31 Days:: So That I Will Know His Goodness
Day 9: So That I Will Know His Goodness
From time to time, I will use a simple method for personal Bible study called “SOAP.” The acronym stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. It’s just a simple way to process through what you read in the Bible.
First, you choose and then read a particular portion of Scripture— either out loud or silently. Then, you ponder what you Observe in the passage. Just point out what you see, what patterns might be there, what truths might be found, what you might know about the author or the historical setting, etc. Next is Application— you consider what you can learn from the passage and then talk/write about how you might be able to purposefully apply it to your life. And lastly, you Pray about it all.
Easy peasy, right?
This morning I SOAPed Psalm 67 and wanted to share it with you.
Scripture: Psalm 67 is only 7 verses long, so reading it didn’t take long. But as per my usual, as soon as I started reading it, I couldn’t help but underline and circle the key ideas I was noticing.
Observation: One of the first things I noticed here was the phrase “so that.”
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— SO THAT your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (v. 1-2).
As I unpacked the entire Psalm, I noticed a theme:
God: is gracious
makes His face shine on us
rules us with equity
guides, leads, drives us
causes the land to yield its harvest (aka He provides for us)
SO THAT His ways will be known on earth
SO THAT His salvation/saving power will be known among the nations
SO THAT all the ends of the earth will reverently fear Him (aka see Him for who He really is)
AND THEN… our response is to: praise Him
sing for joy
So… if that is all true, then the whole reason God rules, guides, provides for, saves, and blesses us is SO THAT people will see Him for who He really is, know His ways, know His salvation, praise Him, be glad and sing for joy. That’s it. No ulterior motives!
Application: Once again, I am reminded that God isn’t trying to use, take advantage of, or exploit me and He doesn’t have any weird ulterior motives for me. Nope. He just wants me to know Him so that I can be saved and freed by Him. He wants me to know His true self and stand in proper reverence of that. He wants to bless and provide for me so that I will know His goodness. And when I respond by humbly praising Him and joyfully singing to Him in gratitude— I imagine this will contribute to furthering the cycle of freedom, humility, and deeper intimacy with Him.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for this simple little Psalm. Thank You for the great truth and encouragement in it. Please help me to continue trusting that You are pure and good and trustworthy. Thank You that You aren’t good to me so that I will become your little servant-worker-bee… You are good to me because You love me. You are good to me because You want me to be free from what binds me and holds me back from the abundant life You have planned for me.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” ~John 10:10
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” ~Galatians 5:1
Thank You for desiring my freedom and for doing what was necessary in order to buy that freedom for me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11
Thank You for making good plans for me and for guiding me along so that I don’t miss Your leading.
“Fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” ~Proverbs 3:7-8
Thank You that what You tell me to do (or not to do) is genuinely for my own good. I absolutely love Your truth and I love Your ways. Please help me to walk in them even more diligently than I have been before. I trust You and know You have my best interest in mind when You guide and communicate with me.
I love You, Lord. Amen.
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What about you?
Do you know of another simple Bible study method I could use in my own quiet times with God? What has God been speaking to you lately?
Please feel free to share your journey in the comment section below.