Christian Parallels in The Lion King

Last week I had the opportunity to share some Christian parallels of the movie “Aladdin” in my blog. It was honestly really neat to see how the messages of the movie fit perfectly into the blog I was currently writing. So, I decided to try this again with another movie.

 

So, this week on Christian Parallels in the Movies, we have “The Lion King!”

Christian parallels in the lion king.jpg

Movie Recap

As the movie opens, we see the beauty of Africa. Land. Water. Sun. Sky. Animals. Lots of animals. Animals of the sky. Animals in the water. Animals of the land. All of these animals are living in harmony as the viewer’s attention is brought to the King (Mufassa), his wife, and new baby cub (Simba). There’s beauty. There’s harmony. There’s peace.

Then, we meet Scar. Scar is Mufassa’s brother and Simba’s uncle. Within his first scene, we learn that Scar is power-hungry, bitter, deceitful, and willing to do whatever it takes to get his way.

Mufassa, however, is a wise king and good father. He takes every opportunity to teach and lead his son. He teaches him the circle of life, the natural order of things. He teaches him to respect and care for all of creation. He also warns his son to stay away from the dark places because their kingdom covers everything the light touches.

Now, Simba is a young cub and naive. His uncle is able to plant a little seed of doubt, so Simba decides to check out that dark shadowy place, finding himself in a lot of trouble. And Mufassa protects him.

Though Mufassa is extremely disappointed, he continues to instill wisdom in his son. He points him to the stars, telling him the great kings of the past live there, and that he is never alone.

Sadly Mufassa’s reign is about to come to an end. His brother is able to carry out a terrible plan and have him killed. Then he is also able to whisper a lie into Simba’s mind, making him think he is responsible for his father’s death. Then his evil uncle tells him to run away and never return.

Simba listens. He runs away. Yet, he carries the weight of the past on his shoulders.

He meets some friends, Timon and Pumbaa, who help him learn a new moto, “Hannakua Matta.” With some new friends by his side, Simba is able to make a new life for himself.

Then one day he reconnects with his childhood best friend, Nala, by pure consequence. Nala tells Simba that Scar let the hyenas take over the Prideland. There’s no food and no water; it’s horrible. Simba can no longer hide! And he is torn. He knows where he should be, but he thinks he can’t go back.

But Rufiki knows the way. Rufiki appears telling Simba he knows his father. He tells Simba to look at his reflection. As Simba looks at his reflection, he is directed to the stars in the sky.

There he sees his dad. Mufasa tells Simba he has forgotten who he is. He is his son and the one true king.

Now, Simba must return home. To a land that Scar is now running. When Simba comes back to Pride Rock, it looks horrible. “We’re going to fight your uncle for that!” his friends ask.

Simba returns, confronts the past, learns the truth, and defeats his uncle. He then takes his rightful place as the king of Pride Rock.

The movie ends exactly as it began. There’s peace, harmony, and beauty as all of the animals are celebrating the birth of a new lion cub.

Christian Parallels

The movie opens with all of creation in harmony under the righteous king, Mufassa. There’s peace. There’s order. It is beautiful. This reminds me of Genesis. In the beginning God created everything, and He created it good! He gave order and purpose to every living creature.

Then Scar entered our scene. In this movie, Scar is our bad guy. He saw all this beauty and only wanted power. He is the representation of evil, like Satan. Scar planted a seed of doubt, just like the serpent planted a seed of doubt in Eve. From that seed of doubt, came sin.

Now, God’s beautiful creation is now fighting sin. And just like in the movie, there are dark places His people should not go. Those dark places are different for each person. But let’s be clear, those places are places where you are going to fall back into a sin that consumes you.

I’d like to skip ahead here and point out the differences in the two kingdoms. When Mufassa, the righteous king ruled, there was beauty, harmony, and peace. When Scar, the greedy, prideful king ruled, there was destruction. Scar paid no attention to the natural order of creation and allowed the hyenas to take over the Prideland.

Likewise, when we allow God, the righteous king, to rule our hearts, there is peace and beauty. However, when allow sin to rule our hearts, there is nothing but destruction. Satan’s goal since the beginning of time, has been to separate creation from God with a little lie… a little sin.

Sin can weigh us down… make us feel unworthy… cause us to run from our purposes… make us doubt everything we have ever been taught. That’s what happened to Simba. Simba didn’t even commit the sin he believed he did. He tried to run from it. But it crippled him.

Simba is able to start a new life separate from his purpose. The life was a good life… but not complete. But then, by pure coincidence, he reconnects with his childhood best friend, who tells him how badly he is needed. This happenstance, was a plan of the writers to bring Simba back and redeem his kingdom.

This is our story too! God is the author of life. He had a plan from the beginning to restore and redeem his creation.

AND He is writing our story too. Trust him with the story. He knows the way. He will lead you!

Much life Rifiki knew the way for Simba. Rafiki shows Simba his reflection which points him to his dad. “Remember who you are. You are my son and the one true king.” He didn’t confront the past. He didn’t clear up the past. He simply reminded him who he was. He has the power to do the right thing because of who he is.

Remember who you are. You are a child of God. It doesn’t matter how far you run from God, He is there. He wants you to be in relationship with Him. Though there are no old kings of the past in the stars, God is there. You are never alone.

But confronting the past will hurt. This movie did not skim over that detail. It actually enhances it by adding the humor of Rafiki hitting Simba on head with his stick. That pain is real, it hurts, but because of who Simba is, he can confront it.

Because of who you area you can too. You have to confront that past. It will hurt. But by doing so, you are confessing your sins and giving them to God. Once you confront that past, you have given God room to move. You have literally broken the chains of sin. You are free to be the person you were created to be.

Remember who you are.

You are not the lie you believe. You are not the sum of things that have or haven’t happened to you.

You are a child of God. Perfectly and wonderfully made. In the image of God Himself. You were designed with a purpose! You have a God who loves you and is always with you! He started a good work in you and He is faithful to carry it out to completion!

There’s more! In the movie, Simba came back and redeemed his kingdom. We too have been redeemed by a righteous King’s son who shed his blood to cover our sins! Because we have a redeemer, we can live in peace and harmony. Yes, sin still exist. Yes, we will be tempted everyday. But because of who we are, children of God and covered by the blood of Christ, we too are made righteous!

A Poison Ivy Wreath

This week we have seen the beautiful colors of fall in St. Louis! As my kids were playing outside, they kept showing me the colorful leaves that they would find. So, I decided we should make an autumn wreath for our front door.

Oh, they had a blast finding all the leaves around the yard. But I specifically wanted them to get the red and orange ones.

Then my girls and I glued them to a cardboard circle. While we waited for the wreath to dry, we all played outside. I noticed a bunch of orange and red leaves on a vine twirling up a tree.

“Hey honey, what is that?” I said pointing to the colorful vine.

“Poison Ivy… or poison oak,” my husband replied.

I did a little gulp… no way… So, I had to verify by checking out Google…

Yep… we just made a beautiful fall wreath out of poison ivy and poison oak… I itched a little bit…

But they were so pretty… yet still just as bad…

It’s like this lie wrapped up in beautiful colors.

It’s that little bit of hope we are looking for but in all the wrong places.

 

a poison ivy wreath

We all fall into this trap… even as Christians…

We know we should find our purpose, our identity, our comfort, our hope… (ok, I can literally put anything here) … We know we should place all that in Jesus.

But we see beautiful colors… then we don’t realize it’s poison.

My family and I just watched the remake of Aladdin.  I honestly loved it. I felt like a kid again. And let me just say, no one else could have played a better Genie than Will Smith!  But what I loved most about this version was that they spelled out the messages of the movie… (maybe they did in the original, but it’s been a while.)

1- You cannot live a lie. It will consume you. The Genie was able to make Aladdin look like a prince on the outside,  BUT what is on the inside is what mattered. And guess what? The princess didn’t like the showy prince; she liked the man inside- Aladdin. 

Appearance changes nothing. No matter what is going on in your life- you are a child of God. Don’t forget that. We live in a fallen world. A world full of sin, hurt, and pain. We can try to pretend we have it all together, but that’s a lie. We don’t. We can’t do this life alone. We weren’t designed to. We must free ourselves from the bondage of slavery to sin by admitting we are sinful and in need of a Savior. 

2- Having more will not make you happy. The Genie told Aladdin over and over again that having more would not make him happy. More money. More power. More _____. It can’t. Happiness doesn’t come from stuff. 

There is only one thing that can truly satisfy- Jesus. We were designed for a relationship with Creator. Yet, we look to all those worldly things- created things- to fill that void.   

3- Having more changes people. As Aladdin got what he wanted in the movie, he wanted more of it. We have the same tendencies. We have success, we want more. We have money, we want more. 

What if… what if we sought more of God? What if we sought to share God with everyone we could?

How great would our world be if we were all filled with Christ! Actions are an overflow of the heart. 

Remember God created everything good, sin corrupted it all.

So, what’s leading your life? What’s consuming your heart?

Where are your treasures? Your family? Your job? Your status? Other people’s opinions? A hobby? 

It looks pretty. It looks harmless. And maybe it is… but maybe, maybe it’s poison.

You don’t have to sit back and pretend that everything is perfect. We all have struggles. We all have problems.   We live in a fallen world. Sin has corrupted everything. Even a beautiful plant. It’s not what it seems. We must stand guard. 

The Bible tells us to guard our hearts above all else because everything we do flows from it. Everything. Where your heart is, there is your treasure. 

Ask yourself,  “Is your treasure heaven?” 

If you cannot honestly answer yes, I understand. We live in a world full of sin and temptation. But that is not a free pass to sin. It is a reason to draw closer to our Creator. 

We have to guard our hearts. We have to recognize that sin wrapped up in pretty colors. There is only one thing that can satisfy that longing in your heart. When you start to feel that emptiness. When you start to reach for that idol to fill that void- stop and pray. Shift your focus to God.  Ask God to see this situation through His eyes. 

Don’t fall into the trap of a beautiful sin. Fall into the arms of your God!