Sometimes, the simplest Bible study methods bring forth the most enriching one-on-one meetings with the Lord. I have been using the SPECS/SPECK method for about two years now and even if I’ve been going through BSF, inductive study and homiletics, this method never fails to let God’s Word speak where and when I need it most. SPECS/SPECK is an acrononym for:
|S||Sin/s to avoid||S||Sin/s to avoid|
|P||Promise/s to claim||P||Promise/s to claim|
|E||Example/s to follow||E||Example/s to follow|
|C||Command/s to obey||C||Command/s to obey|
|S||Stumbling blocks (or others use Significant Truth)||K||Knowledge about God|
When you are studying a verse (better yet, a passage) during your quiet time, try using this method and as always, begin with prayer—ask God to speak to you through His Word. If there are sins you need to be confronted with, if there are examples you need to follow in your own life. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. At times, personal Bible study can bring about discomfort and in my experience, that usually means that there is something being challenged in me—an area of compromise, a sin I need to confess and repent from or it could be a challenge to obey and trust Him more.
My passage for today is 1 Kings 11, which talks about Solomon’s downward spiral because he allowed himself to be led astray by his pagan wives. Imagine, the man deemed the wisest king of Israel, backsliding because of the compromises he allowed into his life? My initial reading of the passage made me notice the compromises he made:
- Intermarriage for political alliances
- Trusting in these alliances instead of depending on God
- Infidelity to the Lord
- Not using the godly wisdom made available to him to make wise, God-glorifying choices
Now let’s use the SPECK method:
SINS TO AVOID
- Solomon intermarried with nations God prohibited (a clear act of disobedience)
- Solomon loved many (foreign) women
- Solomon let his wives lead him astray
- His heart turned after other gods (infidelity)
- His heart was not FULLY DEVOTED TO THE LORD HIS GOD
- Did evil in the eyes of the Lord
- Did not follow the Lord COMPLETELY
PROMISES TO CLAIM
I don’t want to claim these promises as mine. Although I know that the Lord has many promises in the Bible for those who put their faith in Him, we also have to be aware that some promises in the Bible are given to SPECIFIC PEOPLE MENTIONED in the narrative. Say for example, we cannot claim the promise given to Abraham “I will make you the Father of many nations.” That promise was SPECIFICALLY given to him.
In this passage, I see God fulfilling His promises on the account of David, even if Solomon spiraled downward.
- There were still two tribes left for David
- Solomon reigned until his death
- Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) succeeded him as king
Promises to Jeroboam:
If you do whatever I command you and obey, do what is right in my eyes, I will build an enduring dynasty, I will give Israel to you.
EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW
- Despite David’s sins, God remembered him and thought of him dearly because he was after God’s heart
- David obeyed God’s commands and decrees (v. 34-36)
COMMANDS TO OBEY
Walk in obedience, do what is right in My (God’s) eyes, obey My (God’s) decrees and commands as David did
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD
- The Lord remembers and rewards the faithfulness of his servants (David)
- The Lord was still very gracious to Solomon (on the account of David) despite his disobedience and idolatry and did not take the kingdom away from him
- The Lord appeared to Solomon TWICE. MINDBLOWN. So Solomon had THAT PRIVILEGE, yet he still went astray.
- The Lord can raise up LEADERS AND ADVERSARIES. Jeroboam did not have Solomon’s noble birth, yet God made him a king. God can thward systems that have been put into place just because HE IS GOD, HE IS SOVEREIGN AND HIS PLANS WILL PREVAIL.
- The Lord is MERCIFUL. He could have killed Solomon or punished him severely but the guy still reigned until his death. I wonder if Solomon ever repented when he was faced with his adversaries. Did he call out to God?
PRAYER: Lord, I pray that you would always remind me to rely on you and not on my own strength and capabilities. Seek my heart Lord, and see any offensive way in me. Bring to mind compromises that I need to confess and repent from. Help me to JOYFULLY OBEY YOUR COMMANDS, to be FAITHFUL and like David, RUN AFTER YOUR HEART. Amen.