Last night Josh and I sat down and watched the movie The Book of Eli. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where murder, rape, lawlessness and chaos run free. In some ways it looked like those old spaghetti western films that John Wayne and Clint Eastwood made so famous back in the day. This story opens with a man named Eli (incidentally, the name Eli means 'My God'), walking west with a backpack as his only possession. For thirty years he has carried the very last Bible on the planet. He is on a mission, sent by God himself.
While this movie is not in my favorite genre to watch and it was definitely a downer with a very humanistic point of view, it did make me think of how far I would go to protect the Bible if it were the last one on the face of the earth and God spoke directly to me to protect it and carry it west. In this day with nuclear holocaust poking it's head out of the proverbial news hole that it is, the idea of an age that is horrific like this movie portrayed isn't too off base. Once the government is taken out by war or bomb, we who are left will be living in a nightmare. I think that's why there has been so many movies depicting our world in a post-apocalyptic scenario. But even if we don't have some nuclear bomb blasting us out of bed, we still have to face the fact that one day we will be called to stand for what we believe in-whether it's the harsh truth or a happy lie. We will all have to choose who we will serve and if we choose wrong it will mean death. Whether or not this happens in our lifetime isn't the point. What I'm trying to say is: Would you be willing to walk west because God told you to and would you be willing to die for your faith?
The other part of this story that really struck me was his blindness. Everything he did was by faith and not by sight. He walked blind, he talked blind, he fought blind. At first, I was angry that he gave up the Bible for the girl, but when I realized that he had memorized all of the scripture it occurred to me that he could give up the book. The Word was hidden within his mind.
Two things we can get from these things:
When we walk by faith we are able to accomplish the things God calls us to do. You look at Elijah in the Bible. He walked by faith, aware always of the heavenly realm. He performed many miracles and prophesied in order to bring the people of Israel back to God. And he made mistakes. But God used those too and then sent Elijah back into the fight. My point is not to make Eli out to be a modern day Elijah, but to show a real story of a real man who really did walk by faith and less by sight, at least without the earthly sight and with more spiritual sight. When we walk with our spiritual eyes open and fixed on what God has called on us to do it is then that we can accomplish so much more. The world will look at us and say to each other, "How did he do that?" They may be drawn to us like Solara was to Eli, curious, defensive, scared. Whatever their feelings may be towards us they will still take notice of us as we walk by faith and not by earthly sight alone. We should be looking through the way things appear and asking God what is really happening that we may not see with our human eyes. If we try to see with spiritual sight and less with our human eyes we will begin to see things better and respond in a different and more redemptive way.
The second thing that caught my attention was the fact that he had memorized the scripture. In Psalm 119:11 David said,"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 1 says "Blessed is the man...who delights in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates on it day and night." Proverbs 7:2-3 says, "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Memorizing scripture is a great habit to get into, but it's not enough if that is all you do with it. With the memorizing should come meditation on what the scripture means. These are only three verses but I bet you could spend at least a half hour processing and journal about each one of these verses and what exactly they mean. We don't memorize scripture for the sole purpose of spouting off a verse that suits an argument, or put someone in their place, but to let it sink in and change our own heart and mind. We memorize it so that when anything happens, either wonderful or devastating, we have His word we can turn to, his promises we can remember even if there isn't a Bible in front of us.
Now, I'm not hailing The Book of Eli as the great story of all time. Yes, there is the political correctness of placing the Bible next to the Koran on the shelf at the end of the movie; and Jesus was never discussed in the movie even though that is what the Bible is all about-His saving mankind throughout His life, death, burial and resurrection. And I didn't like that Eli wouldn't tell Solara about the Bible at first or even discuss Jesus with her. I don't like these things in the movie, but lets face it, we live in a world that belongs to an enemy and we shouldn't be shocked when a decent story that has good potential is twisted to feed the propaganda of this world. Remember, we are the ones who are aliens and this is not our home, but one we are traveling through. I agree with those of you who said what you didn't like about the Book of Eli on my facebook page and I agreed with those points. But on the flip-side, I challenge you to ask yourself a) How far do I go when God has called me to do something for Him? b)Would I be willing to die in order to accomplish what He has asked me to do? and c)Do I rely on my human instincts or do I rely on God and see things with His view in mind?
So, before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, give thought to what can be learned by this...um, interesting, movie.
Just a thought...
*Disclaimer: I do not recommend this movie to anyone faint of heart, regardless of age. :)