Bible Study Methods: Psalm 1

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We have a few days “off” before we start the book of John next week. To help us all grow in reading the Word on a daily basis and to help us better study and apply the Bible, we’re taking the next three days to share a few tools for reading, understanding, and applying the Bible more effectively. For each of the next three days, we’ve picked three different Bible study methods and three psalms that we studied this summer during the Harris Creek “Soundtracks” sermon series. Our hope is that trying out these methods will help us be more effective in studying and living out God’s Word.

Day One

Today’s method we’re sharing involves a three-step process. As we study a passage using this method, we’re like investigators doing a deep dive asking three sets of questions. We’ll share the three steps and some key questions and encourage you to study Psalm 1. 

  1. Observation: “What does it say?” or ”What do I see?”

As you look at the verse, what words stick out? Are any words repeated? Look at the context of the verse and passage, specifically looking at the verse prior and following. Is the passage/verse a question, statement, or command? Is the writer describing something or recounting a story or narrative? What did the author see when they wrote the passage? Try to put yourself in their shoes and make some observations. Practically, you can mark anything you observe in your bible or in a journal.

  1. Interpretation: “What does it mean?”

What do you think the author intends in this passage? This is where you can ask a bunch of questions of the text and where you seek to find answers to those questions. For example, if you studied John 11:35 (“Jesus wept”) you could ask: Why is Jesus crying? What led Him to start crying? Are there any other times Jesus wept? As you study the passage and its context, you put your questions and answers together as you attempt to interpret the verse/passage.

  1. Application: “How does it work?” or “What do I do?”

Now that we’ve made some observations and made efforts to understand what the Scripture means, we need to figure out what we do with it. How does this passage apply to me? What do I do about it? How will this passage impact my life or the lives of those around me? James 1:22-25 describes a man who looks in the mirror and sees what he looks like and then turns around and forgets what he saw in the mirror. We don’t want to be people who look into God’s Word and forget what it says. Rather, we want to be people who allow God’s Word to change and transform us, so that we might become more and more like Jesus Christ.

Read Psalm 1

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.


Quick summary: The first method we’re sharing with you this week is to take three steps with every passage you study.

  1. Observation: “What does it say?” or ”What do I see?”
  2. Interpretation: “What does it mean?”
  3. Application: “How does it work?” or “What do I do?”

What do you observe, interpret, and apply from Psalm 1?

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4 thoughts on “Bible Study Methods: Psalm 1”

  1. •Observation
    A fruitful tree (faithful) vs. worthless chaff (faithless)
    The life of the faithful is marked by delighting in the Lord no matter what comes their way. They know his word deeply and let it inform their conduct. In contrast, the faithless ones are wicked, scoff at God’s word and drift with no direction. They are condemned.
    We are given a free will to chose the direction of our life. We never naturally drift toward holiness. It takes intentionally placing ourselves under the authority of scripture and obeying it. The rewards are out of this world: joy, bearing fruit, and best of all the Lord watching over us.

  2. Observation: Right out of the gate is do not listen to the world but think on Me and My word. With a picture of a tree that is fruitful and beautiful stream flowing, with amazing sounds of water over rocks and pebbles. The person who is like the tree will prosper and the person who listens to the world will perish.

    Interpretation: We need to follow God. The world sounds are constant babble but the sound of God is peaceful, flowing, breezy, rustle, calming, steady, and loving. With God we can plant ourselves with deep, unmovable roots.

    Application: God’s Word, pray , listening, obedience to what He is telling You, family, life group, church. Either we pursue God or we follow the world. We always have freedom of choice and natural man ways may seem easier but God’s ways are so much more fulfilling and what truly our heart desires. He will fulfill you like none other because He designed us for Himself and to be His. So what do I do? Love Him!!!! with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and my neighbor as myself.

    God thank You for helping me learn new things about how to understand Your word better. Thank You for the BR team and how they give to us this resource to make our lives better to serve You. God thank You for eyes to see the things You want me to do and serve You better in. Thank You God for ears to hear what You say but a heart that obeys quickly, the first time, to do what You need me to do for Your Kingdom. God thank You for Your HESED love, unfailing, never ending, faithful, steadfast, undeserved, compassionate, enduring, loyal, reliable, cherished, complete, everlasting, essential part of who You are God!!!!! in Jesus name amen

  3. Observation: As a shepherd, David had to find pastures for his flocks in an arid land. Tree lines are a great indicator of the location of water courses. I am often awed by the God- given ability of trees to retrieve and store water through their deep root system. Could we go weeks on end without a drink?
    Interpretation: Despite our best intentions, we are fickle. On our own, we will be like the seed in the parable of the sower that fell on rocky places and withered when the sun came up, because it had no root.
    Application: Let us cling to Jesus, the author and FINISHER of our faith. Planted by streams of living water, we will be able to draw deep from the well springs of salvation, and survive every drought. LORD, thank you for your WORD, that refreshes the soul. Thank you that we can talk with you in prayer. And thank you for this Bible Reading Plan! Amen.

    1. 1. Obey God, be faithful.
      2. Guard yourself from false teachings and people that may lead you astray.
      3. Choices we have, obedience- bear fruit, or rebellion which leads to destruction.
      I choose God’s path for me. Ultimately, He is who I will accountable to.

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