Posted by: New in Every Way | January 16, 2013

The 5 W’s & H in Bible Study

Man Scratching HeadJournalists, move over. The 5 W’s and H work as amazingly in bible study as they do in newspaper reporting–actually more so.

Journalists find out the Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why of events. They can then give a thorough report for their readers. Bible students ask those same questions about a passage of Scripture–for a different reason. They are not just pin-pointing information about the Bible to report to others. They are breaking down scriptures so that the meaning can shine forth.

FOR EXAMPLE, here are some rich insights from Psalm 5.

Psa. 5:3

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation (Psalm 5:3 NIV).

When I read this verse, I made up some Who? What? . . .  questions. The one that helped me see something helpful was HOW did David pray? 

That question made me notice that David

  1. laid his requests before the Lord
  2. spent his waiting time expecting 

Now I have asked the Lord for something and then . . . wondered how long I would have to wait. It appears that David was more active. He looked forward to God’s answer. He probably told people it was coming. No doubt he thanked God in advance for taking care of him. (He did that often in the Psalms.) In short, he kept himself happy and full of faith by actively expecting, instead of passively watching the days go by.

I have started actively expecting. Know what? The time passes joyfully, and my faith grows and grows.

HERE ARE A COUPLE OTHER INSIGHTS from verses 11 and 12:

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

When I first read these verses, about all I got from them was a glad feeling. Then I started asking questions.

WHAT are some things David felt he could expect, if he asked for them? 

  1. joy (and “be glad” and “rejoice”)
  2. protection
  3. blessing
  4. favor

Cool! I thought. Great stuff.

Then I asked another question and found out how to receive these good things.

WHO will receive these blessings? Those who

  1. take refuge in God
  2. love his name
  3. are righteous

. . . Made me realize that David did not take a random or half-hearted approach to God. He had a radical relationship with him. Radical and appealing. I also realized that his closeness to God was the reason he prayed so confidently.

 I can’t wait for you to dig into scriptures with the 5 W’s & H!

Bet the Bible will come to life for you.

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