Studying a Bible Text: The Four Primary Steps

One can begin to ‘get their feet wet’ in Bible studies by applying a passage in Ezekiel 47. In this prophetic vision, a spring began to flow from God’s temple which becomes a mighty river. These waters bring life to everything they touch. It is a vision given by God to depict the benefits of messianic salvation. Ezekiel is taken to the front door of the temple. He sees waters flowing from the temple’s threshold which continue to become deeper and wider as they flow down the Jordan Valley into the Dead Sea. The barren land becomes alive. At 1,500 feet, the water is to his ankles. 1,500 feet further it reaches his knees. In another 1,500 feet, it reaches his waist. Finally the waters become so deep he has to swim.

The waters were only a trickle at first. For our purposes, let’s imagine this vision represents a student’s early efforts to comprehend God’s Word.

1. Observation (reading and meditation)


What do you want to know? What is in this passage?
I will paraphrase it; re-write it in my own words. I’ll read it in various translations.
I’ll analyze it and explain it. What does the text say?
What facts should I become aware of?

2. Interpretation  (evaluation and deduction)
WATERS TO THE KNEES (Ezekiel 47:4)


What do I need to feel?  Why is this passage in the Bible?
What does it mean? What questions come to mind as I study this?
What is its central truth? What are the key words and phrases?
What is God saying here?
What can I learn about Him from this passage?

3. Integration  (purpose and relevance)
WATERS TO THE WAIST (Ezekiel 47:4)


What do I want to do?  When can I use this passage?
How does this passage motivate me? What impresses me the most about this text?
What value does it have for me? What can I learn about myself from this passage
…and why should I want this information?
Can I view these verses from God’s perspective?

4. Application  (motivation and expedience)
WATERS TO SWIM IN (Ezekiel 47:5)


What do I want to be?  How will I use this passage?
How can I take this personally?
How can this passage help me today in my interpersonal relationships?
What is my prayer, praise or request resulting from this text?
Will I allow this portion of God’s Word to affect positive changes in my current behavior?
How can I live-out this passage?
What specific steps will I now take to improve as a result of my inner-action with this passage?

Additional considerations:

A. What was the most relevant/dynamic/applicable truth in this passage – and why?
B. What verses may have been unclear to me?  What words or phrases were difficult?
C. What sins/temptations come to mind which might confront me today?
D. What personal challenges have I become aware of due to this passage?



Maxim of the Moment

Raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed. - Mia Hamm