When it comes to excitement and entertainment, Hollywood is the only name in the game for many people. People look to the silver screen to find everything from action heroes to flourishing romance. In fact, going to the movies is so synonymous with entertainment that many people do not even think about the fact that there are other options and other mediums that can keep them entertained. Those handful who do think about it rarely consider reading the Bible for entertainment. The Bible is either something that does not interest them in the slightest, or it is meant for use in worship and worship only. This is unfortunate because the stories within the Bible are some of the greatest on Earth. They were so popular and important that they have survived for thousands of years. How many Hollywood blockbusters can claim to continue moving people even a few years later?
Beyond even the impact stories can have on people, the Bible actually wins out when it comes to pure story as well. Here are six Bible stories Hollywood blockbusters can’t compete with in the slightest.
“The Man of God”The struggle between good and evil plays out in an epic clash of wills in ancient Egypt where a people remains trapped and bound in slavery. To Moses, a man in Pharaoh’s household, this is normal. Moses cannot, however, escape his past. He was born a Hebrew, the son of a slave, and God has been watching him. A chance encounter in the desert with an impossible, heatless flame strengthens Moses. With his enslaved brother at his side, Moses will face down the magicians of ancient Egypt and pit himself against the most powerful man in the kingdom, Pharaoh. Moses fights for his people’s freedom, but Pharaoh’s hard heart threatens to tear the country apart when God Himself intervenes and reminds the world of His power.
“40 Days and 40 Nights”There is nowhere to run. There is nowhere to hide. No one can escape the storm that is coming. The gathering clouds turn day to night, and the rains turn stone to mud. Unbeknownst to the world, the waters will not stop rising, and everyone left behind will be drowned. Noah is determined to ensure that his family will survive once the waters recede, but that will require him to build a shelter capable of surviving a storm set to last 40 days and 40 nights. It is not just Noah’s family on the line either. If he fails, the world itself will drown.
“Meet Me at the Threshing Floor”He was a wealthy landowner. She was a widow and a foreigner who followed along behind the field workers, scavenging what fallen grain she could find. Their worlds had no reason to cross until Boaz learned that Ruth was taking care of his widowed relative Naomi. Slowly, the two came to love one another, but a happily ever after will be hard to find. Another relative has a better claim to Ruth’s hand, and he may not be willing to give her up.
A once proud kingdom has been brought to its knees. Its people are oppressed, its temple violated and any hint of rebellion is crushed ruthlessly. These are distant concerns for ordinary souls in a sleepy country town in Galilee, but Jesus of Nazareth has never been ordinary. Born of a virgin, His mother and father know He is destined for greatness. Jesus is the Messiah, but that title has never been more dangerous to claim. Rome is hunting for the fabled Messiah, the anointed king who threatens Roman rule. Jesus, however, is not the warrior His people are expecting. He has no interest in political matters. He has a far greater goal. Completing His mission, however, will not be easy. Jesus will face not only the full might of Rome, but an even more dangerous enemy, the Father of Lies, Satan. The souls of all mankind are on the line as Jesus must destroy not Rome, but death itself.
“A Hebrew of Hebrews”“I was circumcised on the eighth day, am of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. As for righteousness based on the law, I am faultless.” So are the words of Paul of Tarsus, a Roman citizen and Pharisee. They are words to be proud of, but Paul takes no pride in them. His hands are stained with blood from hunting down and killing members of a strange new sect of Jews who claim that the Messiah has already come. An encounter with Jesus Christ, however, proves to Paul that these Christians were telling the truth. Paul has spilled the blood of God’s people. Christ would be justified in extracting any price from Paul for his actions. Jesus, however, does not command Paul to die. Instead, He asks for something more. Paul is to become one of His followers and take the Gospel to the gentiles. Becoming a Christian missionary, however, will require Paul to turn his back on everything he once knew in order to earn the trust of those who he once sought to exterminate.
“Wormwood”“I remember what the world used to look like. It was vibrant and full of laughter. It was far from perfect, but it was alive. That all changed once the disasters started. First it was the war. Then it was famine. Then it was earthquakes and tsunamis. Everyone ignored it, but then the sky turned black and the stars themselves fell to Earth. It’s only gotten worse since.”
The world has crumbled, society has collapsed and it is every man for himself. Amid the chaos and destruction, two siblings work to shelter each other from the dangers all around them. Food is scarce and safety scarcer. Still, they dream of being reunited with their parents one day. When an opportunity comes to join other survivors at a specifically designed compound, the siblings have to choose whether to look after themselves or make one last attempt at finding their family. They are running out of time, though, because there is another disaster coming. The impending collision with the comet Wormwood will mean certain death for anyone away from a shelter, and after a certain time, the compound will shut its doors and leave the siblings to the mercy of Wormwood.
God could have chosen any medium to impart His word. Out of all the ways to teach, however, God chose to use stories. The Old Testament is overflowing with tales of people and chronicles of events rather than relying purely on the lists of laws found in books like Leviticus and Numbers. When Jesus came to Earth, He used parables and stories to teach His disciples. When the disciples recorded Jesus’ life, they chose to use a narrative form.
People remember stories. They remember the characters for whom they rooted and for whom they mourned. They remember the battles that had them on the edge of their seat and the blossoming love that made them smile. God knows His people well. He knew that if He wanted people to remember and to listen, stories were the way to go. The Bible may lack the colorful CGI of Hollywood, but the Good Book contains the stories that were so important and touched so many people that they survived for thousands of years. Those are the characters and chronicles that are written on people’s hearts for their entire lives, not splashed across a silver screen for a few weeks in the summer. So kick back, crack open the Bible and enjoy some of the greatest tales ever told.