Amid global strife and domestic tyranny under President Joe Biden, the feel-good story of 2023 has made a timely reappearance.
Oliver Anthony — the overnight country and bluegrass music sensation whose hit song and video, “Rich Men North of Richmond” went viral in August — debuted Saturday at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry.
As he has done on past occasions, Anthony opened his show with a brief Bible reading.
On country and bluegrass music’s biggest stage, he chose Jesus’ fig-tree parable from the Book of Matthew. And he quoted the Lord’s words — almost verbatim — from the Bible’s New International Version.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as it twigs and gets tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door,” Anthony said.
He continued: “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but Jesus’ words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:32-35).
Readers may view a 34-second Rumble video of Anthony’s reading here:
Anthony’s ascent to stardom earlier this year seemed almost too improbable to believe.
“Rich Men North of Richmond” appeared on the obscure radiowv YouTube channel on Aug. 8. Within days, it became a mega-hit.
A working-class anthem that blamed greedy politicians in Washington, D.C., for the increasingly desperate plight of ordinary Americans, “Rich Men North of Richmond” catapulted Anthony to instant fame.
As of Wednesday, the original video had more than 104 million views on YouTube.
Those who wish to revisit the overnight success story may view the song’s video below:
WARNING: The following video contains language that some readers might find offensive
“Rich Men North of Richmond” had a defiant edge. Righteous, populist anger mixed with deep anguish in Anthony’s voice as he belted out resentment-filled lyrics.
But Anthony — whose real name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford — stayed humble amid sudden fame. Instead of anger and resentment, he seemed determined to spread a message of love and peace.
In fact, at his first show following the debut of “Rich Men North of Richmond,” he opened with a Bible reading. And this became a pattern. Even on Joe Rogan’s podcast, the overnight star shared verses from the Book of Proverbs.
Furthermore, Anthony’s follow-up hit “I Want to Go Home” made it clear where his priorities lay. In this second song, the pain in his voice remained, but it mixed with hope, for “Home” meant Heaven.
Nowadays, one grows gloomy over the state of the culture and the state of the world.
Anthony reminds us, however, that not all performers and public figures have succumbed to narcissism. His story, example and message bring light and hope. We need more like him.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.