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Reflections Podcast
Reflections Podcast
Reflections • Episode 23
Power of Metaphor
14m • May 26, 2021

What is the purpose of metaphor in the Bible?

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What is the purpose of metaphor in the Bible? The biblical authors use metaphors to help us better understand the world, God, and ourselves. In today's episode, we reflect on the surprising 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, God is depicted as both a warrior and a mother giving birth to a new reality.

Bible Reading Isaiah 42:13-16

Reflection Questions

  1. 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 Jesus to the pains of a mother in labor?
  2. How does imagining God as a mother in labor reshape your understanding of his relationship to creation?
  3. 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?

Show Credits

Host: Cheree Hayes Message: Dr. Carissa Quinn Production and Bible Reading: Dan Gummel Theme music: Grant William Harold Background Music: "Present" by Sean Williams

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2 Chronicles 36:22-23  –  13m
Looking Back to Look Forward
13m
Malachi 3:16-4:6  –  13m
Treasured by God
13m
Daniel 7:9-14  –  13m
There’s Hope in the Nightmare
13m
Esther 4:1-17  –  16m
Who Does God Choose to Work Through?
16m
Ezra 4:1-3, Isaiah 56:3-8  –  15m
Is God Inclusive?
15m
Ezekiel 36:22-36  –  14m
Promise for New Hearts
14m
Lamentations 3:19-33  –  14m
Learning How to Grieve from Lamentations
14m
Jeremiah 4:16-28, 1 Thessalonians 5  –  15m
The Deep Anguish of God
15m
Song of Songs 8:6-7  –  15m
Wisdom from Sensual Love Poetry?
15m
Ecclesiastes 4:4-12  –  15m
One Handful of Rest
15m
Isaiah 42:1-16  –  14m
Power of Metaphor
14m
Proverbs 1:1-7  –  13m
How to Live Wisely
13m
Job 38:1-18, Job 42:1-6  –  15m
How God Replies to Job’s Suffering
15m
Jonah 4:1-11, Exodus 34:5-9, 1 Kings 19:3-5  –  14m
God’s Mercy on Our Enemy
14m
Hosea 14:1-9  –  14m
What God Wants from Us
14m
Isaiah 61  –  12m
What Good News Looks Like
12m
1 John 1  –  12m
Message of the Prophets
12m
2 Kings 25  –  14m
What God Does About Suffering
14m
1 Kings 6  –  14m
Redeeming Disappointment
14m
2 Samuel 7  –  14m
Faithful Through Failure
14m
1 Samuel 2  –  13m
When You Feel Powerless
13m
Ruth 2  –  12m
How God Treats His Enemies
12m
Judges‬ 2  –  12m
When We Walk Out on God
12m
14m
Deuteronomy 30  –  11m
Understanding Ancient Law
11m
Deuteronomy 4  –  12m
God's Wisdom on Display
12m
Numbers 13  –  11m
Trusting God in the Wilderness
11m
Leviticus 25  –  13m
Gift of Rest
13m
Hebrews 10  –  12m
Meaning of Sacrifice
12m
Exodus 19  –  12m
Rescued for a Purpose
12m
Exodus 3  –  15m
When We Cry Out
15m
Genesis 32  –  13m
Wrestling God
13m
Genesis 1-3  –  15m
Why God Gave Choice
15m

Reflect

Once you've listened to the podcast, take time to reflect on these questions.

  1. 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?
  2. How does imagining God as a mother in labor reshape your understanding of his relationship to creation?
  3. 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?

Go Deeper

If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.

Message Question:
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?

Read: Isaiah 42:1-16

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.

  1. In the passage, what does the author say Yahweh has done and will do?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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)?
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