Today Pastor Miles examined the genre of narrative (stories), claiming that narrative is the most powerful and most frequent way God communicates, making up 40-50% of the Bible. We are all living stories every day!
Biblical Narrative Observations
- Narratives are stories of God's attempt to redeem mankind to a right relationship with Himself.
- Narratives involve real people, places and times. The Bible is not myth, but fact which can be supported through history and archaeology.
- Narratives are stories about how God uses imperfect people who trust Him to accomplish extraordinary things by trusting Him. The characters in the Bible were not perfect. King David committed murder and adultery, Moses committed murder, Noah got drunk, Ham drank and committed incest & drunk. We are all sinners (though this does not make our sin right or justified).
- Narratives explain what did happen but not necessarily what should happen or will happen to you.
- Narratives don't teach, but illustrate doctrine and theological concepts.
- Narratives illustrate how to be more like Jesus.
Narrative Reading Rules: Identify the Characters, Plot, Plot Resolution and Dialogue
- God's friends: Vessels who are attempting to build God's kingdom.
- Satan's friends: Tools of Satan who oppose God's friends. (People, Angels, Demons, Animals, Perceptions)
- Satan - God's enemy
- God - The hero
- Plot: How are God's friends attempting to build God's kingdom and in what way are Satan's friends resisting them? Within the plot lies tension, or the struggle of Satan trying to thwart God's plans.
- Plot Resolution: How does God, the hero, resolve the conflict between His friends and Satan's friends?
- Dialogue: The drama is developed with words and actions. Characters develop and grow throughout the story.
Today's text is from Genesis 3:1-24. Pastor Miles walked through this text, reading, explaining, and interpreting as a model for us.
1) Read, pray and discover what God communicated to the people then.
- Setting: Place - Garden of Eden Time - Creation
- Author: Moses (Numbers 11:33 God spoke to Moses face to face)
- Audience: Israel
In Genesis 3:3, the devil speaks to Eve, causing doubt in her mind about God's instructions to her. This is a good example to us to not wander alone, but to remain in strong fellowship with the support of other belivers. When you are walking alone, the devil will come and talk to you.
Genesis 3:4-5 give the reason behind 100% of sin and evil in this world: The devil says we will not die if we are disobedient. He says God is jealous and doesn't want us to have control. This is a lie! Each time any person sins, it is due to a basic belief in this lie and a rebelling against God. Satan's goal is to destroy the image of God in each of us and to make us turn away from truth.
In Genesis 3:6, Eve eats the forbidden fruit and gives it to Adam to eat. She trusts the devil and does as God told her not to do. The result of this action is shame, self-realization, and guilt. Adam and Eve respond by covering themselves and hiding from God.
In Genesis 3:9, God enters the scene, asking, "Where are you?" meaning, You have done the thing I told you not to do. Are you any better off now that you were before? As an application for us, we can think about the sin in our own lives. Has it really helped us? The truth is that sin doesn't help. It brings death, drama and destruction all the time. It ruins relationships, self-respect, reputations, possibilities, careers, and even our own physical bodies. Every single one of us is in a narrative. God is giving us an opportunity every single day to do the right thing!
In Genesis 3:12, Adam and Eve try to blame each other and the devil for what they have done. They are hiding from God because the devil was able to pull them to the other side. But God, the Hero, now comes in with a judgment and a plan that resolves the conflict in Genesis 3:15:
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.
With these words, God pronounces His plan to restore the condition of man by brining a Messiah who will "bruise the head" of the serpent, a mortal defeat of Satan, who will bruise His heel with nails on the cross. The Bible is God's story of man's salvation; from this point, the whole Bible is about to be laid out to resolve this conflict.
Narrative Reading Rules:
- Characters: God, Satan, God's friend: Adam , Satan's friend: Eve
- Drama: The Plot - Mankind called to bear God's image on earth and Satan is determined to destroy that image. Plot Resolution - God punishes man and Satan and promises a Savior, sets in motion a plan to bring the Savior into the world and restore things back to their right relationship with Him.
- Dialogue: Conversations between God, Satan and Adam and Eve.
- Discovery: What is the message intended by the author to the original audience?
Answer: There is an incredible spiritual battle between God and Satan and man is in the middle.
2) Reflect, pray and determine what God is communicating to us now.
All humanity is sinful and doomed to punishment, but God has provided salvation.
Where are you in this story? Are you God's friend or Satan's friend? Where do you want to be? People can flip sides all the time! Is it time for you to change your path and listen to the God who loves you?
3) Respond and do something. Pray and decide what God wants to do in and through you in the future.
By faith, receive the salvation God has provided. How are you to respond to what the scriptures have revealed to you? Write a 6-8 sentence summary of what you learned and how God wants you to change because of it.
Using the guidelines given in the Lesson Plan Key, here is a daily Bible text for you to READ, REFLECT and RESPOND in the coming week:
MON - Genesis 6-7: Warriors (Biblical Narratives)
TUE - Genesis 13-14: Warriors (Biblical Narratives)
WED - Genesis 19: Warriors (Biblical Narratives)
THU - Genesis 22: Warriors (Biblical Narratives)
FRI - Exodus 6: Warriors (Biblical Narratives)
SAT - Exodus 34: Warriors (Biblical Narratives)
SUN - Joshua 1: Warriors (Biblical Narratives)
- Part 1, The Journey
- Part 2, Foundations
- Part 3, Preparations
- Book One: Warriors (Week 1)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 2)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 3)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 4)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 1)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 2)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 3)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 1)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 2)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 3)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 1)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 2)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 3)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 1)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 2)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 3)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 1)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 2)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 1)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 2)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 4)