What is the purpose of metaphor in the Bible? Listen to the podcast or watch the featured video. Then, reflect on some questions and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 23.
Once you’ve listened to the short podcast or watched the featured video, take the time to reflect on these questions:
A mother often suffers to deliver her baby. Let’s reflect on how God suffered to deliver us. What comes to mind when you compare the sufferings of God to the pains of a mother in labor?
How does imagining God as a mother in labor reshape your understanding of his relationship to creation?
Giving birth is a powerful experience for both the mother and the baby. What’s one specific way you have experienced God’s life-giving power?
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?
The authors of Scripture use metaphors to help us better understand the world, God, and ourselves. To grow in understanding, today we’ll reflect on the metaphor of God giving birth. In the book of Job, we see God giving birth to elements of creation, and in the book of Isaiah, he’s both a warrior and a mother giving birth to a new reality on behalf of his people.
In the passage, what does the author say Yahweh has done and will do?
Zoom in on verses 1-4, where it states Yahweh’s purpose to bring justice. Consider that purpose alongside the figures of speech used in these verses. In light of these things, what do you think it means that the servant will not shout or cry out?
Now let’s review today’s passage and notice the repeated idea of shouting mentioned in verses 13-14. Why does a warrior cry out as he goes into battle? Why does a woman cry in labor?
How does a battle cry and the cries of labor help us better understand what God will experience as he brings justice? How can this further develop (as opposed to contradict) your understanding of what you observed in verses 1-4 (question 2)?