In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter answered Edmund — when Edmund asked if they really wanted to follow a bird they didn’t know in a world they didn’t know — this way:
“That’s a nasty idea. Still — a robin you know. They’re good birds in all the stories I’ve ever read. I’m sure a robin wouldn’t be on the wrong side” (p. 59).
And so they followed the robin, which was the more excellent way.
One of the reasons why the Scripture tells us so many stories is that we are supposed to get the feel of them down into our bones. We are supposed to do this because we are in stories ourselves, and we need to learn how to recognize who is who and what is what.
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted” (1 Cor. 10:6).
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).
What we often fail to recognize is that true moral choices come in the context of the interplay of relationships between characters. Moral choices occur within stories, and if you don’t understand the stories, then you won’t understand the moral choices. Aaron wasn’t walking along in the wilderness one day until he came across a golden calf which he then decided to worship. No, he was pressured by other characters in the story, characters he was afraid of. To use this instance in application, if you can’t see the characters you are afraid of, then you won’t be able to see the golden calf either.
In this world, in real time, in every well-written story there is a protagonist and antagonist, but it doesn’t follow that identifying them is necessarily simple. God writes stories, but they are not always short stories, or moralistic fables in the tradition of Aesop. At the same time, they do have have a moral point.
It would be a mistake to assume the protagonist is identified as the one who goes from strength to strength — that would be the protagonist in a David story. Or rather, in a David story, the protagonist goes from weakness to strength to weakness to strength to weakness to strength. The protagonist in a Jeremiah story has a rougher time of it. Some rout armies and others are sawn in two. Job was a protagonist. The man born blind was not the antagonist — the Pharisees were.