Behind the Scenes

So, I started a new Bible study this morning called “Faithful Love”, based on the book of Hosea in the Old Testament. I’ve read the book many times and studied it more than a few and it is one of my favorite books because of the beautiful picture it paints of God’s redeeming love. However, I’ve never studied it using the SOAP method and I have to say I was a bit surprised when I saw that the reading assignment was only the first verse of Hosea, along with a short passage in 2 Kings 14. The SOAP passage was Hosea 1:1 and I knew what it said and couldn’t imagine what benefit would be derived from SOAPing just that verse. However, when read in conjuction with the short passage in 2 Kings I was delighted to find a sweet nugget of truth tucked inside that one verse.

Let me pause for just a minute and explain what I mean by SOAP in correlation with studying the Bible. It’s a method of study that employs the following accronym:

  • Scripture: Read and write the Scripture
  • Observation: Observe the verse or passage read/written and simply jot down the things you notice
  • Application: Consider how the verse might be applied, perhaps something I need to do or not do, or maybe something I need to know and remember about God.
  • Prayer: Pray over what God has shown you in the verse/passage

So I read the SCRIPTURE listed, eight verses in all, and proceeded to write the SOAP passage –

 The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.

Hosea 1:1 (NLT)

Seemingly very straight forward, I began to make my bullet points, my preferred method of OBSERVATION, which produced the following –

  • God sent His prophet Hosea a message.
  • This happened over a course of time, during the reign of many different kings

And that was it – or was it? I sat there considering again why would they only have us do this particular verse – why not have us read the first 5 or so verses and SOAP the more ‘important verse’? I mean prophets were always given messages to speak and generally a time frame is given to set the stage … yep there it was – it hit me … it was those 7 little verses in 2 King that began to unearth the nugget – so I looked back at the passage and wrote the words:

Here’s what we know – what the LORD wants us to know …

  1. Jeroboam was the son of Joash
    1. He was the King of Israel
    2. He reigned 41 years
    3. AND – He did what was evil in the sight of God
  2. He is not the first Jeroboam (that was Jeroboam, son of Nebat)
    1. Jeroboam I, also did evil in the eyes of the LORD
  3. He restored the border of Israel, “According to the Word of the LORD”, which he had spoken through Jonah
  4. He was used by God to save Israel
  5. He had a son, Zechariah, who reigned after him

And there it was – my final bullet of observation

  • The significance of the different Kings is found in 2 Kings 14:23-29. It is important to understand who the kings were, specifically, good and bad – during this time – to truly grasp God’s work with and through Hosea

Next came the APPLICATION – and suddenly from that last bullet point came the nugget of truth –

God is always working behind the scenes. Even when things look really bad God is at work on behalf of His people and His purpose

Me from the inside-out

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28 (NLT)

I couldn’t believe this nugget – this beautiful – much needed TRUTH for my mind and soul – from this passage of Scripture I’ve read so many times that I couldn’t imagine gleaning anything from it. With that, my heart was moved toward the last portion –

PRAYER – which flowed like this: Father, thank You for the reminder that – despite the evil that is prevalent in our world today and the hurts and fears that sometimes surge through our lives – You are working behind the scenes, positioning Your people to carry out Your perfect plan! Help me to listen for and recognize Your voice and yield to Your call on my life – whatever it is. – for Your Glory Amen and Amen

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