The First Psalm


by John C. Westervelt


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. †Psalm 1 KJV


†††† An Asbury email encouraged me to study Psalm 1 to prepare for a recent sermon.† Upon reading this Psalm, my mind was flooded with memories of my boyhood at Wesley Methodist Church in Oklahoma City in the late 1930s.

†††† I could see and almost smell the wooden pews of the gathering area for the Junior Department (fourth, fifth, and sixth grades).† Mr. Gibbens was superintendent of the Junior Department long before and long after I was a young boy.† Mr. Gibbens welcomed the children each Sunday and shared a brief message.† When dismissed, I would go with a dozen other fifth grade boys to a small classroom.† There were five other small rooms, one for each grade for boys and for girls.

†††† My teacher was small, soft-spoken, a little shy, and older than my mother.† I never misbehaved because I didnít want to hurt her feelings, and besides I felt she loved me.

†††† The church had given each boy and girl a King James Bible when they were promoted into the Junior Department.† As the school year began, my teacher challenged the boys to memorize a verse of the first Psalm each week.† As encouragement, she agreed to give us a penny for quoting the scripture in class.† A penny was a lot of money during the Great Depression.

†††† As a ten-year-old, the words of the first Psalm were firmly entrenched in my mind.† Those words are still familiar to me seventy years later.† I donít remember the name of the saint who touched the lives of a dozen boys that year.† I hope she will search me out in heaven some day, so that I can tell her that I love her, too.


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