There is nothing like a good metaphor to communicate an idea succinctly and clearly. Good communicators have used them since
the time before oral communication was reduced to writing. Every
effective preacher of God’s Word understands how effectively a
well-crafted metaphor can bring understanding to his hearers.
They are among the “fitly spoken words” that are like “apples of
gold in silver settings” (Proverbs 25:11).
The Use of Biblical Metaphors
The use of metaphors is one of the reasons the Bible is such a
robust book, communicating more truth per square inch than any
other volume. Think of the countless truths about our God that
are communicated by the simple phrase, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
Immediately God’s protection, His provision, His comfort,
His leading, and His tenderness all come flooding into the mind as
a picture is painted in our hearts that would take thousands of
words to explain. The same metaphor, when used of God’s leader
in His church, is equally instructive (and condemning) as God’s
man seeks to emulate his Lord’s leadership when leading his people.
How could the protection of our God be better communicated
than describing Him as our “Refuge and Strength,” a God
Who surrounds His people “as the mountains surround Jerusalem”
(Psalm 125:2)? The confidence and comfort His people are
able to have in Him is like “a weaned child with its mother” (Psalm
131, cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:7). We have a God Whose “yoke is easy
and His burden is light.”.