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Where are the symbols or figurative language in these verses? What are the symbols trying to teach? Contemplate the symbols and figurative language.

Look For: Look for words that are symbols for something or someone.

Example: In the book of Revelation, John continually chooses to represent Christ as the conquering hero but symbolically calls him the "Lamb of God." Why this symbol and not an animal more powerful? Why is the Devil described as a Dragon? Looking at the symbols helps us to understand their characteristics and ways to defeat temptation. Normally we would fear a dragon more than a lamb, and that is what Satan wants. But when we realize that the seeming simpleness and purity of Christ's message of salvation, we can conquer even the most seemingly dangerous of foes.

During your lesson preparation, use reliable commentary like the Student Study Guide or Institute manual to help you understand difficult to understand symbols. The Student Study guide is full of great definitions for scripture terms and symbols, so check there for fast help.

(Adapted from Panning for Gold: Various Methods to Understand and Apply the Scriptures to Ourselves by Eric Bacon, Northwest Area Seminaries)

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December 31, 2012
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