Until relatively recently, I had no clue what it meant to truly study the Bible. Yes, I grew up in the church, attended every service and read my Bible on a regular basis. I could quote scripture, tell you the kings of Israel in chronological order, list the apostles. It’s likely though, if you asked why these things were important, I would have simply replied: “Because they are in God’s word!” While this certainly is the case, I was missing the most important aspect. There is a reason for each word that the Spirit inspired, it all fits together into one beautiful plan, and it all has relevancy to our lives today.
It wasn’t until I met my husband, and sat in his Bible class for the first time that I saw what I’d been missing. He taught through an entire book in it’s context, showing how each verse supported the major theme. All of the sudden, it made so much sense! It was like that giant cartoon lightbulb went on above my head. Understanding who the author was, who the audience was, why he was writing, what problems they were having…it all helped put the pieces of this giant puzzle together. Not only that, but knowing these things made it much easier to create parallels and learn real, challenging lessons that were applicable to my life.
Scripture is so much more than simply a checklist of dos and don’ts or a list of notable quotes. It is God’s love letter to us! We need to be immersing ourselves in each word. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 tells us, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates.” This doesn’t sound like just reading a page out of your 365 daily devotional book each morning does it? It doesn’t sound like skimming through to get your next check mark in your read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan either. These can be good things, but do they really fully accomplish what God is asking of us? Do they write the words on our heart enough that we can teach them diligently to others and speak of them nonstop throughout our day? Throughout scripture, God places a high priority on knowledge. John tells us in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” There is a difference between knowing “about” God, and really knowing Him. God expects us to continually seek Him and His will.
So where do we even start? It can be incredibly intimidating to simply pick up your Bible and dive into a book. The Finer Grounds Bible study series was developed specifically to give women a tool to show them what it looked like to study a book exegetically (verse by verse study of the scriptures in context); however, this couldn’t be just another commentary. We wanted to shy away from simply telling others what to think and spoon feeding them the information. Our hope was to guide women step by step through a text and ask necessary questions so that they can discover the meaning and put the puzzle pieces together for themselves. It is our prayer that through these studies women will not only grow in their knowledge of scripture, but also gain the necessary confidence to begin to study on their own.
For information on how you can order any of the books in the Finer Ground series, visit http://www.kaiopublications.org!