Posts Tagged ‘First Psalm’

Psalm 1: My Rite of Passage

November 19, 2020

The Verse of the Day for November 19, 2020, comes from the first two verses of the First Psalm (KJV):

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.

When I think of the First Psalm, I recall the first passage of scripture I ever committed to memory more than 65 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.

About eight years ago, Apostle John Tetsola commented about the power of “The First Word,” and his remarks inspired this poem which makes reference to the First Psalm, the “First Word” for me:

The First Word

When you’re in a difficult situation,
go back to ‘the first word.’ It still works.

Apostle John Tetsola

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.
Just like Samuel, I clearly heard God speak to me:
I still remember the power of “the first word.”

The desire to read and to learn by heart God’s Word:
Planted deep within my soul seeds of destiny.
Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

Early years of famine and drought God has restored.
My Shepherd ever sets a table before me.
I still remember the power of “the first word.”

From an early age, God became my shield and sword,
As the Psalms enflamed a passion for poetry.
Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

The sound words of the First Psalm could not be ignored:
“Planted by the rivers of waters, like a tree. . .”
I still remember the power of “the first word.”

Striving toward the finish, ever pressing forward,
I now fondly recall glimpses of God’s glory.
Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord:
I still remember the power of “the first word.”

The Verse of the Day floods my mind with fond memories of the power of “the First Word.” Now that I think about it, that experience occurred around the same time as another related event 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 C.M.E. Church in Gary, IN and shook the minister’s hand, but I recognized, even then, that something 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. 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 eligible to take part in public worship.

My experience with memorizing the First Psalm as an adolescent, represents a kind bar mitzvah for me connected to expressing my desire to “join the church” around the same time when I became of age. Psalm 1, which I still know by heart, continues to be a source of encouragement and strength, and inspiration, as reflected in this original psalm:

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 I can remember when.

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

I’m the man they are talking about in that First Psalm.

To close our time of reflection here is a musical rendering of Psalm 1 offered by the Sons of Korah:

Psalm 1: Talk about a man

November 19, 2015

Psalm_1-1

Posted a year ago on this date, the following blog entry has been modified and re-posted below:

The Verse of the Day for November 19, 2015 provides a magnificent description of the man of God spoken of in the first two verses of the First Psalm, one of my favorite psalms:

Psalm 1: 1-2 (NLT):

[Book one (Psalms 1–41)] [Psalm 1] Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.

When I think of the First Psalm, I recall the first passage of scripture that 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.

Here is the entire psalm in the King James Version which I committed to memory:

Psalm 1

1 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.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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 I 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; 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 the Sons of Korah:

 

Like a tree: Jeremiah 17:7-8 and Psalm 1

March 21, 2015

Jeremiah-17 7-8Originally posted a year ago, the following blog entry is modified and re-posted below:

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 KJV

The Verse of the Day for March 21, 2015 also echoes the truths expressed in the First Psalm, one of my favorite psalms.

1 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.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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 and told us to memorize Psalm 1, which I did and still recall by heart to this day.

About seven years ago, Dr. John Tetsola commented about the absolute power of “The First Word,” and his remarks later inspired this poem which makes reference to the First Psalm, the “First Word” for me:

The First Word                                           

When you’re in a difficult situation,

go back to ‘the first word.’ It still works.

Dr. John Tetsola

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

Just like Samuel, I clearly heard God speak to me:

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

The desire to read and to learn by heart God’s Word:

Planted deep within my soul seeds of destiny.

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

Early years of famine and drought God has restored.

My Shepherd ever sets a table before me.

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

From an early age God became my shield and sword,

As the Psalms inflamed a passion for poetry.

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

The sound words of the First Psalm could not be ignored:

“Planted by the rivers of waters, like a tree. . .”

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

Striving toward the finish, ever pressing forward,

I now fondly recall glimpses of God’s glory.

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord:

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

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

Jeremiah 17:7-8 and the First Psalm

March 21, 2014

Jeremiah-17 7-8

The Verse of the Day for March 21, 2014 from Jeremiah 17:7-8 in the King James Version echoes the truths expressed in the First Psalm, one of my favorite psalms:

1 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.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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 and told us to memorize Psalm 1, which I did and still recall by heart to this day.

About seven years ago, Dr. John Tetsola commented about the power of “The First Word,” and his remarks inspired this poem which makes reference to the First Psalm, the “First Word” for me:

The First Word                                           

When you’re in a difficult situation,

go back to ‘the first word.’ It still works.

Dr.  John Tetsola

 

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

Just like Samuel, I clearly heard God speak to me:

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

 

The desire to read and to learn by heart God’s Word:

Planted deep within my soul seeds of destiny.

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

 

Early years of famine and drought God has restored.

My Shepherd ever sets a table before me.

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

 

From an early age God became my shield and sword,

As the Psalms enflamed a passion for poetry.

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord.

 

The sound words of the First Psalm could not be ignored:

“Planted by the rivers of waters, like a tree. . .”

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

 

Striving toward the finish, ever pressing forward,

I now fondly recall glimpses of God’s glory.

Though only a child, I heard the word of the Lord:

I still remember the power of “the first word.”

 

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