Psalm 1: Talk about a man

Psalm_1-1

The Verse of the Day for November 19, 2014 provides a magnificent description of the man of God spoken of in the first two verses of in the First Psalm, one of my favorite psalms:

Psalm 1: 1-2 (NIV):

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night..

When I think of the First Psalm, I recall the first passage of scripture I ever committed to memory. More than 60 years ago, back in the day, in what we called “junior high school,” I remember that Mrs. Little, the local undertaker’s wife, gathered kids from the neighborhood in a kind of impromptu Vacation Bible School in her home, which was located behind “Little’s “Funeral Parlor.” She told us to memorize Psalm 1, which I did and still recall by heart to this day.

In the years that have transpired since the first time I recited the passage, I have come to identify with the man so described as “blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable” in the Amplified Bible:

I express my identification with this individual in the following poetic self-portrait:

Talk about a Man

Psalm 1

 

Talk about a man that show is blessed—you’re the man.

Talk about a man that show is blessed—you’re the man.

At first you couldn’t, but now you see God’s master plan.

To study the Word of Life show is your delight.

To study the Word of Life show is your delight.

You’re all the time thinking about it—day and night.

Planted by the rivers of water, your roots reach deep.

Planted by the rivers of water, your roots reach deep.

By the still waters the Good Shepherd leads his sheep.

In God all His promises are yes and amen.

In God all His promises are yes and amen.

You have been so blessed since you can remember when.

The Word of God soothes your soul like a healing balm.

You’re the man they talking about in that First Psalm.

Now that I think about it, that experience occurred around the same time as another related experience when I asked if I could “join the church.” In order to become a member of the church, you had to be at least twelve years old. Shortly after turning twelve, on a bright and sunny Sunday morning, I walked down the aisle at Carter Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church and shook the minister’s hand, but I recognized, even then, that sometime significant had happened that was more than just a formality.

In the Jewish tradition there is a rite of passage called the bar mitzvah for young men and the bat mitzvah, for young girls. The term literally means “son/daughter of the commandment.” This religious initiation ceremony is conducted for a Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13 and is regarded as ready to observe religious precepts and thus eligible to take part in public worship.

Accepting Jesus Christ as my savior and my expressing my desire to “join the Church,” happened about the same time which I feel may have represented a kind of rite of passage similar to the bar mitzvah, thus have been some of my thoughts while reflecting on the First Psalm and its significance in my life.

Listen to a musical version of this beautiful psalm offered by Kim Hill.

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