Immanuel–The Salvation Story from the Squalor of the Stable to the Trumpets Sounding in the Skies

Immanuel (From The Squalor of a Borrowed Stable) was written in 2009 by Stuart Townend (In Christ Alone, Power of the Cross, Gethsemane). In the same vein as his other scripturally saturated hymns, in Immanuel, Stuart skillfully tells the story of salvation from the squalor of the stable to the trumpets sounding in the skies.

About the Song: Immanuel

This is a narrative song about Christ’s birth, life, death, resurrection and impending return. People often find ‘story songs’ easy to understand and relate to, and this one in particular focuses on His humanity, His compassion, His empathy, His own betrayal and suffering, yet his determination to win through for the sake of the human race. The song starts with the Christmas story – probably the most familiar of the Christian narratives in our culture. Yet its retelling often becomes so softened and sanitized (often, ironically, by the carols we sing) that its true significance is greatly reduced. In the first verse of this song I wanted to recapture some of the shocking reality of the birth of the Song on God – the scandal of an unmarried mother giving birth in a squalid, cold stable – and that God should choose for Himself such a humble path. The final verse, about Jesus’ return, is in some ways uncomfortable, but it is a necessary part of our understanding of ‘the end of the story’, and the vital importance of receiving God’s saving grace in Christ.

HT: Stuart Townend

Lyrics: Immanuel

From the squalor of a borrowed stable
By the Spirit and a virgin’s faith
To the anguish and the shame of scandal
Came the Savior of the human race
But the skies were filled
With the praise of heav’n
Shepherds listen as the angels tell
Of the gift of God come down to man
At the dawning of Immanuel

Verse 2
King of heaven now the friend of sinners
Humble servant in the Father’s hands
Filled with power and the Holy Spirit
Filled with mercy for the broken man
Yes He walked my road and He felt my pain
Joys and sorrows that I know so well
Yet His righteous steps give me hope again
I will follow my Immanuel

Verse 3
Through the kisses of a friend’s betrayal
He was lifted on a cruel cross
He was punished for a world’s transgressions
He was suffering to save the lost
He fights for breath He fights for me
Loosing sinners from the claims of hell
And with a shout our souls are free
Death defeated by Immanuel

Verse 4
Now He’s standing in the place of honor
Crowned with glory on the highest throne
Interceding for His own beloved
‘Til His Father calls to bring them home
Then the skies will part as the trumpet sounds
Hope of heaven or the fear of hell
But the bride will run to her lover’s arms
Giving glory to Immanuel

Stuart Townend
1999 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

About the Performer

David Wesley is another YouTube multi-track artist about whom little is known.

Here is what David told be about himself in a message he sent me upon request for more info.

There’s not really much to say about me.  I’m from Ontario, Canada.  Married with first kid on the way. I’ve been a Christian for about 23 years. I work as an ER nurse and a paramedic in a rural community. I’ve only recently moved into the area, so I’m just getting my feet wet in my church’s worship team. I have led worship in larger churches, and did some consultant/coaching work.”

Check out his YouTube page here.


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