Friday, January 18, 2008

3-Year Old Hermeneutics

This week for morning devotions with the children, Audrea was reading in the book of Numbers to the children. Numbers 11:1-3:

And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them.

After she was done reading, she had the two younger girls draw a picture of what the story was about and then tell her what they learned about God and about themselves. Savannah was to write a paragraph doing the same.

Sometimes in seminary, people get so deep in the thick of learning how to interpret the Bible that they totally "miss the forest for the trees." It's very common for guys to absolutely miss the whole point of a paragraph. When I hear a sermon like that, I think to myself, "Did he think about the big picture?" Typically, God is trying to tell us one major thing. That's the point of hermeneutics--the science of interpretation--to learn how to get the point! And in preaching, the key is to get to the point!

Tonight when I reviewed the girls' school work after supper, I realized that those guys (and I know that I've been one of them at times!) need to learn how to see the point and get to the point! Elayna, my youngest daughter, put the lesson of this paragraph from Numbers quite succinctly:

"They complained and they got fire."

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