The Siege

The Siege stars Denzel Washington as FBI Agent Anthony Hubbard, Bruce Willis as General William Devereaux, Annette Bening as Elise Kraft, and Tony Shalhoub as FBI Agent Frank Haddad. This movie was a great vehicle for Bruce Willis to showcase his talents, a much better vehicle than Armageddon that attracted viewers only because of his presence.  For Denzel Washington, another great selection-- if you did not see them when they were out, be sure to rent Crimson Tide, Courage Under Fire, and The Preacher’s Wife.

More than anything else, this movie is a civics lesson: America is not great because we are the richest or most powerful nation on Earth. America is great because our system of government allows the personal freedoms our citizens need to risk everything for their chance at greatness. And the existence of such a system is far more important than whether one actually succeeds.

The Siege is also a story of courage. It takes great courage for Agent Hubbard to stand alone against a roller coaster of fear usurping freedoms of those whose physical appearance and station in life meet the profile of those considered a threat to society. In the case of The Siege, it is middle-Easterners, but over the years, Americans have been all-to-anxious too limit and deny others based on profiles.  (Free people should not live under the threat of terror; but America is hard at learning that peace, tranquility, and freedom for the masses are seldom achieved and maintained by denying the same to any minority.)  Addendum

You'll find The Siege much more complex than movie promos have led you to believe. I really want you to see this one. It does contain minor is sex and violence, so it’s not one for the kids.

Now for the Scriptural parallel—

Liberty at any price? Freedom at any price? Is it even possible to have freedom and liberty at any price? Does that not mean that both freedom and liberty are subordinate to whatever else might be involved? Does the end truly justify the means, ever? Or is it always better to do the right thing, the right way?

Moses was right in his desire to deliver Israel from the Egyptians; but God did not intend that he kill an Egyptian to do so. For this act, Moses would spend 40 years in the wilderness where he learned to hear and obey God. {See Exodus 2:10-3:1-10}. David was right in seeking to bring the ark of the Lord from Kirjathjearim to the city of David so that God’s Spirit would be in the midst of God’s people. But the ark was to be carried only the Levites, not loaded on a cart drawn and by oxen. So when Uzza reached out to steady it (a seemingly good thing to do as David was brining the ark back to Israel) and was killed, it was not because he was evil, but because God’s law had been broken. Fearing to bring the ark further, King David left it at the house of Obededom, the Gittite, for three months until he decided to carry the ark God’s way. {See 1 Chronicles 13-15.}   In both cases the effects of good notions were delayed because God’s servants did not proceed His way.

It is interesting that Christianity has been called The Way. It is the method, the process. Yet, it is not the way to something; it is The Way of life.  Within The Way there are ways or methods or processes. God had specific processes for delivering Israel (which was needed) and for transporting the ark (which was also needed). He also has specific processes for just about everything else we need. Within Scripture there is a method of offering praise to God, for making requests of God, for honoring God with our labor, for growing strong in Christ, for rest, for eating, and there is more to this list.

We should expect God’s ways to work.   That God’s ways do not measure up to the wisdom of the learned, such as we, does not make them less effective:  Naaman, the captain of the Syrian army, was offended when directed by the prophet Elisha to go and wash in the Jordan seven times to be cured of his leprosy. He had thought that his healing would involve some great process. If mere washing could bring about his healing, he could have done that in any Syrian river.  Fortunately, he accepted the counsel of his servant, "(2 Ki 5:13 KJV) " . . .My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?" And he did the small thing, as directed, and was healed.

The ways found within The Way are often small things. So small in fact, that we often work to find more difficult processes, striving to play some part in our own salvation. We must avoid this, least we receive that for which we have labored rather than God's free gift.