Obedience and Chocolate

Obedience and Chocolate

by Jacob Hancock

Mel Stuart’s 1971 movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” tells the story of Charlie. As a young boy living in a ramshackle house with his parents and four grandparents, Charlie longs for a better situation for himself and his entire family. He sees a chance for that change when famous chocolatier Willy Wonka announces a tour of his chocolate factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate if you are able to find one of his golden tickets. Charlie eventually gets his hand on a coveted golden ticket, and he and his Grandpa Joe participate in the tour of Wonka’s chocolate factory. Over the course of the tour, each of the other 4 children disobey Wonka’s rules in some way. They are punished severely for it. Charlie stays steadfast until he and Grandpa Joe come across and drink some sodas that cause them to levitate- ultimately breaking Wonka’s rules as well. However, when Charlie chooses to not take revenge against Wonka after he denies Charlie and Grandpa Joe their lifetime chocolate supply, Wonka realizes that Charlie is a good kid. He decides that Charlie will inherit his chocolate fortune once Wonka retires.

At its core, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is a story about responsibility and obedience. Each of the children disobey Wonka, and they are denied their reward. Similarly, Deuteronomy 19 through 28 shows us the rules that God has laid out for the people of Israel as well as the consequences for disobeying them. God commands the Israelites to provide refuge for those wrongfully accused of murder (Deuteronomy 19), to offer peace to enemies first (Deuteronomy 20), and to be kind to animals (Deuteronomy 22 and 25). God also details a number of punishments associated with breaking any of these commands. The commandments and associated punishments mentioned throughout Deuteronomy are meant to set the people of Israel apart from the tribes that surround them. God says in Deuteronomy 26 that the Israelites are God’s chosen people. God blesses the righteous and curses the unrighteous as He says in chapters 27 and 28. We, like the Israelites, are also bound to God’s commandments, and we have inherited the blessings and curses that come with choosing whether or not to follow the path that God has laid out for us. Even in our disobedience, according to Deuteronomy 28, God uses us just as He used the Israelites as witnesses to the nations.

Although Charlie himself still fell short of obeying all of Willy Wonka’s rules, by seeing the entitlement and disobedience of his fellow contestants throughout the tour, Charlie was able to recognize that neither he nor any of the other children deserve the reward. This is exactly why Wonka chooses him to inherit his factory. We are not perfect as humans, and we never will be while on Earth. However, God has provided us with a path toward righteousness, and he will reward us with the inheritance of His Kingdom if we choose to follow it.

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