30 March 2007

Thanks for the sermon prep!

by Dan Phillips

We've done a few studies in Proverbs, you and I, here at Pyro. There was a three-part series (starting here), and a one-off (here).

I was recently invited to preach at my church. Since I never turn down an invitation if I can help it, I grabbed it. Then I reflected on what to preach.

As I've been asked to be keynote speaker at a Bible conference, and plan to speak on Proverbs, that book seemed a natural selection. As much as I love it, and have written and taught on it, I haven't really preached on it. So Proverbs was the general field, and Proverbs 3:5-6 was the focus I ended up selecting.

You helped with the preparation. Earlier this month I solicited from you horror stories in the misapplication of Proverbs 3:5-6, to assist me in preparing for that sermon. You responded very helpfully, and I used it in my sermon. Thanks!

You can hear the results, if you like. The title is What God Means by “Trust” (from a misunderstood text).

What you maybe can't hear so well is that a little baby evidently was also enjoying the fellowship, with some gusto. At one point he (she? sorry, mom and dad) let out with a mighty whoop. It might even have been ecstatic. It worked into the sermon, also.

Also, I always give out an outline, sometimes (as in this case) with my own translation of the passage we're studying. You can get the outline here.

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Tone said...

That was wonderful preaching, really edifying, thank you. I'm already late for an appointment and didn't intend to hear it all until later but got drawn in and listened to the end. I'll be reading proverbs on the train!


ps. is "funky mystical bumps and grinds" a theological term...?

DJP said...

Thanks for the kind encouragement, Antonio.

ps. is "funky mystical bumps and grinds" a theological term...?

It will be when you write your textbook!

philness said...


I enjoyed your sermon. I was both edified and slapped around (ok convicted) by the preaching of the word. I like what you said about the word "acknowledge" used in that passage inwhich the word "know" would be much better. I have the New King James Study Bible and the word acknowledge is used and I have always been uneasy about that word there too, as if it meant we were to tip or hat to the Lord in all our ways or give one of those sporty finger points to the sky type gestures. I also liked what you said about equating the word "heart" to the word "mind". Good stuff. My son will be well equipped one day as he will enjoy my many notes and comments in my bible. I pray he will abide in the same words that are abiding in me. Thanks again.


Unknown said...

Loved your sermon. Especially liked the connection between the father in home being a representative of God's authority in the lives of the children in the home.

What would you tell a single mother? Can the same connection be made? Is there a difference? Or what about a father who is not saved and a mother who is?

Oh, and I also liked the Bible memorization you were talking about. That was really good too!

DJP said...

Janelle, those are wonderful questions. I'll add them to the list of "things I wish I'd said" that started pelting me internally as soon as I sat down.

I wish I had a wonderful answer for you, but I don't, and I'm a bit crowded at the moment. Others' Biblical/Biblically-based input is welcomed. I'll ponder, and try to get back to you.

Unknown said...

No problem; take your time.

storbakken said...

This is my first time to your blog. And I wanted to share a quick horror story related to the Book of Proverbs. My little brother (he must've been 10 or 12 at the time) was acting up and my father, who was raised in the church but not an active church-goer as an adult, told him to read a chapter from Proverbs as a kind of punishment. After he read the chapter my dad asked him, what'd you learn? My little bro replied, don't go chasing after prostitutes. He must've read ch. 23.


DJP said...

Well, here are some thoughts:

First, as I think I said, Proverbs 3 is given in the context of an ideal condition — an ideal, wise father teaching an ideal, wise son. Families aren't ideal.

For the mother and family in such a situation (single-parent), assuming she's taken care of any personal "business" with God, I'd stress the many, many passages that stress God's concern with widows and orphans:

Ex. 22:22–24; Deut. 10:18; 14:28-29; 16:11, 14; 24:17–22; 26:12-13; 27:19; Job 6:27; 22:9; 24:3, 9; 29:12-13; 31:16–18, 21; Psa. 10:14, 17-18; 27:10; 68:5; 82:3; 94:6; 146:9; Prov. 23:10-11; Isa. 1:17, 23; 10:1-2; Jer. 5:28; 7:6-7; 22:3; 49:11; Hos. 14:3; Mal. 3:5; aaaand Jas. 1:27.

Paul encourages younger widows to marry (1 Timothy 5:14). That's one path; and it is preferable for a house to have a husband/father as the head.

Absent that and in the meanwhile, a Christian mom will have to do what she can. In her church, her children at minimum should see Christian manhood modeled in the pastor and elders, and they should be involved as they can in that family (James 1:27).

A situation with an unbelieving father is similar to 1 Peter 3, or non-Christian rulers or bosses. He still is the father, still has the position, still deserves respect for his position because God accords it to him in that position. But like any authority, he can't be followed into sin.

Unknown said...

That makes sense. Are elders/pastors in the church called to have direct influence into the lives of less-than-ideal families? They have their own families, as well as an entire church to lead. Wouldn't this make it difficult for the children to have that type of direct representation? They can see it modeled, yes, but how can they know to apply it unless it is active in their lives?

When I think about it, I know God gives grace in areas we can't really comprehend. I guess it is my own weird thing that doesn't want to accept that as an answer. It seems like a cop-out; but that is probably just me.

Anyway, great job Dan. It made me think.

annilee said...

This is my first time on this great site.

I have a question along the lines of Janelle's, but a bit different...(if this is too off topic, maybe sometime in the future you could address it ??)

Given the importance of the father in the household illustrating God's authority to the children, what would the role of a christian wife be in the situation where the husband fell into the catagory of a false teacher or a christian walking disorderly?

Would it be the same as for an unbelieving husband - except that the wife would "override" everything relating to false doctrine & actions?? If so, how would she maintain her husband's position of authority and yet overrule his teaching at the same time?