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OLD PEOPLE CHURCH
It was a very stormy night - May 22, 1958. My husband and I, tired after a long day's work, had nearly abandoned the thought of attending the Billy Graham Crusade at the San Francisco Cow Palace. But God, in His grace, persuaded us to travel 75 miles north, in the pouring rain. I am so thankful that we heeded God's urging, because that night Don and I gave our lives to the Lord Jesus. Through circumstances ordered by the Lord, we joined Twin Lakes Baptist Church in Santa Cruz shortly thereafter and began an entirely new life; meeting people we had never known, hearing music we had never heard, and listening to the Word of God, faithfully preached. This was the beginning of a new and wonderful way of life - a life that has always been an adventure. The memories of those church experiences, beginning in the late 1950s, are embedded in my mind forever.
Of course, church life is dynamic and not meant to remain at a standstill, but I do miss those old days - and that is why I have developed this little site. I am endeavoring to recapture those first memories of church in the 1950s and 1960s - if only in the briefest sense.
I sincerely hope that you enjoy this study on Psalms as much as I have enjoyed preparing it. I have learned .. and am continuing to learn .. new truths from the wonderful Word of God. Charles Haddon Spurgeon's teaching has greatly increased my awareness of just how little I do know, but I am willing to learn! Realizing my own attention span and focus, I have attempted to keep the “study” segments in portions that are not overwhelming. I have also added other, less inspired, bits of information that I found interesting - some humorous, some anecdotal, and some trivial, but these additions should not heed your spiritual progress and may even make you smile – a very important premise to me! And, please forgive me if I include a comment or two of my own within the text – I have added as God has spoken to my heart. So, before we begin, let's pray, and ask God to give us the understanding and willingness to learn anew from an old, old lesson, taught by a renowned teacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Respectfully, Diane Adele Strong
"Heavenly Father, You are the Guide, Teacher, and Lover of our souls.
We know that You desire the very best for us, and the very best of us.
Open our minds and hearts to this teaching - may it be as fresh and new
as if we are reading it for the very first time!
In our Savior's name, Amen."
For those who are not familiar with Charles Haddon Spurgeon – I introduce you to him now! God used him in miraculous ways, and reading his commentaries and studies, we find that they are just as valuable now as they were in the 1800s. After you read the brief introduction below, you will find additional interesting information – taking him off the written page,’ so to speak, and fleshing him out into the real person he was. He had a quick wit, a keen sense of humor, and loved God with all of his being. With each lesson I will incorporate a few personal facts about him, and when the study of Psalm 1 is completed, I believe that, as well as knowing more about God, we will know Charles Spurgeon as more than a teacher of God’s Word, but someone whom we would count a privilege to know as a friend. DAS.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892) was a British preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is known as the "Prince of Preachers." He preached to approximately 10,000,000 people in his lifetime, often up to 10 times each week at different places. Spurgeon was the pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years. He was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, commentaries, books on prayer, devotionals, magazines, poetry, hymns, and more. Many of his sermons were transcribed as he spoke, and translated into many languages during his lifetime. His sermons were powerful - penetrating of thought and precise exposition - and his oratory skills held throngs of listeners spellbound in the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Many Christians have discovered Spurgeon's messages to be among the best in Christian literature.
The Wit and Humor of Spurgeon: "It is a sort of tradition of the fathers that it is wrong to laugh on Sundays. The 11th commandment is, that we are to love one another; and then, according to some people, the 12th is, "Thou shalt pull a long face on Sunday." I must confess that I would rather hear people laugh than I would see them asleep in the house of God; and I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have it neglected, or leave the people to perish through lack of reception of the message.”CHS.
A Classic Study From The Psalms:
The delightful study of the Psalms has yielded me boundless profit and ever-growing pleasure; common gratitude constrains me to communicate to others a portion of the benefit, with the prayer that it may induce them to search further for themselves. The exposition given here is my own. I consulted a few authors before penning it, to aid me in interpretation and arouse my thoughts; but, I can still claim originality for my comments, at least so I honestly think. Whether they are better or worse for that, I know not; at least I know I have sought Heavenly guidance while writing them and, therefore, I look for a blessing on the printing of them. One thing the reader will please clearly understand, and I beg him to bear it in mind; “I am far from endorsing all I have quoted” – I am neither responsible for the scholarship or orthodoxy of the writers. The names are given, that each author may bear his own burden; a variety of writers have been quoted, that the thoughts of many minds might be before the reader. Still, I trust nothing evil has been admitted; if it be so, it is an oversight.
Clapham, December 1869
Volume 1 - Lesson 1
Psalm 1 - Verses 1-3
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD;and in His law does he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,that brings forth his fruit in his season;
"Blessed [happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable]his leaf also shall not wither;and whatever he does shall prosper."[King James Bible]AND
is the man who walks and lives not in the counselof the ungodly, [following their advice, plans, and purposes],nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the pathwhere sinners walk, nor sits down [to relaxand rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.But his delight and desire are in the law of the LORD,
and on His law [precepts, instructions, and teachings]
he habitually meditates [ponders, and studies]by day and by night.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ TITLE.And he shall be like a tree, firmly planted [and tended]and everything he does shall prosper and come to [maturity]."
by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit
in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither,[Amplified Bible]
This Psalm may be regarded as the “Preface” or "Wisdom" Psalm, having in it a notification of the contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. This may be looked upon, in some respects, as the text upon which the whole of the Psalms make up a Divine sermon.DIVISION.
This Psalm consists of two parts:
1. From verse 1 to the end of the verse 3, the source of happiness and blessedness of a godly man is set out; what his exercises are and the blessings he shall receive from the Lord.
2. From verse 4 to the end, he contrasts the state and character of the ungodly, reveals the future, and describes, in telling language, his ultimate doom.
EXPOSITION. Verse 1.
"Blessed" – The Book of Psalms opens with a benediction. The word translated, "blessed," is very expressive; in fact, the original word is plural. So, we may learn of the multiple blessings which rest upon the man whom God has justified, and the perfection and greatness of the blessedness he shall enjoy! It might read, "Oh, the blessednesses!" and may be regarded as a joyful acclamation of the gracious man’s happiness. A gracious man is described both negatively and positively:
Verse 1 (negative)
“Blessed is the man who walks
not in the counsel of the ungodly,
not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”
nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”
He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. He does not stand in the way of sinners (although a sinner himself, he is now a blood-washed sinner, quickened by the Holy Spirit, and renewed in heart).
He does not sit in the seat of the scornful. Let others make a mock of sin - he dares not herd with the multitude who do evil.
Verse 2 (positive)
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in His law does he meditate day and night.”
In the day of prosperity, a gracious man sings psalms from the Word of God, and in the night of affliction he comforts himself with promises from the same Book. The law of the Lord is the daily bread of the true believer.
“Meditation chews the cud, and gets the sweetness and nutritive virtue of the Word into the heart and life: this is the way the godly bring forth much fruit.”
“I have no rest, but in a nook, with the Book.”
In David’s day, the volume of inspiration was very small, for there were scarcely any except the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word, which it is our privilege to have?
Perhaps some can claim a sort of negative purity, because they do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you – is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God's Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand - your best companion and hourly guide? When men are living sinful lives, there is always a progression from bad to worse – first, they merely walk in the counsel of the careless and ungodly (evil is practical rather than habitual). Then, they become habituated to evil, and stand in the way of sinners. If let alone, they go one step further, and themselves sit in the seat of the scornful.
"Lord, that we may learn to beware of wolves in sheep's
clothing who are always ready to give counsel to all -
to teach all, and to offer assistance unto all - when they
are of all men, least qualified to do so."
"And he shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers
of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatever he does shall prosper."
And he shall be like a tree planted - not a wild tree, but a tree planted, chosen, considered as property, and cultivated. The rivers of Pardon, the rivers of Grace, the rivers of Promise, and the rivers of Communion with Christ are never-failing sources of supply. He is like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season. His Leaf also shall not wither - The Lord’s trees are all evergreens! No winter’s cold can destroy their verdure; and yet, unlike evergreens in our country, they are all fruit-bearers. This is an allusion to the Eastern method of cultivation, by which rivulets of water are made to flow between the rows of trees, and thus, by artificial means, the trees receive a constant supply of moisture. CHS..
And we, as God’s children, have our own rivulets of water – the wonderful Holy Spirit, living within – allowing us to always produce the fruit of God’s love, season beyond season. DAS.
The man who delights in God's Word, being taught by it, brings forth patience in the time of suffering, faith in the day of trial, and holy joy in the hour of prosperity. Fruitfulness is an essential quality of a gracious man, and that fruitfulness should be seasonable. His leaf also shall not wither; his faintest word shall be everlasting; his little deeds of love shall be held in remembrance. Not simply shall his fruit be preserved, but his leaf also. He shall neither lose his beauty nor his fruitfulness. And whatsoever he does shall prosper. Blessed is the man who has such a promise as this! It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for. The trials of the saint are a Divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit. CHS.
And now, perhaps you would like to sing a favorite old hymn - "Like A River Glorious." There is a link (below the hymn verses). Click it, and it will direct you the hymn on YouTube. After you have listened to the song, you will see the name of the song (rather small) at the top of the page - just click on it, and you will be brought directly back to this page.
Like A River Glorious
Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.YouTube link - LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS
And, to continue the less spiritual segment of the lesson - - - I have always been a fan of aphorisms. I’m sure you are familiar with the term, but just in case your memory needs a jog – “Aphorism – (af-uh-riz-uhm) a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation.”
“An expert is one who knows more and more
about less and less until he knows absolutely
everything about nothing.”
Let's listen to another old-time Southern Gospel song -- from the Blackwood Brothers!
YouTube link - Blackwood Brothers - Hide Me
This ends our first study. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed the first lesson of Psalm 1. I have prepared a quiz, should you desire to test your fund of knowledge. It isn't difficult and it may be fun. It would not transfer to this site, however, because of the grid lines. If you're interested in attempting it, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you by return e-mail.
It has long been my desire that pastors might dismiss congregations each week with a benediction – taken directly from the Word of God. There are many from which to choose and, remember, the Book of Psalms actually opened with a benediction! So, in closing, this is just for you, from the Book of Numbers:
References"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make His face shine upon thee,The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee,and be gracious unto thee:and give thee peace."
2. Yahweh (the Existing One)
3. Bartholomew Ashwood (1622-1680)
4. Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471)
5. Martin Luther (1483-1546)
6. Nicholas Murray Butler (1862–1947) - American philosopher, diplomat, and educator - president of Columbia University, president of the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He became so well-known and respected that The New York Times printed his Christmas greeting to the nation every year.
Questions or Comments?
Contact me at OLDPEOPLECHURCH@AOL.COM
Access to site: http://www.oldpeoplechurch.wikifoundry.com
Diane Adele Strong
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