The Clarity of Language


Words are so special!

Parts of SpeechBut they are often misused. Daily. Hourly. And minute by minute. We put them into the wrong places of sentences and the entire thought becomes muddled. We grab the wrong word and the meaning is not only wrong, but often jokingly funny!

The problem, often, is that we seldom work on relearning or refreshing that knowledge we thought we had learned in those earlier years. Ask someone what is the difference between a verb or adverb, noun or pronoun, and the answer will not be clear. Never mind those other parts of the sentences like preposition, conjunction, or adjective.

Often, it’s never easy to remember all the correct ways to connect words to have a complete and clear thought! Especially if we have to name the “little pieces parts.”

Sentence Diagram exampleI have written often about my poor experience of class in the 6th grade. For one year I was at one campus and with all the crowding of students, teachers were brought out of retirement to teach. I will name her, but those that were at DeZavala with me know the poorest 6th grade teacher of the hallway. It was during this year that we learned how to diagram sentences. We had never done it before in earlier grades, so it never made clear sense to me. My cousin had a better class experience down the hallway and he seemed to grasp the concept very clearly!

Of the many psalms that David wrote, there is one of my favorites and I’ve written about it several times. Psalms 37. It is didactic, meaning, it is intended to teach! Especially a lesson of moral values. Part of it is exhortation (emphatic urging). Part of it is calm, un-impassioned instruction.

It is clear. Understandable. And it makes great sense.

The one thing that pops out to me are the action words (verbs) that are continually used. See if you find them as you read the first few verses. Hint? I’ve made the words bold.

A Psalm of David. Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. (Psalms 37:1-8 NKJV)

Then he references a scripture we use often as we document our lives….

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23 NKJV)

The order we need to follow are those verbs I highlighted above. No fretting or envying, rather Trust, Dwell, Delight, Commit, Rest, Wait, Cease, Forsake… All action words on how to actively live.

The book of Psalms contains 150 chapters. Not really chapters, but each is a stand-alone song or poem. The first chapter may have been a preface to the entire book. Think about it…

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.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
(Psalms 1:1-6 NKJV)

Valid words. Beautiful thoughts. Necessary. Even today.


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