(Read over the next two days)
In addition chapter studies, sometime, I like to do a "character study" in order to summarize principles from a person's life that I might apply to my own.
Do this over the next three days. Then, when you are done, I will post the results of the characters study on Joash done in the Life Application Bible. We did this last year on the life of Moses in Deuteronomy 31.
Here is a short primer on how to do that adapted from How to Study Your Bible Precept Upon Precept by Kay Arthur.
Character Studies - Learning from the Lives of Others
1. Gather All Information on the Character
You can do this from a concordance, topical Bible, or cross-reference system in your Bible. In the life of Moses, we do not need to do this because we already know his life is spotlighted from Exodus 1 to the end of Deuteronomy!
2. Read and Make Notes of Main Truths
As you do, look for things like the following:
* Meaning of name -- In Scripture, the meaning of a person's name is sometimes (but not always) significant.
For example, Moses means "to draw out of water."
* Ancestry -- Who were the character's father, mother, tribe, and nation?
For example, Moses was born an Israelite, but raised an Egyptian. This gave him a unique perspective and also created considerable difficulties for him.
* Training and conversion -- What caused the character to turn toward God, or to turn away from Him? What was this person's upbringing like, where did it occur? Ask the 5 W's (who, what, when, where, why) and an H (how) about his/her life.
* Times lived in, number of years lived, periods of life --
For example, Moses had three significant 40 year periods.
* Shortcomings and accomplishments
Shortcomings: Moses did not think he could speak to Pharaoh. He hit the rock instead of speaking to it.
Accomplishments: He stood up to Pharaoh. He led the Israelites out of Egypt. He gave them the God's Law.
* Spiritual life -- What about the character's prayer life, obedience, suffering, and personal lessons learned from God, attitudes, responses, reactions?
* Scripture that can be used as cross-references to illustrate spiritual principles -- Discovering these references will become easier as we study the Bible!
* Effect of his/her life on others.
* The way he/she died and the impact of his/her death.
3. Check Extra-Biblical References
After you have read all you can on your own from the Bible, check out a good Bible dictionary or other reference books to see what they have to say about the person you are studying.
4. Compile Your Material
Organize the truths you have discovered depending on the emphasis you choose to make. You could organize it:
* Chronologically from birth to death.
* According to major events in the person's life.
* According to principles of life and ministry. Example: Moses the intercessor, Moses the leader.
5. Apply Truth to Your Own Life (make an "I WILL" statement)
Using the first person (I, me, my) list or write out in some detail the major truths God has taught you.
* I know that to be used of God I must be taught of God as Moses was. Therefore, "I WILL" saturate myself in God's Word every morning, praying for God to teach me, listening to His voice, and obeying what He says. I will keep a journal of what God speaks to me through His Word. This will be my daily "Listen and Obey" time like Mary Gheegh in God Guides.
* I might be in a hurry to do God's work, as was Moses (Acts 7:23-25), but God is not in a hurry. First, He must equip and prepare me until I see that only God can do God's work.
*"God, reveal this truth to me in all its fullness."
Have fun with this for the next couple of days!