I recently finished what was perhaps my favorite class in all my studies. We read the second half of Isaiah scrutinizing its colorful composition and beautiful intricacies. While that endeavor is way too complicated to describe here, there was something that one of my classmates shared that has given me a new appreciation for the bible. It was not anything in particular, that is to say, not a specific passage or interpretation; it was more how he depicted his observations that caught my attention.
We were looking at how the prophetic songs in Isaiah interacted with the rest of Scripture. You may not realize it but a lot of prophetic writing is the collection of a series of songs pertaining to a specific time in Jewish history. The writer composed them on the basis of what he already knew from the scriptures. This knowledge provided the background of his composition as he proclaimed the things he now saw unfolding in his own time. These inspired visions also looked ahead to what God would be doing in the future (1Pet. 1:10-12). So, anyway, when the gospel writers start telling everyone about Jesus they are able to grasp things from the prophets and say, “this is what that was all about!” (For example: Matt. 1:22-23; 2:5-6, 17-18; 3:3).
Back to my classmate; as he looked at how the prophets grasped sayings from the Old Testament scripture and projected them forward he described them as “music and lyrics” which the New Testament writers would recognize as having to do with Jesus and all he has accomplished. That got me thinking,
“It’s just like a movie.”
Think about it, movies often have a musical score that enhance the story as it unfolds. The music contains recurring themes to remind us of something that happened earlier in the story or to help focus our attention on the main point. It is not uncommon for songs to be played in the background of a movie at strategic moments so that we can hear the off stage voices providing us with insight into the deeper meaning of the plot. Good storytelling (and in my opinion movies are storytelling) takes advantage of every expressive opportunity; this includes the musical score. At any rate, you may not have considered the prophetic writings in the bible to be poetic songs that encrypt, enhance, and expound God’s wonderful plan. Yet, I think that’s exactly what they are; every bit of the Old Testament provides the musical score for presenting the King of Kings (Luke 24:44).
How does this apply to our reading in Genesis?
Simple, Genesis after chapter 11, tells us the story of the Nation that was chosen by God from which the Savior of the world would emerge. Let’s pay attention to the details given to us in this very honest account of an extremely dysfunctional family chosen by God. On this point I will be commenting on in a later post. For now I would like to make this observation; movies capture our attention and often play a role in shaping our lives as they continue to be rehearsed in the recesses of our minds.