The text says this, but it actually means that. There are many variations on this, some speculative and bizarre, others that appear thoroughly orthodox and sound. Yet we must always think twice before going beyond the plain meaning of a text.
By all means show how the text fits in the larger flow of progressive revelation. By all means show how God’s plans are worked out in the fullness of the canon. But beware of making a leap from what it says to what it means so that listeners are left staring at the text in confusion, or at the preacher in awe.
Typically this doesn’t happen out of some sinister motivation to twist the text and promote heresy (some certainly do this, but I suspect they won’t be allowed to read this site). Typically this error occurs out of good motivation.
Perhaps the preacher fears that the plain meaning is just too, well, plain. Their job is to add some fizz to the water of God’s Word?
Perhaps the preacher wants to give a more complete biblical message, but fails to show the linkages to the “greater” content offered. This leaves the listener without clear sense of where the meaning is supposed to be found in a text.
Perhaps the preacher feels the text at hand is just a little too basic, too obvious, too simple to count as a rich feast of biblical truth, and so unpacks the text to reveal rich truths never before discovered in that corner of the canon. Oops. Trust God’s intent in the Bible – maybe the people need to hear that passage clearly explained and applied, rather than the whole canon squeezed in for good measure.
I am not suggesting there is no complexity in Scripture, there certainly is. But as we preach, let’s try to make it so that listeners looking at the text will see where we are coming from. What benefit is there in leaving them staring at the text in confusion, or at the preacher in awe?