Job 5:6-7 NKJV For affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble spring from the ground; (7) Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward.
Zec 13:9 NKJV I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.' "
1Pe 1:6-7 NKJV In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
So, back to Dobby.... why do I think Dobby is a nice illustration of a Christian? Granted, this is not a perfect illustration, but it seems to me to have its points. Dobby, when we first meet him, is a slave and furthermore he is a slave to a harsh taskmaster- the nefarious Lucius Malfoy. I can't ignore the root of Mr. Malfoy's name: "Lucius"- as it's the same as "Lucifer". So, Dobby is basically a slave to the devil. He's dressed in filthy rags to remind him of his state. The only way he can be freed is if his master gives him an article of clothing. Lucius Malfoy isn't about to do that, of course. Harry Potter ends up tricking Lucius by hiding a piece of Harry's clothing (a sock) in a book; he hands the book to Lucius who then hands it to Dobby. Dobby opens the book, finds the sock (never said it had to be the slave master's piece of clothing, right?) and becomes a free elf. After realizing that Harry has tricked him- although Harry played according to the rules!- Lucius is furious. He doesn't care one whit for Dobby; he's just mad that he's lost a slave. Harry, on the other hand, does care for Dobby, as Jesus Christ cares for His sheep. Likewise, we're dressed in filthy rags (Isa 64:6) and are cleaned up by the gift of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).
Our analogy gets a little weak here because Harry only gave his sock whereas Jesus Christ gave his life and took our sins upon Himself, but what happens next is what struck me about this analogy in the first place. Dobby is now FREE. He's a FREE elf. Just like this:
Joh 8:36 NKJV Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Dobby's response to this freedom is to respond with gratitude and voluntarily attach himself to Harry Potter. And this is where so many people misunderstand Christianity. Upon being freed from the slavery of sin by Christ, I don't have to do anything. That's religion. I've been freed by grace (an unmerited favor) thru faith (in the fact that Jesus can do this), and I'm free from my former bonds. At this point, I could voluntarily return to my old master, but who would?! Well, some do! Some go back to their harsh taskmaster. Others, seeing a better way in front of them, go with the Good Taskmaster, the one who cares for his followers. In the Harry books/movies, that's Harry. In the Christian life, that's Jesus. Dobby's love of Harry is so great that he eventually gives his own life to save Harry's. Later on, Harry gives his life to save everyone from the evil Voldemort, but we don't know that just yet and- like I said earlier, this isn't a perfect analogy, nor would I want it to be; it's more fun to put the pieces together in a different order with the same result.
Many people think that they don't need Christ; they can "improve" themselves and make themselves a "better person". Well, maybe they can, but the problem is that they're still slaves, just like Dobby, except that now they're new and improved slaves. It takes someone else to come along and ransom them, or for the slave-master to set them free. Believe me, your slave-master doesn't want to set you free any more than Lucius was ever gonna set Dobby free. Paul's all over the "slaves of sin" theme in Romans:
Rom 6:17-18 NKJV But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. (18) And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.So, along comes Harry Potter and pays the price (with his sock!) of setting Dobby free. Again, this is where the analogy is a little weak because Jesus paid much, much more than that. But the principle holds; we must be ransomed and set free.
Mat 20:28 NKJV just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
1Ti 2:5-6 NKJV For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave Himself a ransom for all...
A key point here is that Christians are followers of Christ because they want to be, not because they have to be. Following Christ is not something one does to earn their freedom but something they do in gratitude. If you don't want to be grateful, then that's between you and Him. I suppose, having been freed, if you want to go back to your sin master, you can. Certainly, it seems like many (maybe most?) Christians stop in to visit their old master once in awhile to see how he's doing. Dobby never did, that's for sure. He knew who Lucius was and ended up fighting against him for Harry several times. That should be Christians, too. We should fight against sin and help others do the same. Dobby wants nothing more than to please Harry and that should be Christians, too. We do things, not because we have to, but because we know that it pleases Jesus. Of course we're never perfect in these things and of course we make mistakes but that's part of the learning process. The main thing is that we do what we do out of gratitude and out of a willingly obedient heart, not out of a slave's heart.
Psa 51:16-17 NKJV For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. (17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.