Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Bible's Prevalent Motif

The Bible's Prevalent Motif

A motif is a recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work; topics and themes are synonyms. Although the Bible is much more than a literary work, it has identifiable motifs. Some motifs in the Bible are the Love of God and the shedding of blood as expiation for Sin. Another prevalent theme in the Bible is this: God always searches or reaches out to/for man; this is the case from the start. Let us read from Genesis 3: 8-11,

Genesis 3: 8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3: 9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Genesis 3: 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Genesis 3: 11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

The incident narrated above sets a pattern for the rest of our history. For 6,000 years, there has been a dynamic of man choosing evil and afterward hiding when he believes he others caught him. In his guilt, he drives himself into more evil and hiding further, or he tries to find a way to appease God, whom man believes is against him because of the Sin committed. God looks at the hiding man and says to him, "What are you doing behind there? It is dark there. Come out so we can see each other and talk freely." The man replies, "I am hiding from you. I know you must be angry at me, for I have disobeyed you. You must want to kill me for what I did."

Afterward, God looks at the man looking to appease Him, and says to the man, "What are you doing there? Why are you so busy? Please, stop. Turn around to me. I want us to talk." The man responds, "I am trying to make restitution for the evil I have done. I know you must be angry at me, and probably want to kill me. So, I am doing my best to show that I can do better. Perhaps I will change your mind."

God looks at them with sadness. He says, "Do they not know? Are they not listening? If I wanted them dead, I would have killed them by now. Have they not read in my Word when My Son told Nicodemus, in John 3: 16 and 17, that I God have '…so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.' Because, 'There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one' (Romans 3:11,12). All 'like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). "They reject My free gift to them, which has been so costly to Me. They reject My unconditional and eternal love. They reject my mercy and grace. They reject Me."

God's love for us and us rejecting it is the common thread in the Bible. God goes looking for the man. The man runs away from God. Man believes in his heart that God hates him. God wants to show man that that is not the case. So God goes after man again. But, man continues to reject God and delights further in the evil he does. So, God has no choice but to let man suffer the consequences of his decisions. The wages of Sin is death (Romans 6:23a). Those who choose Sin will die eternally.

Thankfully, not all men will die. Some have chosen the Light of God and come out of hiding in the dark. Some have chosen the gift of God, which is "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23b). They have accepted by Faith the good works of Christ that grant Salvation and stop trying on their own through their actions. They have received God's love, mercy, and grace. They chose to let God reach out to them and allowed God to stay with them. Will you choose to be part of this group?

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