Reflections on Psalm 1

Psalm 40--8

The Verse of the Day for October 21, 2017 comes from Psalm 40:8 in the King James Version:

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

In reflecting on this verse, my mind immediately went to the First Psalm, the first passage of scripture I ever committed to memory when I was in grade school, 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 and told us to memorize Psalm 1, which I did and still recall by heart to this day.

Psalm 40:8 echoes the sentiments expressed in the opening verses of the First Psalm:

Psalm 1:1-2:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

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—I’m the man.

Talk about a man that show is blessed—I’m the man.

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

 

To study the Word of Life show is my delight.

To study the Word of Life show is my delight.

I’m all the time thinking about it—day and night.

 

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

Planted by the rivers of water, my 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.

I have been so blessed since you can remember when.

 

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

I’m 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. Certainly, I did not realize what may have occurred at the time, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts while reflecting on the First Psalm and its significance in my life.

Today’s post concludes with a musical version of this beautiful psalm by the Sons of Korah:

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One Response to “Reflections on Psalm 1”

  1. Today’s thought “Blessed the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly” (January 01) – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven Says:

    […] Reflections on Psalm 1 […]

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