The Book Of Eli
WARNING – this is a 15 Movie and contains some serious violence and language at times. Nevertheless, it is an excellent movie and very powerful in many ways. It charts a ‘post apocalyptic’ world and the tone, music and action reflects this.
The main essence of the movie is that Denzel Washington is carrying a Bible and warding off those who would seek to kill him and take it.
WARNING – Spoilers contained below, so if you want to watch the movie first do so before using this!!
Value and Compassion
Chapter 10 (40:10 – 43:32)
“Can you remember what it was like in the world before.” Eli (Denzel Washington) talks about what was of value and shows some of the hypocrisy of the world. He also shows compassion to Solaris (Mila Kunis), prays with her and offers her food.
Sometimes people talk (in a mocking way) about ‘traditional’ values and traditional ways of doing things (like marriage). They say the word ‘traditional’ like it’s an old fashioned, out of date thing – but this is not true. (Truth is marriage is a God idea and has always been between one man and one woman!) God’s Word was written by God (who is outside of time) for the whole of time – including the future. It is never out of date!
In the Book of Eli, Eli talks about doing things in the old way and by this he means simple values like sharing, caring, eating together and prayer. Many Americans would see this as one of the values that America was based on when the Pilgrim Fathers landed. And they’d be right! It’s a good thing and makes us question what really matters in life – people, not things.
The clip ends when the shot cuts to the street outside and then goes black.
The Bible – The voice of God – The Path
Chapter 19 (From the start of the chapter, 01:03:09 – 01:07:26). Eli says that the Bible in his possession is not just ‘any book’. He then reads a bit of Psalm 23. Solaris asks about the book and Eli replies that it is the only copy because some people made it their business to destroy it, even blaming war on the Bible. This sounds like today where some seek to ban the Bible across the world and others like to ‘blame’ the Bible and God for the wars through time and in the Bible. But this is not true. The Word of God is the way to truth – Jesus.
–> Click here if you’re interested in more apologetics about the Bible (link checked Feb 2019)
Eli also talks about hearing a voice ‘like it was coming from inside’. The voice led him to a place where he found the book (the Bible). The voice told Eli a path was laid out for him and to keep the book safe. This speaks of how God leads us in a still, small voice; of how God has a path and plan for each of our lives and how we should walk in that path, following and obeying God (and his Word).
He tells Solaris he knows what he heard, he knows what he hears and that’s he’s not crazy. He wouldn’t have got to where he was without help. The same is true for us.
The clip ends with Eli walking away, squatting and looking up to the moonlight.
The Written Word [Spoiler Alert]
The Spoiler is that while the evil guy has stolen the Bible (or so he thinks), it turns out to have been written in braille (language for people with sight problems). Eli has memorised the whole Bible and in a sense he ‘is the Bible’ – a walking, talking Bible. He has a scholar write down everything exactly as he says it and recounts the whole Bible which is written down and then printed.
Chapter 22 (01:35:22 – 01:37:02… or you can let it play and show the evil that happens)
Start again Chapter 24 (01:40:47 – movie end at 01:44:14).
The movie ends with Eli quoting 2 Timothy 4.7 which says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
The whole clip is quite powerful because Denzel Washington speaks out the Bible from Genesis 1 about there being darkness (in the movie and in our world there is great darkness, evil). Then he comes to the verse about God saying “let there be light, and there was light”). Eli (like you and I) are part of that light – we are the city on a hill shining the light (which is God in us).
Like Eli, we should also be ‘walking talking Bibles’. We should be knowing, living, obeying, speaking the Bible. Then when people ‘read us’ as God’s ‘letter to the world’ (see 2 Corinthians 3.2) and we would more accurately reflect and see more people drawn to Jesus!