Post 112 / The Next Language

The Hunt

One of the most universal motifs in telling stories world-wide is the hunt.  My earliest memories are of sitting on my father’s knee listening to him tell tales of Brer Rabbit and the Fox.  My imagination was captured by stories that displayed the hunter and the hunted.  I became a hunter in a culture where existence depended on getting local meat.  I learned trapping from the Alaskan natives. I found in my involvement with native peoples all over the Americas that the hunt was and still is the essence of survival for many.  Stories of a hunt are universally enjoyed and were what I most often used for evaluating discourse structure in languages that still did not have the Gospel.

Even though the outcome was one hundred percent predictable, I never tired of watching the coyote chase the road runner… along with a host of other characters that carried on the chase.  I learned that the characters changed from culture to culture but this motif in story telling is universal.  Most American action movies involve some kind of chase.

Is it possible that this motif is universally understood because God is on a great hunt to find and redeem His image which He imbedded in man but which has been tarnished by the fall?

For years I have wanted to create a script describing the details of the conflict between God and the deceiver.  Complementary to the Biblical record of much of this conflict, most animist worldviews would already have seen and experienced more of this drama than we in Western cultures ever imagined.

However, focusing only on this conflict is missing much of the story — a story that is much more subtle and hidden from the flesh and blood, hand to hand cultures of the world.  The missing part of the story is the love story.  Romance is another form of the hunt motif, and I think for that reason it is hidden in the heart of the Bible in a small enigmatic book of the Bible:  The Song of Solomon.

Many commentators identify this story as a picture of Christ and the church.  I favor the plot that makes this a romance between two people.  The king sees the Shulamite on one of his outings to the country and calls her.  She runs away, startled that the king would take notice of her.  She was probably suspicious of evil intent and could not imagine royalty taking a genuine interest in a lowly country girl.

The next move (by some interpretations) has the king disguising himself as a lowly shepherd.  In this guise he successfully wins her affections.  This is such a striking foretaste of Jesus coming to earth to win us.  The Shulamite finally recognizes her lover as the king himself and then the roles of hunter and hunted oscillate as they seek for each other.  After final marriage and union we find this verse which speaks of pleasant fruits “old” and “new” coming out of the intimacy of the wedding chamber.

SS 7:13 …”At our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.”

This speaks to me of our relationship with Christ — a mutual romance that comes out of a patient and costly hunt on the part of the Hunter.  What should come out of that intimate and loving relationship is fruit.  We must remember this in our service to our King.  What comes into being outside of a loving relationship with Christ is suspect.  Only as we love our Savior can we love the lost with God’s love.  What could have been a drudgery and a regimented militaristic search for the lost becomes a patient, joyous, loving exercise of fellowship with our Lover. Only out of the intimacy of a love relationship with Christ can we begin to understand a tiny bit the meaning of “For God so loved the world…”

The fact is that in this church age the hunt goes on.  We were hunted and won and in the Spirit of the Lover we are to continue the hunt to the sometimes ignorant, fearful, and fleeing lost. The surprise in this hunt is to find that in some cases we find the hunted are actually themselves hunting for truth, meaning, and reason — sometimes also for peace and rest from endless cycles of hate and revenge and fearful reprisals.

I remember the story I heard from the Eskimos who told of a hunter who was carefully tracking a large polar bear when he looked back to see that the bear was tracking him!

My conversations with thoughtful shamans often revealed a discontent with the deception and manipulation of the spirit world and the strong suspicion that something more wholesome was missing.  This is where the intrigue of a true love story moves in with great power and credibility.  What a contrast to the deception and murderous intents of the evil one.

Ultimate intent is the crucial and critical element of any love relationship.  The Shulamite correctly questioned the intent and interest of the pompous, noble King Solomon (who already had 60 “queens” and unnumbered concubines and virgins {whoever they were}). Only through humiliation and stepping down into her world did the hunt become successful. Only then did the hunt become a romance. I suggest this is a pattern for our ongoing hunt for the lost. Only our own love relationship with Christ can guide us to live out correctly understood overtures to the lost.  May God help us to bring out those fruitful gestures — both “old” and “new.”

God Bless,

Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director

Global Recordings Network USA

If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general, please contact RolandHeck@GlobalRecordings.Net

Previous “The Next Language” posts
Bit by Bit – Post 111
The Dark Side – Post 110
All or Nothing – Post 109
The Emptying – Post 108
Back to the Crib – Post 107
Truly Sustainable Service – Post 106
The Mountain Taker – Post 105
Give Me That Mountain – Post 104
Epicenter of Languages – Post 103
Holy Envy – Post 102
Watchman – Post 101
First the Blade – Post 100
Marghi – Post 99
Talents – Post 98
Berom – Post 97
God is my Wit(h)ness – Post 96
Scarlet Chested Sun Bird – Post 95
Fountains of Water – Post 94
A Glorious Landing – Post 93
Tale of Three Sisters – Post 92
Collaboration – Post 91
Pick Your Fears Carefully – Post 90
Mixteco del Progreso – Post 89
Go – Post 88
Those Word Lists – Post 87
Altars – Post 86
Oh, for a Thousand Tongues – Post 85
Voices in the Wilderness – Post 84
Nigeria – First Impressions – Post 83
From the Land of Nod – Post 82
Tribute to Mexico – 1967 – 2022 – Post 81
Miniaturization – Post 80
Knowing The Times – Post 79
God Comes to a Dirty World – Post 78
Corn in Mexico – Post 77
When the Church Says No – Post 76
War – Post 75
Theirs Is the Kingdom – Post 74
The Hippie Era Lives On – Post 73
Genesis of a Recording Set – Post 72
Back Tracking – Post 71
Witnesses- Post 70
Who Is Your Owner? – Post 69
An Unsolicited Endorsement – Post 68
Oral Tradition – Post 67
Works of  Man – Post 66
Deliverance – Post 65
New Discoveries – Post 64
The Wall of Pain – Post 63
Is There a Place for the Gospel in Your Story – Post 62
The Love Pyramid – Post 61
Obsession – Post 60
Verb Tenses in Hebrews – Post 59
The Unseen Weapon – Post 58
The Gospel Arrives in Zapoteco:Elotepec – Post 57
Fishing – GRN Style – Post 56
A New Day in Mexico – Post 55
Seeking – Post 54
Pick Your Battles – Post 53
How Big Is Your God? – Post 52
A Muted Gospel? – Post 51
Dedication Service for Marcos – Post 50
Two Weeks, Two Months, Two Years – Post 49
What Will You Give to Jesus – Post 48
Special Assignment – Post 47
The Good and the Best – Post 46
How Many Languages Are There? – Post 45
Verifying Speech Varieties – Post 44
Those God Things – Post 43
Meet Notch, the Desert Cottontail – Post 42
The Lost Languages – Post 41
The Rest of the Yoke – Post 40
What About Those Last Languages – Post 39
A Yoke That Fits – Post 38
The Other Side – Post 37
It Is Finished – Post 36
On the Ground in Culiacan – Post 35
I Will Go With Thee – Post 34
Unseen Warfare – Post 33
God of the Gaps – Post 32
The Father of Faith Missions – Post 31
WAIT – Post 30
Our Ultimate Weapon – Post 29
What Are You Doing Here – Post 28
Recordist Training Course Update – Post 27
Still Shameful – Post 26
Numbers Update – Post 25
The Gospel and Idolatry – Post 24
Could Ye Not Pray – Post 23
John the Baptist and the New Normal – Post 22
Genesis of a Script – Post 21
Embena Experiences – Post 20
An Easter Like No Other – Post 19
Go Or Stay Home – Post 18
The Next Language – Post 17
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