Preaching Narratives

Reformed Answers posed a question to Pastor Um about how to preach narratives. The question was: What is story completion, and how does it help us preach through the narrative sections of scripture?

Here is a short excerpt of his answer while the full article can be found here:

Again, when we’re looking at another gospel piece, not only do we see theme resolution, but also we see story completion. That is, there are certain stories that are developed in Old Testament narratives where they get developed throughout Canon, but the stories are incomplete unless there is a completion with the entrance of the Messiah. To give you one example in an Old Testament narrative, you have the book of Judges. The book of Judges ends in the very last verse by saying something like, “There was no king in the land and they did whatever was right in their own eyes.” That’s the way the book ends. And so, if the book ends that way, you should naturally be asking, well, is there going to be a king who is going to come who will be able to judge, unlike all of these other kings that were flawed? Yes, God brought revival; there was the whole cycle of rebellion, and then they were subjected to neighboring nations, and then there was repentance and God delivered them by sending them a judge.

But what do we find in the story of Judges, or even through all of the kings — for example, you look at 1 Chronicles, 1 Chronicles or 2 Chronicles — you read all of these kings and you’re asking yourself the question… Boy, the Israelite history is pretty repetitive; you have a king and then he follows the ways of Baal and the ways of all the pagan gods, and yet not faithful to the requirements of what God is asking the people of God to be. And so, you’re asking the question, is there going to be a king, is there going to be a judge? Will there be another one who will come to be able to usher us into the presence of God and under a rule and reign that is being done with righteousness and justice. And so, what we find in the book of Judges, again, is that you have all of these judges who come, but they’re not able to complete the story.

Check out the rest of how to preach narratives at Reformed Answers.