There are times when a teacher or preacher may want to highlight a biblical . . .
- word (bread)
- concept (forgiveness of one’s enemies / forgiveness of sins)
- theological term (grace)
- situation (facing dire circumstances / was richly blessed)
- phrase (the Lord was with / do not be afraid)
. . . which occurs throughout the span of
- the Scriptures
- the Old Testament
- the Gospels
- the Epistles
- a time in the life of Israel (i.e., the time of the Judges / David’s reign / rebuilding by Nehemiah)
- a biblical character’s life
- an age (i.e. — the Church Age / the Tribulation)
The purpose is NOT . . .
- to add “rhetorical filler”
- to segway to a different passage of Scripture which can fill some time or give you something more to say or speak about
- to throw into the message what you have discovered in your study because you looked all these up and found them to be interesting parallels.
But the purpose is to make a meaningful point in relation to the theme, the Big Idea, a point you will be making, or the point you have been making.
Watch how that is done by Bryan Loritts.
You know these four words, “do not be afraid,” are constantly rolling off of God’s words to His people in the Scriptures.
In Exodus, God tells Israel, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Moses, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Joshua several times, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Gideon, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Elijah, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Hezekiah, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Jehoshaphat, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Isaiah, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Mary, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Joseph, “do not be afraid.”
Jesus tells his disciples many times, “do not be afraid.”
God tells Paul, “do not be afraid.”
God tells wives, “do not be afraid.”
Jesus tells the church in Revelation 2, “do not be afraid.”
–Bryan Loritts — Helping Your Haters – Joshua 10
Then Loritts follows this with (because he is going to make a point which flows from this list) . . . .
“Did you know God only says this to people who are facing impossible challenges, and are contemplating huge risks? He doesn’t say this to people playing it safe.
And to you and me, He says to us—when faced with a huge challenge of showing grace to those who have wronged us—’do not be afraid.’
Grace is hard, but God is with us! ‘Do not be afraid!’ ”
Taking this a step further, a speaker could then go back to such a list and highlight the risk which all or some of those cited actually faced.
In fact, taking this even further — a teacher/preacher could make his statement your Big Idea (God will and does assure us in our fears when facing impossible challenges and/or taking huge risks). It would then be possible to build a message working our way through some or all these examples to establish that truth.
Whatever . . . . Loritts uses this technique and thereby breaks the flow* of the general content of his message and injects rhetorical variation which in his case furthers his point — “showing grace — and grace is hard — but don’t be afraid to do it.”
*The various rhetorical techniques have the ability to inject change, movement, variety, and color into the general flow of content and grabs audience attention.
As I am listening to a message, and when my mind is caught by what is said, I stop there to think about what was just done. Typically, I go analytical when that happens. I try to understand and quantify what was just done which caught my ears and attention. If I can break it down, then I can employ that technique — not the speaker’s words or particular thought, but the technique surrounding the words and thought.
Midst the general flow of content, there are techniques a speaker can consciously employ to develop a point, an illustration, a concept, a truth, a principle, an application, etc.