Saturday, September 20, 2014

Homiletics How To and Exodus 1:1-2:10

There are tons of methods for doing homiletics.  All you have to do is type “homiletics” into Google and tons of links and files pop up with information on the execution of the exercise.  If you’re reading this post, you probably already know that homiletics is a method of Bible study designed to take a passage of Scripture and transform it into a sermon or lesson.  You don’t have to be a preacher to study the Bible using homiletics techniques.  You can do it for your own personal study or to prepare a Bible study lesson.

One bit of advice: it’s not necessarily bad to learn from several different teachers several techniques for homiletics, but I think you need to work with one set of guidelines for a while to develop your own style and confidence.  Otherwise, you might get frustrated and quit using homiletics altogether.  Homiletics is very personal.  It’s how God talks to you.  No two people will have the same homiletics when they’re done, but I have seen very similar themes come from individuals.

Before we get started on steps, I want you to close your eyes (read what I want you to imagine BEFORE you close them) and imagine that you are sifting your fingers through sand.  You are unearthing beautiful, bright, bold and shiny gemstones.  That sand and the treasure is God’s Word and your fingers are the tool of homiletics.  The gemstones are the amazing things you’re going to learn.  OK.  Here we go…

The Steps:  There are 7 steps to studying the Bible using homiletics.  First,

PRAY

You get so much more out of Bible study when you engage the Holy Spirit as your personal Tutor!  Second,

READ

Read the passage you’re studying in its entirety.  This will give you a complete picture of your study.  You’ll get an overview of themes and you won’t take verses out of context.  Now, the process of “Shrink and Think” begins:  third,

CONTENTS

This is your first sift through that sand with your fingers.  Group 2-4 verses together, summarizing the content of those verses using words directly from Scripture.  Write as short a summary as possible.  I struggle with this, myself, but doing this will help you boil things down later.  The “Contents” portion should be comprised of 10-20 summaries.  Fourth,

DIVISIONS

This is your second sift.  You’re starting to feel those gemstones rising to the surface.  Group your “Contents” together in 2-4 ideas, events, themes or concepts.  Write one run-on sentence to summarize the verses in each group using words directly from Scripture.  Again, make this as short as possible.  It’ll help you with the next step.  I usually take a moment to perform a third sift at this point by identifying “Principles” from Scripture for each “Division”.  Principles are absolute truths that provoke thought and encourage.  Gemstones seem to pop to the surface for me at this time.  Fifth,

SUBJECT SENTENCE

In this fourth sift, more treasure is becoming visible.  Using your “Divisions,” create a sentence of no more than 10 words to summarize the entire passage you’re studying.  This sentence should have proper structure and it should identify where in Scripture the passage is located.  Sixth,

AIM

This is the goal of your teaching.  I always begin this section with “TCMAT” (To Cause My Audience To…).  This section can be one sentence or several.  Seventh,

APPLICATION

Create open-ended (can’t be answered “yes” or “no”) questions for each of your “Divisions”.  If you’ve taken the time to identify “Principles,” you may want your application questions to relate directly to them.  Crafting and answering these questions usually brings lots of little treasures to the surface in my experience.

So, there you have it.  Your homiletics is complete.  Since it is a personal method of study, you may get a flood of treasure from the Lord while you work on “Contents” or in crafting your “Aim”.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t unearth treasure right away.  Keep praying and keep practicing your homiletics.  I’ve included a sample of my homiletics for you below.  I use the KJV as my text in case you want to compare my homiletics to the original passage.  I’m still working on tightening my “Contents” and “Divisions” summaries.  Both are too long in my opinion.  I also struggle at times with the “Subject Sentence” being decisive enough to identify exactly where in Scripture the passage I’ve studied is, but the sentence in my sample below is pretty good.

Have fun with this!  I’m going to start posting my homiletics here every Saturday.  So, if you need more samples, this is where they’ll be.  God bless you as you study.

 

Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture):  Where?                 Egypt   Who?  Children of Israel, Pharaoh, Hebrew midwives (Shiphrah and Puah), Levite couple, child (Moses), child’s sister, Pharaoh’s daughter

1
1:1-4
Children of Israel in Egypt: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher.
2
1:5-7
Souls out of Jacob = 70; Joseph died and brethren and all that generation; Israel fruitful, multiplied and mighty, land filled with them.
3
1:8-10
New king over Egypt knew not Joseph: “children of Israel more and mightier than we, let us deal wisely lest they multiply, when war they join our enemies and fight us.”
4
1:11-12
They set taskmaster to afflict them, they built cities Pithom and Raamses; the more afflicted, the more they multiplied, they grieved because of children of Israel.
5
1:13-14
Egyptians made children of Israel serve w/rigour; made lives bitter w/hard bondage, mortar, brick, service in field.
6
1:15-17
King to Hebrew midwives (Shiphrah, Puah): “when ye midwife Hebrew women, if son – kill him, if daughter – she live”; midwives feared God, did not as king commanded, saved men children.
7
1:18-19
King called midwives:  “Why ye done this?”  Midwives: “Hebrew women lively, delivered ere midwives come.”
8
1:20-22
God dealt well w/midwives, people multiplied, waxed very mighty; because midwives feared God, he made them houses; pharaoh charged all his people: “Every son ye cast in river, every daughter save alive.
9
2:1-4
Man of Levi took wife of Levi; woman conceived, bare son, hid him 3 months; when could no longer hide, took ark of bulrushes daubed w/slime and pitch, put child in, laid in flags by river’s brink; his sister stood far off to wit what would be done to him.
10
2:5-6
Daughter of Pharaoh came to wash, maidens walked by river’s edge; she saw ark, sent maid to fetch; she opened, saw child, babe wept, she had compassion: “This of Hebrews’ children.”
11
2:7-10
Sister to Pd: “Shall I call nurse?”  Pd: “Go.”  Maid called child’s mother; Pd: “Take child, nurse, I give thee wages.”  Woman took child, nursed; child grew, she brought to Pd, he became her son, called his name Moses: “Because I drew him out of water.”

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
1:1-14
Israel in Egypt; Joseph died (and all that generation); new king, knew not Joseph: “Israel more/mightier than we, when war they join enemies/fight us; set taskmasters to afflict, the more afflicted, more they multiplied; Egypt made Israel serve w/rigour, made lives bitter w/hard bondage, mortar, brick, service in field.
Principle:
People fear what seems too large to control, and that fear unleashes cruel treatment.
Man’s plan to oppress will not thwart God’s will to prosper.
God’s children are often punished by man because they are blessed by God.
2
1:15-22
King to midwives: “when ye midwife Hebrew women, son-kill, daughter–live”; midwives feared God, saved men children; king: “why ye done this?” Midwives: “Hebrew women delivered ere midwives come;” people multiplied, because midwives feared God, he made them houses; pharaoh charged all his people:  “Every son, cast in river, daughter save.”
Principle:
It is always better to fear God than it is to fear men.
God rewards those who fear Him.
3
2:1-10
Man/wife of Levi conceived, bare son, hid him 3 months, took ark of bulrushes, put child in, laid in flags by river’s brink, sister stood to wit that be done to him; dP came, saw ark, opened, saw, babe wept, she had compassion: “this of Hebrews’ children;”  sister: “I call nurse?” dP: “go” maid called child’s mother, dP: “nurse, I give thee wages;” child grew, brought to dP, called his name Moses: “I drew him out of water.”
Principle:
Sometimes the protection from a bad situation exists right in the enemy’s household.
 
Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

Fearing Israel, Pharaoh charges: “kill boys,” while daughter saves Moses.
 
Aim (Christian and Non-Christian):

TCMAT know that God’s plans are never thwarted, delayed or interrupted and that He rewards those who fear Him, sometimes using the most unlikely people and circumstances.
 
Application:

1
How do you react when you are afflicted?
What do you admire about how Jesus responded to affliction and how might you adopt His behavior?
2
What do you do when you receive a request from someone in power over you that conflicts with what God wants you to do?
In what way does your behavior reflect that you fear God?
What change can you make in your life today to show that you fear God?
What blessings have you received from God for your faithfulness and reverence?
3
What is the oddest rescue operation you’ve ever seen or heard about?
When have you experienced God using an unusual person or situation for your good?

 

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