Underlying Question: What does the scripture actually say?
Observations are statements made about a biblical text that can only be known from the text itself (no opinions or thoughts from other biblical passages etc.). It must be spelled out in the text itself.
Example: “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai saying ‘Arise go to Ninevah the great city and cry against it for their wickedness has come up before me’ (Jonah 1:1,2)”.
1) Jonah is the son of Amittai
2) Jonah was told to go to Ninevah by the Word of the Lord
3) Jonah was told to cry against the city of Ninevah
4) The wickedness of Ninevah was coming up before the Lord
As a result of the observations made, there are lessons from the passage that can be made.
Underlying Questions: What do I think God wants me to learn from the passage? Why did God make sure this got put in the Bible?
Example lesson from the observations:
Lesson: God can specifically tell an individual to go to a specific place in this world.
With each lesson learned, we want to have an application to it. In the application stage, we are looking for one of three things… As a result of what I’ve learned….
1) How do I need to think differently?
2) How do I need to behave differently?
3) How has this confirmed what I’ve already believed to be true?
Example from the lesson:
Possible Application: Although the growing trend in understanding mission work has more to do with going where the mission board tells you, I now believe that God could specifically tell a servant of His (maybe even me) to go to a specific city to do His work.