Sermon Prep (No.1): Genesis 29
One of my goals this year is to show you some ways I prepare to hear sermons and some of the ways I study/write sermons. Today, I'd like to introduce you to the latter. I've been working on a sermon I'm preaching in two weeks, Lord willing, and I'd like to give you my raw outline for it and give you a peak behind how I came to this particular outline.
Sermon Outline for Genesis 29:
Human Deception and God’s Promise: Genesis 29-30:24
Introduction: A story about how we have all experienced sufferings at the hands of deceivers/manipulators, and we have been deceivers/manipulators ourselves- is God’s plan thwarted when this happens? Can God use those deceivers and manipulators who inflict sufferings on others to accomplish His sovereign plan?
Read: Genesis 29
Two Promises are given to Jacob by God before he arrives to meet Laban (Genesis 28:13-14 and Genesis 28:15)
Promise 1: Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth. (Genesis 28:13-1
Promise 2: I am with you and I will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land.
Jacob lacks a posture of dependence upon the Lord
Jacob VS Abraham’s servant (Genesis 24:12-14)
Takeaway: Jacob’s lack of dependence on the Lord should make us aware of our own lack of dependence upon the Lord. The reality is, we can do nothing apart from the Lord.
[speak to Acts 17:28; Ephesians 6:10; and Galatians 5:16 on ‘walking in the Spirit’]
Laban’s deceit rivaled Jacob’s deceitful tendencies.
Laban ran, embraced, and kissed Jacob with motives.
[Abraham’s servant in the past made Laban’s family wealthy.]
My bone and my flesh (14): cut from the same cloth.
Laban tricked Jacob and enslaved him.
Takeaway: We are no better than Laban or Jacob. We deceive, lie, and manipulate in order to indulge our sinful passions and desires. This ultimately enslaves us. This is why we need Christ.
God uses the deceit of Laban to accomplish His plan.
Leah has sons.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah
In the fullness of time, Jesus would be born of the house of David, of the tribe of Judah, the son of the unloved Leah.
Takeaway: The Lord orders our steps and accomplishes His purposes. Nothing can thwart His plan. Many times, He uses the deceitful and evil intentions of man to bring about His good purposes.
[Judas and Jesus]
[Numerous as sand on the shore promise- speak to Great Commission- Gospel going to every tribe, tongue, and nation]
Brief Explanation of Outline:
Over the next 10 weeks the teaching pastors at Coastal Community Church are preaching through Genesis chapters 24-50. It is a rapid speed and there is much ground to cover, but also much that must be neglected. Genesis is historical narrative and it is important our preaching reflect this, but the overarching theme of Scripture points to Christ. Therefore, our sermons must ultimately have Christ at the center. Christ-less sermons aren't worth preaching.
My approach to this particular sermon is to outline the major historical moments in chapter 29 (the part of 30 I'm neglecting is giving genealogies). While also giving the congregation takeaways that build toward what God has accomplished for us in Christ Jesus. Notice that I begin with two promises God gave to Jacob before we arrive at our main text. I want our local church to see God accomplishes that which He promises even when He must use that which He hates (for instance, the sinful/deceitful actions of Laban). What Laban uses for evil, God uses for good to ultimately bring about the incarnation of Christ Jesus (from the line of Judah, Leah's son).
As I prepare for this sermon, I am doing several things:
Reading the chapter/chapters surrounding it devotionally. I want a warm heart toward the Lord regarding this text.
Praying as I work through the text/think through the text/outline the text.
Meditating on the times I have been/am deceitful and thanking God for His forgiveness. Meditating on the times I do not have a dependent posture on the Lord and repenting of it. Thanking God for accomplishing my salvation in Christ Jesus. Thanking God for using my sins and sufferings to draw me closer to Him.
Being mindful of the specific word choice of Moses by comparing my English translation to the Hebrew.
Analyzing the context of the passage: historical; grammatical.
Looking for the big picture redemptive narrative of the passage.
Doing word studies if needed. For instance, I know that the Hebrew word for 'serve' (used in Genesis 29:15;18;20;25;27;30) is the same word the Lord uses when he says that Esau will serve Jacob (25:23;27:29;37;40)
Thinking about our particular congregation and how their spiritual needs are met in this text.
Reading commentators on this particular passage as I move closer to preaching it. Right now I'm reading John Calvin's commentary on Genesis, Sidney Greidanus' commentary, Allen Ross' commentary, and I will use The Expositor's Bible Commentary eventually.