The Lead Character

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (Genesis 1:1, John 1: 1-3).

In the film industry, they are called lead actors. In literature, they are known as main characters. It should never be hard to pick out the main character in a story. He is the one the story revolves around. For instance, in the movie Gravity, there would be no story without Dr. Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock. Les Miserables is about the life of Jean Valjean. Gone with the Wind tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara. Casablanca focuses on the character of Rick Blaine.

The creators of these stories put great effort into developing the main character. As the story progresses, the reader or viewer discovers more about the main character and why the story is about him. Through proper character development, the reader or viewer becomes aware of the significant role of the main character.

Alfred de Vigny, poet, playwright, and novelist (1797-1863) said, “History is a novel whose author is the people.” Respectfully, I believe de Vigny was wrong. History is not a fictional novel. Authored by God Himself, it is a factual record of His creation and His redeeming love for His people through His Son Jesus Christ. He is creator, author and the One the story revolves around.

History is His story.

The telling of God’s story in the Bible literally comes alive through Jesus. He is the Word of God. He is also the main character in every event in the written word of God. God’s story begins with Genesis 1:1. Jesus was there. John’s gospel makes that clear. The Bible ends with The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen (Revelation 22:21).

In an article on crupressgreen.com (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), Seeing Christ in All of Scripture, it is expressed this way: “The good news doesn’t just reside in part two of the Bible, the New Testament. The entire story of the Bible is about one person, one plan, one goal. That person is Jesus, that plan is redemption, the goal is the glory of God. It’s really a pretty simple story line.”

It is possible to miss that simple story line. If we view God’s Word as a collection of stories about people, we miss the point. Many stories in the Bible are well known, even to those who do not follow Christ but the reader’s perspective can sometimes be different than the Author’s intention. Some might erroneously give a supporting character the role of the main character.

God and Noah

Noah was not the main character in the story of the ark and the flood.

God made man. God was sorry He had made man. God was grieved. God sent the flood, but God miraculously saved the one man who walked with Him. God’s grace saved Noah and his family and enough of the animals to give mankind a new start. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord…. Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:8-9).

God and Moses

Moses was not the main character when the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land.

God chose Moses to lead His people out of bondage from Egypt. He revealed Himself to Moses and promised He would be with him. So He said, “I will certainly be with you…And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”… So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians…Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses (Exodus 3:12, 14; 14:30, 31).

God and David

David knew he could not kill Goliath with just a slingshot, but God could use him to do it.

God prepared David, the shepherd boy, to do what the army could not do. His armor was not the armor of metal and war. It was the armor of faith. “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand…Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17: 46-47).

 God and Jonah

Jonah was a reluctant participant in God’s plan to offer salvation to the people of Nineveh. He was definitely not the main character.

In the New Inductive Study Bible, the preface to Jonah states, “The focus of Jonah is not a man trapped in the belly of a great fish; the focus is people engraved on the heart of God.” As a result of forcing Jonah to go to Nineveh, many repented and turned to God. “And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons… (Jonah 4:11).

God and Daniel

Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and remained untouched, but Daniel could not save himself.

The officials of Darius became jealous of the favor Daniel, a foreigner, found with the king. Through their conniving, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. It was Daniel’s refusal to worship any God but the true God. It was his God who rescued Him. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him”…So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God” (Daniel 6:20-23).

In Jesus, God’s story comes alive. …Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and … He was buried, and … He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Through faith in Him, our names are written in another book – the Book of Life. What a privilege it is to be part of His story.

© Stephanie B. Blake

April 2015

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