another line from Revelation chapter five, with another singer, this feeling of pure joy would come over me. During this time, someone gave me a book about the sounds of heaven that explained exactly what I was doing. I was dumbfounded once again. Here was someone else that was writing about the exact same thing I was hearing and trying to create. It was a confirmation to me that while limited in its earthly capacity, this sound is aligned with the worship of heaven. More on this journey in an upcoming Blog post.

Offering

The word offering in Hebrew is Mincha, which can also be translated as sacrifice. This final track was actually played at the end of the song The Great Exchange. It was the natural reaction to the song’s words and experience. However for tracking reasons, it could not go directly next to the song in the CD. It ended up being  a beautiful restful  space for reflection at the end of this wonderful journey. This anointed piece is played by a talented musician from Korea.