Expository Worship and 2 Samuel

I thought I’d share an example with you of our congregation leaders thinking through how to connect up the teaching series with the rest of the service over the next few months.  We are coming to the end of 2 Samuel (ch 14-24) and so we did two things. First of all, the preaching team met together to look at the big picture of what is coming up. The the congregation leadership team (11:15) spent a bit of time thinking about implications for songs, prayers, responses additional readings etc. This is what they came up with.

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Who was Melchizedek?

In Genesis 14, Abram returns from rescuing Lot in battle and is met by a man called Melchizedek. We are told that he is both the king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of God most high. Melchizedek provides food for Abram, blesses him and blesses God. Abram gives him 10% of the spoils. Continue reading

End Game (Preaching 2 Samuel 14-24 part 3)

“Mercy and Grumbling” 2 Samuel 19

David is re-called as King.  He shows mercy to Shimei who cursed him and to Mephibosheth who insists that Ziba had lied about him.  At the same time things look less than rosy. Joab is unhappy at David mourning for Absalom. He expects him to show strength of leadership and gratitude to those who fought for him.  The people’s reason for returning David to the throne doesn’t seem to be based on fulsome loyalty. Yes, David had defeated the Philistines but was weak and driven out by Absalom.  Then there’s division and grumbling again when the people of Judah are seen to be taking priority in bringing David back. Continue reading

The Absalom Tragedy (Preaching 2 Samuel 14 – 25 part 2)

“A short-lived Reconciliation” (2 Samuel 14)

In 2 Samuel 14, Joab seeks to get Absalom restored to court and reconciled with his father.  Is this the right thing to do? Given how we know the story turns out, we would suggest in hindsight that it looks unwise but something may be the right thing to do even if it brings painful consequences.

Joab’s methods are underhand but I also think we can detect some echoes from the past as Joab uses the wise woman to tell David a parable, we are reminded of Nathan the prophet’s appearance before David with a parable about sheep farmers following David’s adultery with Bathsheba. Continue reading

Preaching on challenging Narrative Texts (2 Samuel 14-24)

I want to share a few thoughts on how we approach what happened to David following his adultery with Bathsheba and Amnon’s rape of his sister Tamar.

The challenge is that we are dealing with narrative that describes what happens to David. We see the response of David and his evaluation of events. We also see the response of others and their evaluation. However, we seem to lack explicit divine evaluation. We might usually expect to find this from two sources. Continue reading

Creation, Mission and Worship

Because we live in a good world which a good and purposeful God has made, this helps us to understand a little bit more about why we are here and what God has made us for.

The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith asks the question

“What is the Chief end of Man?” and the correct response is “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

This answer is rooted in the story of Creation. If God is purposeful, then we have a purpose too and our purpose relates to him. Continue reading

When Expository Preaching is not expository preaching

I believe in expository preaching.  I don’t think we should slavishly stick to one approach at all times, there are contexts when I think it is right to pick up on a theme, topic or character however, I believe that the primary content of our preaching diet should be expository. By this I mean that the preacher’s responsibility is to take the test and expound on it showing what it is saying and applying it to the congregation.

However, there is the risk that we can think we are doing expository preaching when we are not. Glen Scrivener makes the point far better than I can with humour and poetry here:

I want to suggest that it is not expository preaching if: Continue reading