The hardest commands in the Bible are not the commands to serve, to abstain, or to forgive. They’re the commands to feel. How do we rejoice when we don’t feel any joy? In this Lab, Pastor John shows how the Psalmist instructs us to obey from the heart.
Principle for Bible Reading
A “ground” is an argument or reason for another statement. The supporting (or grounding) statement comes after the statement it supports, often introduced by the words “for,” “because,” or “since.” One way to remember this is that the ground is the ground upon which another statement is built. When you come to a grounding statement in the Bible, ask how what comes after the “for” or “because” explains (or grounds) what comes before the “for” or “because.” The key words for grounding statements are “for,” “because,” or since.
“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” How do we know that Jesus loves us? For (or because) the Bible tells me so.
In This Lab
Pastor John identifies both verses 3 and 5 as both grounding the verses that came before them. Why should you praise the LORD with singing and serve him (Psalm 100:1–2)? Because the Lord created us and he owns us as a shepherd does his sheep (Psalm 100:3). Why should you praise and give thanks to him (Psalm 100:4)? Because the LORD is good and his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 100:5).
Note: Even though verse 3 does not have a “for,” “because,” or “since,” it still can be grounding the previous verse. The Psalms are songs, and as is often the case with songs and poetry, the conjunctions (i.e. the connecting words) are absent.
- How are we commanded to feel in Psalm 100? What are we commanded to do?
- What reasons does the psalmist give us for obeying?
- When was the last time you felt the tension between how God commands you to feel and how you actually felt? What did you do (or what could you have done) to begin to resolve this tension?