All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

One of the things I love about working at South Fellowship Church is the fact that this church takes the scriptures very seriously. I suspect most churches would say the same thing, but I’m not sure that they would mean the same thing that I do. It’s one thing to think that the Bible is really important and hold it in high esteem. It’s another thing entirely to open it, grapple with it, be confused by it, and allow it to soak deeply into the fabric of your life. I have the privilege of seeing our community grappling with the scriptures and I believe that is what God intended us to do. The words of Scripture are supposed to comfort, haunt, frustrate, and transform us. All of that requires that you learn how to handle the scriptures well.

As we enter into this new series, “Under The Radar,” we will encounter a few different scriptural genres but mostly biblical narrative. Learning to approach each scriptural genre well is part of what it means to handle the text wisely. Many might say that you should take the scriptures “Literally” but it might be more accurate to recommend that we take the scriptures “literarily (John Mark Comer).” If you find yourself in the poetic book of Psalms, for example, and you aim to take it literally, you may find yourself completely missing the intention of the text. Instead, we must learn to read a wide range of scriptural genre in order to understand and glean fully from the words.

In addition to studying the lives of various obscure characters in the scriptures, we will also be learning to interpret the scriptures each week throughout this series. Today, I simply want to dip your toes in the water of narrative. Read 1 Kings chapter 1 and pay attention to the elements of the narrative. Take a moment to jot down some of your observations. Who are the characters? What are they feeling? What is the setting? What is the crisis and rising action of the plot? Is there a narrator? Does God’s perspective show up anywhere in the story? What is the climax? What is the conclusion? Finally, see if answering these questions helps you to understand why the story is in the text and how it might relate to your life.

By Aaron Bjorklund