1. (Verse 1:) "Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, & hear my prayer." What does "God of my righteousness" mean? I thought we weren't saved by our own righteousness. That's just the point, he's just as good as saying, "God of my Salvation." In other words, he's saying, "Lord, You are my righteousness." Get it?
2. "Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress." What does that mean?—That you got fatter when you were having trouble? (Family: Encouraged me?) Yes, & I could apply that very well right now, that when the Family is sort of in distress moving Southward & to the mission field & seemingly their income should've dropped off, that instead of that, the Lord has blessed them for it & enlarged them & has increased our income, even in such distress.
3. "Have mercy upon me & hear my prayer." The Lord certainly does that, doesn't He? When I was at the dentist today it didn't hurt a bit, he didn't even have to drill! It didn't hurt me‚ thank the Lord! He had mercy upon me & He heard my prayer, & yours too! Thank you for praying!
4. (Verse 2:) "O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn My glory into shame? How long will ye love vanity & seek after leasing?" How has Man turned God's glory into shame? (Family: Man has destroyed the Earth.)—Yes, he's polluted the Earth & he's invented a lie—Evolution! When the whole Creation is for the glory of God & the whole Creation manifests the glory of God, Man says it's the glory of the monkeys!
5. Remember that debate we had one night with Pepe, the high school teacher in Tenerife? He's still one of our best friends now, by the way‚ one of our best disciples, faithful to the Church of Love & everything. Carlos Harbour‚ the head of the Mafia down there, brought him to see us. He knew he was going to argue Evolution, & I think actually Carlos Harbour didn't like Evolution. It's amazing how religious & devout those Mafia members are! They'd better be, they might have to go meet their Maker any minute!
6. So he brought him along to argue Evolution with me‚ & he got him started! He kept buggin' us both with questions. So Pepe said, "Oh no, God didn't make us, it all made itself & we came from monkeys" & all this stuff. So I gave him the usual good arguments & the Scripture, etc., but it didn't seem like he was convinced at all. So finally‚ do you remember what I said at the end?
7. I said, "All right, I don't want to argue! You're a friend, a friend of a friend of mine, let's not ruin the evening with an argument about it, let's discuss something else. You believe what you believe & I'll believe what I believe! I believe that God made me, if you want to believe you were made by monkeys, well, that's up to you! You worship the monkeys & I'll worship the Lord!" And that kind of startled him!
8. I said‚ "If you believe the monkeys made you, well, that's up to you, but I believe God made me!" And that sort of shook him up! Carlos Harbour practically hugged me & kissed me, kissed my hand & said, "You know, I think you really affected him. I think you won! You won!" And sure enough, the Lord did win & Pepe became a real staunch believer & a real staunch disciple & follower down there, thank the Lord! Isn't that wonderful? A high school teacher teachin' kids, what a fellow of influence to get off of that Evolution kick & into believing in Creation instead! So PTL! Hallelujah! God is pretty disgusted with Man turning His glory into shame in so many ways.
9. "How long will ye love vanity?" What is vanity? When you have small children present in class you have to make sure they understand each word. What does "vain" mean? What does "vanity" mean? Somebody? A volunteer? See, even the grownups don't know what it means! (Family: The things of yourself, selfish?) It has come to mean that, but in the original meaning if you talk about something that is vain‚ what is it? (Family: Empty.) Empty.
10. And when you say "in vain," what does that mean? (Family: For no purpose.) With no good purpose‚ no profit, it's just foolishness, right?—Nothing worthwhile about it, it's in vain. It's vain & the person who likes it is vain. Of course, we've got a new meaning for that too, it means kind of conceited, stuck on themselves. A woman that primps & poses like a peacock in front of the mirror, we say she's vain because she likes to look at herself. Well, I don't blame a woman for looking at herself‚ I never saw a woman yet who could pass up a mirror, because they are beautiful! But that's just to make sure they look neat & nice.
11. Does anybody know what "leasing" means? It's an old English word. (Family: Lying?) Yes. Good for you! We've got our two "encyclopedias" sitting here with us! It's another old English word for lying. Look how words change meaning. Nowadays if you lease something it's like renting a house, usually for a long time.
12. The British have a 99-year lease on Hong Kong that's about to expire in a few years (1997) & they're already worrying about it! The Chinese already told them not to worry, nothing's changed, nothing's different! "Nothing is going to be different in Hong Kong, it'll just all be Chinese!" I don't know if you saw "Flower Drum Song‚" it's a beautiful Chinese musical. The fellow comes back & visits his old sweetheart & he's wooing her back & she's beginning to melt, then all of sudden it happens to come out that he's married since he last saw her. "You're married? Oh!"
13. That wouldn't make any difference in our Family‚ of course, but in the World that's something different. He said, "What's the matter?" (He must've been like us!) She said, "But you're married!" He said, "Nothing's changed! I still love you! I'm no different‚ it's no difference—I'm just married!" Well, that's not a very good joke in our Family because we're all like that! Hallelujah!
14. (Verse 3:) "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is Godly for himself." What does "himself" mean there? Am I Godly for myself? (Family: For the Lord.)—The Lord! That "himself" there really would be better understood if it were capitalised. "Know that the Lord hath set apart him that is Godly for Himself." For whom?—For the Lord! God set us apart for Himself. "The Lord will hear when I call unto Him." PTL?
15. Does the Lord count you special? (Family: Amen.) He has set you apart for Himself. That's the very picture, the word picture in both the Old & New Testaments, the word that often is translated as "sanctified." It means cleansed & set apart. I told you that in a Letter, that every time you're doing the dishes, you're performing the ministry of sanctification. (See "Dirty Dishes!", No.566.)
16. You cleanse the dish & you set it apart from the dirty dishes‚ right? You wash the dish & you don't put it back in with the dirty dishes, do you? You wash it & you rinse it & you set it apart to dry. Where do you set it? With the dirty dishes? (David: With the clean dishes!) So we're set apart for Himself! The Lord has set us apart for Himself, clean vessels that He can use. And the Lord therefore will hear us when we call, because we belong to Him, we're His!
17. What will the Lord do when we call? What will He do when we call & ask Jesus for help? Will He hear us? Yes, He'll help us, of course! That's right. So PTL! That's half the Psalm & that's all we have time for. (Prays "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep," Psa.19:14.) "The Lord bless thee & keep thee; the Lord make His face to shine upon thee, & be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, & give thee peace."—Num.6:24-26.—And a good night's sleep, safe-keeping & strength for tomorrow, in Jesus' name, amen! Shalom Alechem! Lord bless you!