Two Full Step-By-Step Examples of the BIBS Process of Bible Study

Sometimes It Helps

Sometimes it helps me to see an example of what the author is talking about. You can only read so much explanation before you say, “All right! Enough theory! Show me how this actually works!”

Some people like examples. If that is you, this post is for you.

Others say, “Yeah, I get it. No need to show me an example.”

That is okay. You do not have to read this chapter. You can scan it and file it in your mind as reference material.

Figure out what words were used and why. Notice how words are flagged, defined and used in the overall Big Idea. Notice how the interpretation flows directly into the application.

Keep in mind that the application is not about legalism. The Bible is not a rulebook. It is not a to-do list book. The applications listed here are examples. The applications are simple ideas of how the principle might affect our everyday lives. In these examples you will find things you agree and disagree with. So be it. The point is, if this chapter can be a help to you in figuring out how to study your Bible, mission accomplished. I am glad.


Detailed Examples

Psalm 117

O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.



We know very little about the Psalm itself, but because it is a Psalm, we understand that it is probably to God or about God.


  • Read and reread the text. Didn’t take long.
  • Flag words. I understand all the words, but looking up certain words adds depth to my understanding.
    • V2 – Great – Prevail. Have strength. Mighty. Confirm, give strength.
    • V2 – Endureth for ever. Everlasting. Eternal. Unending future.
  • Word. Praise
  • Phrase. Praise the Lord
  • Sentence. We should praise the Lord.
  • Question Word. Why?
  • Question. Why should we praise the Lord?
  • Answers: 1) His merciful kindness and 2) His truth endures.
  • Big Idea. We should praise the Lord because His mercy is great toward us and His truth endures forever.



First, God  is merciful to me. Why does He choose to be merciful? Why does He have to be merciful? What is He merciful toward? Why would He be called merciful? If He’s merciful, that must mean that He is holding back some kind of wrath or punishment.

I certainly deserve a lot of punishment for my sin. I know my own heart; my own lusts. I know what I’m like when no one is around. And… wow… God shows mercy to me every day. What an amazing God! He is so longsuffering with my sin, and He allows me the chance to repent and forsake my sin. God, thank you for showing mercy.

Second, His kindness. God not only does NOT give me punishment when I deserve it, but he DOES give me things that I do not deserve.

Thank you, God, for being so merciful to me. Thank you, on top of that, for being kind and giving me so much. I don’t deserve my healthy body, but You are kind enough to give it to me. I have a great family, parents who love me, a loving church to attend, friends who want to help me, I live in America and I’m spoiled rotten with all the conveniences you give me. Thank you, God.

Third, You’re not only merciful and kind, but those qualities are GREAT toward me! Why would you offer me mercy even once? And why in the world do You KEEP being merciful and kind even when you know my heart?! You have heaped on the blessings over and over, and I never really thank you properly for it.

The second “branch” was about your truth. I was allowed to read Your very words to me. I can know that there’s something true in my life because Your Word has never been proven wrong. It is Truth. And it’s still around. And no matter how many people have tried and will try to attack it, it still endures. It’s forever! It’s eternal. No other book is like that. Thank you, God, that I can know Your Truth!

All this, God… Your merciful kindness that is GREAT toward me… and Your wonderful Truth that you allow me to know and study. How can I keep silent about you?! You’re SO good to me! And I too often fail You. Forgive me, God. But more than that, I PRAISE you! Praise God for being SO good to me! Thank you God! I want to serve You more and MORE every day!

MY PLAN: So that I am not deceived, I plan to attend church this Sunday morning and night and REALLY take part in the praise portion of our services. I’m going to sing loud, concentrate on the words, have a heart of gratitude and let is show on my face this Sunday. Hopefully everyone will be able to tell this praise is finally real with me.




Psalm 113

Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.




Who wrote it, what’s going on, why was it written? What’s the context (previous chapters)? What type of writing is it? (Narrative? Parable? Psalm? Letter?…)

Perhaps written as a post-exilic thanks-Psalm to God, Psalm 113 is a song of praise to God, emphasizing his almighty goodness.  This psalm was used in conjunction with the 114th – 118th psalms as a Hallel, or Hymn.  These Psalms were usually the ones sung at particular festivals, possibly the feast of Tabernacles and the Passover.

Some would divide this passage into three sets of three verses each, and name the first set as the call to praise, the second as the substance of praise for who God is, and the third as the substance of praise for what God does.



Read, re-read, flag words and look up, get an overall idea. How does it start? How does it end? Key words? Summary words?


1 ¶  Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.

This is the opening sentence of the call to praise.  The psalm was sung to God, but it was directed at the people who were to do the praising.

2  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

The name of the Lord is brought into focus here.  In majestic terms the Psalter calls the people to bless the Lord through all time.  Whatever the time period is (pre-exilic, post-exilic, or other), the people of Israel have so much to thank God for.

3  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.

Whether the implication is that praise should be given from horizon to horizon, or that praise should be given from dawn till dusk, the point is that unending praise should be rendered to the One who deserves it most.

4  The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.

This new section, or strophe, begins with the high and lofty view of God.  There He is… high above all nations.  His glory is above the heavens!  Always looking up, the author tries to convey in words the glimpse of God’s glory that he caught while thinking these thoughts.

5  Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

The author uses yet another stylistic approach and asks almost a foolish question—were it really a question seeking an answer.  Who is like him?  There is none like him.

6  Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!


  • 08213 shaphel shaw-fale’
  • a primitive root; TWOT-2445; v
  • AV- low 10, down 8, humble 7, abase 2, debase 1, put lower 1; 29
  • to be or become low, sink, be humbled, be abased
  • 1a) (Qal) to be or become low
  • 1b) (Hiphil)
  • 1b1) to lay or bring low, humiliate
  • 1b2) to set in a lower place, show abasement
  • 1b3) to make low, sit down[1][2]

Strong’s and BDB both agree on the definition of this word directly from the Hebrew, and Webster adds the English definition as such:  Made low; abased; rendered meek and submissive; penitent.[3]

What a thought!  That God would have a Psalter describe him in such a way—almost with the idea of being brought low or even penitent!  Just to look on his creation?!  And he loves us?  How can we do anything but praise him?  This is drive.  Motivation to praise him.

7  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;

Here, it seems very probable that the author is using a quote or at least a reference to the song of praise that Hannah prayed after receiving a child in 1 Samuel 2.  The words are almost verbatim.



  • To sit on a, was a sign of the deepest dejection #1Sa 2:8 Ps 113:7 #La 4:5[4]
  • 0830 ‘ashpoth ash-pohth’ or ‘ashpowth ash-pohth’ or (contraction) shephoth shef-ohth’
  • plural of a noun of the same form as 0827, from 08192 (in the sense of scraping); TWOT-2441b; n m
  • AV-dung 4, dunghill 3; 7
  • ash heap, refuse heap, dung-hill[5]
  • Dung Heap, or place of refuse. To sit on a dunghill is significant of the lowest and most wretched condition.  To turn a house into a dunghill, or be flung upon a dunghill, marks the extreme of ignominy.[6]

From absolutely the lowest possible condition of mankind, we go on to the next verse.  The picture here is that there is no hope outside of God.  Man is totally destitute in himself.

8  That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.


  • 05081 nadiyb naw-deeb’
  • from 05068; TWOT-1299b
  • AV-prince 15, nobles 4, willing 3, free 2, liberal 2, liberal things 2; 28
  • adj
  • inclined, willing, noble, generous
  • 1a) incited, inclined, willing
  • 1b) noble, princely (in rank)
  • 1c) noble (in mind and character)
  • noble one[7][8]

This word occurs quite frequently in our English Bible, mostly in the Old Testament.  While it is never used to denote royal parentage, it often indicates actual royal or ruling power, together with royal dignity and authority.  As a rule, the name is given to human beings; in a few instances it is applied to God and Christ, the angels and the devil.[9]

This exalted position is only what God can bring a person to.  By saying that, I am not emphasizing the position attained but the one who is doing the raising—God himself.  From the degradation in the previous verse to the high and lofty position of rulers and princes, one cannot but think of God’s glory when he does all that for his people.  The contrast is the shocking part of this passage in that the picture that is painted of man’s degradation is so bleak, and the hope that is offered because of the life that is offered in God is like sunlight and fresh air to one who has been locked in a dank cave his whole life.

9  He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.

If the previous verses refer to the song of Hannah, I cannot but conclude that here we have a reference back to Hannah’s predicament and solution.  God is the giver of grace through all ages, and it would do his people good to recognize and honor him because of it.


You’ve read and re-read and come up with a LOT of different ideas… so now what?

What is God saying?

Word(s), phrase, question word, question (subject), answer (complement), combine (CIT)

  • Word(s): Praise
  • Phrase: God deserves our praise
  • Question word: Why
  • Question (subject): Why does God deserve our praise?
  • Answer (Complement): Because of who God is, how high he is, and how low we are. The contrast in view ought to help us see the reality of what God did and does for us. 
  • Combine into Big Idea: I cannot better phrase the words of the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary when they said: God’s majesty contrasted with His condescension and gracious dealings towards the humble furnish matter and a call for praise.
  • Or: Think on God and praise his name.



So what? We know now what God is saying, but who cares? That was 2000 years ago! It’s not a history lesson… it’s a life-changing text if you let it be one for you.

What is God saying? – Interpretation.

What is God saying to you? – Application


Prayer – “Hallowed be thy name…” Revered, honored, lifted up. Begin your prayer recognizing your own position before God.

God, do I approach prayer as if you really are high and lifted up? Forgive my flippant attitude. Help me see you for who you are.

I want to start every day with a time of prayer, recognizing that God is high and holy. I want to be dependent on God. I want to praise and worship Him. In my daily prayer time, before asking for anything from God, I want to be sure to recognize who He is and all that He has done for me.

True Worship – I am low, God is high… Praise Him!

Reasons for reverence, worship, praise. God is high and holy. He is separate. When I worship Him—personally on my own and corporately at church—I want to focus on Him. I want His attributes to be on my mind. Rather than think of worship as a certain type of music, I want my worship to be sincere and real. I want to worship God by thinking about his holiness, by lowering myself in humility, and by recognizing His power over every part of my life.

In worshiping God, I want to sing deep, rich truths about Him. I want my thoughts and emotions to be driven by truth, not hype. I want to respond to God’s goodness to me with true praise. I want to be careful to not lift myself up in praising Him, but I want to be sincere in recognizing all God’s blessings in my life.

He has been so good to me. Praise His name.


[1] Strong’s Concordance of the Whole Bible; Online Bible 2.00.04; #05800;

[2] Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions; e-sword vs. 7.7.7; 2005;

[3] Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language; e-sword vs. 7.7.7; 2005;

[4] Easton’s Revised Bible Dictionary; Online Bible 2.00.04;

[5] Strong’s Concordance of the Whole Bible; Online Bible 2.00.04; #05800;

[6] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; ISBE; e-sword vs. 7.7.7; 2005;

[7] Strong’s Concordance of the Whole Bible; Online Bible 2.00.04; #5081;

[8] Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions; e-sword vs. 7.7.7; 2005;

[9] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; ISBE; e-sword vs. 7.7.7; 2005;