January 27, 2020 by directorfsm
My friend Pastor Todd Wilson started posting a series through Proverbs on his blog A Word of Grace at the beginning of the year. I thought I had reblogged the first one so you could follow but today realized I had not. Here is the first in the series where you can link to the rest.
Today we begin a devotional journey through “the proverbs of Solomon” (Proverbs 1:1). We are told that Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). There are 915 verses in Proverbs, containing 800 proverbs, though not all of these are attributed directly to Solomon (see Proverbs 30:1; 31:1). I invite you to join me here each Tuesday-Friday as we consider these shorty, pithy writings to profit your soul.
I will be using a wonderful tool from in Minding Your Faith by Gregg Hodge on how to study passages of Scripture. In preparing for his 15 steps (really 16 – don’t give up yet!) he writes the following: “There are fifteen steps for understanding and applying a single passage of Scripture. You can complete one at a time over a period of days or group them together in one or two longer sessions” (p. 61).
We will use his 15 steps (again, 16) and a combination of his approach as a guide through the book of Proverbs. My goal is to “guide” you, not do the work for you, in order to spur your thoughts and meditations on each verse(s) – 15-20 minutes each day. Only you and the Spirit can know how you need to be fed and grow in your walk of faith. I pray that be the case for us as we begin this journey. So, here we go… 16 steps to introduce you to our approach so we can launch in tomorrow.
- Read it. Read the verse or verses we covered.
- Pray it. Ask God to teach you the meaning and how its truths relate to your own life and journey.
- Place it. This provides historical context.
- Pigeonhole it. What is the genre (narrative, poetry, prophetic, teaching, etc.). This on is easy for us – PROVERBIAL!
- Read it. I know, we already have that… but read it over, and perhaps in a different translation and note differences in words.
- Read around it. Read verses before and after to provide context for understanding.
- Diagram it. I know, YUCK! But the proverbs are rather easy to diagram because they are rich in parallelism. (Try Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Highlight it. Use different colors pencils to circle repeated words and thoughts. Use colors for groupings that you will remember. (EX: Red for passages that speak to redemption/salvation; yellow for passages that speak about Christ; black for passages on sin, etc.)
- Noun it. Look up persons, places, or things in a study Bible or dictionary.
- Verb it. Take most important verbs and think through the actions.
- Connect it. Focus on prepositions and words that connect certain phrases.
- Interrogate it. Ask questions about the text. (EX: Proverbs 1:7 What does it mean to fear the Lord? What other fears might I have? What is knowledge? Wisdom? Instruction? How are they similar/different?)
- Relate it. 1) To other biblical passages 2) To the main teachings or propositions in Scripture (doctrine) 3) To Jesus Christ.
- List it (or journal it). Write down specific thoughts and applications you have gleaned for the passage.
- State it. Main thought in your own words.
- Receive it. In short — APPLY IT! LIVE IT! OBEY IT!
There you have it. So tomorrow, get ready to dive into Proverbs 1:1. Have a blessed day… and HAPPY NEW YEAR!