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Monday, June 29, 2015

Why Praise?

I mentioned a couple of days ago the value of identifying verbs in a text.  Here is an example.  In Psalm 147:1 the psalmist commands us to praise the Lord.  Then there are two structural markers, “for” telling us that he is giving us the reason, substantiating why, we should praise the Lord.  In verses 2 – 6 he particularized why we should praise.  Look at the verbs he uses to describe what God does:
Why Praise?
  • Builds
  • Gathers
  • Heals
  • Binds up
  • Counts
  • Gives
  • Supports
  • Brings Down
Then in 7 there is a variation on the theme of praise, sing.  Again in in 8 – 11 he tells us specifically why God should be praised.  He…:
  • Covers
  • Provides
  • Makes
  • Gives
  • Favors
The third stanza of praise starts in 12 doubly repeating the command to praise.  Why?  He again details the reasons in 13 - 19, God…:
  • Strengthened
  • Blessed
  • Makes peace
  • Satisfies
  • Sends forth
  • Gives
  • Scatters
  • Casts forth
  • Sends forth
  • Causes to blow and to flow
  • Declares
Just looking at the verbs one can see the logic of the psalm.  The clear reasons we are commanded to praise the Lord.

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