Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 1:1-3’

Blessed beyond words

June 21, 2021

In reflecting over the past week which included my 79th birthday and Father’s Day, my soul overflows with gratitude to God for innumerable blessings that I continue to enjoy. My immediate family and my spiritual family of brothers and sisters in Christ have been so gracious in expressing their love and warmest regards for my well-being. Although I cannot respond to every good wish on Facebook and comment on blog posts, please know that I am so grateful beyond words.

To say that I am “blessed” is quite the understatement, and the term I use so often has become almost a cliché. The expression “blessed” goes back to 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 in an improvised Vacation Bible School, told us to memorize Psalm 1. Although I memorized the First Psalm in the King James Version, here is the translation of one of my favorite psalms in the Amplified Bible:

Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers).

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.

And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season;
Its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].


The wicked [those who live in disobedience to God’s law] are not so,
But they are like the chaff [worthless and without substance] which the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand [unpunished] in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord knows and fully approves the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked shall perish.

The first two verses in the Amplified Bible offer a more comprehensive definition of “blessed” which only begins to describe how I feel today:

Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers).

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.

The First Psalm, which I still know by heart, continues to be a source of encouragement and strength and an inspiration, as reflected is 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 Joel Limpic

Fruit of the spirit in the garden

March 19, 2018

Galatians-5-23-24

The Verse of the Day for March 19, 2018 provides a list of “the fruit of the spirit” offered in the New International Version:

Galatians 5:22-23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

This familiar passage brings to mind God’s desire that our lives should always abound in fruitfulness. No matter the season, we should always bring forth fruit, so says the Psalmist in the first Psalm, the first passage of scripture committed to memory as a youngster back in the middle of the 20th Century. It describes the man of God I continue to strive to be:

Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV):

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.

A personal metaphor often used to describe my life is “a garden,” a place where the fruit of the spirit should so abound that those whom I encounter will partake of bounty of my life and be nourished and refreshed by my fruitfulness.

The following poem makes reference to such a place where the fruit of the spirit flourishes; here I cultivate those attributes which reveal a fruitful, bountiful life:

I Sing in My Garden

Oh, sing unto the LORD a new song!

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless his name;

 Proclaim the good news from day to day.

 Psalm 96:1-2

 

I sing in my garden and reap the good,

The bounty of living seventy-five years.

Each note seems to evoke a stream of tears

That fall, not because of some somber mood

But flow from a heart filled with gratitude.

The folk song of the farmer thrills my ears

Each time plowing, planting or harvest nears.

I compose my song, having understood

Lyrics I did not know when I was young,

When life was uncertain, my song unsure.

Now from my green garden I garner truth.

A song of conviction flows from my tongue.

I am seasoned and strengthened to endure,

Knowing the best lines are yet to be sung.

In thinking about life as a garden, the familiar gospel song often heard as we approach Resurrection Sunday comes to mind: “In the Garden” sung by Alan Jackson:

Psalm 1: My first psalm

November 19, 2017

Psalm 1 3

The following was published a year ago and is revised and re-posted here:

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day for November 19, 2017, an expression came to mind that I generally associate with this particular passage, and so once again we have the Verse of the Day and the Word or Phrase for the Day Combo.

Here are the opening verses of one of my favorite psalms:

Psalm 1: 1-2 (AMP):

[Book One] [The Righteous and the Wicked Contrasted.] Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.

The First Psalm is especially meaningful to me in that it is the first passage of scripture that I “learned by heart.” We, thus, introduce the “Phrase of the Day.” I recall committing the entire psalm to memory in the mid-fifties, back in the day, in what we called “junior high school.” I vividly 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 “know by heart” to this day.

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

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.

Recently I came across a discussion of idioms on EnglishStackExchange.com where someone asked if “learn by heart” and “learn by rote” meant the same. In making the distinction between these two expressions, one writer commented that “[to] go over many times is the process of ‘rote learning’; I learned it by heart is the effect it produced or the quality of learning that was acquired.”  Learning by heart means to learn something so well that it can be written or recited without thinking; to memorize something. 

Another writer went on to say: “Learning by heart — which may be somewhat of a dying tradition — means to learn something so deeply that it becomes part of our core: it fills us; it changes us. The difference might be less in technique than in what we do with the acquired information.”

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:

In a previous blog post I express my identification with this individual in the following 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 been truly 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.

In thinking about the phrase “to learn by heart,” I recall another related verse which was the first verse in a set of 25 scripture memory cards that I later committed to memory as well:

Psalm 119:11 (NKJV):

11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Today, more than 60 years have passed since I first encountered the First Psalm in all of its beauty and learned it by heart, the Word of God remains deeply implanted within me.

Listen to a musical version of this beautiful psalm offered by the Sons of Korah:

 

 

 

Your commandments are my delight

November 15, 2017

psalm 119--143

The Verse of the Day for November 15, 2017 makes reference to trouble and anguish, two inseparable traveling companions that so often overtake us, particularly in the midst the turbulent times in which we live.

Psalm 119:143 (Amplified Bible):

Trouble and anguish have found me, yet Your commandments are my delight and my joy.

Note this rendering when we add verse 144 to the New Living Translation:

Psalm 119:143-144:

143 As pressure and stress bear down on me,

I find joy in your commands.

144 Your laws are always right;

help me to understand them so I may live.

Despite the most intense pressures that come with the perils that we face each day, ultimately, we can say along with the Psalmist that the Word of God brings us delight. A previous blog entry related to finding delight or taking pleasure in the Psalms, as we pointed to other places in Psalms 119 and elsewhere that echo this same sentiment:

Psalm 119:24:

Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.

Psalm 119:47:

How I delight in your commands! How I love them!

Psalm 94:18-19 provide yet another reminder that God is the source of our comfort and delight, rendered here in the Amplified Bible:

18 When I said, My foot is slipping, Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, held me up.

19 In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!

Verse 19 is the inspiration for this scripture memory song:

In the Multitude of My Thoughts

In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

You soothe my mind and strengthen the depths of my heart and soul.

I delight myself in the abundance of Your peace.

 

You are my God. I know You love me.

You are my God. You’ve set me free.

You are my God. You will never leave me.

You are my God. I long to be all you’ve called me to be.

 

In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

Your comforts delight my soul.

Your comforts delight my soul.

Psalm 40:8 in the Amplified Bible also makes this statement:

I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.

In Psalm 1, the first passage of scripture that ever I committed to memory as a pre-teen, we find this striking portrait:

Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

From time to time, we may lose focus and become anxious regarding our ever-fluctuating circumstances. During times of uncertainty when our feet seem to slip, and we are about to lose our grip, we can turn our thoughts toward the promises of God, assured that just as He has been with us through the stormy trials of the past, so He will be with us now. Along with the Psalmist, we take comfort in this knowledge which delights our souls.

Christy Nockels expresses the essence of this message with the song “My Delight is in You.”

Despite trouble and anguish, God’s Word brings delight

November 15, 2015

psalm 119--143The Verse of the Day for November 15, 2015 makes reference to trouble and anguish, two inseparable companions that so often overtake us, particularly in the midst the turbulent times in which we live.

Psalm 119:143

Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights.

Despite the most intense pressures that come with the perils that we face each day, ultimately, we can say along with the Psalmist that the Word of God brings us delight. A recent blog entry related to my delighting in the Psalms, as I pointed to other places in Psalms 119 and elsewhere that echo this same sentiment:

Psalm 119:24

Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.

Psalm 119:47:

How I delight in your commands! How I love them!

Psalm 40:8 in the Amplified Bible makes this statement:

I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.

In Psalm 1, the first passage of scripture that ever I committed to memory as a pre-teen, we find this striking portrait:

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Psalm 94:18-19 (AMP) provide yet another reminder of our source of comfort and delight:

18 If I say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your compassion and lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.

19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your comforts delight me.

Verse 19 is the inspiration behind this Scripture Memory song:

In the Multitude of My Thoughts

In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

You soothe my mind and strengthen the depths of my heart and soul.

I delight myself in the abundance of Your peace.

You are my God. I know You love me.

You are my God. You’ve set me free.

You are my God. You will never leave me.

You are my God. I long to be all you’ve called me to be.

In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

Your comforts delight my soul.

Your comforts delight my soul.

From time to time, we may lose our focus and become anxious regarding our ever-fluctuating circumstances. During times of uncertainty when our feet seem to slip, and we are about to lose our grip, we can turn our thoughts toward the promises of God, assured that just as He has been with us through the stormy trials of the past, so He will be with us now. Along with the Psalmist, we take comfort in this knowledge which delights our souls so much.

Christy Nockels expresses the essence of this message with the song “My Delight is in You.”

My delight is in the Word of God

November 15, 2014

psalm 119--143

The Verse of the Day for November 15, 2014 makes reference to trouble and anguish that so often overtake us, particularly in the midst the turbulent times in which we live. Despite the most intense pressures that come with the perils that we face each day, ultimately, we can say along with the Psalmist that the Word of God brings us delight. Other places in the Psalms 119 echo this same sentiment:

Psalm 119:24

Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.

Psalm 119:47:

How I delight in your commands! How I love them!

Psalm 40:8 in the Amplified Bible makes this statement:

I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.

In Psalm 1, the first passage of scripture that ever I committed to memory as a pre-teen, we find this striking portrait:

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;

From time to time, we may lose focus and become anxious regarding our ever-fluctuating circumstances. During times of uncertainty when our feet seem to slip, and we are about to lose our grip, we can turn our thoughts toward the promises of God, assured that just as He has been with us through the stormy trials of the past, so He will be with us now. Along with the Psalmist, we take comfort in this knowledge which delights our souls.

Christy Nockels expresses the essence of this message with the song “My Delight is in You.”