Summary: Principles for hearing God’s voice in the Bible: Recognize it (Plainly), Dig for it (Deeply and Widely), and Obey it (Fully)
SERMON NOTES: HELP ME, I’M STUCK IN LEVITICUS
Principles for Hearing God in Scripture:
1. Recognize the Word
2. Dig for the Word
3. Obey the Word
Title: Help Me, I’m Stuck in Leviticus!
Text: Luke 11:27 – 32
MP: You can and should be hearing the Words of God in the Bible.
1. Intro – Response to ‘My Sediments Exactly’
a. Was Leviticus 13 (You have to participate in the text for it to come alive)
b. Better response would been our text this morning – the Sign of Jonah
c. Principles for hearing God’s voice in the midst of Scripture
2. Recognize It (Signs)
a. Signs Not Wonders
b. Don’t allegorize it (Parable of the Loving Father)
c. Exegesis not eisegesis
d. Let your yes be yes and your no be no
e. Jonah had the most direct prophecy of them all – and it worked!
3. Communion is the ultimate expression of that participation / Christ is here / this is my body shed for you…
Back in September, I was preaching a sermon at The Plains – one that I’ve preached here [My Sediments Exactly] in which I challenged them to keep the Word of God flowing them, keeping them clean fresh and open to the Word of God. Afterwards, I got a great question from one guy who said, “Preacher – I hear you. I believe that this is the Word of God, I know it’s the Words of Life – but I’m in Leviticus, and it’s pretty dry. Can you help me?”
Well, he is right. I know we’re supposed to pick and choose our Bible, but let’s just say that if I was stuck in a prison somewhere where we had to smuggle in the Bible and parcel out the individual pages, Leviticus would probably not be the most in demand piece. If you are new to reading the Bible, its like the 64th or 65th book I’d have you read. The Word of God there is mostly a bunch of rules, mostly for the priests, and is mostly minute detail about dealing with diseases and sanitation in a way that, okay I’ll say it – we don’t deal with much anymore. I say Leviticus, because most of the Bible isn’t Leviticus, and even there, there is stuff we do, but let’s face it, we don’t deal with leprosy on a daily basis.
But I had a challenge, so I said, Okay – let’s dive into the driest stuff we can find for a second. I got him to open to Leviticus 13, and I just started reading a few verses about leprosy.
When a man is afflicted with a leprous disease, he shall be brought to the priest, 10 and the priest shall look. And if there is a white swelling in the skin that has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the swelling, 11 it is a chronic leprous disease in the skin of his body, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. ... 20 And the priest shall look, and if it appears deeper than the skin and its hair has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. …
That joke only works if you can put yourself in the place of the priest trying to learn all that stuff. Even the boring parts of the Bible can have their humor. We just need to be in that place in order to truly get it.