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La Revue Internet Des Pasteurs, Fre Ed 30, Edition de l’hiver 2019

Edition Hivers 2019

Un ministère de…

Author: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,
The Institute for Biblical Preaching
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 519-620-2375

Partie I: Renforcement De La Predication Par Exposition

“Renforcer la Conclusion”

La conclusion est généralement préparée à la fin de la préparation de votre sermon, juste avant l’introduction (ou simultanément avec l’introduction). L'introduction et la conclusion vont de pair - le dernier finalise le premier. De la même manière qu'une introduction faible risque de ne pas impliquer votre public avec le contenu de votre message, de même une conclusion faible court le risque de ne pas engager votre auditoire avec les exigences du message.

Le but primordial de la conclusion est de bien clôturer votre message - et le message n'est pas correctement clos s'il ne motive pas la transformation de la vie. C’est ce pourquoi nous prêchons: ce n’est pas transmettre d’informations intéressantes; ce n’est pas remplir nos têtes avec la connaissance; ce n’est ne pas se faire du bien, mais être un catalyseur du changement de vie. Nous «persuadons les hommes et les femmes» (2 Cor. 5:19).

Vous pouvez détruire l'efficacité de votre sermon avec une faible conclusion. Beaucoup de prédicateurs ne savent pas comment conclure un sermon. Ceci est vrai dans les discours publics et dans la prédication. Un conclusion faible est comme l’homme qui a commencé à construire une tour mais n’a pas pu la terminer.

Notez deux dangers importants en ce qui concerne la conclusion:

1. Conclure avant que le sermon soit terminé.

2. Conclure après que le sermon soit terminé.

Une Conclusion faible est principalement due à deux choses:

1. Une pensée, préparation et prière insuffisantes pour la conclusion et pour ce que vous (et le Saint-Esprit) voulez accomplir par ce biais.

2. Le manque d'attribuer à la conclusion l'importance qui lui est due.

A. Les Elements De Base Elements D’une Bonne Conclusion

1. Le Résumé: «Crystallisez» La Vérité

La répétition est l’un des meilleurs moyens d’enseigner. La structure de base en trois volets est la suivante:

(1) Dites-leur ce que vous allez dire (l'introduction)

(2) Dites-le (le corps)

(3) Dites-leur ce que vous venez de dire (la conclusion)

Assurez-vous simplement de ne pas trop répéter, résumez seulement. Et ne le dites pas avant-propos (en préface) avec une phrase prévisible telle que: «Ce que nous avons appris ce matin, c’est…» Faites-en un élément naturel de votre conclusion en ne le formulant pas sous forme de résumé, mais en couvrant cette partie et le flux de pensée du sermon dans votre conclusion.

C’est bien de répéter votre proposition à la fin et à divers endroits tout au long de votre sermon s’il existe un lieu naturel pour ça. En faisant cela, vous accomplissez plusieurs étapes importantes:

(1) Vous rappelez à votre auditoire votre point de départ en établissant un rapport entre l’introduction et la conclusion.

(2) Vous « cristallisez » (solidifiez) le point théologique général du sermon et du texte.

(3) Vous aidez l’auditoire à se rappeler le but du sermon.

(4) Vous montrez que vous avez prêché ce que vous aviez dit que vous feriez - c’est-à-dire que vous avez prouvé ce que vous avez dit, ou expliqué la vérité, ou les avez exhorté à adopter une idée ou avez répondu à la question que vous avez posée au début.

(5) Vous mettez à nouveau le sermon entier dans une phrase et cette fois-ci, la lumière devrait pénétrer dans l’esprit de votre auditoire si elle n’est pas encore pénétrée. Ils devraient dire: «Oui! C’est la vérité du passage ! »

Une façon de résumer votre sermon est de répéter les points principaux. De cette façon, ils peuvent rapidement reprendre le sermon sous forme de schéma, et voir d'où vous venez et certainement savoir où ils doivent aller maintenant.

Si vous avez énoncé dans votre introduction le but de votre sermon, vous pouvez le répéter à la fin en clarifiant le défi du message afin qu'il soit parfaitement clair et que votre auditoire soit recentré sur votre motivation.

Cette récapitulation a pour but de clarifier - de clarifier de manière claire le défi que représente le message : cristalliser la question centrale; et pour donner votre dernière pensée clarifiante.

Essayez de vous référer à votre point de contact initial (si possible). Vous avez peut-être raconté une histoire illustrant le problème, récité un poème ou donné un exemple. En y renvoyant, le public le verra maintenant à la lumière de ce que vous venez de prêcher. Ou peut-être avez-vous laissé quelque chose en suspens et vous pouvez maintenant compléter l'histoire ou répondre au problème. En se référant à l'introduction, cela fait en quelque sorte un encadrement au sermon (ou la fin d'un livre) - cela apporte la conclusion.

2. Une Illustration: “Visualiser” La Verite

Une bonne illustration est un moyen très efficace de rassembler le sermon dans la conclusion. Si vous choisissez la bonne illustration, elle représentera une image du thème que vous avez prêché et l’afficher dans l’esprit des auditeurs. Grâce à des illustrations, les gens peuvent voir la vérité que vous avez présentée et leur propre vie comparée à celle-ci.

Les illustrations rendent la vérité abstraite visuelle et concrète. Assurez-vous d’utiliser uniquement une illustration qui correspond au thème de votre sermon et qui ne dure pas longtemps. Vous pouvez conclure avec de la poésie (ou un hymne) ou une citation pertinente et puissante comme dernière "illustration". La valeur particulière de la poésie est qu’elle exprime des vérités abstraites avec des images de mots colorés et uniques sous une forme condensée.

3. Une Exhortation: “Concretisez” And “Personalisez” La Verite

L'exhortation, comme la répétition, recentre l'attention sur le but du sermon, principalement motiver les auditeurs à faire quelque chose; prendre des «mesures morales et spirituelles»; obtenir un message à retenir personnellement.

Dans cette partie de la fin, dites-leur ce que vous voulez qu'ils fassent – c’est-à-dire. changer leurs comportements, leurs pensées, leurs attitudes, leurs relations, obéir à la vérité, etc. Si le sermon fait voir la culpabilité, les gens devraient déjà se poser la question : "Que devons-nous faire?" Ou "Pourquoi devrions-nous le faire?" Ou "Comment pouvons-nous le faire?" Notre tâche est de répondre à ces questions non exprimées en leur disant "quoi", "pourquoi" ou "comment "En leur demandant de se repentir et d'obéir à la vérité."

Parfois, le texte lui-même vous donne l'application finale. Plusieurs fois dans les écrits de Paul, un paragraphe se termine par une application finale.

Personnalisez votre exhortation (appel)– adressez-vous à eux en disant «vous». Maintenant que vous avez dépassé le stade de "nous". C'est le rôle du prophète de parler pour Dieu et d'exiger que le peuple réponde.

Ceci est la dernière "application". Même si vous avez appliqué la vérité tout au long du sermon, la conclusion vous donne une dernière chance pour des éclaircissements particuliers et personnels. Alors, rendez-le concret et vivant. Donnez des exemples spécifiques d'actions que vous attendez à la suite de ce sermon. C'est ce que Jésus a fait à la fin de son sermon sur la montagne, où il a combiné à la fois une illustration vivante et une application puissante (Matt. 7: 24-26). C'est votre dernière chance de rendre le sermon pertinent - de combler le fossé entre le monde biblique et le monde contemporain et de fournir des réponses aux ‘’ questions pourquoi, quoi, comment’’. Assurez-vous que votre demande est enracinée dans le texte et non dans votre propre expérience ou convictions.

Ici, vous «implorez» comme les apôtres l'ont fait- en les encourageant, en les plaidant (par exemple, d'être réconciliés avec Dieu), en les exhortant (par exemple, d'être conformes à Christ).

4. L’ Invitation: “Actualisez” La Verite

Cela donne aux gens l’occasion de réagir - d’actualiser la vérité dans leur vie. Cette partie de votre conclusion prendra différentes formes en fonction du type de sermon et d’audience à laquelle vous prêchez. Mais, en général, c'est là que vous présentez un verdict. C'est l'heure de prise de décision. Tous les bons sermons exigent une décision quelconque. Ainsi, à la fin, nous adressons un appel direct et personnel à leur réponse.

Ceci est courant dans les sermons bibliques. Par exemple, Josué a lancé un défi au peuple dans Josué 24:15: «Choisissez-vous aujourd'hui pour qui vous allez servir. Mais quant à moi et à ma maison, nous servirons le l’Eternel ». Voici comment Pierre conclut dans Actes 2: 36-40:« Que toute la maison d'Israël sache donc avec certitude que Dieu a fait Seigneur et Christ ce Jésus que vous avez crucifié». C’est l’appel direct de Pierre à leurs consciences, auquel ils ont immédiatement réagi:« Que ferons-nous? »et il a actualisé la vérité en les invitant à « se repentir et se faire baptiser ». C'est ainsi que Paul a conclu son sermon dans Actes 17: 30-32: «Dieu sans tenir compte des temps d’ignorance annonce maintenant à tous les hommes en tout lieu, qu’ils aient à se repentir, par ce qu’Il a fixé un jour où il jugera le monde selon la justice par cet Homme qu'il a désigné, ce dont Il a donné à tous une preuve certaine en le ressuscitant des morts. Et quand ils ont entendu parler de la résurrection d'entre les morts, certains se sont moqués…. ‘’

Le but du prédicateur n’est pas de renvoyer les auditeurs tels qu’ils sont venus et le but des auditeurs n’est pas non plus de repartir tels qu’ils sont venus. Nous prêchons et les gens écoutent pour être transformés par la Parole et le Saint-Esprit par le biais de la prédication.

Assurez-vous de laisser du temps au Saint-Esprit pour concrétiser le message dans la vie des gens. Ne vous précipitez pas là-dessus comme c’est parfois la tendance. Ne soyez pas gêné de le faire. Peut-être devez-vous dire au préalable que vous demanderez à prendre une décision afin que cela ne soit pas une surprise et qu’ils se préparent à recevoir leur réponse tout au long du message.

La fin est votre dernière motivation - la motivation finale pour qu'ils grandissent en tant que chrétiens ou qu'ils deviennent chrétiens. Les temps de réponse doivent être adressés aux croyants et aux incroyants. Les croyants ont besoin de se réconcilier avec Dieu et les uns avec les autres - confessez et repentez-vous du péché, des habitudes, des attitudes, des relations, des croyances, des paroles, etc. Les incroyants doivent s’arranger avec Dieu - être réconciliés avec Dieu, avoir confiance en Christ, recevoir le pardon, etc.

Les temps de réponse peuvent être privés ou publics. Tout cela ne doit pas nécessairement avoir lieu dans le service de la congrégation. Une réponse privée peut avoir lieu juste là où ils sont assis - par exemple pour la confession, la repentance ; ou bien il peut s’agir d’une réunion après-rencontre pour ceux qui en recherchent (c'est-à-dire ceux qui veulent en savoir plus). Une réponse publique peut signifier se présenter à ceux qui veulent professer la foi ou lever la main pour que vous reconnaissiez et priez pour eux.

B. Lignes Directrices Utiles Pour La Conclusion

1. Soyez Conclusif

Quand vous commencez à conclure, tout le monde le saura - alors faites-en une conclusion. Montrez un sens d’achement et de conclusion au message. Ne continuez pas à dire plus de choses que vous avez oubliées auparavant. N’introduisez pas de nouveau matériel – cela est manière e de détruire une conclusion. C'est l'une des faiblesses les plus courantes des conclusions. Le nouveau matériel ne fait que brouiller les cartes et nuire à la tâche à accomplir.

2. Soyez Clair Et Defini

Votre exhortation ne devrait laisser aucun doute à l'esprit de vos auditeurs sur ce que vous attendez d'eux (par exemple, répondre à l'invitation) et pourquoi. Votre demande doit répondre aux questions «quoi», «pourquoi» et «comment». Demandez-vous si tout le monde peut clairement comprendre ce que vous leur avez lancé le défi? Essayez de vous mettre à leur place, n'ayant pas étudié le texte comme vous l'avez fait et y ayant passé le temps dont vous disposez.

3. Soyez Precis

Assurez-vous que votre conclusion est précise et adaptée au défi textuel.

4. Soyez Véritable En Approche Et En Atmosphère

N’essayez pas tout à coup de devenir un prédicateur célèbre comme Billy Graham, car vous vous attendez à ce que des masses viennent au premier plan pendant que vous chantez «Tout comme je suis». Utilisez votre propre approche naturelle pour conclure ce sermon.

5. Soyez Personnel

Ne terminez pas votre sermon sur une note confuse et obscure, ni sur une note impersonnelle. C’est déjà assez difficile pour les gens de saisir la vérité abstraite à partir seulement d’un prédicateur impersonnel.

Vos auditeurs doivent être convaincus que ce que vous avez dit était juste pour eux - que vous connaissez les secrets les plus profonds de leurs cœurs et de leur vie. Souvent, les auditeurs diront que vous avez frappé au cœur de leur vie. Comment avez-vous su? Bien, ce n’est vous, mais c’est le Saint-Esprit qui le sait.

Les auditeurs doivent quitter le service avec un défi personnel, des réponses à leurs questions, des solutions à leurs problèmes, avec joie d'être venus entendre la Parole de Dieu prêchée. À cet égard, essayez de toujours leur laisser un mot d’espoir. La Parole de Dieu est vraiment une bonne nouvelle. Assurez-vous de la prêcher en tant que telle. Il y a tant de choses à provoquer le désespoir dans le monde. Ne pas dupliquer ou exagérer cela dans l’église. Les gens viennent à l'église avec un désespoir absolu à la recherche de bonnes nouvelles, d'espoir, de réponse à leurs problèmes. Assurez-vous de leur donner une raison et des moyens d'espérer.

Posez-vous la question suivante: “Chaque personne sera-t-elle touchée personnellement par ce message?” Parcourez mentalement vos bancs, visualisez votre assemblée et appliquez cette question à chaque personne.

6. Soyez Pratique

S'il y a une foule nombreuse et que vous leur demandez de venir devant, vous devez leur laisser le temps de venir et il doit y avoir un espace pour eux. Si la réaction à l’appel est grande, vous avez besoin de conseillers pour vous aider ou d'une rencontre après-culte pour les prendre soin d’eux. Si les non-croyants répondent, il vous faut du matériel. Si les nouveaux répondent, vous avez besoin de matériel sur l’église et les ministères pour leur donner.

7. Être Instructeur Concernant La Reaction A L’appel

Faites de votre invitation un message significatif et avec un objectif, non pas simplement quelque chose que vous êtes censé faire à la fin d’un culte (cela devient un simple rituel). Donnez-leur des instructions sur ce qu'il faut faire, comment réagir - c'est-à-dire à quoi devrait ressembler leur réaction, soit immédiatement pendant le culte, soit plus tard dans leur vie, à mesure que les principes du sermon sont mis en pratique.

8. Soyez Appropries

Assurez-vous que votre conclusion est appropriée pour l'occasion, le message et l'auditoire. Assurez-vous que votre application est enracinée dans le texte. Assurez-vous que votre illustration (si vous en utilisez une) est étroitement liée au message et au texte (de sorte qu’elle n’a pas besoin d’être expliquée), ainsi qu’aux auditeurs. Posez-vous la question: "Cela est-il proche de mon public, de mon message, de cette occasion?"

C. Des Dangers A Eviter

1. La Conclusion Trop-Tiree (Ou Conclusion “Rajoutée”)

C'est comme une voiture qui continue à rouler un peu après qu’elle soit éteinte. Peu à peu, le prédicateur accumule un peu plus de choses, puis un peu plus, jusqu'à ce que le but du sermon soit non seulement perdu, mais que l'attention et la réactivité de l’audience soient également perdues.

Savoir arrêter est aussi important que savoir commencer. Vous avez probablement tous entendu (douloureusement) quelqu'un donner un témoignage à l'église et ne pas savoir comment arrêter. Il est très frustrant pour les auditeurs de continuer sans cesse lorsqu’ils savent que vous essayez de terminer.

2. La Conclusion Tourner En Rond

Cela se produit lorsque le prédicateur semble conclure et recommence ensuite pour s'aligner avec une autre conclusion. Il ne peut tout simplement pas décider quand et comment s’arrêter. Parfois, le prédicateur peut terminer et ensuite dire: «Ce que je veux dire par là est…» et recommencer la conclusion. Assurez-vous de savoir quelle est votre fin et n'en avez qu'une.

3. La Conclusion De “Deja Vue”

C'est une conclusion qui, au lieu de résumer le sermon, le répète en réalité, de sorte que vous l'entendiez de nouveau. C’est comme un de ces moments déjà-vus où vous êtes absolument certain d’être déjà venu ici, avez vu cela auparavant. Cela peut arriver s’il réalise qu’il a omis quelque chose ou n’a pas dit exactement ce qu’il voulait dire la première fois. Dites ce que vous avez à dire et terminez.

4. La Conclusion Dite ‘’Miettes’’

Parfois, tout ce que le prédicateur n’a pu dire dans le sermon, il met dans sa conclusion. Soyez discipliné pour éliminer tout ce qui n’est pas pertinent pour votre message. N'essayez pas d'inclure tout ce que vous avez trouvé dans vos recherches. Soyez impitoyable sur la suppression de matériels. Mettez tout cela à l'épreuve: "Est-ce pertinent pour le thème du sermon?"

Un sermon n'est pas un commentaire sur le passage dans lequel vous exposez tous les points de vue et tout ce que tout le monde a écrit sur le sujet. Un sermon est comme un coup de fusil (focalisé, un coup) et non un coup de fusil (plusieurs coups, distribution large).

5. La Conclusion ‘’Meme Jeu’’

C’est là où chaque conclusion suit le même format afin que tout le monde connaisse l’approche que vous allez adopter car vous le faites toutes les semaines. Comme la diversité des introductions est importante, il en est de même pour la diversité des conclusions. Ne la faites pas de la même façon chaque semaine.

6. La Conclusion “Manipulative”

C'est un danger à éviter à tout prix. La manipulation ou l'intimidation sont des tentatives pour forcer les décisions par des ruses ou des pressions. L'exhortation, de son côté, est simplement un appel à la congrégation pour qu'elle réponde à la vérité du sermon lorsque le Saint-Esprit applique le message dans son cœur et sa volonté.

D. Dernieres Remarques Au Sujet De La Conclusion

1. Reflechissez Et Écrivez Totalement Votre Conclusion

Vous ne voulez pas laisser cela sur place. C’est trop important et souvent trop difficile à faire de manière extemporanée.

2. Connaître La Conclusion

Cela a déjà été établi dans votre introduction - dans l’ "objectif " du sermon et la "proposition" du sermon. La conclusion est donc liée à l'introduction.

3. Laisser Le Temps A La Conclusion

Ne vous précipitez pas. Laissez-la s'enfoncer dans ce que vous attendez d'eux. Donnez-leur une chance de répondre.

4. Ajustez La Conclusion Du Message Préché

Si vous avez apporté des changements au fur et à mesure que vous avez prêché le message, vous devrez incorporer ces changements dans votre conclusion.

5. Faites Confiance À Dieu Pour Le Résultat

En fin de compte, seul le Saint-Esprit peut changer la vie des gens. Nous devons faire tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir pour faciliter ce changement (après tout, nous sommes les agents que Dieu a choisis pour faire ce travail). Mais lorsque nous avons fait notre part, les résultats restent la tâche de Dieu. Lui faire confiance pour le résultat est un grand soulagement pour le prédicateur, en particulier lorsque vous ne voyez pas les résultats que vous souhaitez ou que vous attendez.

Partie II. Exposition Biblique

“Les Procès dans l’église” (1 Cor. 6:1-11) 1

Dr. Stephen F. Olford

Introduction Dans ce passage, Paul traite du deuxième désordre dans l'église qui avait été porté à son attention. Cela avait à voir avec des litiges ou des cas de poursuites dans l'assemblée. C'était un problème qui touchait principalement l'élément grec de l'église. Les Juifs n’ont généralement pas recours aux tribunaux. En effet, leur formation leur interdit expressément de le faire. Avec les Grecs, cependant, il en était autrement. Ils ont pris plaisir dans la pratique de se poursuivre mutuellement! Toute leur vie semblait être liée à une procédure légale.

L'apôtre, en revanche, nous montre dans ces versets que, lorsque des chrétiens se disputent entre eux, on devrait les faire juger par leurs frères chrétiens et non par des juges non régénérés. Bien entendu, cela ne signifie pas que nous ne devons jamais avoir recours aux tribunaux de notre pays. Il y a des conditions et des circonstances qui exigent cela. En fait, il est bon de rappeler que l'auteur même de cette épître, l'apôtre Paul, a fait appel à une cour terrestre à une occasion (Actes 25:11); mais cela n'a jamais été en relation avec des conflits au sein de l'église de Dieu, ou des conflits entre frères chrétiens. Ainsi, l’enseignement clair de cette partie importante de la Parole de Dieu est le suivant:

I. Les Litiges Entre Chrétiens Sont Contraires A La Destinée De L'église

«Quelqu'un de vous lorsqu’il a un différend avec un autre, ose-il plaider devant les injustes et non devant les saints? Ne savez-vous pas que les saints jugeront le monde? Et si c’est par vous que le monde sera jugé, êtes-vous indigne de rendre les moindres jugements? Ne savez-vous pas que nous jugerons les anges? Et nous ne jugerions pas, à plus forte raison, les choses de cette vie? Quand donc vous avez des différents pour cette vie, ce sont les gens que l’église ne fait aucun cas que vous prenez pour juges !(1 Corinthiens 6: 1-4). Paul introduit son sujet avec des mots d'étonnement et de défi. Il dit: «Quelqu'un de vous… ose-il plaider devant les injustes?» (V. 1). Ensuite, il en déduit deux raisons pour lesquelles une telle pratique est contraire au destin de l'église. En premier lieu, les saints sont destinés à juger le monde (v. 2). Tant dans les évangiles que dans les épîtres, on nous apprend cette vérité étonnante.

Jésus a dit: “… je vous dis que, dans la régénération, lorsque le Fils de l'homme sera assis sur le trône de sa gloire, vous qui m'avez suivi, vous serez aussi assis sur douze trônes, à en juger les douze tribus d'Israël” (Matthieu 19 : 28).

Jude a déclaré : «… le Seigneur vient avec dix mille saints pour exécuter son jugement sur tous, pour convaincre tous les méchants de tous leurs actes impies qu'ils ont commis d'une manière impie et de toutes les choses dures que des pécheurs impies ont parlé contre lui » (Jude 14-15).

Paul nous rappelle que “si nous souffrons, nous régnerons aussi avec lui…” (2 Timothée 2:12). Quelle destinée est-ce! Et combien le croyant est-il uni et élevé avec Christ, tant en position qu'en puissance! Et pourtant, les Corinthiens ignoraient tout cela délibérément ou par négligence. Au lieu d'exercer l'autorité spirituelle qui était la leur en vertu de l'unité avec leur Maître ressuscité, ils étaient désespérément incapables de gérer les petites disputes dans l'église locale.

La deuxième raison de Paul est un développement de la première. Il demande: «Ne savez-vous pas que nous jugerons les anges?» (V.3). Il étend ce qu'il a déjà dit pour inclure l'autorité ultime que les saints partageront avec leur Seigneur sur tous les êtres créés dans le royaume éternel. La perspective est à couper le souffle! Et pourtant, c'est vrai parce que Dieu le déclare.

Comment insensés étaient-ils donc les croyants de Corinthe et comment insensés sont-ils les croyants d’aujourd’hui de ne pas être en mesure de juger sur des questions relatives à cette vie (v. 3). En réalité, l'apôtre suggère avec ironie que même les «moins estimés de l'église» (v. 4) devraient être mieux qualifiés que les meilleurs juges sur terre pour régler les différends dans l'église. Nous voyons ainsi que les litiges entre chrétiens sont contraires à la destinée de l'église.

II. Le Litige Entre Chrétiens Est Contraire A La Politique De L'église

«Je dis cela à votre honte. Est-il vrai qu'il n'y a pas parmi vous un homme sage, pas même un homme, qui sera capable de juger entre ses frères? Mais un frère va poursuit un frère, et cela devant les incroyants ! » (1 Corinthiens 6: 5-6). Le sens général de ces deux versets montre clairement que la politique divine en matière de règlement des conflits au sein de l'église est double:

Premièrement, ces querelles et problèmes n’ont absolument rien à voir avec les incroyants. Rien ne pourrait être plus contraire au but de Dieu pour l’église locale que de s’attendre à ce que des juges non régénérés et injustes gèrent les affaires du peuple de Dieu. Une église locale sombre très bas lorsqu'elle est obligée de recourir aux conseils de personnes du monde sur des questions relatives à la vie, à la foi et à la pratique chrétiennes. En effet, descendre à ce niveau, c'est admettre faussement devant les païens que le mode de vie chrétien est inadéquat.

Deuxièmement, l'arbitrage ou « règlement fraternel » comme le mot « juge » signifie dans ce verset, se confier à des « sages » dans l'église. L'église n'est pas essentiellement une démocratie, mais plutôt une théocratie - ou plutôt une «Christocratie». La chaîne de commandement du Seigneur Jésus établit une chaîne de commandement en matière de direction et d'arbitrage. L'Église doit s'incliner à cela, car l'Écriture dit: «Obéissez à ceux qui ont la l’autorité sur vous…» (Hébreux 13: 7). Là où il y a un leadership dirigé et enseigné par l'Esprit, il ne devrait y avoir aucun problème qui ne puisse être résolu. Paul rend cela très clair par la manière dont il aborde la situation incongrue et incohérente dans l'église corinthienne. Il s'exclame: «Je dis cela à votre honte…» (6: 5), puis demande en termes humiliants s'il est possible ou non de «trouver» un «homme sage» dans l'assemblée capable d'arbitrer entre un croyant et un autre!

Nous pourrions ajouter que cette politique divine n'a jamais été annulée. Dieu attend toujours que son église soit gouvernée et jugée selon Sa parole.

III. Le Litige Entre Chretiens Est Contraire A La Charite De L'église

«Maintenant, par conséquent, c’est déjà certes un défaut chez vous que d’avoir des procès les uns avec les autres. Pourquoi n'acceptez-vous pas plutôt le mal? Pourquoi ne vous laissez-vous pas plutôt dépouiller? Non, vous faites l’injustice et vous dépouillez, et c’est envers frères que vous agissez de la sorte! » (1 Corinthiens 6: 7-8). Au chapitre 13 de cette épître, Paul énonce la motivation suprême pour chaque acte et réaction dans la vie de l'église. Cette motivation est l'amour. En effet, il dit que tout avoir et manquer de "charité" ou "d'amour" c'est ne rien avoir. L'apôtre ne faisait que répéter les paroles du Maître: «A ceci tous connaîtront que vous êtes mes disciples, si vous vous vous aimez les uns les autres» (Jean 13:35). Il est clair que l'apôtre a en tête cette «motivation suprême» dans le traitement de ce sujet délicat de litige.

Vous remarquerez que le mot «frères» est répété constamment dans ces versets (5, 6, 8). Ensuite, il ajoute qu'il vaudrait mieux de souffrir de la part d'un frère chrétien que de ne pas avoir assez d’amour pour porter le différend devant un tribunal païen. Ainsi, au verset 7, dans la Version Standard Révisée, on lit comme suit : « Entamer des procès, c'est une DEFAITE pour vous ». En d'autres termes, Paul dit qu'il est possible de remporter une victoire juridique tout en subissant une défaite morale. Ou encore, il est possible non seulement de refuser d'endosser le tort, mais aussi d'infliger un tort plus grave aux autres. Une telle attitude et un tel esprit sont l'antithèse même de l'amour du Christ et du Calvaire. En ce qui concerne notre Sauveur, nous lisons ceci : «… quand il a été insulté, il n'a pas insulté de nouveau; quand il a souffert, il n'a pas menacé; mais s'est engagé envers Celui qui juge avec justice»(1 Pierre 2:23). Voyez-vous, l’aspect de la chair, avec toutes ses nombreuses formes d’amour de soi, de ressentiment et de vengeance, s’annule lorsque la croix est appliquée par la puissance du Saint-Esprit.

IV. Un Litige Entre Chretiens Est Contraire A La Purete De L'église

«Ne savez-vous pas que les injustes n'hériteront pas du royaume de Dieu? Ne vous y trompez. Ni les fornicateurs, ni les idolâtres, ni les adultères, ni les homosexuels efféminés, ni les sodomites, ni les voleurs, ni les cupides, ni les ivrognes, ni les outrageux, ni les ravisseurs n'hériteront du royaume de Dieu. Et tels étaient certains d'entre vous. Mais vous été lavés, mais vous été sanctifiés, mais vous avez été justifiés au nom du Seigneur Jésus et par l'Esprit de notre Dieu » (1 Corinthiens 6: 9-11). Pour souligner son traitement de ce sujet, Paul montre la totale incompatibilité du monde avec l'église. Il oppose de manière dramatique les «injustes» du verset 9 à ceux qui sont «lavés… sanctifiés… et justifiés» au verset 11. Sans crainte ni faveur, il a reconnu qu'en dehors de la grâce de Dieu, l'homme non régénéré est capable de:

a) Fornication - un mot qui signifie littéralement prostitution masculine.

b) Idolâtrie - un mot qui signifie la substitution de quelque chose ou de quelqu'un à Dieu.

c) Adultère - mot qui décrit les rapports sexuels avec le conjoint d’une autre personne.

d) Effémination - un mot qui suggère la perte de la virilité ou de la féminité pour vivre pour le plaisir et le luxe.

e) Sodomie - un mot qui énonce les péchés de l'homosexualité et de la sodomie

f) Vol qualifié - un mot qui couvre tout le domaine de l’appropriation illicite de temps, d’énergie ou d’argent appartenant à Dieu ou à quelqu'un d’autre.

g) Convoitise - un mot qui signifie faire des autres et de leurs biens un objet d’envie.

h) Ivresse - un mot qui dénote une consommation excessive d'alcool

i) Fêtards – un mot associé à une langue incontrôlée et non sanctifiée.

j) Extorsion - un mot qui désigne un esprit qui cherche toujours ce dont il n’a pas droit.

Quelle liste horrible ! Et juste pour penser qu'en nous-mêmes, nous sommes tous aussi corrompus que Paul nous décrit! Mais un miracle s’est produit. Dieu nous a rencontrés en Christ et nous a transformés; nous a rendus purs, saints et bons. Par son nom et par son Esprit, nous avons été purifiés, mis à part et amenés à apparaître devant Dieu sous une lumière favorable. Les mots «lavés», «sanctifiés» et «justifiés» décrivent le «plein salut» dans lequel nous avons été amenés par la grâce seule par la foi seule en Christ seul.

Conclusion : Si cela est la pureté de notre statut et de notre état en Christ, comment pouvons-nous, en tant qu’« appelés à être des saints» (2: 1), nous sentir à l'aise devant des tribunaux «injustes» ou parmi des juges impies? La question se répond elle-même.

So Paul disposes of lawsuits within the local church. And if we would be obedient to the Word of God, we must do the same. In fact, we must go further; we must see to it that the life of the church never sinks so low as to necessitate such carnal procedures. The understanding of our destiny, policy, charity, and purity in Christ must determine all our thinking and acting within and without the church.

Donc, Paul dispose des procès au sein de l'église locale. Et si nous voulons obéir à la Parole de Dieu, nous devons faire de même. En fait, il faut aller plus loin; nous devons veiller à ce que la vie de l'église ne se rabaisse jamais au point de nécessiter de telles procédures charnelles. La compréhension de notre destinée, de notre politique, de notre charité et de notre pureté en Christ doit déterminer toutes nos pensées et nos actions à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de l’église.

Partie III. Le Plansermon

Pour écouter la version audio de ces sermons en anglais, cliquez sur ces liens : Link 1 - Jn. 20:1-2; Link 2 - Jn. 20:3-10; Link 3 - Jn. 20:11-18

Titre: Je viens de voir Jésus

Thème: Le choc et la réalité de la résurrection

Point #1: La tombe vide transforme les observateurs en adeptes (1-2) (1-10)

1. La tombe vide transforme les observateurs en adeptes (1-2)

(1) À la croix, il y avait des observateurs (Luc 23: 55-56)

(2) Au tombeau vide, certains étaient des adeptes (1-2)

2. Le tombeau vide transforme les fidèles en croyants (3-10)

(1) Pour certains, le tombeau vide les laisse encore sceptiques (6-7)

(2) Pour d'autres, le tombeau vide les incite à croire (5, 8-9)

Point n° 2 : Le Christ ressuscité change le chagrin en joie (11-18)

1. L'ignorance de la résurrection engendre le chagrin (11-13)

(1) Elle produit du chagrin malgré les preuves (11)

(2) Elle produit une douleur malgré le témoignage (12-13)

2. La connaissance de la résurrection produit de la joie (14-18)

(1) Cela produit de la joie à travers sa reconnaissance (14-16)

(2) Elle produit de la joie à travers son obéissance (17-18)


1 Autres articles dans cette serie sur 1 Corinthiens peut être lus dans les éditions de ce journal comme suite: Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Summer 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Summer 2018.

Related Topics: Pastors

Jurnalul Electronic Al Păstorilor, Rom Ed 30, Ediția de Iarnă 2019

Ediția de Iarnă 2019

A ministry of…

Author: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,
The Institute for Biblical Preaching
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 519-620-2375

Partea I: Consolidarea Predicării Expozitive

„Consolidarea încheierii”

De obicei, încheierea se pregătește la sfârșit, chiar înainte de a scrie introducerea (sau în același timp cu introducerea). Introducerea și încheierea merg împreună – cea din urmă o încheie pe prima. La fel cum riscul unei introduceri slabe este să nu reușească să atragă atenția ascultătorilor asupra conținutului mesajului tău, tot așa riscul unei încheieri slabe este să nu reușească să îi facă pe ascultători să își asume ceea ce le cere mesajul.

Scopul principal al încheierii este să încheie mesajul – și mesajul nu este încheiat așa cum trebuie dacă nu motivează oamenii la transformarea vieții. De aceea predicăm – nu ca să transmitem mai departe niște informații interesante, nu ca să ne umplem capul cu diferite cunoștințe, nu ca să ne facem unii pe alții să ne simțim bine, ci ca să fim un catalizator pentru schimbarea vieții. Noi „pe oameni căutăm să-i încredințăm” (2 Cor. 5:11).

Poți distruge eficiența predicii tale printr-o încheiere slabă. Mulți predicatori nu știu cum să conducă predica înspre concluzie. Acest lucru se întâmplă atât în vorbirea publică, cât și în predicare. O încheiere slabă este ca omul care a început să zidească un turn, dar nu l-a putut termina.

Să observăm două pericole importante cu privire la încheiere:

1. A încheia înainte ca predica să fie gata.

2. A încheia după ce predica este gata.

O încheiere slabă are, în principiu, două cauze:

1. Insuficientă gândire, pregătire și rugăciune în ce privește încheierea și ceea ce tu și Duhul Sfânt vreți să realizați prin intermediul ei.

2. Încheierea nu primește importanța pe care o are.

A. Elementele De Bază Ale Unei Încheieri Bune

1. Rezumarea: „Cristalizează” Adevărul

Una dintre cele mai bune metode de învățare este repetarea – tiparul de bază este:

(1) Anunță ce urmează să spui (introducerea)

(2) Spune (cuprinsul)

(3) Amintește-le ce le-ai spus (încheierea)

Ai grijă să nu te repeți prea mult – sumarizează doar! Și nu prefața rezumarea cu o frază predictibilă, cum ar fi: „Ce am învățat în dimineața aceasta este…” Fă rezumarea o parte naturală a încheierii, nu sumarizând-o punctual, ci reluând scopul și cursul ideilor predicii în încheiere.

Este bine să repeți ideea centrală a predicii în încheiere, precum și în câteva alte locuri de-a lungul predicii, dacă o poți insera în mod natural. Făcând lucrul acesta, realizezi câțiva pași importanți:

(1) Amintești ascultătorilor de unde ai început, legând încheierea de introducere.

(2) „Cristalizezi” (întărești) subiectul teologic general al predicii și al textului biblic.

(3) Îi ajuți pe oameni să țină minte ideea predicii.

(4) Demonstrezi că ai predicat ceea ce ai spus că vei predica - i.e. ai demonstrat ideea principală, sau ai explicat adevărul, sau i-ai sfătuit să-și însușească o idee, sau ai răspuns la întrebarea pe care ai ridicat-o la început.

(5) Rezumi din nou întreaga predică într-o frază și de data aceasta ar trebui să se aprindă un beculeț în mintea ascultătorilor, dacă nu s-a întâmplat până acum lucrul acesta. Ei ar trebui să-și spună: „Da! Acesta este adevărul ce se desprinde din text!”

O modalitate de rezumare a predicii este repetarea punctelor principale. În felul acesta, ascultătorii aud din nou predica schițată și pot să vadă de unde ai pornit și, să sperăm, unde trebuie ei să ajungă.

Dacă ai prezentat în introducere scopul predicii tale, poți să îl repeți din nou în încheiere, clarificând provocarea mesajului, pentru ca aceasta să fie foarte clară și pentru ca atenția ascultătorilor să fie concentrată pe ideea motivatoare.

Această rezumare are scopul de a clarifica – de a arăta foarte clar care este provocarea mesajului; de a cristaliza ideea centrală și de a transmite gândul tău final și lămuritor.

Încearcă să faci referire la punctul de contact de la început (dacă este posibil). Poate ai spus o povestire care ilustra problema, sau ai recitat o poezie, sau ai dat un exemplu. Făcând din nou referire la punctul respectiv, ascultătorii îl vor vedea în lumina a ceea ce ai predicat. Sau poate ai lăsat ceva neterminat, iar acum poți încheia povestirea sau poți oferi răspunsul la problemă. Referirea la introducere, atunci când ești la încheiere, funcționează ca o ramă foto, încadrând predica, sau ca sfârșitul unei cărți, reprezentând finalul.

2. O Ilustrație: „Vizualizează” Adevărul

Ilustrația este un mod foarte eficient de a aduce toată predica la un loc în încheiere. Dacă alegi ilustrația corectă, aceasta va zugrăvi tema pe care ai predicat-o și o va imprima în mintea ascultătorilor. Ilustrația îi ajută pe oameni să înțeleagă adevărul pe care l-ai prezentat, precum și felul în care viața lor se raportează la acel adevăr.

Ilustrațiile au rolul de a transforma un adevăr abstract în ceva vizibil și concret. Folosește însă doar ilustrații care se potrivesc cu tema predicii și nu le face prea lungi! Poți încheia apoi cu o poezie (sau cu un imn) sau cu un citat relevant ca o „ilustrație” finală. Poezia are o eficiență aparte prin faptul că exprimă adevăruri abstracte prin imagini verbale unice și pline de culoare, într-o formă condensată.

3. Un Îndemn: „Concretizează” Și „Personalizează” Adevărul

Îndemnul, ca și repetarea, refocalizează atenția asupra scopului predicii, adică îi motivează pe ascultători să facă ceva; să facă ceva „moral și spiritual”; să își însușească mesajul.

În această parte a încheierii, spune ascultătorilor ce vrei să facă, adică să își schimbe comportamentul, gândirea, atitudinile, relațiile, să asculte de adevăr etc. Dacă predica a fost convingătoare, oamenii ar trebui să se întrebe deja „Ce să facem?” sau „De ce să facem lucrul acesta?” sau „Cum putem să facem asta?” Sarcina noastră este să răspundem la aceste întrebări nerostite, spunându-le oamenilor „ce”, „de ce” sau „cum”, învățându-i să se pocăiască și să asculte adevărul.

Uneori textul însuși îți oferă aplicația din încheiere. De multe ori paragrafele din scrierile lui Pavel se termină cu o aplicație.

Îndemnul tău trebuie să fie personal – adresează-te cu „tu” sau „dumneavoastră”. Acum ai trecut de etapa „noi”. Acesta este rolul profetului care vorbește din partea lui Dumnezeu și cere ca oamenii să răspundă la mesajul său.

Aceasta este „aplicația” finală. Deși ai aplicat adevărul de-a lungul predicii, încheierea îți dă o ultimă șansă de a-l accentua în mod special și personal. Așa că, fă-o într-un mod cât mai concret și mai elocvent! Dă exemple concrete de acțiuni pe care le aștepți ca rezultat al acestei predici! La fel a făcut și Isus la sfârșitul Predicii Sale de pe Munte, folosind în încheiere atât o ilustrație grăitoare, cât și o aplicație pătrunzătoare (Mat. 7:24-26). Aceasta este ultima ta șansă de a face predica relevantă – de a construi podul între lumea biblică și cea contemporană și de a răspunde la întrebările ce, de ce și cum. Aplicația trebuie să reiasă din text și nu să vină din experiența ta sau din convingerile tale personale.

În punctul acesta îi „rogi fierbinte”, cum făceau și apostolii – îi încurajezi, stăruiești pe lângă ei (ex. să se împace cu Dumnezeu), îi îndemni (ex. să se asemene cu Hristos).

4. Invitația: „Actualizează” Adevărul

Invitația dă oamenilor ocazia să răspundă – să „împlinească/pună în practică” adevărul în viața lor. Această parte a încheierii poate lua diferite forme, în funcție de tipul predicii și de audiență. Însă, în general, aici ceri un verdict. Este momentul pentru luarea unei decizii. Orice predică bună cere luarea unei decizii. Așadar, în încheiere, facem un apel direct și personal, cerând un răspuns.

Acest lucru era ceva obișnuit în predicile biblice. De pildă, Iosua a lansat o provocare poporului în Iosua 24:15: „Alegeți astăzi cui vreți să slujiți. Cât despre mine, eu și casa mea vom sluji Domnului.” Tot așa încheie și Petru în Fapte 2:36-40: „Să ştie bine, dar, toată casa lui Israel, că Dumnezeu a făcut Domn şi Hristos pe acest Isus pe care L-aţi răstignit voi.” Acesta este apelul direct al lui Petru la conștiințele lor, la care ei au răspuns imediat: „Ce să facem?” Și el a pus în practică adevărul, spunându-le: „Pocăiţi-vă… și fiecare din voi să fie botezat”. Iată cum își încheie Pavel predica din Fapte 17:30-32: „«Dumnezeu nu ţine seama de vremurile de neştiinţă şi porunceşte acum tuturor oamenilor de pretutindeni să se pocăiască; pentru că a rânduit o zi în care va judeca lumea după dreptate, prin Omul pe care L-a rânduit pentru aceasta şi despre care a dat tuturor oamenilor o dovadă netăgăduită, prin faptul că L-a înviat din morţi… » Când au auzit ei de învierea morţilor, unii îşi băteau joc…”

Scopul predicatorului nu este să îi trimită pe oameni înapoi la fel cum au venit și nici scopul ascultătorului nu este să plece la fel cum a venit. Noi predicăm și oamenii ascultă petru a fi schimbați prin Cuvânt și prin Duhul Sfânt, prin intermediul predicării.

Ai grijă să lași timp pentru ca Duhul Sfânt să pună în practică mesajul în viața oamenilor. Nu te grăbi, deși avem uneori tendința aceasta. Nu te simți jenat când faci asta! Poate că vei vrea să anunți mai dinainte că vei cere o decizie, pentru ca oamenii să nu fie luați prin surprindere și pentru ca să își poată pregăti răspunsul în timpul predicii.

Încheierea este motivația finală – motivația finală de a crește în viața de creștin sau de a deveni creștin. Timpul pentru răspuns trebuie oferit atât credincioșilor, cât și necredincioșilor. Credincioșii trebuie să se împace cu Dumnezeu și unii cu alții – să-și mărturisească și să se pocăiască de păcatele, obiceiurile, atitudinile, relațiile, credințele, vorbirea lor etc. Necredincioșii trebuie să se împace cu Dumnezeu – să se întoarcă la El, să se încreadă în Hristos, să primească iertare etc.

Timpul pentru răspuns poate fi public sau privat. Nu este nevoie ca toate acestea să aibă loc în timpul serviciului divin. Oamenii pot să dea un răspuns acolo unde se află, la locul lor – ex. pentru mărturisire, pocăință; sau poate avea loc în cadrul unei întâlniri pentru cei interesați (adică cei care vor să afle mai multe) după serviciul divin. Un răspus public poate însemna venirea în față a celor care vor să își mărturisească credința sau ridicarea mâinii, pentru a fi observați și pentru ca tu să te rogi pentru ei.

B. Reguli Ajutătoare Pentru Încheiere

1. Fii Convingător

Când începi încheierea, lumea va fi conștientă de lucrul acesta – așa că fă-o să fie încheiere! Fă să se simtă că mesajul este complet și se încheie! Nu mai continua cu lucruri pe care ai uitat să le spui mai înainte. Nu prezenta material nou aici, pentru că aceasta este o modalitate sigură de a-ți distruge încheierea. Acesta este unul dintre cele mai obișnuite puncte slabe ale unei încheieri. Adăugarea unor informații noi aici nu face decât să producă confuzie și să distragă atenția de la încheiere.

2. Vorbește Clar Și Deslușit

Îndemnul tău nu trebuie să lase loc de îndoială în mintea ascultătorilor tăi cu privire la ceea ce aștepți de la ei (de exemplu, să răspundă la invitație) și de ce. Aplicația trebuie să răspundă la întrebările „ce”, „de ce” și „cum”. Întreabă-te dacă toată lumea poate înțelege în mod clar provocarea lansată. Încearcă să te pui în locul ascultătorilor, care nu au studiat textul ca tine și nici nu au petrecut atât de mult timp în textul respectiv, așa cum ai făcut tu.

3. Fii Precis

Încheierea trebuie să fie precisă și potrivită cu provocarea textului.

4. Fii Autentic În Abordare Și În Atmosfera Pe Care O Creezi

Nu încerca să devii deodată un predicator faimos ca Billy Graham, așteptându-te ca mulțimi de oameni să vină în față în timp ce tu cânți „Așa cum sunt”. Abordează încheierea într-un mod personal și natural!

5. Adresează-Te În Mod Personal

Nu încheia predica într-o notă neclară, imprecisă sau într-o notă nepersonală. Este destul de greu pentru ascultători să înțeleagă un adevăr abstract, ca să nu mai vorbim de un predicator impersonal.

Ascultătorii tăi trebuie să fie convinși că ceea ce ai spus este chiar pentru ei – că tu știi cele mai ascunse secrete din inima și din viața lor. Adesea ascultătorii îți vor spune că ai atins exact inima problemei cu care se confruntă în viața lor. Cum ai știut? De fapt, tu nu ai știut, dar Duhul Sfânt a știut.

Ascultătorii trebuie să plece de la biserică cu o provocare personală, cu răspunsuri la întrebările lor, cu soluții la probemele lor, cu bucuria că au ascultat Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu predicat. În sensul acesta, încearcă să le lași întotdeauna un cuvânt de speranță. Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu este, într-adevăr, o veste bună și așa trebuie să-l predici. Sunt atât de multe lucruri în lume care produc disperare, așa că nu face asta și în biserică! Oamenii vin la biserică în disperarea lor, căutând vești bune, speranță și răspunsuri la problemele lor. Așa că, dă-le motivul și mijloacele speranței!

Întreabă-te: „Acest mesaj va atinge pe fiecare om în mod personal?” Imaginează-ți biserica, treci printre rânduri și aplică această întrebare la fiecare persoană.

6. Fii Practic

Dacă este o mulțime mare și tu îi chemi în față, trebuie să le dai timpul necesar ca să ajungă acolo și, de asemenea, trebuie să existe și spațiu suficient. Dacă sunt mulți care răspund invitației, ai nevoie de consilieri să te ajute sau trebuie să te întâlnești cu oamenii respectivi după serviciul divin. Dacă necredincioșii răspund invitației, trebuie să le oferi literatură creștină. Dacă răspund persoane care au venit pentru prima dată la biserică, trebuie să le dai materiale despre biserică și despre lucrările sale.

7. Explică Răspunsul

Invitația ta trebuie să aibă semnificație și scop, nu să fie doar ceva ce trebuie să faci la sfârșitul serviciului divin (ceva ce devine un simplu ritual). Explică-le clar ce să facă, cum să răspundă, adică cum ar trebui să fie răspunsul lor, fie că trebuie să-l dea acolo pe loc sau mai târziu, pe măsură ce împlinesc principiile predicii în viața lor.

8. Fii Adecvat

Trebuie să te asiguri că încheierea se potrivește cu ocazia respectivă, cu mesajul și cu audiența. De asemenea, aplicația să decurgă din textul biblic! Ilustrația (dacă folosești) trebuie să fie strâns legată de mesaj și de text (așa încât să nu aibă nevoie de explicații) și de ascultători. Întreabă-te: „Încheierea mea se potrivește cu audiența mea, cu mesajul meu și cu ocazia aceasta?”

C. Pericole Ce Trebuie Evitate

1. Încheierea De Tipul „Adaos” (Sau Încheierea „Îngrămădită”)

Acest tip de încheiere este ca o mașină care continuă să mai meargă puțin după ce o oprești. Predicatorul mai adaugă puțin aici, puțin acolo, până când se pierde nu doar ideea predicii, ci și atenția și răspunsul ascultătorilor. Acest lucru se întâmplă, de obicei, atunci când nu îți planifici cum vei încheia.

A ști cum să te oprești este la fel de important ca și a ști cum să începi. Probabil cu toții ați auzit, din păcate, pe cineva împărtășindu-și mărturia personală în biserică și neștiind, la final, cum să se oprească. Să continui să vorbești atunci când ascultătorii știu că încerci să închei este foarte frustrant pentru ei.

2. Încheierea De Tipul „Tur De Pistă”

Această încheiere apare atunci când predicatorul pare să încheie, iar apoi pornește iar către o altă concluzie. Practic, nu se poate hotărî cum și când să se oprească. Uneori predicatorul se oprește, iar apoi spune: „Ceea ce vreau să spun este că…” și începe să explice concluzia din nou. Trebuie să știi dinainte care va fi sfârșitul și să ai doar unul.

3. Încheierea De Tipul „Deja Vu”

Aceasta este o concluzie care, în loc să sumarizeze predica, de fapt o repetă, așa că o auzim din nou. Este ca un moment „deja vu”, când ești absolut sigur că ai mai fost în locul respectiv și ai mai văzut momentul acela. Aceasta se întâmplă atunci când predicatorul își dă seama că a scăpat ceva sau nu a spus exact ce a vrut să spună. Spune ce ai ce de spus și încheie!

4. Încheierea De Tip „Resturi”

Uneori predicatorul spune la concluzii ceea ce nu a putut spune de-a lungul predicii. Fii disciplinat și renunță la tot ceea ce nu este relevant pentru mesajul tău. Nu încerca să incluzi în predică tot ceea ce afli în timpul studierii textului. Fii fără milă atunci când trebuie să ștergi informații! Pune la încercare toate informațiile descoperite: „Este informația aceasta relevantă pentru tema predicii?”

Predica nu este un comentariu al textului biblic în care trebuie să prezinți toate punctele de vedere și tot ceea ce au scris toți teologii vreodată pe subiectul respectiv. Predica este ca o împușcătură de pușcă (o singură împușcătură, bine țintită), nu ca una de pistol (mai multe împușcături distribuite pe o arie mai extinsă).

5. Încheierea De Tipul „Același Joc”

Acest tip de încheiere apare atunci când folosești de fiecare același format și toată lumea știe ce abordare ai, pentru că este aceeași de fiecare dată. Varietatea este la fel de importantă în încheiere, ca și în introducere. Așadar, nu servi încheierea în același în fiecare săptămână.

6. Încheierea „Manipulatoare”

Acesta este un pericol care trebuie evitat cu orice preț. Manipularea sau intimidarea sunt încercări de a forța o decizie prin presiune sau înșelătorie. Îndemnarea, pe de altă parte, este doar un apel la ascultători să răspundă față de adevărul predicii, pe măsură ce Duhul Sfânt aplică mesajul în inima în voința lor.

D. Observații Finale Cu Privire La Încheiere

1. Gîndește Încheierea Și Scrie-O În Întregime

Nu vrei să faci o încheiere pe moment! Este prea important și, adesea, prea greu să o faci în mod spontan!

2. Trebuie Să Cunoști Concluzia

Aceasta a fost stabilită în introducere – în „scopul” predicii și în ideea principală a predicii. Concluzia, așadar, se leagă de introducere.

3. Alocă Timp Încheierii

Nu grăbi încheierea! Las-o să pătrundă în așteptările pe care le ai de la ascultători! Și dă-le șansa să răspundă!

4. Adaptează Încheierea La Mesajul Predicat

Dacă ai făcut schimbări în timp ce predicai mesajul, atunci va trebui să încorporezi acele schimbări în încheiere.

5. Încrede-Te În Dumnezeu În Ce Privește Rezultatul

În definitiv, numai Duhul Sfânt poate schimba viețile oamenilor. Noi trebuie să facem tot ce putem pentru a facilita această schimbare (la urma urmei, noi suntem cei pe care Dumnezeu i-a ales să facă lucrul acesta). Însă după ce noi ne-am făcut partea, rezultatele rămân în seama lui Dumnezeu. Este o mare ușurare pentru predicator să se încreadă în Dumnezeu în ce privește rezultatul, mai ales atunci când nu vezi rezultatele dorite sau așteptate.

Partea A II-A. Mesaj Biblic

„Procese în biserică” (1 Cor. 6:1-11) 1

Dr. Stephen F. Olford

Introducere În pasajul acesta, Pavel vorbește despre cea de-a doua neorânduială din biserică ce îi fusese adusă la cunoștință. Aceasta avea de-a face cu litigii sau procese în adunare. Problema aceasta îi afecta în special pe grecii din biserică, deoarece evreii nu obișnuiau să își caute dreptatea la tribunal. Învățătura lor le interzicea lucrul acesta în mod explicit. În ceea ce îi privește pe greci, însă, lucrurile stăteau altfel. Lor le făcea plăcere să se dea în judecată unii pe alții! Parcă întreaga lor viață era strâns legată de procedurile legale.

Apostolul, pe de altă parte, ne arată în versetele acestea, că atunci când creștinii se ceartă între ei, ar trebui să fie judecați de alți creștini și nu de judecători nenăscuți din nou. Desigur, aceasta nu înseamnă că nu trebuie să ne folosim niciodată de tribunalele din țara noastră. Există situații și împrejurări care cer lucrul acesta. De fapt, este bine să ne amintim că însuși autorul acestei epistole, apostolul Pavel, a apelat o dată la un tribunal pământesc (Fapte 25:11); însă nu a făcut niciodată lucrul acesta pentru o dispută din cadrul bisericii lui Dumnezeu sau pentru o dispută între frați creștini. Așadar, învățătura ce reiese clar din această parte importantă a Cuvântului lui Dumnezeu este că:

I. Litigiul Între Creștini Este Contrar Menirii Bisericii

„Cum! Când vreunul din voi are vreo neînţelegere cu altul, îndrăzneşte el să se judece cu el la cei nelegiuiţi, şi nu la sfinţi? Nu ştiţi că sfinţii vor judeca lumea? Şi dacă lumea va fi judecată de voi, sunteţi voi nevrednici să judecaţi lucruri de foarte mică însemnătate? Nu ştiţi că noi vom judeca pe îngeri? Cu cât mai mult lucrurile vieţii acesteia? Deci când aveţi neînţelegeri pentru lucrurile vieţii acesteia, voi puneţi judecători pe aceia pe care biserica nu-i bagă în seamă?” (1 Corinteni 6:1-4). Pavel intră în subiectul acesta folosind cuvinte de uimire și provocare. El spune: „Când vreunul din voi are vreo neînţelegere cu altul, îndrăzneşte el să se judece cu el la cei nelegiuiţi?” (v. 1). Apoi prezintă două motive pentru care o astfel de practică este contrară menirii bisericii. În primul rând, sfinții sunt meniți să judece lumea (v. 2). Acest adevăr remarcabil apare atât în evanghelii, cât și în epistole.

Isus a spus: „Adevărat vă spun că atunci când va sta Fiul omului pe scaunul de domnie al măririi Sale, la înnoirea tuturor lucrurilor, voi, care M-aţi urmat, veţi şedea şi voi pe douăsprezece scaune de domnie şi veţi judeca pe cele douăsprezece seminţii ale lui Israel” (Matei 19:28).

Iuda a spus: „Iată că a venit Domnul cu zecile de mii de sfinţi ai Săi, ca să facă o judecată împotriva tuturor şi să încredinţeze pe toţi cei nelegiuiţi de toate faptele nelegiuite pe care le-au făcut în chip nelegiuit şi de toate cuvintele de ocară pe care le-au rostit împotriva Lui aceşti păcătoşi nelegiuiţi” (Iuda 14-15).

Pavel ne amintește că „dacă răbdăm, vom şi împărăţi împreună cu El…” (2 Timotei 2:12) Ce menire! Cât de unit este credinciosul cu Hristos și cât de înălțat este, atât în poziție, cât și în putere! Și totuși, corintenii neglijau toate aceste lucruri, fie din neștiință, fie în mod intenționat. În loc să își exercite autoritatea spirituală pe care o aveau prin unirea cu Capul lor înviat, ei erau cu totul incapabili să rezolve aceste certuri mărunte din biserica locală.

Cel de-al doilea motiv al lui Pavel este o dezvoltare a celui dintâi. El întreabă: „Nu ştiţi că noi vom judeca pe îngeri?” (v.3). El extinde ceea ce a spus deja, pentru a include și autoritatea supremă pe care o vor avea sfinții împreună cu Domnul lor peste toate ființele create din împărăția eternă. Perspectiva aceasta este, cu siguranță, uluitoare! Și, totuși, este adevărată, pentru că Dumnezeu spune așa.

Cât de nesăbuiți erau, așadar, credincioșii din Corint, și cât de nesăbuiți sunt credincioșii din ziua de azi, să nu poată judeca în probleme legate de viața aceasta (v. 3). Într-adevăr, cu o ironie mușcătoare, apostolul sugerează că până și cei mai nebăgați în seamă din biserică trebuie să fie mai calificați decât judecătorii pământești pentru a soluționa disputele din biserică. Așadar, vedem că litigiile între creștini sunt contrare menirii bisericii.

II. Litigiul Între Creștini Este Contrar Politicii Bisericii

„Spre ruşinea voastră zic lucrul acesta. Astfel, nu este între voi nici măcar un singur om înţelept, care să fie în stare să judece între frate şi frate? Dar un frate se duce la judecată cu alt frate, şi încă înaintea necredincioşilor!” (1 Corinteni 6:5-6). Sensul general al acestor două versete arată foarte clar că politica divină pentru rezolvarea conflictelor din biserică are două părți:

În primul rând, astfel de certuri și probleme nu au absolut nimic de-a face cu necredincioșii. Nimic nu este mai nepotrivit față de scopul lui Dumnezeu pentru biserica locală decât să aștepte ca problemele poporului lui Dumnezeu să fie rezolvate de judecători nedrepți și neregenerați spiritual. Biserica locală se coboară foarte jos atunci când trebuie să apeleze la un consilier lumesc pe probeme ce țin de viața, credința și practica creștină. Într-adevăr, a te coborî la acest nivel înseamnă a recunoaște, în mod eronat, că modul de viață creștin este nepotrivit.

În al doilea rând, arbitrajul litigiilor sau „împăcarea frățească”, sugerată de termenul „să judece” din versetul acesta, trebuie să aibă loc prin grija bărbaților „înțelepți” din biserică. Biserica nu este, esențialmente, o democrație, ci mai degrabă o teocrație – sau, mai bine zis, o „cristocrație”. Prin conducerea Domnului Isus, se stabilește o scară ierarhică de comandă în ce privește conducerea și judecarea. Biserica trebuie să se supună acesteia, deoarece Scriptura spune: „Aduceţi-vă aminte de mai marii voştri…” (Evrei 13:7). Acolo unde cei care conduc biserica sunt învățați și conduși de Duhul Sfânt, nu trebuie să existe problemă ce nu poate fi rezolvată. Pavel arată lucrul acesta foarte clar prin felul în care se adresează situației nepotrivite și absurde din biserica din Corint. El exclamă: „Spre ruşinea voastră zic lucrul acesta…” (6:5), iar apoi întreabă în termeni umilitori dacă se poate „găsi” în adunare în om „înțelept”, care să fie capabil să judece între un credincios și altul!

Am putea adăuga faptul că această politică divină nu a fost niciodată abrogată. Dumnezeu încă se așteaptă ca biserica Lui să fie condusă și judecată în conformitate cu Cuvântul Său.

III. Litigiul Între Creștini Este Contrar Dragostei Creștine Din Biserică

„Chiar faptul că aveţi judecăţi între voi este un cusur pe care-l aveţi. Pentru ce nu suferiţi mai bine să fiţi nedreptăţiţi? De ce nu răbdaţi mai bine paguba? Dar voi singuri sunteţi aceia care nedreptăţiţi şi păgubiţi şi încă pe fraţi!” (1 Corinteni 6:7-8). În capitolul 13 al acestei epistole, Pavel spune care este motivația supremă pentru fiecare faptă și reacție din viața bisericii. Această motivație este dragostea. Într-adevăr, el spune că poți să ai totul, dar dacă nu ai „dragoste”, nu ai nimic. Aceste cuvinte ale apostolului sunt doar un ecou al cuvintelor Stăpânului: „Prin aceasta vor cunoaşte toţi că sunteţi ucenicii Mei, dacă veţi avea dragoste unii pentru alţii” (Ioan 13:35). În mod evident, apostolul are în minte această „motivație supremă” atunci când tratează subiectul delicat al litigiului.

Observăm că termenul „frați” se repetă mereu în aceste versete (5, 6, 8). Pavel spune că mai bine suferi nedreptate din partea fratelui tău creștin decât să fii atât de lipsit de dragoste încât să duci conflictul la un tribunal păgân. Traducerea în engleză Revised Standard Version traduce versetul 7 astfel: „Să vă judecați între voi înseamnă să fiți ÎNFRÂNȚI.” Cu alte cuvinte, Pavel spune că poți să câștigi legal și să suferi o înfrângere morală în același timp. Sau, se poate întâmpla nu doar să refuzi să suferi nedreptate, ci chiar să aduci un rău mai mare asupra altora. O astfel de atitudine este exact opusul asemănării cu Hristos și opusul dragostei de la Calvar. Iată ce citim cu privire la Mântuitorul nostru: „Când era batjocorit, nu răspundea cu batjocuri; şi, când era chinuit, nu ameninţa, ci Se supunea dreptului Judecător” (1 Petru 2:23). Așadar, firea pământească, cu toate multiplele sale forme de egoism, nemulțumire și dorință de răzbunare, toate sunt anulate atunci când aplicăm dragostea crusii prin puterea Duhului Sfânt.

IV. Litigiul Între Creștini Este Contrar Purității Bisericii

„Nu ştiţi că cei nedrepţi nu vor moşteni Împărăţia lui Dumnezeu? Nu vă înşelaţi în privinţa aceasta: nici curvarii, nici închinătorii la idoli, nici preacurvarii, nici malahii, nici sodomiţii, nici hoţii, nici cei lacomi, nici beţivii, nici defăimătorii, nici hrăpăreţii nu vor moşteni Împărăţia lui Dumnezeu. Şi aşa eraţi unii din voi! Dar aţi fost spălaţi, aţi fost sfinţiţi, aţi fost socotiţi neprihăniţi, în Numele Domnului Isus Hristos şi prin Duhul Dumnezeului nostru” (1 Corinteni 6:9-11). Pentru a ajunge la puctul culminant al acestui subiect, Pavel arată incompatibilitatea absolută dintre lume și biserică. El îi pune în contrast pe cei „nedrepți” din versetul 9 cu cei care sunt „spălați… sfințiți… socotiți neprihăniți” din versetul 11. El recunoaște fără teamă că, fără harul lui Dumnezeu, omul neregenerat spiritual în starea sa cea mai bună este capabilă de:

a) Curvie – un termen care înseamnă literalmente prostituția bărbaților.

b) Idolatrie – termen care semnifică înlocuirea lui Dumnezeu cu altceva sau altcineva.

c) Preacurvie sau adulter – termen ce descrie relația sexuală cu soțul/ soția altcuiva.

d) Efeminare – termen ce sugerează pierderea bărbăției sau a feminității cu scopul de a trăi în plăcere și lux.

e) Sodomie – termen ce se referă la păcatele homosexualității și sodomiei.

f) Hoție – termen ce acoperă întreaga arie a însușirii ilegale a timpului, energiei sau banilor care aparțin lui Dumnezeu sau altcuiva.

g) Lăcomie – termen ce înseamnă a te închina altora și posesiunilor lor.

h) Beție – termen ce înseamnă a bea neînfrânat.

i) Defăimare – termen asociat cu limba necontrolată și nesfințită.

j) Jecmănire – termen ce denotă acea dorință de a lua mereu ceea ce nu îți aparține.

Ce listă îngrozitoare! Și numai să ne imaginăm că suntem atât de corupți pe cât spune Pavel! Însă a avut loc un miracol: Dumnezeu s-a întâlnit cu noi în Hristos și ne-a transformat; ne-a făcut curați, sfinți și buni. Am fost curățiți, puși deoparte și puși într-o lumină favorabilă înaintea lui Dumnezeu prin numele lui Hristos și prin Duhul Său. Termenii „spălați”, „sfințiți” și „socotiți neprihăniți” descriu „mântuirea deplină” în care am fost aduși numai prin har și prin credința în Hristos.

Concluzie: Dacă aceasta este curăția poziției și stării noastre în Hristos, cum putem noi, cei „chemați să fim sfinți” (2:1) să ne simțim în largul nostru în tribunalele „nedrepte” sau printre judecători nesfinți? Întrebarea își dă singură răspunsul.

Așadar, Pavel înlătură procesele din biserica locală. Și dacă vrem să ascultăm de Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu, și noi trebuie sp facem la fel. De fapt, trebuie să mergem chiar mai departe; trebuie să avem grijă ca viața bisericii să nu coboare atât de mult încât să aibă nevoie de astfel de proceduri firești. Înțelegerea menirii, politicii, dragostei și purității noastre în Hristos trebuie să determine orice gând și orice acțiune în biserică și în afara ei.

Partea A III-A. Schițe De Predici

Pentru versiunea audio a acestor predici în limba engleză, dați click pe link-urile următoare: Link 1 - Jn. 20:1-2; Link 2 - Jn. 20:3-10; Link 3 - Jn. 20:11-18

Titlu: Tocmai L-am văzut pe Isus

Tema: Șocul și realitatea învierii

Punctul #1: Mormântul gol îi transformă pe observatori în credincioși (1-10)

1. Mormântul gol îi transformă pe observatori în urmași (1-2)

(1) La cruce, unii erau observatori (Luca 23:55-56)

(2) La mormântul gol, unii erau urmași (1-2)

2. Mormântul gol îi transformă pe urmași în credincioși (3-10)

(1) Pe unii, mormântul gol îi lasă sceptici (6-7)

(2) Pe alții, mormântul gol îi inspiră să creadă (5, 8-9)

Punctul #2: Hristorul înviat transformă durerea în bucurie (11-18)

1. Necunoașterea învierii produce durere (11-13)

(1) Produce durere în ciuda dovezilor (11)

(2) Produce durere în ciuda mărturiei (12-13)

2. Cunoașterea învierii produce bucurie (14-18)

(1) Produce bucurie prin recunoașterea Lui (14-16)

(2) Produce bucurie prin ascultarea de El (17-18)


1 Alte articole din seria aceasta pe 1 Corinteni pot fi citite în edițiile anterioare ale acestui jurnal, după cum urmează: Vara 2016, Toamna 2016, Iarna 2017, Primăvara 2017, Vara 2017, Toamna 2017, Iarna 2018, Primăvara 2018, Vara 2018.

Related Topics: Pastors

The Net Pastors Journal, Rus Ed 30, Зимнее Издание 2019

Зимнее издание 2019

Служение Института Библейского Проповедования…

“Укреплять Церковь через библейскую проповедь и руководство”

Автор: Проф. Роджер Паскоу, Директор
Института Библейского Проповедования
Кембридж, Онтарио, Канада
Email: [email protected]
Тел.: 1-519-620-2375

Часть I: Усиление Проповеди

“Усиливая заключение”

Заключение обычно подготавливается в конце подготовки к проповеди, непосредственно перед введением (или одновременно с введением). Введение и заключение делаем вместе - заключение следует за введением. Подобно тому, как слабенькое введение рискует не привлечь вашу аудиторию к содержанию вашей проповеди, так и слабенькое заключение может не привлечь вашу аудиторию к тому, чтобы как-то отреагировать на послание.

Основная цель заключения - обеспечить окончание вашей проповеди - и послание не заканчивается должным образом, если оно не мотивирует к тому, чтобы изменить свою жизнь. Вот почему мы проповедуем - не просто , чтобы передавать интересную информацию; не просто наполнять наши головы знаниями; не для того, чтобы все чувствовали себя хорошо, но чтобы быть катализатором измененных жизней. Мы «убеждаем мужчин и женщин» (2 Кор. 5:19).

Вы можете разрушить эффективность своей проповеди при слабом заключении. Многие проповедники не знают, как довести проповедь до конца. Это видно в публичных выступлениях и в проповеди. Слабое заключение похоже на человека, который начал строить башню, но не смог ее закончить.

Обратите внимание на две существенные опасности в отношении заключения проповеди:

1. Заключение перед проповедью.

2. Заключение после окончания проповеди.

Слабое заключение связано, прежде всего, с двумя причинами:

1. Недостаточно мыслей, подготовки и молитвы о заключении проповеди, и о том, чего вы (и Святой Дух) хотите достичь.

2. Неспособность приписать заключению важность, которую оно действительно имеет.

A. Основные Моменты Хорошего Заключения

1. Суммирование: “Кристаллизировать” Истину

Одним из лучших способов обучения является повторение - основной тройной шаблон:

(1) Скажите, что вы собираетесь сказать аудитории (введение)

(2) Скажите, что приготовили для них (тело)

(3) Скажите им, что вы только что сказали (заключение)

Просто убедитесь, что вы не повторяетесь слишком много - только суммируйте. И не вводите это предсказуемой фразой, такой как: «Ну вот этим утром мы узнали с вами…». Сделайте это естественной частью вашего замысла, не резюмируя это в точечной форме, но освещая в общем основные мысли проповеди в вашем заключении.

Хорошо повторять ваше предложение близко и в разных местах всей вашей проповеди, если для этого есть естественное место. Делая это, вы выполняете несколько важных шагов:

(1) Вы напоминаете своей аудитории о том, с чего начали, рассказывая ближе к вступлению.

(2) Вы «кристаллизуете» (укрепляете) общий доктринальный момент проповеди и текста.

(3) Вы помогаете людям вспомнить смысл проповеди.

(4) Вы демонстрируете, что вы проповедовали то, что нужно - то есть вы доказали свою точку зрения, или объяснили истину, или призвали их принять идею, или ответили на вопрос, который вы задали в начале.

(5) Вы снова формулируете проповедь в одно предложение, и на этот раз огни должны зажечь умы вашей аудитории, если они еще не зажглись. Они должны сказать: «Да! Это - истина отрывка!»

Один из способов подвести итог вашей проповеди - повторить основные пункты проповеди. Таким образом, они могут быстро вспомнить всю проповедь в общих чертах и ​​увидеть, откуда они начали, и также, куда им нужно идти.

Если вы сказали во введении цель своей проповеди, вы можете повторить ее в заключении, пояснив суть послания, чтобы оно было кристально чистым и ваша аудитория переориентировалась на ваш мотивирующий толчок.

Это суммирование предназначено для разъяснения - чтобы было кристально ясно, в чем заключается проблема сообщения; кристаллизовать центральную проблему; и дать вам одну заключительную, разъясняющую мысль.

Попробуйте вернуться к моменту, когда возник контакт (если это возможно). Возможно, вы рассказали историю, которая проиллюстрировала проблему, или рассказали стихотворение, или привели пример. Возвращаясь к этому, аудитория увидит это в свете того, что вы только что проповедовали. Или, может быть, вы оставили что-то висящее, и теперь вы можете закончить историю или ответить на проблему. Возвращаясь к введению, в некотором смысле действует как рамка с картинкой для проповеди (или конец книги) - это приносит закрытие.

2. Иллюстрация : “Визуально Представить” Истину

Хорошая иллюстрация - очень эффективный способ собрать всю проповедь в одно в заключении. Если вы выберете правильную иллюстрацию, она нарисует словесную картину темы, которую вы проповедовали, и запечатлит ее в умах слушателей. Через иллюстрацию люди могут увидеть истину, которую вы представили, и свою собственную жизнь в призме этой истины.

Иллюстрации делают абстрактную истину визуальной и конкретной. Обязательно используйте только иллюстрацию, которая соответствует теме вашей проповеди, и не делайте ее длинной. Вы можете включить туда даже поэзию (или песню) или уместную и сильную цитату в качестве заключительной «иллюстрации». Особая ценность поэзии заключается в том, что она выражает абстрактные истины с помощью красочных, уникальных словесных изображений в сжатой форме.

3. Призыв: “Конкретизировать” И “Сделать Личной” Истину

Призыв, как повторение, переориентирует внимание на цель проповеди, а именно на то, чтобы мотивировать слушателей что-то сделать; предпринять какие-то «моральные и духовные действия»; чтобы довести дело до конца лично.

В этой части заключения скажите им, что вы хотите, чтобы они сделали - то есть как им изменить свое поведение, мышление, отношение, отношения, повиновение истине и т. д. Если проповедь была убедительной, люди уже должны спрашивать в своих умах и сердцах : «Что нам делать?» Или «Почему мы должны это делать?» Или «Как мы можем это сделать?» Наша задача - ответить на эти невысказанные вопросы, сказав им «что», «почему» или «как» «Поручая им покаяться и повиноваться истине».

Иногда сам текст дает вам заключительное заявление. Много раз в трудах Павла абзац заканчивается применением.

Сделайте ваш призыв личностным - обращайтесь к ним как к «ним». Теперь вы прошли этап «мы». Это роль пророка, говорящего за Бога и требующего, чтобы люди отвечали.

Это последнее «применение». Даже несмотря на то, что вы применили истину на протяжении всей проповеди, заключение дает вам последний шанс для особых и личных акцентов. Итак, сделайте его конкретным и ярким. Приведите конкретные примеры действий, которые вы ожидаете в результате этой проповеди. Это то, что сделал Иисус в конце своей нагорной проповеди, где он собрал яркую иллюстрацию и мощное применение (Мф. 7: 24-26). Это ваш последний шанс сделать проповедь актуальной - преодолеть разрыв между библейским миром и современным миром и дать ответы на вопросы «почему, что и как». Убедитесь, что ваша заявка основана на тексте, а не на вашем собственном опыте или убеждениях.

Здесь вы «умоляете», как это делали апостолы, - подбадривая их, умоляя их (например, примириться с Богом), призывая их (например, соответствовать Христу).

4. Приглашение: “Актуализируйте” Истину

Это дает людям возможность ответить - «актуализировать» правду в своей жизни. Эта часть вашего заключения будет принимать различные формы в зависимости от типа проповеди и аудитории, которой вы проповедуете. Но, в общем, это тот момент, когда вы призываете к ответу. Это время принятия решения. Все хорошие проповеди требуют какого-то решения. Таким образом, в заключение мы бросаем им вызов ответить на нее.

Это часто встречается в библейских проповедях. Например, Иисус Навин бросил вызов людям в книге Иисуса Навина 24:15: «Изберите себе ныне, кому вы будете служить. А я и дом мой будем служить Господу». Вот как Петр сказал в Деяниях 2:36-40:«Итак, твердо знай весь народ Израиля, что Бог сего Иисуса, которого вы распяли.». Это прямое обращение Петра к их совести, на что они сразу же ответили:«Что нам делать?» И он реализовал истину, пригласив их «покаяться и креститься». Вот как Павел завершил свою проповедь в Деяниях 17:30-32 «Итак, оставляя времена неведения Бог ныне повелевает всем людям повсюду покаяться, ибо Он назначил день, когда он будет судить вселенную , посредством предопределенного Им Мужа, подав удостоверение всем, воскресив Его из мертвых. Услышав о воскресении из мертвых, одни насмехались…”

Цель проповедника не состоит в том, чтобы отправлять людей такими же, как они пришли, и цель слушателя - не оставаться такими же, как они пришли. Мы проповедуем, и люди слушают, чтобы быть измененными Словом и Святым Духом через посредство проповеди.

Не забудьте дать время Святому Духу актуализировать послание в жизни людей. Не торопитесь с этим, так как такая тенденция иногда существует. Не смущайтесь. Возможно, вам нужно заранее сказать, что вы будете призывать к ответу и решению, чтобы это не стало неожиданностью, и чтобы они готовились к ответу на протяжении всего послания.

Заключение - это ваш последний побудительный толчок - последняя мотивация для них расти, как христианам или становиться христианами. Время ответа должно быть направлено как на верующих, так и на неверующих. Верующие должны быть правы с Богом и друг с другом - исповедовать и раскаиваться в грехе, в привычках, в своем отношении к разным вещам, в отношениях, в убеждениях, в речи и т. д. Неверующие должны примириться с Богом - примириться с Богом, довериться Христу, получить прощение и т. д.

Время принятия решения может быть как частным, так и общедоступным. Все это не обязательно должно происходить в собрании. Частный ответ может иметь место именно там, где они сидят - например, в исповеди, в раскаянии; или это может произойти на следующем собрании для тех, кто хочет знать больше. Публичный ответ может означать выйти вперед тем, кто хочет исповедовать веру, или поднять руку, чтобы их увидели и помолились за них.

Б. Полезные Идеи Для Заключения

1. Будьте Убедительны

Когда вы начнете делать заключение, все это поймут - так что сделайте по настоящему заключением. Дайте ощущение завершения и окончания послания. Не говорите то, что вы могли забыть сказать раньше. Не говорите о новой теме - это верный способ уничтожить ваше заключение. Это - одна из довольно распространенных ошибок. Новый материал только сбивает с толку и отвлекает от поставленной изначально вами задачи.

2. Будьте Четки И Ясны

Ваш призыв не должен оставлять в умах слушателей никаких сомнений в том, что вы ожидаете от них (например, их ответ на ваш призыв) и почему. Ваше применение должно отвечать на вопросы «что», «почему», «как». Спросите себя, может ли каждый из них ясно понять, какой вызов вы им бросили? Постарайтесь поставить себя на их место, так как будто вы не изучали текста раньше и не потратили на него массу времени.

3. Будьте Точны

Удостоверьтесь, что ваше заключение является точным и соответствует текстовой задаче.

4. Будьте Подлинным В Подходе И Атмосфере

Не пытайтесь внезапно стать известным проповедником, таким как Билли Грэм, ожидая, что массы выйдут вперед, пока вы поете «Так же, как я». Используйте свой собственный естественный подход к завершению этой проповеди.

5. Обратитесь К Ним Лично

Не заканчивайте свою проповедь на слабой, не ясной ноте, либо на безличной ноте. Людям достаточно трудно понять абстрактную истину, не говоря уже о безразличном проповеднике.

Ваши слушатели должны быть убеждены, что то, что вы сказали, было только для них - что вы знаете самые сокровенные тайны их сердец и жизней. Часто слушатели скажут, что вы ударили прямо в сердце их жизненной ситуации. Как ты узнал? Ну, ты ничего не сделал, все Святой Дух сделал.

Слушатели должны оставить служение со своим личным вызовом, с ответом на их вопросы, с решениями их проблем, с радостью, что они пришли, чтобы услышать проповеданное Слово Божье. В связи с этим старайтесь всегда оставлять их со словом надежды. Слово Божие - действительно хорошая новость. Убедитесь, что вы проповедуете именно так. В мире так много причин для отчаяния. Не дублируйте и не преувеличивайте это в церкви. Люди приходят в церковь в полном отчаянии в поисках хороших новостей, надежды, ответа на свои проблемы. Убедитесь, что вы даете им причину и средства для надежды.

Задайте себе вопрос: «Коснется ли это послание лично каждого человека?» Мысленно просмотрите на места, визуализируйте свое собрание и задайте этот вопрос каждому человеку. лично.

6. Будьте Практичны

Если много народа, вы просите их выйти вперед, вам нужно дать время, чтобы они вышли, и для них должно быть место. Если много народа, вам нужны консультанты, чтобы помочь вам или поговорить с ними после служения, чтобы не упустить их. Если неверующие отвечают, вам нужны материалы, чтобы дать им. Если новички открыты к вам, вам нужны материалы о церкви и ее служениях, чтобы предоставить им.

7. Дайте Им Инструкции В Отношении Ответа На Призыв

Сделайте ваше приглашение осмысленным и целенаправленным, а не просто формальным в конце служения (это становится просто ритуалом). Дайте им инструкции, что делать, как реагировать - то есть, как должен выглядеть их ответ: либо сразу на служении, либо позже в их жизни, когда принципы проповеди будут претворяться в жизнь.

8. Будьте Приемлемыми

Убедитесь, что ваше заключение подходит для темы, для послания и для аудитории. Убедитесь, что ваше применение основано на тексте Писания. Убедитесь, что ваша иллюстрация (если вы ее используете) тесно связана с посланием и текстом (чтобы не требовалось объяснений) и со слушателями. Задайте себе вопрос: «Это заключение подходит моей аудитории, моему посланию, и к этой теме?»

В. Опасности

1. Заключение «Запуск» (Или Заключение «Накопление»)

Это похоже на машину, которая продолжает работать некоторое время после того, как вы ее выключили. Постепенно проповедник накапливает немного больше того, а затем немного больше этого, пока не только теряется смысл проповеди, но и теряется внимание и восприятие аудитории.

Обычно, это - результат отсутствия планирования, как завершить проповедь

Знание, как закончить, так же важно, как и умение начать. Вы, наверное, все слышали (мучительно), как кто-то давал свидетельство в церкви и не знал, как ему закончить его. Продолжать - бессмысленно, когда аудитория знает, что вы пытаетесь закончить, и это может расстраивать слушателей.

2. Заключение «Попытка Приземлиться»

Это происходит, когда проповедник, кажется, завершает, а затем снова начинает выстраивать другой вывод. Он просто не может решить, как и когда остановиться. Иногда проповедник может закончить, а потом сказать: «Что я имею в виду под этим…» и начать вывод заново. Убедитесь, что вы знаете, каково ваше завершение, и оно должно быть только одно.

3. Заключение «Дежа Вю»

Это вывод, когда вместо подведения итогов проповедь фактически повторяется заново, так что вы слышите ее снова и снова. Это - один из тех моментов дежа вю, когда вы абсолютно уверены, что были здесь раньше, видели это раньше. Это может произойти, если он поймет, что он что-то пропустил или не сказал точно, что хотел сказать в первый раз. Скажите, что вы хотите сказать, и закончите.

4. Заключение «Объедки»

Иногда все, что проповедник не мог использовать в проповеди, он вкладывает в свое заключение. Будьте дисциплинированны, чтобы избегнуть того, что не имеет отношения к вашему посланию. Не пытайтесь включать в свои исследования все, что вы нашли ранее. Будьте безжалостны в удалении материала. Испытайте все: «Это относится к теме проповеди?»

Проповедь - это не комментарий к отрывку, в котором вы изложили все различные точки зрения и все, что каждый когда-либо писал на эту тему. Проповедь похожа на выстрел из винтовки (сфокусированный, одиночный выстрел), а не на выстрел из дробовика (многократные выстрелы, широкое распространение).

5. Заключение «Заезженная Пластинка»

Здесь каждый вывод имеет одинаковый формат, поэтому каждый знает, какой вывод вы выберете, потому что вы делаете его таким образом каждую неделю. Так же, как разнообразие во введении важно, также и разнообразие важно в выводах. Не подавать это одинаково каждую неделю.

6. «Манипулятивное» Заключение

Эту опасность следует избегать любой ценой. Манипулирование или запугивание - это попытки заставить людей реагировать через обман или давление. С другой стороны, увещевание - это просто призыв к собранию откликнуться на истину проповеди, когда Святой Дух укрепляет послание в их сердцах и в воле.

Г. Заключительные Замечания, Касающиеся Заключения

1. Подумайте И Запишите Свое Заключение Полностью

Вы не хотите оставлять заключение на авось. Оно слишком важно, и часто слишком сложно, чтобы исполнить мгновенно.

2. Знайте, Что Такое Вывод

О нем уже было упомянуто в вашем введении - в «цели» для проповеди и в «одном предложении» проповеди. Таким образом, заключение связано с введением.

3. Дайте Время Для Заключения

Не торопитесь. Позвольте им глубоко подумать над тем, что вы ожидаете от них. Дайте им шанс ответить.

4. Соединить Заключение С Посланием

Если вы внесли изменения в то время, когда вы проповедовали, вам придется включить эти изменения и в свое заключение.

5. Доверяйте Богу В Вывод

В конечном итоге, только Святой Дух может изменить жизнь людей. Мы должны сделать все возможное, чтобы способствовать этим изменениям (в конце концов, мы являемся агентами, которых Бог избрал для этой работы). Но когда мы выполнили свою часть, результат потом уже зависит от Бога. Довериться ему ради результата - большое облегчение для проповедника, особенно если он не видит результаты, которые бы хотел увидеть.

Часть II. Библейская Экспозиция

“Тяжба в церкви” (1 Кор. 6:1-11) 1

Проф. Стивен Ф. Олфорд

Введение В этом отрывке Павел рассказывает о втором беспорядке в церкви, о котором ему сказали. Это было связано с тяжбой в собраниях. Это была проблема, которая в основном затрагивала греческий элемент в церкви. Евреи обычно не обращались в суд в государственных судах. Действительно, их учение явно запрещало им делать это. Однако с греками все было иначе. Они наслаждались практикой судов друг с другом! Казалось, вся их жизнь была связана с судебной процедурой.

Апостол, с другой стороны, показывает нам в этих стихах, что, когда у христиан возникают ссоры между собой, они должны разбираться с ними с помощью других христиан, а не перед не рожденными свыше судьями. Это не значит, конечно, что мы никогда не должны использовать суды нашей страны. Есть условия и обстоятельства, которые требуют этого. На самом деле, хорошо помнить, что один из авторов этого послания, апостол Павел, однажды обратился в земной суд (Деян. 25:11); но этот процесс не был связан со спорами в церкви Божьей или спорами между братьями-христианами. Итак, ясное учение этой важной части Божьего Слова состоит в том, что:

I. Судебные Разбирательства Среди Христиан Противоречат Судьбе Церкви

«Как смеет кто у вас, имея дело с другим, судиться у нечестивых, а не у святых? Разве вы не знаете, что святые будут судить мир? И если вами будет судим мир, то разве вы недостойны судить маловажные дела? Разве вы не знаете, что мы будем судить даже ангелов? Что уж говорить о делах житейских! А вы когда имеете житейские дела, назначаете (своими судьями) ничего значащих в церкви?» (1 Коринфянам 6: 1–4). Павел начинает говорить словами изумления и вызова. Он говорит: «Как смеет кто у вас ... судиться перед нечестивыми?» (Ст. 1). Затем он выводит две причины, почему такая практика противоречит судьбе церкви. Во-первых, святым суждено судить мир (ст. 2). И в Евангелиях, и в посланиях нас учат этой удивительной истине.

Иисус сказал: «… Я говорю вам, что во время возрождения, когда Сын Человеческий воссядет на престоле Его славы, вы, кто следовал за Мной, также будете сидеть на двенадцати престолах, судя двенадцать колен Израилевых» (Матфея 19 : 28).

Иуда сказал: «… Господь идет с тьмами тысяч Своих святых, чтобы суд совершить над всеми, и обличить всех между ними нечестивых во всех делах, которое произвело их нечестие, и во всех жестоких словах, которые произносили на Него, нечестивые грешники» (Иуда 14-15).

Павел напоминает нам, что «если мы страдаем с Ним, то мы также будем и царствовать с Ним…» (2 Тимофею 2:12). Какая это судьба! И насколько возвышен и объединен верующий со Христом - и в позиции, и в силе! И все же коринфяне были намеренно или по небрежности не осведомлены. Вместо того, чтобы использовать духовный авторитет, который принадлежал им в силу единства с их воскресшим Лидером, они были безнадежно некомпетентны, чтобы справляться с пустяковыми ссорами в поместной церкви.

Вторая причина Павла - исходит из первой. Он спрашивает: «Разве вы не знаете, что мы будем судить ангелов?» (Ст.3) Он поясняет то, что он уже сказал ранее, говоря о том, что включает в себя высшую власть, которой святые будут делиться со своим Господом над всеми сотворенными существами в вечном царстве Бога. Перспектива, безусловно, захватывает дух! И все же это правда, потому что Бог так говорит.

Как глупы были верующие в Коринфе, и как глупы нынешние верующие, что судятся по житейским делам (ст. 3). Действительно, с иронией апостол говорит, что даже «наименее уважаемые люди в церкви» (ст. 4) должны быть лучше, чем лучшие из земных судей, чтобы разрешать споры в церкви. Таким образом, мы видим, что судебный процесс среди христиан противоречит судьбе церкви.

II. Судебный Процесс Среди Христиан Противоречит Политике Церкви

«Я говорю это к вашему стыду: неужели между вами нет ни одного мудрого человека, который бы мог рассудить братьев? Но брат с братом судится, и притом пред неверными!» (1 Коринфянам 6: 5-6). Общий смысл этих двух стихов совершенно ясно показывает, что божественная политика по урегулированию споров в церкви имеет две стороны:

Во-первых, такие ссоры и проблемы не имеют никакого отношения к неверующим. Ничто не может быть более неуместным с Божьим замыслом для поместной церкви, чем ожидать, что не возрожденные и неправедные судьи будут управлять делами народа Божьего. Местная церковь опускается очень низко, когда ей приходится прибегать к мирским советам по вопросам, касающимся христианской жизни, веры и деятельности. Действительно, опускаться до этого уровня означает ложно признавать перед язычниками, что христианский образ жизни неадекватен.

Во-вторых, арбитраж или «братское урегулирование», как и слово «судья» в этом стихе, должно находиться под опекой «мудрых» людей в церкви. Церковь - это не демократия, а теократия или, точнее, «христократия». Через главенство Господа Иисуса создается цепочка командования в вопросах руководства и арбитража. Перед этим церковь должна преклониться, потому что в Писании сказано: «Подчинись тем, кто господствует над тобой…» (Евреям 13: 7). Там, где есть руководимое Духом и обучаемое лидерство, не должно быть проблем, которые невозможно решить. Павел очень хорошо объясняет это тем, как он обращается к неуместной и непоследовательной ситуации в коринфской церкви. Он восклицает: «Я говорю это к вашему стыду…» (6: 5), а затем продолжает унизительно спрашивать, неужели нельзя «найти» среди вас хотя бы одного «мудрого» человека, способного разрешать споры между братьями!

Мы могли бы добавить, что эта божественная политика никогда не отменялась. Бог все еще ожидает, что Его церковью будут управлять и судить согласно Его слову.

III. Судебные Разбирательства Среди Христиан Противоречат Благотворительности Церкви

«И то уже для вас весьма унизительно, когда вы имеете тяжбы между собою. Для чего вам бы лучше не оставаться обиженными? Для чего бы вам лучше не терпеть лишения? Но вы сами делаете обижаете и отнимаете, и притом у братьев!» (1 Коринфянам 6: 7-8). В главе 13 этого послания Павел излагает высшую мотивацию для каждого действия и реакции в жизни церкви. Это мотивация любви. Действительно, он говорит, что если я обладаю всем, но любви не имею, то я не имею ничего. Апостол лишь повторял слова Учителя: «Потому все люди узнают, что вы мои ученики, если будете иметь любовь между собою» (Ин. 13:35). Совершенно ясно, что Апостол имеет в виду эту «высшую мотивацию», когда он говорит по поводу тяжб.

Вы заметите, что слово «братья» постоянно повторяется в этих стихах (5, 6, 8). Затем он продолжает, что было бы лучше пострадать от руки брата-христианина, чем быть настолько нелюбящим, чтобы передать спор языческому cуду. Итак, в 7-м стихе пересмотренная стандартная версия гласит: «ИТАК вести судебные тяжбы друг с другом - значит полный ПРОВАЛ». Другими словами, Павел говорит, что можно одержать законную победу и при этом потерпеть моральное поражение. Или, опять же, можно не только отказаться терпеть зло, но и причинить худшее зло другим. Такое отношение и дух являются полной противоположностью того, как быть подобным Христу и явить любовь Голгофы. Относительно нашего Спасителя мы читаем: «… Будучи злословим, Он не злословил взаимно; страдая, Он не угрожал; но предавал то Судии Праведному» (1 Петра 2:23). Видите ли, плоть со всеми ее многочисленными формами любви к себе, обидой и мстительностью исчезает, когда крест применяется посредством силы Святого Духа.

IV. Судебные Разбирательства Среди Христиан Противоречат Чистоте Церкви

«Разве вы не знаете, что неправедные не наследуют Царство Божье? Не обманывайтесь: ни блудники, ни идолослужители, ни прелюбодеи, ни малакии, ни мужеложники, ни воры, ни лихоимцы, ни пьяницы, ни злоречивые, ни вымогатели не наследуют Царства Божия. И такими были некоторые из вас, но омылись, но освятились, но оправдались именем Господа нашего Иисуса Христа и Духом нашего Бога» (1 Коринфянам 6: 9-11). Чтобы завершить свое рассмотрение этого вопроса, Павел демонстрирует полную несовместимость мира с церковью.

Он резко противопоставляет «неправедных» 9-го стиха тем, кто «омыт… освящен… и оправдан» в 11-м стихе. Без страха или благосклонности он признал, что вне благодати Божьей не возрожденный человек в лучшем случае способен на:

а) Блуд - слово, которое буквально означает мужскую проституцию.

б) идолопоклонство - слово, означающее замену чего-либо или кого-либо Богом.

в) Прелюбодеяние - слово, которое описывает половой акт с супругом другого человека.

г) женственность - слово, которое предполагает потерю мужественности или женственности, чтобы жить ради удовольствия и роскоши.

д) содомия - слово, которое излагает грехи гомосексуализма и содомии

е) Грабеж - слово, которое охватывает всю область незаконного присвоения времени, энергии или денег, принадлежащих Богу или кому-то еще.

ж) Жадность - слово, означающее сделать других и их имущество объектом поклонения.

з) пьянство - слово, обозначающее бесконтрольное пьянство

и) упиваться - слово, которое ассоциируется с неконтролируемым, не освященным языком.

к) вымогательство - слово, обозначающее дух, который всегда достигает и хватается за то, на что он не имеет права.

Какой это ужасный список! И просто думать, и мы все такие же порочные, как описывает нас Павел! Но чудо произошло. Бог встретил нас во Христе и преобразовал нас; сделал нас чистыми, святыми и добрыми. Благодаря Его имени и Его Духу мы были очищены, отделены и созданы, чтобы предстать перед Богом в благоприятном свете. Слова «омытые», «освященные» и «оправданные» описывают «полное спасение», в которое мы были приведены только по благодати одной лишь верой в Единого Христа.

Вывод: если это чистота нашего положения и состояния во Христе, то как мы, как «призванные быть святыми» (2: 1), можем чувствовать себя как дома в «неправедных» судах или среди нечестивых судей? Вопрос отвечает сам за себя.

Таким образом, Павел занимается судебными процессами в поместной церкви. И если мы будем послушны Слову Божьему, мы должны делать то же самое. На самом деле, мы должны идти дальше; мы должны следить за тем, чтобы жизнь церкви никогда не опускалась так низко, чтобы требовать подобных плотских процедур. Понимание нашей судьбы, политики, милосердия и чистоты во Христе должно определять все наши мысли и действия внутри и вне церкви.

Часть III. План Проповеди

Чтобы прослушать аудиоверсию этих проповедей на английском языке, нажмите на следующие ссылки: Link 1 - Jn. 20:1-2; Link 2 - Jn. 20:3-10; Link 3 - Jn. 20:11-18

Название: Я только что видел Иисуса

Тема: шок и реальность воскресения

I Пустая гробница превращает наблюдателей в верующих (1-10)

1. Пустая гробница превращает наблюдателей в последователей (1-2)

а) На кресте некоторые были наблюдателями (Лк. 23: 55-56).

б) у пустой гробницы некоторые были последователями (1-2)

2. Пустая гробница превращает последователей в верующих (3-10)

а) Некоторых пустая гробница оставляет их по-прежнему скептиками (6-7)

б) Других пустая гробница вдохновляет верить (5, 8-9)

II Воскресший Христос превращает жалость в радость (11-18)

1. Незнание о воскресении порождает печаль (11-13)

а) Появляется печаль, несмотря на доказательства (11)

б) Появляется печаль, несмотря на свидетельство (12-13)

2. Знание о воскресении приносит радость (14-18)

а) Это приносит радость через признание Его (14-16)

б) Это приносит радость через послушание Ему (17-18)

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1 Other articles in this series on 1 Corinthians can be read in previous editions of this journal as follows: Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Summer 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Summer 2018.

Related Topics: Pastors

Being Eager

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In Psalm 56 David begins his psalm with a plea to the Lord for deliverance, because “all day long they press their attack” (vv. 1-2).1 He goes on to state that though he was somewhat afraid, he put his full trust in God (vv.3-4). 2

He then returns to emphasizing his plight. Not only do the enemies falsely malign him, twisting his words, but “plotting to harm him” (v. 5). Even worse, they await an opportunity “eager to take my life” (v. 6).

In a similar vein of thought, a later psalmist explains that God has often provided for his followers despite their times of unfaithfulness (cf. Ps. 78:23-31); indeed, “they kept on sinning” (v. 32). So it was that when God reprimanded them (vv. 32-33), they “eagerly turned to him again” (v. 34). Interestingly, Joseph Alexander remarks, “it was only at these times of peculiar suffering that the people, as a body, called to mind their national relation to Jehovah, as their founder, their protector and their refuge.3

Turning to the book of Proverbs, it is of special interest to note that Proverbs 28:20, 22 contain some special observations regarding eagerness.

A faithful man will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished….

A stingy man is eager to get rich
and is unaware that poverty awaits him.

In the former case, there is an interesting contrast between believers, a truly faithful believer and one who is greedy for financial gain. The former person will receive God’s blessing, while the latter will eventually be punished for his (or her) actions. A similar, perhaps more drastic, fate awaits the person who strives for riches in any way that they can be obtained. Such a person is likely to fall into poverty. As Allen Ross observes:

The idea is that the first is faithful to his obligations to God and to other people; but the one who hastens to make riches is at the least doing it without an honest day’s work and at the worst dishonestly. In a hurry to acquire wealth, he falls into dishonest schemes and bears the guilt of it – he will not be unpunished.4

A much better case can be seen in a faithful wife of noble character:

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She beings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life. (Pr. 31:11-12)

Rather than waiting to be served, she herself serves her husband and engages in many activities in caring for her family (vv. 14-31). So it is that she deserves credit for her industrious efforts. As McKane remarks: “She deserves a good reputation and a high standing in the community.”5 Would that all of us followed the faithful example of this lady of noble character!

Indeed, as the Apostle Peter states in his first epistle, to the faithful believer it maybe said, “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed” (I Peter 3:13). Accordingly, may we be eager to do good, for in so living, no harm will come to us. As Peter proclaimed, this is especially true for those in authoritative positions. Yes, our leaders should especially be “eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (I Peter 5:2-3).

Not only is this true for leaders but for all believers. True believers should be “eager to make your calling and election sure. For to do these things you will never fail” (2 Peter 1:10). As Osborne remarks, “the sense of being ‘eager’ here connotes ‘zeal’ and or ‘great energy or effort’.”6 Peter goes on to state that the faithful believer, “will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11). A good scriptural example can be seen in the Apostle Paul who tells the Corinthian believers of the faithful ministry of Titus (2 Cor. 8:16-19). As the footnote in the NIV points out “giving to others is a demonstration of the righteousness of God in our lives, apart from which there could be no salvation.”7

Ultimately, we believers know that we are blessed with the privilege of living expectantly and eagerly awaiting the second coming of Christ our Savior. As Paul so clearly expresses it, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to being everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Phil. 3:20-21). What a blessed hope is ours! As H.L. Turner expressed it:

O Joy! O Delight! Should we go without dying,
No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying –
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into Glory
When Jesus receives His own.8


1 All scriptures referenced are from the NIV.

2 Yet, as E. Schuler English once said, “Christians may take heart when troubles arise, for the Lord is available to protect or deliver His saints…. Nothing can touch the child of God outside of His permissive will.” See E. Schuler English, “The Life and Letters of Saint Peter”, (New York: Publication Office, “Our Hope”, 1943), 200.

3 Joseph A. Alexander, “Commentary on Psalms”, (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1991), 339.

4 Allen P. Ross, “Proverbs” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991), V:1108.

5 William McKane, “Proverbs”, (Philadelphia: Westminster, n.d.), 670.

6 See further, Grant R. Osborne, “1-2 Peter” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, Il., Tyndale House, 2011), XVIII:296.

7 Faith in Action Study Bible – NIV, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2005), 1911.

8 H.L. Turner, “Christ Returneth!”, (v.3).

Related Topics: Christian Life, Devotionals

Women of Influence Surrounding the Life of David

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Editor's Note: This was originally shared at a Women’s Retreat, October 14-16, 2017,
and edited for Bible.org Spring, 2019

Word Version Series Handout (Click Here).     PDF Version Series Handout (Click Here).

This series focuses on Influence. Originally it was shared at a Women’s Retreat, and is provided as a full resource with audio, text, handouts for notes, and small group questions. This study is a continuing look at biblical women who influenced their world for God ( see Women of Influence Surrounding the Life of Moses.)

Are you a woman of influence? Do others see you as a woman of influence?

In our world, people of influence get our attention and they change our lives.

Influence is about affecting, changing, swaying people’s thoughts, opinions or their actions or either good or bad. I desire to be someone who influences others for good, don’t you?

In this study, we are going to look at 4 different women: one is the daughter of a powerful man, one is a desperate wife, one whose husband is away at war, one is an end of life care-giver.

All these women of influence dramatically affected the life of David. Each can teach us timeless truths that can help us impact our families, our friends and our world for good.

Related Topics: Christian Life, Women, Women's Articles

1. Introduction and Michal (1 Samuel 18:1-19:17; 2 Samuel 25:44; 3:6-16; 6:1-23)

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I. Introduction:

Influence means “the power to change or affect someone or something” (Webster’s Dictionary)

With that definition, everyone in this room is an influential person.

“Women of Influence” is a phrase that’s not original to me. Every fall I attend the “All about Influence Conference” at Dallas Seminary. Every woman there, whether speakers, attenders, or those serving; all of them, just like you and me, are women of influence. God has created us, as women, all of us, with purpose and the ability to affect our world for good or bad. You have that influence.

So, let’s look at the women surrounding the life of David, the man after God’s own heart. I have come to care deeply for these women who influenced David’s life and I look forward to meeting each of them; there must be so much more to their stories. Yet, the bible has recorded their names, and glimpses of their lives for a purpose. Our job is to discover that purpose. Why are they included in the Word of God? What can we learn from them?

Three women are David’s wives and one is not a wife, not a concubine but she is invaluable to David. One woman saved his life from certain death. Another saved his career and reputation; one saved the Kingdom and the last woman saved him from pain and loneliness in his latter days. The seemingly little acts of these four women dramatically influenced David and radically changed the world around him. It’s in the seemingly little acts, that we too can change our world.

II. Overview Of The Life Of David (I Sam 18)

Before we look at the women, let’s look at David.

I wonder if you enjoy biblical art like I do? Biblical art takes the story I read in Scripture and makes it real for me. I’m so visual and I remember when David became “real” to me. I was 12 years old when our 6th grade field trip went to New York City. The statue of David by Michelangelo was on loan from Florence, Italy. I was overwhelmed! The story is that in 1501 a large block of uncut marble sat in a dusty cathedral workshop. But Michelangelo saw something in that rock; by 1504 he had taken that rough piece of stone and transformed it into a masterpiece called David. 13 ½ feet tall, this larger-than-life physical size was intended to capture David’s colossal spiritual strength. He is called a “man after God’s own heart”. Just as it took years to chisel away at the rough edges of the marble to smooth the sculptures’ surface to perfection, there were also years of refining, testing, training for the man of God to be God’s King of Israel and our women of influence were part of God’s plan for David.

  • In the Bible we first meet David when the Lord sends the prophet Samuel on a mission to find and anoint Saul’s replacement as King of Israel due to Saul’s rebellious heart and sin. In Bethlehem, Samuel meets seven of Jesse’s amazing sons, but not the one God had chosen. He asks “Don’t you have any more sons?” The youngest, red-headed David is brought in from tending the sheep and God says “This is the one” This anointing by Samuel doesn’t mean David becomes king immediately, it means he is designated by God to be next in line.1
  • During this time, Israel is at war with the Philistines and David’s older brothers are soldiers in King Saul’s army. When David is sent by his father to check on them, he volunteers to fight Goliath. With God’s strength, he defeats the enemy and his life as a soldier, a warrior begins. Overnight he becomes a superhero and is rewarded by Saul who gives his daughter Michal to David to become his wife. She is our first influential woman that we will study.
  • As David becomes more successful, Saul becomes more jealous of him and this hatred forces David to flee and become a fugitive, running away from Saul’s death threats. During those wilderness years, David meets our second woman of influence, Abigail, the wife of Nabal. What a fascinating story, filled with intrigue and suspense.
  • Years passed and Saul dies in battle opening up the way for David to become first the King of Judah and then ultimately the King of all Israel, reigning a total of 40 years. When he was established in Jerusalem, known as “the City of David”, when his army is off at war, David spies a beautiful woman named Bathsheba who is our third influential woman. That spying led to a sexual encounter that led to a pregnancy, that led to a murder that led to a cover-up. It’s that cover-up that becomes a breaking point in David’s life. Yet, it is through this tragic event that David truly learns God’s forgiveness and mercy. Ultimately:

“David’s greatness shines in both his ability to take responsibility for his actions and the humility of his admission and the repentance that follows. This is part of the reason that the ultimate redeemer of the Jewish people and the world will descend from David’s line- he will be ‘Messiah son of David’.”2

  • And yet, as also true in our lives, the consequences of his sin followed him the rest of his life. David’s family life gets very messy and complicated: There’s incest, murder, rebellion, plagues and political upheavals all the rest of his life. It’s at the end of his life that we meet the fourth woman, Abishag. She is not a wife, not a concubine but a care-giver, an essential care-giver.

1. One of the reasons we need to study these women is so that we may more fully understand holistically the man David, and his life: both personal and professional.

“The David stories alternate between a presentation of the private man and the public figure, so that in the end family affairs and affairs of state are intermingled, each having an effect (influence) upon the other.”3
Adele Berlin

I had an annual physical recently. While waiting for the doctor, I was in the examining room talking to the nurse who was taking my blood pressure “ How are you doing today?” I asked. She answered “not so good.” Surprised, I asked her “why”? She proceeded to tell me about her teenage son and his troubles, that were her troubles too. Abruptly she stopped and apologized saying “I’m trying to leave my family problems at home, but that’s hard.” Yes, it is hard. In fact, almost impossible, to separate, to compartmentalize all our problems. It was hard for David too.

2. Another reason is that we can learn life lessons from them. We can learn from their successes and their mistakes how to be God’s influential women.

III. Michal (1 Samuel 18:1-19:17; 2 Samuel 25:44; 3:6-16; 6:1-23)

Michal was the first, and in some ways, the most interesting, of David’s wives…she is a full-fledged character with opinions and emotions of her own.4
Adele Berlin

Michal’s story is a sad one. Like a pale and spindly sapling forever caught under a canopy of larger trees, Michal is emotionally trapped by the men around her: her father, King Saul and her husband, King David. Decisions are made for her as she is handed off from one man to another and trapped by power grabs. She is eventually cast aside, having no children to call her own.5
Lindsay Hardin Freeman

You will have to decide whether you think Michal’s story is “seemingly” sad or not. Either way she is a vital part of David’s story; she is an important influence in his life. Although we don’t have her entire story, we have two accounts involving Michal and David that turned his life and her life in a different direction. The first story is when she falls in love with David, marries him and protects his life from her father Saul. The next time we see her with David things have dramatically changed in their marriage. Instead of loving and protecting, we find her belittling and ridiculing David; wounding instead of helping. The question begs why? What has happened? How does love turn to hurt?

A. Michal, Saul’s Daughter, Marries And Protects David (1 Sam 18:1-19:17)

Let’s set the context of our story. David has killed Goliath, that’s what everyone is talking about; this young, good-looking guy. Saul is initially impressed with David’s skill so he says David you are going into the army soldier! As David became more and more successful in battle, Saul became more and more jealous, envious of his victories. The better David did the more suspicious and angry Saul felt toward David. “Saul soon uses David for target practice.”6 Given to great mood swings, Saul would get fearful and mad. In those moments he would hurl his spear at David trying to pin him down, to intimidate him, to scare him, ultimately to kill him. Scriptures tell us that Saul down deep understands this conflict he has with David is all about the Kingdom. He is losing his grip on his throne and David is going to replace him. However, Saul is not going to give up without a fight and a plan. His first plan is to offer David his oldest daughter in marriage.

I Samuel 18:17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself, “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”

Saul was hoping the Philistines would kill David and that would be the end of it. Not so fast. David modestly declines the offer, saying he and his family were unworthy to be part of the kingly family. We don’t know but perhaps the family was unable to pay the dowry. So, the oldest daughter Merab is given to another man. Michal enters the story

I Samuel 18:20-21 Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So, Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.”

This time, Saul gives him a way to pay the bride price: go to battle and bring back 100 Philistine foreskins and you can have my second daughter. This is really a smoke screen. Saul doesn’t want foreskins; he wants David dead. But a deal is a deal. Saul likes this deal thinking David will probably die in battle. David also likes the deal. He likes the idea of being the king’s son-in-law; and we’re sure Michal likes the deal. The scriptures tell us she loves David. In fact, “She is the only woman in the Old Testament of whom it is said that she loved a man”7. The deal gets done. David comes back with proof of not 100 but 200 dead Philistines that he has killed. So, there is a wedding. David and Michal are married, both for the first time. But stop for a minute.

Can’t you imagine how happy she is? It seemed to be what David wanted too.

Most of us have been to a wedding and seen that joy and glow. We attended a wedding recently in New Orleans. The bride was just radiant, and the groom couldn’t keep from smiling. You could see they were so happy to be getting married.

David and Michal are happy too; but Saul is miserable,

I Samuel 18:28-29 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David,29 Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

David’s father-in-law was his enemy. You may have had or currently have a difficult father-in-law or mother-in-law, but this is the extreme: to have your father-in-law want to kill you.

It’s evident from the text that Saul was both mentally and emotionally unstable. He was given to fits of rage and remorse. He could turn from the rational to the irrational quickly and there were no ways to gauge what would set him off. David has already been dodging Saul’s spear but as time progresses there is an outright contract on his life and he is in danger. Let’s pick up the story in chapter 19.

We’re in the living room, Saul is playing with his spear, David is relaxing and playing the harp.

I Samuel 19:9-16 But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.”12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head. When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.

“Quick thinking on Michal’s part saved his life”8

She rescued the husband she loved from certain death. She protected him. She masterminded his escape. We see two parallel truths:

Truth: Love protects and love defends even at personal risk.

I Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, love never fails.

Application:

As you look back over your life, can you see where God has used other people to lovingly protect you? Parents, teachers, friends? Have we loved well those that God has put in our lives? Have we protected and defended them? Michal lovingly protected David.

Truth: Loving others well cooperates with God’s eternal purposes.

In this story God used Michal to save His anointed future King David. I wonder was she aware, did she believe at this time that David would be the next King? We don’t know at this point. But we do know God was using her to accomplish His plans. This little rescue, saved the life of the future King of all Israel. This little escape saved the lineage of the Messiah. This little plan of Michal’s was used of God for eternal purposes. I’m just amazed aren’t you that God wants to use us too and our little lives for Kingdom purposes.

Psalm 139 tells us that we have been uniquely created as human beings. Ephesians 2:10 says we have been uniquely re-created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us. Good works that have eternal purposes, just like Michal.

Application:

Thinking of your own life, in what ways do you see God using you for His purposes? Where do you see yourself loving others in such a way that affects them, has influence in their lives? Maybe he’s called you to love someone who’s unlovely or unloving? Last week during our small group time as we were going over a selected passage and I asked the question ‘What makes us unique as Christians from the rest of the world?’ Immediately, one in the group said “Christians love their enemies.” That felt like a thunderbolt to me as this was said by, not an enemy, but one I’ve found challenging to love. I sensed God was saying to me: “ He is right and you need to really love this person. Love with my love.” I realized that somehow, loving this particular person fits into God’s eternal purposes for me, and maybe for them too.

Before we leave this story, to get some insight into David’s thinking, we need to look at Psalm 59. Looking back over that night, the night that Saul wanted to kill him, David writes:

Psalm 59:1-4 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
2 Deliver me from evildoers
and save me from those who are after my blood.

3 See how they lie in wait for me!
Fierce men conspire against me
for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
Arise to help me; look on my plight!

David cried “Oh God, save me, save my life.” God lovingly did save him and God used Michal to deliver David from certain death.

The story continues as David flees and escapes into the wilderness, Michal does not see him again for many years. David is a fugitive, running for his life, until Saul is killed in battle which results in a split Nation in crisis. David is made King of Judah for 7 years while Michal’s brother, Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth is King in Israel. Ish-bosheth has a falling out with his army general Abner after which Abner then switches sides, offering his allegiance and his army to join with David. David accepts, but on one condition.

2 Samuel 3:13-14 “Good,” said David. “I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”

Why does he want her back? It’s possible that David may have genuinely loved Michal. We know she had previously been in love with him. (I Samuel 18:20). Or perhaps it was a strategic political move. David also expressed that he had a prior claim to Michal. He had paid the bride-price, and she was still his wife when angry Saul gave her to Paltiel. But beyond all that, if David was seen as Saul’s son-in-law once again, David could claim to be legitimate successor to Saul’s throne.”9

So, during the years David was fleeing King Saul, Michal had been given to another man. She had been with him for at least 10-15 years as his wife when David demanded her to be returned to him. What had happened to her in those 10-15 years? Was she happy with him? Did she miss David? We don’t know, but we do her husband Paltiel deeply loved her and was devastated when she was taken from him.

2 Samuel 3:16 So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. 16 Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So, he went back.

Her loving husband was sent home crying; he was left behind weeping. David, on the other hand, at this time, had 6 other wives. ( See 2 Sam 3:2-5 chart in the handout).

Stop again for just a moment. I wonder what Michal was feeling when she said goodbye to her husband Paltiel? I wonder if she was crying with him? And what her thoughts were when she was brought into David’s household, seeing the 6 other wives and their children? How would you have felt?

B. Michal, David’s Wife, Ridicules David (II Sam 6:1-23)

After Michal’s brother Ish-bosheth is assassinated (II Samuel 4:6), David, who is 33 years old, becomes King over all Israel and captures Jerusalem for his capital city. His heart yearns to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem. After the first attempt failed, David tries again and this time the ark is successfully brought to his city. David is so happy and so excited that finally the ark, the ark of Moses, the representation of God’s presence to His chosen people, will be with him in the city. Can you picture the scene; the ark is being brought up the hill, in the middle of the street, the crowds are following, singing, dancing, tambourines are playing. David has taken off his royal robes so he too can dance and skip and sing with the crowd. He has on the linen garment of a priest and he’s out front right behind the ark, leading the people in worship and singing and dancing. Scripture tells us in the procession there were hundreds of priests, musicians with harps, cymbals, lyres, singers, trumpets, elders of Israel.

I Chronicles 15:3 David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it.

Think parade, think big parade, think of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

All Israel was there, celebrating with David, except Michal. She is not part of the celebration; she is watching from a window; watching with disgust.

II Sam 6:16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.

David had brought the ark into the city and placed it in a special made tent, then offered sacrifices praising God. This was a big party. David ended with a godly blessing for all the people, sent them away with take home boxes of more food. What an incredibly happy time for him, a high point in his life, feeling God’s pleasure and the people’s happiness. His next move is to go home and bless his household. Let me read to you some different versions of this passage.

II Sam 6:20 “How glorious the king of Israel looked today! He exposed himself to the girls along the street like a common pervert!” (Living Bible)

“…a Burlesque street dancer” (Message)

I can’t imagine how painful her words felt to him at this moment. They would have surely pierced my heart. Listen to David’s response:

II Samuel 6:21-22 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

Why was she so upset over his clothes? She accused him of being improperly dressed in front of the girls. What was wrong with his clothes? Nothing really, he was covered, in a linen ephod, but he was not in his kingly robes and he was dancing in the streets. She seems to be more concerned that he wasn’t acting like a King; he wasn’t acting like her father.

“Michal apparently did not understand David’s reasons for bringing the ark into Jerusalem. She seems to have regarded kingship in Israel as her father had.[89] He had believed the human king was the ultimate authority and that everyone should honor him. By referring to Michal as “the daughter of Saul” (v. 16) the writer linked her attitude with her father’s.

“Her idea seems to have been that the king should avoid mixing with the people, and be aloof and inaccessible. As it was, she despised him for the very qualities that made him great, namely, devotion to the Lord and spontaneity in worship.”[90]”10

Michal missed it, missed the celebration, missed the worship, missed the blessing because she seemed to be more concerned about “what other people might think?” Her remarks had to deflate David’s joy, collapse his enthusiasm. She hurt him with her words.

This one sentence, verse 20, drips with sarcasm, ridicule and criticism. Her words were meant to shame him.

Truth: Our words have the power to help or harm.

Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword
But the tongue of the wise brings healing

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death
And those who love it will eat its fruit

Michal had reckless words to David; words that pierced him like a sword. Her words revealed she despised David. (v. 16) “Despised means to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain, scorn, loathe.” (Webster’s Dictionary). We know how we can destroy others with our words, we know how other people’s words have cut our hearts too.

James 3:1-10 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Illustration:

My tongue. I grew up in a Christian home where I felt loved and would always be taken care of, but at times the climate was critical and judgmental of others. What I interpreted that to mean for me was “being good really meant you should be perfect. “Then there would be no criticism. Just do everything right and you won’t get criticized. So, I came into a marriage with the thinking I could say anything that was true, or honest, or “right” even if it was harsh and critical. I didn’t see that my words were unkind or cruel. I’m not blaming my parents, or their parents, that was just the way I was. So, my patient, exasperated at times, husband would often say “Do you hear what you just said?” “Are you listening to your words?” Which would most times make me mad and then I would shut down and quit talking to him, you know that silent treatment! But God used him and his words to make me look at my words. I grew sick of the way I would use words to hurt him and others. Today, most of the time, I stop before I use those “reckless words.” I depend daily on the Holy Spirit to help me with my words and I’ve learned you can’t be perfect, so just let it go. I know I am very capable of still using words that pierce like a sword. For those times, you and I have forgiveness.

Application:

How about you? If someone overheard your words would they find them to be reckless? Hurtful? Critical? Do you speak differently to your family than you do at work? Or at church?

Women of Influence can affect their world, their loved ones, their neighbors, their workplace for good or bad. We’ve got to remember people are impacted by our words. Let’s challenge each other to intentionally choose to speak truth in love, kind words, gentle words, encouraging words, words that build up and not tear down.

Michal’s life is a contrast between loving someone so much that you risked your life to protect them and then later in life despising them so much you try to destroy them with your critical words.

When they were young, she saved his life from certain death. But then, later, her harsh words, flowing from a hard heart could not be taken back. Last thing we know about her, a tragic statement for her, living in her times.

2 Samuel 6:23 And Michal, the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Let’s remember how we need to not only start well, but also finish well for the Kingdom. I want that for my life, don’t you?


1 “David: The Shepherd and The Warrior”, SimpleToRemember.com; Judaism Online.

2 “David The King,’ SimpleToRemember.com; Judaism Online.

3 Adele Berlin, Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1994) 33

4 Berlin, 24.

5 Lindsay Hardin Freeman, Bible Women (Forward Movement, 2014) 186.

6 Freeman, 186.

7 Larry R. Helyer, “Hero and Heroine Narratives in the Old Testament” (Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, Vol. SBJT 02:3, Fall 1998).

8 Freeman, 187.

9 The Quest Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House 1994) 404.

10 Dr. Thomas Constable, “Constable’s Notes,” NET Bible Study Suite www.NetBible.org.

Related Topics: Women's Articles

2. Abigail (I Samuel 25:1-44)

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I. Introduction

Can you remember the last difficult conversation you had with someone?

One that caused some anxiety or concern? One that you really didn’t want to have but you did? Those kinds of conversations are hard to forget because they are difficult and sometimes risky. Nobody really likes conflict but it is inevitable. It’s in how we handle conflict and how we handle difficult conversations that matters.

Today, our lesson is all about difficult conversations and our woman of influence is Abigail.

A. The Main Characters:

1. David

The fact that David was a former shepherd plays critically into this story. But we also know that he is a giant killer. He, with God’s help, killed the huge Goliath. His fame was also well-known as an excellent military leader. Because of this, Saul, the King, hated him, was jealous and envious, wanting David dead. David at this time is a fugitive on the run for his life. Our story is sandwiched between two stories of David escaping Saul’s capture. Imagine the mindset of this man David; a shepherd/warrior who must be quick and sharp and always on guard seeing potential danger and vulnerability around the corner. He’s probably in his early 30’s. Remember Scriptures tell us he was “Ruddy-cheeked, bright-eyed and handsome” (I Samuel 16:12) “handsome features, beautiful eyes” This is a good-looking man.

2. Nabal

I Samuel 25:2, 3b A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. 3 His name was Nabal…(he) was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.

He was a wealthy, powerful landowner who also was a Calebite. It’s likely that being in this area, Carmel, that he was a descendant of Caleb, one of the spies that Moses sent to check out the Promised Land. Caleb and Joshua were the only two men that came back with a favorable report. When the people of Israel finally arrived in the promised land, this area was given to Caleb as his inheritance, this area around Hebron. Here is where our story is located. This is Caleb country and Nabal was a powerful Calebite. But he was also a harsh man, mean, obstinate, unyielding, hard to get along with, hard to live with and “his deeds were evil.” His very name in Hebrew means “fool.” Somehow, someway he married Abigail.

3. Abigail

I Samuel 25:3a She was an intelligent and beautiful woman

“The Rabbis depict Abigail as a wise and practical woman, capable of acting at the right moment and in the right way…(they) include Abigail among the four most beautiful women who ever lived..she is also mentioned among the seven women prophets of Israel.”1

Jewish history respects this woman. She is smart, wise, gorgeous, sensitive, discerning, quick to take action, generous, bold. This is a woman willing to confront a conflict, willing to have a difficult conversation to protect her husband, her household and herself. She is willing to take a risk to achieve peace.

II. The Story

1. David’s Request And Nabal’s Answer Then David’s Response (v. 2-13)

Our story opens when we are in the midst of sheep shearing in Carmel. It’s a festive time, a party time, when the sheep are gathered, shorn and their wool is sold. Money is made. David hears that Nabal is shearing his sheep. The back story is when Nabal’s sheep and his shepherds were camped near David’s men, David’s men did not take any advantage of the flocks, instead they defended these flocks. They safeguarded them, perhaps from roaming bands of raiding Amalekites or Philistines or natural disasters or wild animals. They had been, as the servant tells Abigail, a “wall” of protection around Nabal’s sheep. So, David sends messengers to Nabal with an equitable, a customary request: can we share in the feast?

I Samuel 25:5-8 So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. 6 Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!7 “‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. 8 Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore, be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’”

Can we share in the celebration too? Can we join? They asked and then waited for an answer.

I Samuel 25:10-11 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

Nabal explodes. Who is David? Who is this son of Jesse? This rude reply shows contempt for David, implying that he is just a runaway servant of Saul, and his men are runaways deserving nothing. 2 Nabal was either simply regarding David as a rebel, fugitive of the law; or more likely he was sincerely unwilling to part with his money, his food or his drink. He refused to acknowledge David’s help in protecting his investments. But the servants tell us more:

I Samuel 25:14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.

Nabal “screamed at them” (NET); “tore into them with insults” (MSG). These 10 men go back to David and tell him exactly what happened. Remember this is a reasonable request that has been denied with insulting language. This is a gross injustice to David. As he listens to the messengers his anger keeps rising.

I Samuel 25:13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So, they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.

“Put on your swords.” In Texas, we would say “gets your guns and let’s go”. This is going to be a bloody shoot out. David is out to revenge this insult. But Abigail enters the story, a woman of calm courage, a woman who will be very influential in the outcome. As David and his men are preparing for a confrontation, meanwhile…

2. Abigail’s Preparation

Back at Nabal’s house, the alarmed servants inform Abigail of the situation, begging her to help intervene. We’re given an insightful statement about Nabal

I Samuel 25:17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”

No one can talk to him, no one can tell him when he is wrong. When someone is described that way, I am on alert, aren’t you? That characteristic really scares me, no matter who they are. Everyone, especially leaders, especially CEO’s like Nabal, need someone who can honestly talk to them and correct them when they’re off base. But “fools” don’t listen to others.

Wise Abigail, on the other hand, is listening. She springs into action. Somehow, I imagine this is not her first time covering for her husband. She knows she’s got to run interference. As she is thinking, she is planning and preparing. She knows she has to have a difficult conversation with an angry man who is not her husband. Step back and think of her possible choices.

  1. She could have run off and left Nabal to whatever David would do to him
  2. She could have been so paralyzed with fear that she did nothing
  3. She could have denied the urgency of the situation and said it’s not that bad, let’s just overlook it.

Instead, she puts all of her energies into saving the life of her husband and his household.

I Samuel 25:18-19 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

Only a woman could pull this off.

“Can you imagine instantly whipping up an equivalent Thanksgiving meal of, say, sixty smoked turkeys, one hundred dozen yeast rolls, twenty-five pounds of butter, three hundred pounds of mashed potatoes, twenty gallons of gravy, fifty fruitcakes, and two hundred assorted pies, then transporting the entire assemblage miles out of town without your husband’s even knowing about it? Perhaps, if his life depended on it, you can”3

3. Abigail’s Appeal To David (v. 23-31)

Imagine donkeys laden with food slowly traveling through the countryside. Abigail eventually catches up with them. She moves to the front of the caravan. As she descends into the ravine, she meets David descending from the opposite direction to meet her with 400 men, 400 angry men. The first thing she does is quickly get off her donkey and humbly bow before David. What she does is so important but what she says to David turns the whole situation completely around.

I Samuel 25:24-31 “My master, let me take the blame! Let me speak to you. Listen to what I have to say. Don’t dwell on what that brute Nabal did. He acts out the meaning of his name: Nabal, Fool. Foolishness oozes from him. 25-27 “I wasn’t there when the young men my master sent arrived. I didn’t see them. And now, my master, as God lives and as you live, God has kept you from this avenging murder—and may your enemies, all who seek my master’s harm, end up like Nabal! Now take this gift that I, your servant girl, have brought to my master, and give it to the young men who follow in the steps of my master.28-29 “Forgive my presumption! But God is at work in my master, developing a rule solid and dependable. My master fights God’s battles! As long as you live no evil will stick to you. If anyone stands in your way, if anyone tries to get you out of the way, Know this: Your God-honored life is tightly bound in the bundle of God-protected life; But the lives of your enemies will be hurled aside as a stone is thrown from a sling. 30-31 “When God completes all the goodness he has promised my master and sets you up as prince over Israel, my master will not have this dead weight in his heart, the guilt of an avenging murder. And when God has worked things for good for my master, remember me.” (The Message)

She says “Forgive my foolish husband!” “I did not know your men asked for food, or I would have filled their saddlebags. Have mercy on us. You are fighting God’s battles, and evil shall not be found in you. You are the prince of Israel. Because God has treated you well, show the concern for us.”4

It’s interesting that Abigail is looking both at the situation now and she’s also seeing the future for David. She says: Please take the food, please forgive my husband. Don’t do anything rash that might endanger or change God’s plans for you. I know His hand is on you and one day when He has made you leader over all Israel, you don’t want to have this bloodshed on your resume. You don’t want to get revenge this way. That’s not who you are, David. She called forth the best in him. She helped him see a better way

4. David’s Response (v. 32-35)

David, as he listened to Abigail, he heard God speaking to him through her wise words

I Samuel 25:32-33 David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. 33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.

God used Abigail to keep David from seeking to avenge himself and he is grateful. She kept him from sinning and in return he backs off. He accepts her gifts and says “I have listened to you, I have heard your words, go home in peace.” And that’s exactly what she does, she goes home.

5. Abigail And Nabal (v. 36-38)

When she gets there, she finds Nabal drunk, oblivious to the danger that has been adverted. It would seem the party is still going on, Nabal “having a good time, very intoxicated” (v. 36) Wisely Abigail knows that he’s in no condition to understand what she might tell him, so she waits until morning after he sobers up. Remember Nabal had met David’s messengers, he knew their request, now Abigail tells him the rest of the story.

I Samuel 25:37 His heart died within him, and he became as stone.

The word “stone” points to some sort of paralysis. “It seems that when Nabal hears what happened and to what terrible danger he was exposed, he suffers a stroke and becomes paralyzed and ten days later he dies”5

I Samuel 25:38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died

God struck him dead. In life, Scripture teaches us there is cause and effect. “We reap what we sow”

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Nabal was a selfish fool and the Lord struck him, dead.

6. David’s Marriage To Abigail (v. 39-43)

Word gets to David. Again, David praises God seeing his hand of protection in sending Abigail who prevents him from killing Nabal. His stepping aside allowed God to handle the situation his way.

I want to stop and remind us that David is a young handsome man and Abigail is a beautiful young widow. David sends messengers to ask Abigail to be his wife; to “propose marriage.” He did not take her by force. Her response, her willing response, indicates she had a choice and she chose to go to him “quickly” (v. 42). She went to David and became his wife. She’s actually his third wife; Michal, Ahinoam and then Abigail. Eventually, Abigail and David have a son named Chileab.

III. The Lessons

Truth: Conflicts are inevitable, and can be opportunities to honor God.

We know that the Scriptures are full of conflicts: in families, in marriages, in governments, in synagogues and churches. I have a book entitled: “When two or more are gathered together, someone spills the milk.” Knowing that we have conflicts, Jesus gave several instructions on how to resolve our conflicts in ways that are honor God in the process. Let’s look at what Abigail did through the lenses of biblical peacemaking. Much of this material was gained through Peacemaking Ministries.

When you’re facing conflicts, what do you do first?

Working with women and men through Bible Study Fellowship or on a church staff, I have often sat across the table with someone who wants to talk about a conflict in their life. I carry a little card that is quite helpful. The front is entitled “The Slippery Slope, Staying on Top of Conflict” It diagrams the ways we handle conflicts. Our responses to conflicts often determine whether we “fake peace” or we “break peace” or we “make peace”. Scriptures are clear, we are called to try to make peace, always remembering what Paul wrote.

Romans 12:18 If it’s possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

In this story, what does she do first?

1. Go

She is not running away, not denying the danger, not planning to murder David when he comes. Instead she decides to go and try to make peace. Going, for most of us, is the hardest step, the barrier we don’t want to overcome. Wouldn’t it be easier just to let it go and isn’t it better to just overlook an offense? But sometimes you cannot. So how do you know when you must go?

A. If You Have Offended Someone.

Matthew 5:23 If you are offering your gifts at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, Go and be reconciled.

B. If Someone Has Offended You And You Can’t Overlook It

Matthew 18:15 If your brother sins against you, GO and show him his fault, just between the two of you

When we face conflicts, most likely we will have to go and face it personally. I’m often asked, can’t I just write a letter? Email, text? You can, it may be necessary that you do, but know this: When we communicate with others, 60-80% of what is conveyed is through body language; the rest is communicated with our words. I have a personal policy of not talking about anything really serious, or emotional, or complex through email. I pick up the phone if I think I’m going to be misunderstood and going in person is usually the best, though often the hardest. Abigail went to David. Abigail decided to GO and confront David. She also decided to:

2. Prepare

We’ve seen how she prepared and then sent the gifts of food. The withholding of food was the very thing that initiated the conflict. Yet, Abigail prepares to make this right by loading the donkeys full of food. As she was quickly assembling these provisions, I’m sure she was preparing her words. What she would say when she met David; how she would say it, must have played out in her mind, in her thoughts as she got ready to go.

As we prepare to Go and talk with someone, we start with PRAYER, asking God to help us first see the conflict from His point of view, praying for honesty, wisdom, courage.

I can remember a conflict that I had caused with a neighbor, I knew I had to GO and try to resolve it. It made me sick. Do you know that feeling? I wanted to avoid her at all costs but how do you do that when you live on the same block? And God wouldn’t let me go until I would GO. I remember writing out what I needed to say because I knew I’d probably stumble and leave out/add to my words. So, part of my preparation was to think out the words, jot them down, and put them in my heart.

Abigail decided to GO and confront the conflict, she PREPARED the gifts and what she was going to say so when they met she was ready.

3. Speak

She SPEAKS with humility not only in her words but also in posture. “She is polite far beyond what is required.”6 She addresses him with great respect as if he were already the king, using words like “my lord, my master”. She knew, as we do too, that how you say something is as important as what you say. Just as her words explained the situation and sought to resolve the conflict, we too need to have that goal in our difficult conversations: explaining, understanding, affirming, when appropriate asking forgiveness, offering solutions, seeking to restore relationships, making peace.

What life lesson do we learn from Abigail? A practical and often needed lesson is:

When its necessary we need to be willing to confront a difficult conversation, seeking peace with discernment and grace.

Application:

Have you been thinking of a conflict in your life? A difficult conversation you need to have soon? Are you willing? Abigail saved her household and the reputation of a future king by being willing to confront a difficult conversation. She was a peacemaker for Israel. We too can be a woman of influence for good, like Abigail. Are you willing?


1 Tamar Kadari, “Abigail: Midrash and Aggadah” jwa.org

2 The Jewish Study Bible, 608.

3 Debra Evans, Women of Character (Grand Rapids, Zondervan 1996) 112.

4 Lindsay Hardin Freeman, Bible Women (Forward Movement, 2014) 192.

5 The Jewish Study Bible, 610. jwa.org

6 Adele Berlin, “Abigail: Bible”

Related Topics: Women's Articles

3. Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-53; I Kings 1:1-53; I Kings 2:13-25)

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I. Introduction

What do you like to do in the spring time?

Sailing, hiking or planting flowers? Maybe you like to go camping after the snow is gone and leaves are budding on the trees. Spring is a beautiful time of the year but for David and our next woman, Bathsheba, the words “spring time” mean something quite different.

David and Bathsheba. Their names are forever linked. Their story is one of the most famous of all the bible. Movies, books, plays have been written and produced to tell their tale.

“Never have the words “wrong place, wrong time” fit a situation so snugly. Toss in “wrong person, wrong reason,” and you’ve summed up the David-and-Bathsheba fiasco in a nutshell. It’s a story replete with “seduction, intrigue, and murder,” starring the most unlikely of players: David, king of the Good Guys. The setting was Jerusalem; the season was spring…”1

Bathsheba has been for me the most challenging ‘woman of influence’ to study and to get to know. One of the reasons is that we don’t know from the text her inner thoughts, or her feelings, and so it’s “difficult to accurately judge the reactions and emotions of Bathsheba.”2 Yet, there is no doubt that she had a significant part in the life of David. She is best known as the woman who was seen bathing in the evening, then brought to the palace and slept with the King. This seemingly “one-night affair” results in a pregnancy that turns David’s world upside down. But we know more information about Bathsheba. She births a total of 5 sons to David; one is King Solomon. She becomes a favored wife at court and ultimately the Queen Mother. It would be true to say she remains a loyal wife to David all his life; and helps to save the Kingdom for her son Solomon. A woman of influence? Oh, I would say yes. Let’s look at her story.

II. Bathsheba’s Bath (2 Samuel 11:1-12:25)

A. Sin (v. 1-5)

2 Samuel 11:1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

This is one of the saddest verses in all the bible to me, in fact, I cringe when I hear these words: “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war…..” Our story in placed right in the middle of war. The previous chapter tells us that David and his army have been fighting the Arameans to the north and the Ammonites to the east. Then the winters came. Since David did not keep a standing army, his men went home, many to plant their crops. Then after spring harvesting, they were summoned back to war. But this spring, when the troops went out, David stayed home. In the text, there is implication that he should not be in Jerusalem, but with the men. At this time David is middle aged, probably around 50 years old. We don’t know why he stayed home, maybe he was tired of sleeping on the ground, eating camp food. He had been a warrior since he was a teenager, maybe he felt his general Joab and his men were completely competent and could win without his presence. But one evening…

2 Samuel 11:2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful

We need to think of the topography of the city. Jerusalem at this time is a city on a hill slope. It would be shaped like a slice of pizza, wide at the top, narrowing as you go down the hill. David’s palace is at the top of the hill and everyone else’s home is downhill from his view point. David, out on his roof, his patio, could see down on the rest of the city. David looking down, saw Bathsheba bathing and she was beautiful. He asked who is that? The answer should have been enough to stop his thoughts, to wave red flags and to turn his gaze away. Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam. This is unusual for the writer to include a woman’s father’s name if she’s married, except that her father may have been one of David’s officers (II Samuel 23:34). She is also the wife of Uriah, and that should have put the brakes on for Uriah was part of David’s elite bodyguards (II Samuel 23:39). He was like a green beret, a Navy Seal, a special ops guy. Uriah was one of the 30, selected out of hundreds, that were David’s mighty men. But Uriah was at war, David was at home and Bathsheba was beautiful.

2 Samuel 11:4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.

The question that is often asked is “What part did Bathsheba play in this affair?” Scriptures are silent. They do not tell us the answer to that question. We know that David was the King, the absolute authority. We know that he sent “messengers” plural, not just one person, to get her : “the word literally is to take her” in the Hebrew (laqah meaning to “to fetch” or “ summon”.3 We know that the power was all in his hands. David could have anyone he wanted. Commentators try to read between the lines to see if she too is guilty. I repeat the Scriptures are silent when we ask that question.

“When we read of this incident, we do so through Western eyes. We live in a day when a woman has the legal right to say “No” at any point in a romantic relationship. If the man refuses to stop, that is regarded as a violation of her rights; it is regarded as rape. It didn't work that way for women in the ancient Near East. Lot could offer his virgin daughters to the wicked men of Sodom, to protect strangers who were his guests, and there was not one word of protest from his daughters when he did so (Genesis 19:7-8). These virgins were expected to obey their father, who was in authority over them. Michal was first given to David as his wife, and then Saul took her back and gave her to another man. And then David took her back (1 Samuel 25:44; 2 Samuel 3:13-16). Apparently, Michal had no say in this whole sequence of events. (Regarding Bathsheba:) she is not bathing herself at high noon; she is bathing in the evening. This is when the law prescribed (for ceremonial cleansing), and it is when the sun is setting. In other words, it is nearly dark when Bathsheba sets out to wash herself. David has to work to see what he does.”4

I think the better question to ask the text is Why did David go after her? If it was only sex, he had several wives in his palace who would have met that desire. But no, he wanted Bathsheba, even after learning she was another man’s wife.

I remember hearing on TV an interview with a famous, powerful man who had been exposed for having several affairs and he was asked “Why did you do that, risk your marriage, your reputation, your career to have an affair with an intern?” He answered, “I did it, because I could, and no one could stop me.” David sinned with Bathsheba because he could, and no one could stop him. It wasn’t just about sex; it was about control and power. How many times do we sin just because we can and we think we can get away with it? Perhaps that is what David thought, until he heard three small words, the only words Bathsheba speaks in this passage: “I’m pregnant.”

For many of us, when we experienced those words, we were filled with joy and excitement. However for others, pregnancy means anything but good news. And that’s where Bathsheba and David found themselves.

B. Cover-Up And Murder (v. 6-25)

David sets in motion a plan to cover-up this affair.

2 Samuel 11 :6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David.

He works really hard to pass the child off as Uriah’s. He questions Uriah with “what’s going on in the battle?” Then David sends him home to hopefully sleep with Bathsheba. But no, Uriah whose name means “Yahweh is my light” 5is an honorable man; he stays at the palace sleeping near the servants and does not go to his house. His reason?

2 Samuel 11:11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

He is not willingly going home to Bathsheba, so David’s next plan is to get him drunk. He will lose his inhibitions and surely he’ll want to go home and sleep with Bathsheba. But even drunk, Uriah stays at court. David is not yet out of ideas and the next is deadly. David writes a letter to Joab, the general, to order Uriah to the front lines to ensure his death. Ironically, David ordered Uriah to carry the letter himself to Joab. This plan works and Uriah is killed.

Don’t you wonder what Bathsheba knew? Again, Scriptures are silent.

Adele Berlin writes:

“Bathsheba seems to know nothing of David’s plan, and indeed, it unfolds outside her purview. Bathsheba is “on stage” in this story very infrequently and is silent except for the announcement of her pregnancy, which she does not deliver in person. No hint is given of her inner life or her complicity with or resistance to David’s actions.”6

We do know that when she heard her husband had died in battle, “she mourned for him” (v. 26) What were her true feelings? Was she heartbroken or relieved? Was her grief genuine or fake? Like most of her story, we don’t know what she felt but only know what she did, or what was done to her. She went through the prescribed grieving rituals for Uriah. Then, after the customary 7 days of mourning, David brought her to the palace (literally “sent and collected her), married her and she bore him a son. However,

2 Samuel 11: 27b the thing David had done displeased the Lord

“upset the Lord” (NET); “was evil in the sight of the Lord” (NASB)

As I studied this passage, this sentence is one of the strongest arguments for Bathsheba’s innocence. This sentence places the blame, the sin, the affair, solely on David; not David and Bathsheba. It does not say “Bathsheba displeased the Lord” but David alone. David alone took advantage and sinned against the Lord and he sinned against Bathsheba. We’re going to see that this is not the end of the story of Bathsheba. However one of the truths of we learn from her life is:

Truth: Sins against us are not the end of the story in the plans of God.

Many of us have been sinned against. In fact, all of us have been sinned against. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he gave a model of prayer that we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Jesus knew we would sin and be sinned against, needing to receive and give forgiveness.

Luke 11:2-4 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us

We sin and are sinned against. Let me just name a few examples of being sinned against: childhood or spousal abuse, desertions, rejections, abandonments, financial injustices, false accusations, all kinds of inequities, when life seems so unfair, so not what we expected.

Truth: Even when we are sinned against, our lives can be brought into the purposes of God for His good.

There are times, dark times, when we don’t see God, we don’t feel His purposes in our pain, but be assured; He is always working, always present, always active in ways we don’t understand or sense. Bathsheba must have felt sinned against. She was taken from her home by the king’s men to the palace. David had sex with her and sent her back home. She found herself pregnant by David, not her husband. An intentional crime against her husband made her a war widow. How unfair!

Do you know the old saying “It takes two to tango?” Sometimes with sin, it’s only One. Only one person sins and yet, the other also reaps the consequences.

Illustration:

I remember several years ago I was sitting in a large auditorium listening to a message on this topic: when we are sinned against. Next to me was a very good friend and neighbor who I had known for years. Her husband had left her and was in the process of divorcing her and remarrying. When the speaker said something like “Sometimes there is only one at fault, only one to blame for what happens in relationships” my friend starting crying, and I did too. She was like Bathsheba, not perfect, but the one who was sinned against.

The Good News here is that sins against us are not the end of the story. God is going to confront David about his sin. Yes, there are difficult, painful consequences to his sin and Bathsheba will suffer too, but God is working out His purposes, His plans for good. We will see that as we read on.

III. Marriage And Children ( 2 Samuel 12:1-25)

A. Confrontation And Consequences

Life in the palace seems calm for a season. David and Bathsheba are married. Their son is born and all is peaceful until Nathan the prophet shows up with a message from God. He tells David a parable that appeals to his heart as a shepherd and king.

2 Samuel 12:4 This rich man had lots of lambs but he stole a precious little lamb from a poor man and cooked it for his house guest.

David was righteously upset with the rich man until Nathan said to him You are the man, although you’re not going to die, your baby will (12:7) This breaks David’s heart and he confesses

2 Samuel 12:13 I have sinned against the Lord

The baby does get sick and David pleads, prays, fasts and for 7 days he was pleading with God to save the life of his son. I imagine Bathsheba was probably holding that baby in her arms and praying too, staying up all night, rocking and loving this little one. Have you been there with a sick child? Or a precious animal? Do you know how she must have felt?

One commentator said …This child “though short lived and unnamed, would not be unloved” 7 David and Bathsheba loved this baby.

Sometime, perhaps during the 7 days or in this season David would pen the words to Psalm 51 (A Psalm of David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba) Every week at our church we pray a version of this Psalm.

Psalm 51:1,2 Have mercy on me O God according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

God forgave the sin, but there were painful consequences to bear. The baby died. We see David’s great grief, but of Bathsheba we hear nothing. What pain, what sorrow, what heartache she must have felt too. It would seem that this baby’s death drew them closer together

2 Samuel 12:24, 25 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; 25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.

Solomon’s name comes from the root of the Hebrew word shalom meaning peace. Jedidiah means beloved of Yahweh. The phrase “Now the Lord loved the child” is the Hebrew way of saying the Lord chose him.8 Perhaps from birth, Bathsheba knew that Solomon was a special child, destined for greatness, designed to be David’s heir.

B. Bathsheba Request To David (I Kings 1:1-53)

Some 20 years go by before we see Bathsheba again. When Nathan, prophet, confronted David about his sin, he predicted that because David had killed Uriah with the sword and taken his wife, “the sword will never depart from your house” (2 Samuel 12:10). That’s what we see happen in these 20 years; troubles upon troubles for David’s family. His oldest son, Amnon raped his own half-sister Tamar. In revenge, Tamar’s brother and David’s son Absalom killed Amnon and fled into exile. Absalom returns only to usurp his father David’s throne and take his wives. As the battle progresses, he is killed by David’s general, Joab. His large family, his many wives, the consequences of his own actions result in great dysfunction and agony as he ages. When we meet Bathsheba again David is old, near death, but still alert and has not yet officially designated a successor to the throne. Enter Adonijah.

1. Adonijah’s Coup (v. 5-10)

Adonijah is David’s fourth son, probably the eldest one living at this time, most likely around 35yrs old. He made elaborate preparations to seize the throne. He lined up horses, chariots, runners, and planned a huge party. He invited all his brothers except Solomon; all the royal officials except the special guard; all the army including Joab; all the priests except for Zadok and the prophet Nathan. He is ready to usurp David’s throne, this is a coup.

2. Bathsheba And Nathan’s Intervention (v. 11-27)

Somehow Nathan finds out and goes to court to tell Bathsheba. He advises her to respectfully ask David about his successor decision. Then he will come in and confirm the news about Adonijah. He will imply that basically one of two things is happening. He questions David: did you change your mind about Solomon succeeding to your throne and pick Adonijah? If not, David you need to know that your son Adonijah is usurping the throne, making himself King. Hearing that title “King” got David’s attention and he acted quickly. Then inserted into the passage is a tender moment between man and wife.

3. Bathsheba’s Son Is King (v. 28-53)

2 Samuel 12: 28-31 Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him. The king then took an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 30 I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.” Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”

After that things happen very quickly. Solomon, who is probably about 20 years old, is mounted on David’s own mule, which would be a public statement to all that David wanted him to inherit the throne. He is anointed by the priest Zadok and Nathan. The trumpet is blown stating “long live King Solomon” and he is placed on David’s throne. The coup is quelled and the conspirators flee for their lives. Adonijah “in fear of King Solomon” (v. 50) runs to the sanctuary courtyard and took hold of the horns of the altar. To understand what this meant, we need to go back to Exodus.

Exodus 21:12-14 Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.

Grasping the horns of the altar provided asylum for an accused person while his case was under review. A person could be completely safe there, but only for a time.9

Solomon shows his brother mercy, but it’s conditional. Adonijah must show himself “worthy,” “honorable,” “trustworthy”. We’re going to see how that plays out. But our focus here is on Bathsheba.

For over 20 years Bathsheba has been at court as David’s wife and the mother of his sons. This passage shows that over these years she has developed courage, confidence and a voice, she speaks! Berlin writes:

If Bathsheba is portrayed as passive in her early relationship with David, she becomes strongly active toward the end of David’s life in her successful attempt to ensure that her son Solomon will inherit the throne.10

As a wife of the King, she is respectful not only of him as her husband, but his position as King, “she bowed low and knelt before the king” (v. 16). Yet she is very open with David and reminded him of previous conversations they have had. “You yourself told me Solomon your son shall be king” (v. 17) She knew when he was born God had named him as his chosen one “Jedidiah” beloved of Yahweh. David had probably shared with her his desire to build a temple for Yahweh but God had stopped him. ( I Chron 22:6-10) Solomon, the man of peace, her son, would be the King who build the Temple.

I Chronicles 23:1 When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.

And God used Bathsheba to help that happen.

Think of the contrast between Michel and Bathsheba. Michel when she married David, she loved him and protected him, but as the years passed, she allowed the difficult circumstances of her life to harden her heart toward David. Whereas ,Bathsheba was another man’s wife when David took her and sinned against her, but as the years progressed Bathsheba responded in a way that showed she grew to love and respect David. Consequently, she had influence. He listened to what she said. The words she said took courage and conviction, knowing the consequences were life threatening.

Truth: God’s purposes may require us to speak up in difficult circumstances.

In Bathsheba’s world, her step son was about to forcibly take over the Kingdom. If that occurred, and David died, she and her son would likely be murdered. For her, this was a life and death moment. She had to speak up. She had to champion God’s will for the Kingdom.

Application:

Can you think of a time, a hard time, when you needed to say something that might be risky or costly to you? But you had to say something because it was the right thing to do?

The Scriptures are full of stories like Bathsheba speaking up to the King. Esther risked her life to speak up to save her people from extinction. Deborah had to speak up to lead an army to defeat the enemy of Israel. Mary had to speak up and accept the difficult yet honored role of the Mother of Jesus. Lydia had to speak up and invite Paul to teach her more about Jesus.

Where might you have to speak up for God’s purposes? What life situation might demand you say something for good?

Conclusion

From an unlikely source, US News and World Report magazine, I read this quote:

“Bathsheba is one of the most Beguiling Characters in the Bible…”11

One thing about Bathsheba is clear: It is she alone who sparks a sudden transition in David’s life…the implicationswill dominate his remaining years.”

Bathsheba is a woman of influence. She became a favored wife of the King. She was Queen Mother to her son Solomon the King. She birthed 5 sons to David. Her name is in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:6).

Her life illustrates: it’s not what happens to us but how we respond. Do we become better or bitter? Do we allow God to work through our difficulties for His purposes?

Do we trust Him when we are sinned against? Do we speak up for Him?


1 Liz Curtis Higgs, Really Bad Girls of the Bible (New York: WaterBrook, 2016) 127.

2 Lindsay Hardin Freeman, Bible Women (Foreward Movement, 2014) 204.

3 Sarah E. Bowler, “ Vindicating the Vixens”(Kregel, p96)

4 Bob Deffinbaugh, “David and Bathsheba” www.bible.org

5 Dr. Thomas Constable, “Constable’s Notes,” NET Bible Study Suite, www.NetBible.org.

6 Adele Berlin, “Bathsheba: Bible”, jwa.org.

7 The Expositor’s Bible Commentary”, 938.

8 Constable’s Notes.

9 The Quest Study Bible p 444.

10 Berlin

11 Jessica Feinstein, “U.S. News and World Report,” January 25, 2008.

Related Topics: Women's Articles

4. Abishag (I Kings 1:1-4, 15b)

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I. Introduction

I know we’ve been talking all weekend about influence but I wonder if you ever question if what you do each day really matters?

Those Daily routines of meals, cleaning, work, carpool, childcare, doctor’s appointments, church ministries: does it all really count? for something? For Anything? I think that’s a question common to all women. Katherine Norris addresses this issue in her little book “The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women’s Work”. Dailyness of daily life!”

“We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing even ecstasy but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were.”1

Daily, ordinary, seemingly insignificant, unnoticed are words that could describe our last woman’s life: Abishag.

There are only 4 ½ verses to read about Abishag. Just 4 ½ little verses describing how she influences the life of the King David. She does play a part in the beginning of Solomon’s reign in 1 Kings 2, but that’s another King and another story. Our focus is on the life of David; we have 4 ½ verses to cover. So, you can imagine researching material about Abishag was challenging. I googled her name and read everything I could find. I searched all my commentaries. I went on Christian and Jewish websites. I searched some 33 different theological journals’ sites. I spent more time searching for material on Abishag than what I found. And yet, I could not let her go. She intrigued me; and perhaps we are more like her than any of the other women.

At the beginning of her life, when she is young, strong and beautiful, Abishag is brought to the palace to take care of King David who is at the end of his life; he is old, fragile and dependent on her help. We will never know all the many times, day and night, that Abishag quietly cared for David’s basic needs, his ADL’s which stand for Activities of Daily Living.

All weekend we’ve been talking about how these different women, Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba, and how they affected the life of David; saved him, turned his career around, changed the direction of his life. Now this woman, Abishag, she is different from the others. She is not a wife, not a concubine, she simply ministers to her King in the ordinary, somewhat messy at times, selfless way of a caregiver, a caretaker, a custodian of life. What she does seems insignificant and unnoticed but I think we’ll be surprised by her. So, let’s meet this woman, Abishag.

II. Abishag

I Kings 1:4 When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him.

The King is old. How old is he? We know he died at 70 years old. This event was in his last years, he is probably late 60’s, near 70. He is still the King, living in Jerusalem but he’s elderly and perhaps even bed-ridden. He’s cold! Very cold. He can’t get warm even when they pile blanket after blanket on top of him.

I remember when my dad got older. He would get chilled easily from his poor circulation. He could never keep warm. He’d wear a jacket all the time and his hands were always cold. When I’d visit him, in the same house I grew up in, the house would always be so hot. He’d keep it 80 plus degrees all year around, because dad was always cold, just like King David. So, the problem at court was how to get the King warm. The servants have an idea.

I Kings 1:2 So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.”

Their advice was to find a young virgin to be his nurse and to lay next to him to keep him warm. This was a common solution: warm up an elderly person not only by covering with blankets but also by putting a healthy person in bed with him or her.2 You would get warm from the other person’s body heat. It does work, you do feel warmer next to someone else. We have a grandson, Raleigh, and from the time he was a toddler, he loved to get really close when he slept with you. There’s always the chance of an arm of leg coming over on top of you, face right on your face. I can assure you, you definitely felt his body heat. David needed somebody’s body heat to keep him warm. The job description was not only to provide warmth but also v2 “to attend, to take care of him”. So, they started looking for just the right young girl.

I Kings 1:3 Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.

They looked all over Israel “for a beautiful young woman.” Isn’t it interesting they weren’t looking for an ordinary looking woman, or an older woman; they wanted a beautiful young woman!

They found her, Abishag, a Shunammite. She was from the town of Shunem in northern Israel, some 60 miles north of Jerusalem. That was quite a search for her! They brought her to the King.

I Kings 1:4 The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.

In Hebrew this literally says she will “stand before” the king, describes the role of a “‘caretaker’ and nothing more”3 Abishag is not a wife, she is not a concubine; she’s an attendant, a nurse, a home health or hospice caregiver. She is a special servant, but one whose presence was ignored.

I Kings 1:15 So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him.

In her role as caregiver she was present when David needed bathing, feeding, dressing, but the text is clear: she was not intimate sexually with him. We’re not told what kind of relationship they had, but he was dependent on her care. A few years ago, after my dad had “the fall,” he was in a long-term care facility. He could feed himself but needed help with his personal hygiene and walking. I thank God for all the wonderful caregivers he had, but one in particular was named Shirley. Dad loved Shirley. His eyes would light up when she came in the room and he’d say “There’s my girl Shirley!” She was kind, considerate and gentle and always concerned that he had his meals, he had his meds, that he was comfortable. She was his Abishag. When I think of Abishag, picture her in my mind, I think of all the Shirleys that right now are taking care of our elderly loved ones.

I mentioned at the beginning how little information I could find written about this woman. I’ve never heard a sermon preached on Abishag. I’ve never done a bible study about her before now. And yet, her she is forever inscribed in the Word of God; her story and her name are significant enough to be included in the Scriptures. So, as I pondered that, I wondered what can we learn from her, what lessons are in these few verses for us? As I was praying and asking God to give me something from Him that about Abishag, I read and re-read this verses, picturing this woman; imagining what her day looked like? What did she do, day in and day out, as she cared for David? Although she was at Court and he was the King, what she did was routine and ordinary, the same every day. I wondered if she ever heard a “thank you” or “you’re doing a great job” or “we couldn’t do this without you.” Maybe, or maybe not. I thought how many of us, at so many times, feel like we are unnoticed or what we do every day is seemingly insignificant. The routines of daily life seem to be going nowhere. Our ministries wear us out and we wonder if anyone cares? Taking care of a family, children, homework, car pool never has an end. At work, we question if what we do, day after day, is making a difference? Anywhere?

And then on August 21, I was reading the daily devotional from “My Utmost for His Highest” and God impressed me to pay attention: this is about Abishag and this ministry is important to Me. August 21 is titled “The Ministry of the Unnoticed”4

If you go on the website “My Utmost for His Highest’ Oswald Chambers, you’ll see on August 21, a photo of a woman from the knees down, in jeans and tennis shoes, you don’t even see her face. On one side of her is a floor mop and the other side is a mop bucket, a visual of cleaning floors, a task that we all know is definitely unnoticed!

The New Testament notices things that do not seem worthy of notice by our standards. “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” This literally means, “Blessed are the paupers.” Paupers are remarkably commonplace! The preaching of today tends to point out a person’s strength of will or the beauty of his character— things that are easily noticed….. At the foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is the genuine loveliness of those who are commonplace. …If I have no strength of will and a nature without worth or excellence, then Jesus says to me, “Blessed are you….The true character of the loveliness that speaks for God is always unnoticed by the one possessing that quality. Conscious influence is prideful and unchristian. If I wonder if I am being of any use to God, I instantly lose the beauty and the freshness of the touch of the Lord. “He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). And if I examine the outflow, I lose the touch of the Lord. Who are the people who have influenced us most? Certainly not the ones who thought they did, but those who did not have even the slightest idea that they were influencing us. In the Christian life, godly influence is never conscious of itself. If we are conscious of our influence, it ceases to have the genuine loveliness which is characteristic of the touch of Jesus. We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.5

We may never know what God is doing behind the scenes of our common, ordinary, unnoticed lives and ministries. One thing we can assured of: if our unnoticed deeds, seemingly insignificant ministries are dedicated to The King, following His will, then we are influential women and we will accomplish eternal good.

Acts 13:36 Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep he was buried with his ancestors…

God has a purpose for each of our lives. We can lose sight of the big picture when we’re looking down at the ordinary. Abishag is a reminder of how the little deeds of our lives are important to God and that our very life can be a witness for Him no matter how young or old we are. We need to encourage each other in this truth.

III. Patsy

Patsy was the mother of a man in our small group from church. She was a believer in Jesus and had 5 children. Although the children were raised in the church, not all her kids were or are Christians.

Over the last 4 years Patsy’s health, mentally and physically had been declining. She had gone to live in an assisted care facility near her daughters. They would visit ever week or so. The other children would visit as they could, living farther away. In the several years that we’ve been in small group together, our group has prayed for Randy’s mom Patsy, for her health, for her living conditions, for her peace. From the beginning, as she declined, Randy would say to us and to his family “Mom is not going to die until God’s purposes for her life are accomplished” I remember every time we prayed for her, Randy was confident of that truth, not really knowing what those purposes were as her health deteriorated.

November was a huge turning point in this story. Patsy became dehydrated, very sick, to the point of death. The family gathered and it became evident that the facility had not taken the best care of their mother. So, as she recovered, she was moved to another place and most importantly one of Randy’s sisters said “I’m not going to let mom die from neglect.” She started visiting every day, then twice a day caring, spending hours and hours with her mother. Another important piece to the story is this sister was a prodigal from her Christian upbringing. She was embracing today’s new age spirituality and she had not raised her family in the faith.

But she was determined to care of her mom. Days would go by, Patsy would have moments of recognizing the family, of people she knew, but her over-all health was declining. Randy’s sister would faithfully do the laundry, check on her meals, visit and sit with her mother. We all wondered how long would Patsy live in this condition?

By summer, things declined rapidly, Randy went home to see her. He took his prayer book with him and his sister asked him to pray over their mother, to say familiar prayers, and to recite the Nicene Creed knowing his mother loved to recite it. For those of us who are not used to reciting ancient Creeds at church, the Nicene Creed dates back to 325 AD when the early church fathers were confronting different heresies. The Nicene Creed is a statement of Christian faith, an orthodox doctrinal statement about the essentials of our faith. Listen carefully to the words:

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only‐begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen. 6

This creed says: I believe in the Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus came and died for my salvation. I believe He is coming back to judge the world and I believe in Heaven, and a Kingdom without end. This is our Christian faith.

After several days, Randy went home. One night not too long after his visit, his sister said evening prayers with her mom. She recited the Lord’s prayer and the little night time prayer many of us grew up saying: “Now I lay me, down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die, before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take. Amen.” Then she went home. When she got there, she as she was talking with her husband, processing her thoughts and emotions about her mom, she said “I just can’t stand the thought of mom not being in Heaven when she dies.” As she wrestled with that, she remembered: I know she believes in God; I know she always believed in the words of the Nicene Creed. I guess I believe them too. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe what the Nicene Creed says, so I guess I’m a Christian too. Five minutes later, the nursing home called and said Patsy had just died.

Had Patsy died before November, Randy’s sister would not have had all those days and months with her mom. She would not have had the opportunity to care for her mom; to sit with her, to pray with her, to have time for God to soften her heart. Patsy had no idea that her lingering, decaying body and mind would be used for God’s purposes in her own daughter’s spiritual life. Patsy would not die until God’s purposes for her were finished, but when they were finished, she died 5 minutes later.

Patsy, an elderly, dying woman, had like Abishag: the ministry of the unnoticed. To many people I’m sure she just was an old woman in a nursing home, but not to God. God had eternal purposes in mind for her as He did for Abishag and He has for you and me.

Application:

Influence. May we all be willing to use our influence no matter where we are, for God and His glory.

Influential Women: Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba, Abishag and You!

Each of you, every one of you, you are Influential, more than you will ever know this side of heaven. But It’s our choice whether we will use our influence for good and for God or not. I pray we will with God’s help.


1 Kathleen Norris, “The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women’s Work” New York: Paulist Press 1998, 12.

2 Constable’s Notes, www.bible.org

3 Jewish Study Bible, 671.

4 Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest” August 21.

5 Chambers

6 As found in the Lutheran, Missouri Synod version: http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=954

Related Topics: Women's Articles

Q. Is It Wrong To Have Pictures Of Jesus?

Idolatry And Pictures Of Jesus

Idolatry In The Old Testament

I believe that this text in the Book of Deuteronomy is the key to the answer:

Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ 11 “You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom. 12Then the LORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. 13 “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 “The LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it. 15So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, 16 so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth. 19 “And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. (Deut. 4:10-19 NAU)

God forbade the making of idols (and worshipping them!) because as yet no one had ever seen God (only manifestations of Him, such as we see in Exodus 24:9-11). How can you make an image of someone no one has seen?

Now, of course, there was the matter of worshipping a forbidden idol, and often that worship involved immorality, among other things.

Idolatry In The New Testament1

Consistent with the biblical process of progressive revelation, the New Testament sheds additional light on the matter of idols.

It probably is worthy to note that Jesus never said anything about idolatry in the Gospels. I’m not seeking to make anything of this, but merely to point something out. A further observation was that while no one saw God in the Old Testament, Jesus now claims to be God, and thus to see Him is to see God:

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (Jn. 1:18 NAU)

No one has ever seen God. The one and only1 Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side-- he has revealed him. (Jn. 1:18 CSB17)

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. (Jn. 14:7-11 NAU; see also Philippians 2:5-11)

Jesus’ claim to be God was a great and unpardonable sin to those who rejected Him:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 “I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS ‘? 35 “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God ‘? 37 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 39 Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. (Jn. 10:27-39 NAU)

It should not surprise us to read that Jesus was worshipped by men who received Him as God:

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matt. 2:2 NAU)

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matt. 2:11 NAU)

And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” (Matt. 14:33 NAU)

And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. (Matt. 28:8-9 NAU)

And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. (Jn. 9:38 NAU)

So, does the incarnation of our Lord Jesus, God coming to earth as a man, a perfect God-man, not impact in some way the prohibition we read in Deuteronomy 4? Is it not right to say that God has revealed Himself to men as a man, the God-man Jesus Christ? Is it not right to worship Jesus as God?

Some would brush this aside, and persist to contend that a picture of Jesus is not appropriate. I would respond to this contention from two different directions.

First, I would say that while it is possible that some image of Jesus might be wrongly venerated, and even worshipped, that is seldom the case. Indeed, I have never observed or heard of any instance of this within Evangelical Protestant Christianity. If it were so, this would be wrong, but I don’t think that would justify the condemnation of any and every graphic representation of Jesus

But now, I wish to approach the issue from the opposite direction. Is it possible that the prohibition of graphic representations can actually be counter-productive? Because of the Jesus film which has been shown globally, many have come to faith in Jesus and are now worshippers of Him (not the movie or the character who played Jesus). Would we wish to conclude that this graphic representation of Jesus was evil? Wouldn’t the prohibition of pictures of Jesus hinder the gospel?

Here is another sobering thought. If one were to take away every picture of Jesus in children’s Bibles and Sunday School curriculum, would this produce the kind of results that would please God? There are a number of heresies which have cropped up in an effort to reject or modify the biblical doctrine of our Lord’s incarnation – that the Son of God came to earth as the one and only perfect God-man. Jesus had a physical body. One can hardly avoid this conclusion as you read the Gospels. But there are those who embrace a heresy known as Docetism, the theory that Jesus only appeared to have a body, but in reality, He did not.

I cannot think of any picture of Jesus that I have seen that did not portray Jesus as a man, a man with a human body. Children don’t think in abstract terms, but in concrete terms. When they see pictures of Jesus they see Him as a man, and that is what He was. Jesus appeared as a man, and was accepted as such without debate. What men found more difficult was that this “man” was also God. Our Lord’s deity became evident by means of His words and deeds. To take away all pictures of Jesus as a man tends to diminish His deity, and actually inclines children toward Docetism.

My point in all this is that pictures of Jesus don’t normally result in idolatry, while the removal of all pictures of Jesus may actually misrepresent His nature, and hinder the proclamation of the Gospel.

A Word About Application

So what if an individual continues to be convinced that pictures of Jesus are a form of idolatry? Given the fact that very highly respected evangelical scholars and theologians differ on the acceptability of picture of Jesus, should we not conclude that this is a matter of personal conviction, rather than a strongly held fundamental of the faith, historically embraced within Christianity? And if it is a matter of conviction, should we not act in accordance with Paul’s instructions in Romans 14 and 15? If so, we should not seek to impose our views on others, or debate in a way that divides us.

I’m reminded of the issue of divorce and remarriage which was dealt with by Bethlehem Baptist Church some years ago. John Piper held to a very strict view regarding divorce and remarriage: no divorce or remarriage after divorce.2 The church, after a lengthy time of study and discussion, reached a less restrictive policy.3 As I understood this from a distance, John Piper was free to teach his position on divorce and remarriage, and he was free to practice his convictions as he saw fit. But the position of the church was different, and that was what guided the staff and individual members as the church’s policy.

In any case where an individual (especially a visible leader) held strongly to a position that the model set forth at Bethlehem Baptist Church be followed. The individual is free to hold his position, and even to teach it (though not to beat this horse repeatedly), but the position of the church would be distinguished. I believe in Piper’s case that he actually communicated both his position and that of the church.

I do not believe it wise to make this matter of pictures of Jesus a fundamental of the faith, or to allow it to divide the body of Christ. In my opinion it is similar to matters like the celebration of Christmas or Easter, which had pagan associations in earlier days.

Bob Deffinbaugh


1 One could make the point from the New Testament that it is not merely images which can serve as idols, but other things as well, although it is my opinion that in our day too many things have been labeled as “idols.”

2 https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/a-statement-on-divorce-and-remarriage-in-the-life-of-bethlehem-baptist-church

3 https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/divorce-and-remarriage-at-bethlehem

Related Topics: Christian Life

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