Bible Study 101 - Topical Study
Bible Study 101 – Live Devotion notes
Another good way for a person new to bible study is to do a Topical Study.
Think of a topic pertinent to what is currently happening in the world or in your life.
Topical studies are a little easier than studying a book of the Bible because it is easier to make a connection with the scripture. But we must remember we can’t just pick out verses we want to use for a particular reason. Even in a topical study it is still important to understand the context of the text we are studying. After finding a scripture on your topic, find out when it was written, who wrote it, where it was written, what was happening, what was the point of the scripture.
One of my earliest Bibles was a Topical Bible. I haven’t used it for years. Maybe because I’ve studied the bible more, but most likely because it is easy to find scripture by topic through an internet search engine.
Let’s try applying this study technique.
Topic on my mind. Grief – pain of struggling people.
After watching and hearing reports of mass destruction in many of our US cities last week my heart has been heavy. This on top of the large numbers of people being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. My stomach has been churning.
I realized I just need to cry out to God. Crying to each other is helpful but not nearly as powerful as crying to God.
Crying to God is called a Lament. Lament means to mourn out loud.
In times of deep pain or grief we need to lament. It’s not something we like to read often because it is not pleasant reading. It is not pleasant to hear words of a grieving soul, but it is a part of life. It is necessary that we learn how to lament so that when we have times of distress we know where to turn. Life is real. We all grieve. We all need this tool.
OK – enough preaching – Back to Bible 101
A topic search of lament will lead us to a book in the Bible called Lamentations.
This is a book that has 5 poems of lament. It was probably written by 5 different authors all mourning out loud.
First let’s look at the history of this book. The authors had just witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. They are sharing a vivid and emotional account of that horrible event.
Jewish customs include the reading of these words every year on the 9th day of the month of Ab. It commemorates the destruction of the first Jewish temple and later tragedies.
John Wesley believe the purpose of this book was twofold.
Ok. Let’s look at Lamentation chapter 5.
How did this author express his/her pain?
What did this author say about God?
How can this help me in sharing my pain with God?
How can this help me see God’s power to help me through my time of distress?