Expository Bible Study: Unfolding the Wisdom of God

Who is the wisest person you know? What do they do to make you believe they are wise? How do you feel when you’re around them?

Wisdom is hard to find in this life. We often equate wisdom to knowledge, but those who have knowledge don’t always do the wise thing. There are a lot of brilliant fools in the world. 

A quick Google search finds multiple lists of the character qualities of a wise person: Open-minded. Compassionate. Reflective. Always learning. The list goes on. Yet not one of these lists hints that we are born wise. We innately know that human wisdom is valuable, is learned. It comes with experience and study.

Biblical Wisdom

The Bible doesn’t define wisdom the way humans define wisdom. 

In Psalm 2:6-7, David tells us that it’s the Lord who gives wisdom – That he stores up sound wisdom in those who walk with integrity.  

The wise are those who are able to see the big picture and align their actions to reach the main goal.

This is the long game. Not just the experience in the now. True wisdom is seeing the past and having the foresight to know how it will affect the future.  

Charles Ryrie describes it like this: “The wisdom of God tells us that God will bring about the best possible results, by the best possible means, for the most possible people, for the longest possible time.”

God doesn’t have to learn wisdom. God has no need to learn or experience life to be wise. He is the embodiment of wisdom. 

The whole of the Bible is God’s wisdom unfolding. 

When you read the Word of God, His perfect wisdom is being revealed. Everything God says in scripture is said on purpose.  But sometimes it is hard to uncover what God is saying when we read the Bible. 

How can we truly understand God’s wisdom as we read Scripture? 

Using an expository method to study the Bible is a great way to uncover God’s perfect plan. We get to dig into God’s word ourselves and work to uncover the big idea of each passage. What a privilege! 

The goal of this way of studying the Bible is to explain it, prove it, and apply it to your life by looking at Scripture verse-by-verse. This type of approach is time-consuming, yes. But if something has to be consuming your time, why not let it be the pursuit of wisdom and truth?

The Three Steps to Expository Bible Study

Prayer is the most vital part of any scripture reading we do. The Bible is a living work, and its truths will be revealed over and over when we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and reveal meaning. Remember to ask His for wisdom and discernment when working through these three steps of Expository Bible Study.

1) Explain it: Begin by figuring out the context and purpose of the text you are studying. Who is the book addressed to? Who is the author? What is the historical situation? What is the major subject? Is there a “therefore”? – If so, there was likely important information that came before. Go back and read the verses or chapter before your section.  

2) Prove it:  Underline any words or places that you don’t yet know, then look them up! You can do this in your own Bible if it has maps and resources, or find trusted Bible sources such as word study books, a concordance, dictionary, Bible handbook, or lectionary. The Read Scripture app is also an excellent resource. The grammar and geography research will guide you into a deeper understanding of when and why this piece of scripture was written.

3) Apply It. I love this part! Our God meets us where we are. We need to ask ourselves – Why should I apply this Scripture? And how should I apply it?  Each verse in the Bible has one truth, but the application of that truth looks different depending on who is reading it, their culture and stage of life. 

Take Isaiah 40:31, for example: “But they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall walk and not faint.”

I have this verse underlined in all of my Bibles. The truth of this verse is the same for everyone – That if you are faithful to God, He will give you the perseverance you need to keep on going. However, when I underlined it in high school it meant that I could run my cross country race with confidence because God was with me. In college, the application of this verse was that I could survive these undergraduate years and it would be worth it at the end of those four years.  Currently, I apply this verse to my life through my calling to be a Bible teacher – Knowing that if I stay inside of God’s will and His calling that He will sustain me when I feel weak and under-qualified.

To expositionally study the Bible is to dig deep into God’s Word. It is to find treasure beyond price. 

 This is not the quick way. 

But if you are longing to deepen your relationship with God through a more technical study of his Word, then Expository Bible Study is worth your time.

 

For a quick-reference printable guide and worksheet, click here.

 

About the Author: Sarah Delamarter Benson is a wife and stay at home mom to her three young children. She is “somewhat organized” and is “ always singing and always dancing” per her children. She enjoys all kinds of music, most kinds of fitness, bible study, reading and caring for her small menagerie of animals.

She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Biblical Exposition program at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a passion for pointing women and girls to Jesus through the truth of God’s Word. She is the founder of RagtagWarriors.com, an online community of women doing life together with grit and God.

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