47 MetaphorPosted: January 22, 2013 | |
It has been a month. Good to be back.
God wants relationship with us. We are clay in His hands. Yet He does not just want conformity; He wants dialog. He speaks to us in His word. The Bible reduced to theology is dry and boring. Metaphor, story, beauty and music bring theology to life. He uses pictures to speak to our hearts. For example, in the last post on the plate analogy, Christ was portrayed as “Rock”. (I Pet. 2:4-8)
Some examples of metaphor in the Bible include: baptism and communion, cross, dove, milk and honey, rainbow, oil and water, wind, rain, fire, door, gate, sheep and shepherd, potter and clay, friend, lover, bride and bridegroom, stars and sand, throne, river, gold, the body as a temple, the temple as a Body. The list goes on and on…
Christian artists have experiences with God’s creation. They create expressions of how their hearts have been touched to bring the awe of their experiences to others. These expressions enhance our experience of worshiping God and help us to feel closer to Him. Christian art is metaphor.
We use our God given imaginations to capture the meanings behind metaphors. What does God use to speak truth into your life? Perhaps you imagine Jesus knocking at the door or you see in your mind’s eye His Word as a two-edged sword. God uses metaphors to speak a deeper truth. When Marguex was a child, she would look at the cross on the front wall of the sanctuary. She could see in the way the lighting hit the back wall the body of Christ in shadow form. This was before she knew of discussions of Christ being depicted on or off the cross. All she knew at the time was His presence and His work of taking her place. And she was grateful and comforted. Therefore, with our imaginations we can experience, not simply think about the meaning God speaks to us.
The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a hand breadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held three thousand baths. 2 Chronicles 4:4-5
God abhorred the golden calf of Exodus because the Israelites were defying Him and chose to replace Him with this idol. The calf was a raised fist saying to God, “We don’t need You because You do not act fast enough.” In contrast, the bulls holding the bath depict the patience of very strong creatures waiting on God Who Himself demonstrates tremendous strength and patience. Imagery in its non-idolatrous form exhibits the majesty and beauty of our Maker to Whom we look for strength and guidance. Imagery which is idolatrous points us away from God.
We need reminders of our faith. “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19) Do we have things which remind us daily of God’s wonder working power? Perhaps the above list of Biblical metaphors will open our eyes and hearts to see how the heavenly Father wants to speak to us. His language of metaphor speaks love to our hearts.
Looking for His metaphors,
Noah & Marguex Woodrich
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