Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart 4

The aim this devotional study is to grown in appreciation for and understanding of God’s revelation through the Scriptures.


Psalms 19:1-14

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

2  Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

3  There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

4  Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,

5  which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

6  Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7  The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

8  the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

9  the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

10  More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

11  Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

12  Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.

13  Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.


  1. What are names attributed to God in this Psalm? Write them down in your journal.
  2. In one sentence summarise this Psalm.
  3. Write down the three big thoughts in this Psalm. How do the three sections relate to each other?
  4. What do you read about creation as God’s revelation in this Psalm?
  5. In verses 7-9 David uses parallelism to list 8 attributes of the Word of God (hint: “perfect”, “sure”, “right”…). List them and then give a fitting synonym for each (so that you may make sure you understand what the author says).
  6. In verse 7-11 David lists 5 ministries (or what the Scriptures do for the reader). List them.
  7. The progression of the Psalmist’ view is from up there in the starts and sky, down to the book and then into the heart. How can you explain this response in the last section?

Application and Prayer

  1. (If you can look outside to creation now, do so now). What does creation reveal about God?  After making the list, use it to praise God and give thanks for this reflection of his might, character and nature.
  2. In verse 10 David writes how he desires and delights in reading God’s Word. How do you relate to this statement? (Write it down)  Speak to God about your affection and appreciation for His written word in response to your feelings and conviction.
  3. Pray the prayer of David in verses 12-14 (perhaps taking some time to memorize this short section).A section of the Book of Psalms found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart 2

The Aim of this devotional study is to rightly adjust our understanding and regard for Scripture.


2 Peter 1:13-2:3

13  I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14  since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15  And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

16  For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18  we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

19  And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2:1  But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2:2  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 2:3  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.


  1. List the names attributed to God and those attributed to Jesus in this section.
  2. Peter speaks of a specific “prophetic word” and also of prophesy and Scripture in general – what specific prophetic word does he refer to? When was this word delivered and by whom?
  3. We are reading from Peter’s last words. Looking at 2 Peter 1:13-21 write down what Peter intentionally wanted his readers to think of the message he wrote down, i.e. why was he sure this message is of God and why did he write it to them?
  4. What does Peter say about the interpretation of Scripture and relation to the Holy Spirit? What does that mean?
  5. Compare true ministers (prophets and teachers) with false ministers (false prophets and teachers) – what does this text teach of them?


  1. Regarding you view this letter of Peter:
    1. When you start reading, what is your attitude and regard of this writing? And then – what should it be? Write it down.
    2. Peter writes these things down as “reminder… so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things” and that he was “eye-witness [of Jesus and his teachings]” that “also heard this very voice borne from heaven”. Do you believe it when you read it?  Why?  Why not? And how does that affect your reading of it today?
  2. Peter writes that false teachers twist scripture because of “sensuality” and “greed”. Search your heart to find to what degree the love for pleasure, power and money on earth influences your interpretation of the Bible.  Write down what you feel or think about this.

(Tell your Bible School Buddy or accountability partner about what you write down in Application 1 and 2).


Worship God and Christ by the names listed in this section.  And then, ass you look at the text we read with your observations and application remarks, bring your thanks and/ or praise and/or doubts about the to God Bible to God and ask him for faith and understanding.

Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart

The Aim of this devotional time is to reflect on the condition of your own heart and to ready your heart for God’s Word and respond appropriately towards God’s Word.

For a memorable summary on why you can trust that the Bible is reliable and accurate, see this 2min video clip


James 1:17-25

17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

18  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

20  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

21  Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

24  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

25  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Note: in reflecting on this text you might also compare it with Jesus’ parables of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-23) and the house on sand / rock (Luke 7:24-27).


  1. Write down what you observe about our relationship with “the Word” as James notes it in this section.
  2. James writes to his readers that they should clean their hearts of “filthiness and wickedness” to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save [your] souls.” How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 13:22).
  3. In v22 James says one who listens but does not “do” the word is in danger of “deceiving himself”. How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 7:24-27)
  4. James promises one who “perseveres” in doing the word is “blessed in all he does”. What do you understand in “perseveres” in this section?  (Read James 1:2-4 to understand the situation of the readers; Compare Matthew 13:20-21).

Application and Prayer

  1. James addressed uncontrolled speech and anger throughout his letter, calling it “filthiness and wickedness”. What “filthiness and wickedness” must you “put away” for the Word of God to produce fruit in your heart?  Write the specifics down and repent of it.
  2. Is there anything righteous that you do / have done but you have felt resistance and have already given up, or want to give up? James says you need perseverance.  Write it down and pray for strength and patience – but don’t give up!
  3. Pray and allow the Holy Spirit time to show you where you have become a hearer and not a doer. Write it down, and commit to God in prayer to become a doer of the word.

(It is strongly recommended that you discuss with your Bible School Buddy / accountability friend these application points, so that you may encourage one another to continue in it).