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Taken … A Great Illustration

March 10, 2009

Most of us just watch movies for “face-value.”  We have the “WYSIGYG” perspective at the theatre, “What You See Is What You Get.”

But I have a bit of a hobby to find something inspirational, spiritual or illustrative of a message from God … when I watch movies.

My recent assignment in my philosophy class is to watch a movie and write a paper on the worldviews illustrated in the movie.  Whilst this may be evident to some at “face value,” … I still contend that there is more being said than simply what the talking pictures say.

Last weekend, I watched the movie, “Taken” with Liam Neeson.  I’ve not seen many movies in which he starred that have not been good movies.  This film is rated PG-13, and admittedly there are some sexual connotations and much violence in the story. However, I found much more … beyond the obvious.

You know how we, as children of God, will make our requests known to Him … and sometimes He says “No” and we puff up and pout … thinking God doesn’t love us as much as someone He says “yes” to?

And we’ve all heard about seeking God’s will … and seeking God’s perfect will.

Well, the God messages just start pouring out at the beginning of this movie.

Liam Neeson is a retired military man … most likely some kind of Green Beret or intelligence personnel.  He’s spent his life in the service of his country, having to sacrifice time with family in order to protect the good of all.

His ex-wife resents this … having to take second place to “his mission.”

They have a 17-year old daughter, who asks his permission to go to France for several months.  Liam’s character has some trepidation about this, and doesn’t feel it is the “best” for his daughter. (plus he has other plans which involves spending time together and getting to know each other better)

But she puffs up, pouts, throws a fit, and he gives in and allows her to go to France, with some conditions. She has to call him and let him know her every move basically.  She agrees, but her motives are not pure and she has lied to him about her pretense for taking the trip.

Sound familiar?  Ever made a promise to God in order to get your way, and then not follow through?

Not long after she arrives in Paris, the enemy swoops down, in the image of a handsome young man, inviting them to a party.  But actually, he works for a mob who kidnaps young women to sell them into slavery … sex slavery.

When his daughter starts to see that her friend has lied and they have no chaperones and are basically on their own, she calls her father. While on the phone, she sees through a window that her friend is being attacked and carried out of the apartment.  Her father warns her that she will be taken too, but that he will come after her.  He tells her exactly what to do when they attack her … and afterwards, he hears the kidnapper breathing via the cell phone (on speaker phone).  He warns the kidnapper that he will hunt him down and find him and kill him; to which the villain replies, “Good luck.”

There’s lots of action, and some of it quite unbelievable for an old man like Liam Neeson.  However, stepping out of the realm of face-value, I believe the vigilant pursuit he launches to find and save his beautiful daughter is exactly what God does when we fall into enemy hands/bondage.

As an illustration only, if you watch this movie seeing Liam’s character as that of God, or Jesus, trying to rescue His Beloved; and you see these villains as Satan’s demons in his service to round up and abuse the ones Jesus loves so dearly … your heart can’t help but be stirred.

As it turns out, the women are sold to the highest bidder on the auction block to the richest and most evil.  His daughter, brings a very high price, because she is pure!

He does indeed find the enemy.  He finds traitors along the way who have sold their souls to the devil for their own gain … at the sacrifice of young girls like his daughter.  He doesn’t give up … he keeps going and going and going until he gets to where she is.

After beating up, destroying, killing all the minions of the devil, he kicks open a door to find his daughter in the arms of an old, fat sheik.  The sheik knows he’s powerless against the Father of this girl, and he starts to say, “Let us negotiate.”  But he doesn’t get the words out completely … as Liam lays him out dead, with a bullet between the eyes.

His daughter falls into her Father’s arms … breathless, in shock and disbelief and said, “You came for me. You came for me.”

And He replied, “I said that I would.”

I’m not one to try and ruin a whole movie … especially for those who actually like to watch for “face value.”  But I wanted to spin this one out because I didn’t want those who study film and story to miss out on a great opportunity to see how God will and has moved heaven and hell to get to our hearts.

At face value, it’s a story of good and evil.  It’s a story of unforgiveness, human attempts to control or manipulate to get our own way, and a total disregard and disrespect for human value and life.

But still, it’s a true representation of the state of our world … the enemy is out there, prowling and waiting to pounce.  We go about unconcerned where he lurks, and how he wants to put us into bondage, slavery to our passions and desires (and those of others).  We’re naive, unsuspecting and sometimes down-right ignorant of his ploys.

We’re also oblivious to how much God wants us to stay near Him. We dismiss his “good advice and wise counsel” to pursue what we want, when we want it.  Sometimes, it’s almost too late, or we’re in deep trouble before we “make the call” to Him.

Not every beauty in this film was rescued.  Many died or were destroyed mentally, emotionally and spiritually by the drugs and sexual abuse they were forced into.

I encourage you to go see the movie.  On the surface, it won’t appear to be a chick-flick … lots of action and guns, and other destruction.  But, with the right perspective and keen eye, a viewer can certainly see the depth of the love that God has for His Beloved.

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