Mayhue on Bible Study.

September 22, 2007

I’m rereading Richard Mayhue’s How to Study the Bible. I recommend it: he has solid, basic points for accurately handling the Word of God. I don’t mean to exhaust his entire book here :], but here are some things I read last night & this morning that I found helpful.

On Bible study preparation:

“When asked how to study the Scriptures most profitably, George Mueller remarked that he had two rules of thumb. First, prayerfully seek God’s Spirit as primary teacher. Second, let the Holy Spirit teach at the appropriate time. That is to say, if an answer does not come immediately, keep seeking the Spirit’s help . . .

Psalm 119 overflows with the writer’s love of Scripture. We can learn much from his prayer. I have found the following sequence to be most meaningful in preparation to study.
1. ‘Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from Thy law’ (Ps. 119:18).
It leads to knowledge.
2. ‘Teach me Thy statutes’ (Ps. 119:12)
. It leads to understanding.
3. ‘Oh that my ways may be established to keep Thy statutes!’ (Ps. 119:5)
. It leads to obedience.

Note it doesn’t end at mere knowledge (that’s where the Pharisees stopped) or at mere understanding (that’s perhaps where King Solomon stopped before allowing his heart to be led astray by his many wives to their many idols). We study that our study may lead us to obey (we prove ourselves as His when we love & obey). It goes from our minds to our hearts to our lives. Like Amy Carmichael cried, “That His Word might truly be my life!”

For the hurried, skim-reading types like me:

“Observe carefully. Spurgeon quotes from a writer of his day: ‘Most read their Bibles like cows that stand in thick grass, & trample under their feet the finest flowers & herbs.’ Observe with the idea of discovering the detailed beauty that God has put in His Word. Take your time & concentrate.

Observe thoroughly. Start with the reminder that you will never see it all at one study; but purpose to see as much as you can . . .

Observe systematically. Martin Luther studied the Bible as one who gathered apples. ‘First I shake the whole tree, that the ripest may fall. Then I climb the tree & shake each limb, & then each branch & then each twig, & then I look under each leaf.’

Observe intimately . . . It’s like a letter from home while you are far away . . .

Look! That’s the key to fruitful Bible study. We study at a well that will never run dry – so drink deeply of its life-giving provision.”

God bless your study of His Word! :]


2 Responses to “Mayhue on Bible Study.”

  1. fielder Says:

    Thanks for emphasizing the part for the Skimmers – I’m one as well. I’ve been struggling with truly studying the Word lately and this has really encouraged me! Thanks for posting this.

  2. tia Says:

    Aw, I’m glad it encouraged you! It encouraged me, too – I really recommend that book!

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