Today, let’s look at two different passages from the historical and poetic books and put inductive study into practice again.
What Do You Observe?
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Studying History and Poetry
When studying the history section of the Bible, we will find that names and numbers do more than just contribute to historical records. Oftentimes, they tie into the themes of a chapter or book. As we seek to interpret these books, it is important to note any of these recurring and significant facts
When studying the poetry books, we should remember that the genre has its own characteristics and rules. Knowing these can help us arrive at a richer and more accurate interpretation.
Observe: Nehemiah 1:5–6; Psalm 107:8–9
We discover from the context of Nehemiah 1 that Nehemiah is addressing the Lord in prayer. In the previous verses of the chapter, Nehemiah has gotten distressing news that the Jews who had returned from exile were not doing well. Additionally, the wall of Jerusalem was broken down and the city gates were destroyed by a fire. Upon hearing this distressing news, Nehemiah wept and mourned for days. He also fasted and prayed. Verses 5–11 give the content of what he prayed.
From our text in verses 5 and 6, a portion of Nehemiah’s prayer, we learn, through observation, that God is great, he is the God of the heavens, and he keeps his covenant with those who love him and keep his commandments. In verse 6, Nehemiah prays on behalf of the Israelites, himself, and his family. He confesses the sins of them all.
What other things can we observe in verses 5 and 6?
In Psalm 107, the psalmist is speaking to a group of people, the redeemed, and extolling them to give thanks unto the Lord. He gives them reasons to thank the Lord: because of his unwavering love, his wonderful works, and because he satisfies the longing and hungry person with good things.
What else do we observe in the passage? Are there any poetic forms that immediately jump out to us?
Watch Week Three
Old Testament: History and Wisdom
As we begin to interpret the passages, how do we understand these verses in light of their contexts? Once we have done our due diligence to arrive at an interpretation that is consistent with the context and agrees with the rest of Scripture, we are ready for application.
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