Sunday, August 26, 2012

Homiletical Sidebar

During the morning's preaching, I told a bit of the story of Samuel anointing David to be King of Israel.  The point of the sermon was that God desires for us to be pure of heart.  As you remember the story of Samuel you will understand the connection.  Samuel goes to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons as King.  When the oldest shows up, Samuel was ready to anoint him and get back home with the job done, but the Lord spoke saying, "Do not look on his appearance or the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."  (I Samuel 16:8).  When I got to that point in the story, there was this flash which went across the brain.  If the Lord had told Samuel who to choose before he went, all of this sevenfold trial and error thing could have been avoided.  He could have just walked in and asked for David.  But, Samuel went in obedience to the house of Jesse not really knowing the whole plan.  He just took the step he knew about and trusted the Lord to work out the rest. 
All of that thought process sorta went on mid sentence.  I was tempted to introduce it in the sermon, but knew it really did not relate to the focus of  the sermon.  So, I left it on the pulpit to pull up another time.  Such is what preachers are supposed to do, but there is always a temptation to run after something which takes the listeners somewhere the whole of the sermon is not going.  Today I resisted the temptation.  I have not always been successful.
Still, it is an interesting thought.  Actually, for me it was more like an insight.  The leading of the Lord is usually more like Samuel experienced than like I figured would be better.  Seldom do we get the whole picture, but we are instead asked or led to take one step in the direction God is seeking to take us.  And then, there is another step and another until the plan for our future stands in our past looking as clear as the new light of the morning sun.  Such a process should not surprise us.  One step people are faith people which is exactly the mode of operation God has chosen for us.

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