Monday, March 4, 2013

All in the Details

Did anyone watch the first installment of the new movie series "The Bible" last night?  We got caught up in a game of spades with the boys and I didn't turn it on until Abraham was about to slay Isaac.  I rushed the boys off to their showers because I wanted to preview it before allowing them to see it.

Sounds crazy, right?  I mean, this is a movie about the Bible.  I totally applaud Hollywood/Roma Downey and husband for taking on such a subject. But, I wanted to see how much liberty and poetic license they were going to use.  Covering the Bible in a few weeks on the big screen isn't an easy feat and I knew that things would be cut and things would be added...which was why I was pretty leary about it.

Instead of trying to be a hater, I want to say why the details matter.  It is important to get the details right, because not a single thing in the Word of God has insignificance.  The end of Revelation says that there are consequences for those who either add to the Word of God or for those who cut parts of it out.  It all matters because it all points to Jesus and the Gospel and the story of Grace and God's Power over all things.

For example, in the movie, we are about to see a beautiful portrayal of what the substitutionary gospel is all about when Abraham sees the lamb/ram in the thicket.  It disturbed me to no end to see that lamb caught by its foot instead of its horns.  The Bible is clear about the "ram" being caught by its horns.  It points to our true Savior who will one day be the ultimate substitution. 

Zechariah prophesied this: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David." {Luke 1:68-69}

He is talking about the Messiah...who is our horn of salvation.  What I love to think about is that "horns" in the Bible usually represent power.  I think in one of the first pictures of substitution's death, God wants us to see that Jesus is there in power, not weakness.  It was power and unconditional love and obedience to His father that drove Jesus to the cross...it wasn't weakness or defeat.  He is Jehovah Jireh, he himself powerfully provides the substitute.

This next point isn't about the movie, but did you know for every plague that God sent against Egypt, it was to put one of the Egytpian "so-called" gods to shame?  God was putting His glory and Ultimate Authority on display when he sent the frogs, turned the Nile to blood, sent the darkness, and on and on.  For example, according to Spurgeon, frogs were worshipped by Egyptians as emblems of deity...they would even preserve frogs.  He says, "As the true God is everywhere present; around us, in our bed chambers and in our streets, so shall Pharoah find every place filled with what he chooses to call divine."

All the details matter!  The very plagues God sent had significance...to cast down their false gods and raise up the Name above Names.  It was almost as if God was laughing when he sent darkness over the Egyptians (the Israelites were spared the darkness.)  He must have been shouting, "where are you now, Ra, so-called god of the sun?"

Back to the movie...one other thing that bothered me (I could go on and on, ha!) was Moses's response to God during the scene of the burning bush.  God tells him he has seen the affliction of the Israelites and he is sending Moses to go back to Egypt to bring his people out.  In the movie, Moses seems to immediately agree with God and tells him he will go. 

Now, I don't know about you, but it does a world of good for my faith journey to hear Moses's first response in the Bible, "Who am I that I should go..."  And another response, "Who on earth are you, aka, what is the name I am supposed to give to these people when I say their deliverer has come?"

In my journey, I need to know that a man used so powerfully by God wrestled with Him in the start.  He questioned his own identity and he questioned who God was. This brings me a ton of comfort as I am always learning to walk by faith.

Am I totally against watching "The Bible" on the big screen?  Not necessarily.  But, do it with Bible in hand and question everything.  God would never want us to believe something according to a movie, but according to His true Word which never fails...the Word where all the details are right and do indeed, make a difference.  I think the movie can possibly provide an outlet to search the scriptures for oneself and see what is really written.

Did you watch the movie?  What were your thoughts?

3 comments:

Bugs and Sunshine said...

I didn't see it, but what the heck is up with locust plagues in Egypt?!

Anonymous said...

Go Becke'! I didn't watch it with our girls for the same reason. And I had to pause it and get my bible out to follow along and see what was "added" and/or "left out." I think, on one hand, sometimes seeing a movie like that can help us get a better picture in our head of what happened back then. But I agree that if we're not careful, we'll forget what the true Word of God says. I doubt I'll watch it with the girls for a while, but if/when I do, you can be sure we'll have our bibles out and pointing out the differences. I sometimes feel as if I'm a crazy, overprotective mom. All my friends are talking about how much they loved it and how they watched it with their kids. It refreshed me and helped me know I'm not the only one that thought that way. Thank you for always being so willing to follow your convictions and share them with others. You are such an amazing friend! And, btw, I'm so excited how Asher is growing and thriving. :)
Kim

Anonymous said...

Go Becke'! I didn't watch it with our girls for the same reason. And I had to pause it and get my bible out to follow along and see what was "added" and/or "left out." I think, on one hand, sometimes seeing a movie like that can help us get a better picture in our head of what happened back then. But I agree that if we're not careful, we'll forget what the true Word of God says. I doubt I'll watch it with the girls for a while, but if/when I do, you can be sure we'll have our bibles out and pointing out the differences. I sometimes feel as if I'm a crazy, overprotective mom. All my friends are talking about how much they loved it and how they watched it with their kids. It refreshed me and helped me know I'm not the only one that thought that way. Thank you for always being so willing to follow your convictions and share them with others. You are such an amazing friend! And, btw, I'm so excited how Asher is growing and thriving. :)
Kim