The writers of Scripture were careful to incorporate a variety of literary styles and structures as a means of communicating their point. One example of this is found in the common use of chiasms. Chiasms use a pattern of repetition for clarification and emphasis. In short, a chiasm is a pattern within a passage in which the second half parallels the first half, but in reverse order. Below is an example:
The book of 1 Samuel also includes several simple chiasms, including one that I wrote about here surrounding the Ark of the Covenant. There are two more near the end of 1 Samuel, one in chapter 23 (Listen to the sermon here) as well as one that covers chapters 24-26. I have outlined these sections below.
1 Samuel 23
A- v. 1-14 David is going to die because his own people betray him but he miraculously escapes (Divine Revelation)
B- v. 15-18 Jonathan trusts in David’s coming kingship
A- v. 19-29 David is going to die because his own people betray him but he miraculously escapes (Divine Intervention)
1 Samuel 24-26
A- 1 Samuel 24 David Spares Saul
B- 1 Samuel 25 Abigail trusts in David’s coming kingship
A- 1 Samuel 26 David Spares Saul
When you study the outline of both sections, the point which the author is making becomes clear: Be like Jonathan and Abigail who trust in the coming kingship of God’s king. We live that out today by trusting in Jesus to save us from the wages of sin. Even though Jesus is not widely excepted in our day and age, we know that one day His kingship will be visible and present, and in that day we will reign with him. We who embrace Him now will be rewarded when He returns.
- God’s anointed deliverer is betrayed by his own people but delivered by the Lord
- True Foolishness is expressed in rejecting God’s king
- True Wisdom is expressed in embracing God’s king.
Main Point: Nothing can separate us from the Love of God
- Suffering (and death) does not separate us from God’s Love (We are more than conquerors)
- No power can separate us from God’s Love
Main Point: Since God is for us, nothing/no one can be against us
And this truth bears itself out in three underlying points.
- The Gospel assures us that God is for us
- The Gospel shows us no one can charge us
- The Gospel protects us from condemnation
8:28- The Promise
8:29-30- The Foundation
those whom He foreknew
He also predestined
He also called
He also justified
He also glorified
*The introductory illustration of a building’s foundation found here.