The Magician’s Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis) was an easy read and would have been done in the matter of a day or two had it not been for me misplacing the book in a random place while attending to my littlest one. I lost track of it for about a week but during that time, I continued to read into Deuteronomy (NIV Bible) and I was just really drawn in by the depths of the Law and how all encompassing it was for all scenarios. It was truly repetitive at times, and I must say quite violent! It made me take into question the very nature of God. People often question, “How can the God of the Old Testament be the same God as the God of the New Testament?”
Reading the Penteteuch (The first 5 books of the Bible), God seems down right terrifying; a jealous God who demands perfection and blood for any transgression that doesn’t meet that perfect standard. Then there is Jesus; full of grace, love and forgiveness through faith. I had trouble reconciling this until I found my C.S. Lewis novel again.
In the fictional book, Digory and Polly come to a place where they see a majestic Lion singing life into the darkness. This Lion is described as fierce… wild. And yet he has compassion on Digory who longs to find a cure for his mother’s illness back home. It mentions that the Lion has tears in his eyes as Digory describes his mother’s condition.
I had a serious “ah-hah” moment! I knew from the beginning it was a Christian novel and the Lion, “Aslan”, was to symbolize the God of the Bible but I found it so incredibly fitting to describe God as wild. That is the connection, I think, between the God of the Old Testament with Jesus of the New Testament. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a three-in-one God who shows up as the Father for the majority of the Pentateuch, appears as the Son, Jesus, for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; then enters as the Holy Spirit in Acts and in the Letters there afterward.
The Bible says “The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” (2 Samuel 10:12) God is good but he does what is good in His sight, not always ours. Our humanity has only a small grasp of the word because we are finite and we are limited to what we can see. We think if things don’t turn out in our lifetime, things can’t be good, but what if there is a larger picture here… the picture of Humanity from beginning to end, generation through generation?
Drawing from some personal experiences, it can seem like God is not a good God if He allows evil things to happen to us, but the Bible is clear “God is love.” (1 John 4:16) He loves us and he has a good plan for our lives regardless of our mess. Just as “The Magician’s Nephew” described how Aslan created life from the darkness, we can see in life how healing can only occur if there is sickness; grace only if there is an offense and so on. I can recognize that through some of the darkest times in my life, I have been blessed the most and stretched with growth pains.
So although it may seem like God is ruthless in the Old Testament, we also see Jesus’ anger turning over tables in the temple, “To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” (John 2:16) It is a righteous holy anger and that is what we come across in the Old Testament. The Lion will never be tame; we can’t put God in a box. I am looking forward to reading the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis). I’ve read it more recently than “The Magician’s Nephew” but nonetheless, it will be a good read.
More reviews coming up on “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp! Stay tuned.