Alan Anderson - Relationships - First Oak Lodge, 1991

Hymn 285

We can turn to Psalm 55. there are a few little words before the song begins but it is in the original text: To the chief Musician of Neginoth, Maschil. A Psalm of David. Give ear to my prayer, 0 God...because of the voice of the enemy...0h that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away and be at rest. You can just stay there in Psalm 55 but I would like to rend four verses in Psalm 119. The first one I'd like to rend is v.125: I am Thy servant... the second one is the 63rd verse: I am a companion of all them that fear Thee... The third in the 19v.: I am a stranger in the earth... and the fourth which is 141v: I am small and despised: yet do not I forget Thy precepts.

I would like to try to talk to you a little this morning concerning our relationship with God, our relationship with the one or ones by our side, our relationship with the world and finally our relationship with ourselves, and that Psalm we read four verses where it mentions I am a servant to God, I am a companion to the one or ones by our side, I am a stranger to the world and I am small and despised, our relationship with ourselves. In our relationship with God we should be servants; to the one by our side, we should be companions, in our relationship with the world we should be strangers and in our relationship with ourselves, the way we see ourselves, we should be small but it is necessary for us to give our all.

We have been hearing in these meetings at Convention of the necessity of giving all our life, the necessity of giving the Lord a whole-hearted service. The Lord doesn't accept a half-hearted service. The only one we will be failing, we will be fooling ourselves! When we try to give the Lord a half-hearted service, others can't see but the Lord sees that we are holding back. A half-hearted service would be a terrible sacrifice but a whole hearted service is a privilege!

We got on a bus one day, my companion and I, in Mexico, I didn't really have the correct change to give the fellow, I needed to have a little for two tickets but I had a bill, 1,000 pesos; it had been around a long, long time, it was nearly torn in half and two fares would be 500 pesos, so I was pretty much tempted to tear, it in half, give him half, so I held it up to him, it was kind of dangling just about in half and I said: I'll just tear it in half. No! He wouldn't accept that because it wouldn't have been worth anything. It’s just like giving the Lord a half-hearted service. Sometimes half can be worse than nothing.

Remember those two bad ladies, both had babies, one of the ladies lay on hers in the night and the baby died, she exchanged the babies and the other woman, going to nurse the baby in the morning when day had dawned, when the light came, she was able to see things, she said: this is .not my baby. Then both bad ladies took the live baby to the king. What are you going to do? Remember what he finally did? He called for a sword, cut the baby in half, gave half to one and half to the other but the real mother realized that half a baby was worse than no baby at all. Half sometimes can be worse than nothing, so, are we trying to give the Lord a half-hearted service? This is our relationship with God. We are just a servant; we would like to be willing to give all of our life for all of our life.

Just recently in Mexico two young people began in the Work, a boy and a girl. I was in the field where JL is, his father is not professing but his mother is a very hearty soul but then he offered for the work a while back and has been preparing himself. We wrote him a letter we would be coming by that way after Convention was over and as we would be returning he would be able to have things together, after disposing of all, like the Bible says, it mentions there what we should be doing, every one of us, I believe it is the 9th chapter of Luke 23v. He said unto them: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me. One of the older Workers in our country said there are three conditions of discipleship: the negative side, the positive side and the eternal side. If any man will, the door is open; if any man won't, the door is closed; deny yourselves is the negative side, taking up the cross is the positive side and following Him is the eternal side. That is for all of us.

Then on another occasion an individual came and asked what he had to do to go into the Work. Jesus said the name things but also sell all you have and give to the poor then you can do those other things. We told that to JL, encouraging him to get rid of everything he had, we told him also he may have to catch a bus, six hours from ... to Monterey. We went up to see him, he showed me the suitcase he was taking and said: is it a little too big? It was smaller than mine! He had everything in it. What about, I have an extra pair of shoes, should I give it away? Well, I said, we are going to have to work at preparation time, keep them, carry your shoes. Then before we left the home we told him well, we need only buy your ticket and maybe one or two other bus tickets to H for the six hour trip, we don't know for sure, either 11 or 12 Workers will be going on into the city, 9 or 10 would ride in the vehicle we have got, we will give you a call later. I noticed he was listening but wasn't acknowledging. Half an hour later going out the door, I reminded him again; he hung his head; you wrote me a letter I had to get rid of everything, I have enough for one ticket, two or three tickets I don't have enough! People are very poor there. That’s giving! One day JL's father asked us over, we were all gathered round the table, like I mentioned the father was not professing but at the table after the meal we had some hymns were sung and different ones chose hymns, some weren't able to continue with the hymns because of the feeling, and then it was decided JL would go with us in the vehicle and the other Workers use his ticket he had purchased. Then as we were leaving, saying goodbye to his father, the father was crying like a baby, it wasn't because he didn't want him to go but as little JL was going by asked: where are the extra shoes? He had a little tiny suitcase, he said, inside the suitcase! What we have to learn is to give our all.

We read of our relationship with others, like we were hearing about Abraham. He walked with Isaac, he talked with Isaac even though there was 100 years between their ages, there was no communication gap. There is no communication gap in the family of God. Every servant gathered together here, like we read in Ezra 3.1, as one man, that speaks of unity but in the same 3rd chapter 9v. They stood together, that speaks of agreement. 11v. They sang together, doesn't that speak of harmony? 4th chapter I believe it is in the 3 and 4 v. it mentions building together, doesn't that talk about cooperation? We are experiencing these days together the unity; the agreement, the harmony and the cooperation. That is what it’s all about.

You think about Abraham, his relationship to God, his relationship to the ones by his side, Sarah and Isaac and Jacob and more than that he had a right relationship with God. He was a real companion, he had consideration and kindness. We had been hearing about kindness in Wilmington more than here, concerning the necessity of being kind. We can safely say we can pay back a debt of gold but we are forever in debt to one who is kind. The kindness of David, the kindness of Abraham, the relationship they had with God first, then with others, consideration and the cooperation, the communication and how they walked together, talked together, worshiped together on the top of that mountain, but then they returned together closer than ever before. Where did they go? Beer Sheba, it means the well of the oath. They dug a well after they built an altar. I believe it is necessary if we want to be blessed and be a blessing. The altar is giving something to God; the well is receiving something from God. We can say in this place we have been receiving from the Lord, we have had the experience of the well but also it is time to build the altar to offer what we have and what we are upon the altar of His will, the well of oath. Sometimes vows are made in holy places and have to be carried out in lonely places as we were hearing.

Now we are going to be leaving and going to some other place where we seem very much alone but we can carry these vows out, that which we have made. Remember that couple after Convention, after their days together in Jerusalem at the Passover, it mentions that they walked together, talked together and communed together, in 24 Luke, that was the day Jesus rose again. It speaks about those two, it doesn't say who they were, two professing people, I don't know whether they were man and wife or Workers but as Cleopas was standing by the cross a few days before, he may have been one anyway this couple was walking and talking together and Jesus Himself drew near. We have to create the atmosphere so Jesus Himself can draw near. As they left that place Jesus was with them and they walked seven miles. I can walk about eight miles in two hours that would be about the length of a meeting at Convention. Walking with Jesus, He was explaining a lot of things, that was really a special meeting they had; they didn't realize for awhile we have to do our part, like you have done your part, to treat an atmosphere so the Lord Himself can be with us these days.

Twenty one years before we read in Luke about two, they were leaving Convention also, leaving Jerusalem as they had gone up yearly, year by year, year by year, they left and they supposing Jesus was with them but Jesus wasn't with them; Mary and Joseph were returning to their home at the end of the day they realized Jesus is not here! We can't put the blame on them, Jesus was only 12 years of age, He had four brothers by name and sisters, there would have been seven at least in the family, Jesus was 12 years old, some of the little children of the family would be walking together, and you can't put the blame on the parents. They returned and on the third day they found Jesus. There's the necessity of us also walking together, talking together, having the right relationship with the one by our side. We heard about those that left their first love.

Before we left we were called, there are some telephones in Mexico believe it or not, we received a call the lady on the other end of the line said: I am going to leave my husband and taking my two children, we are going to go to.... so I was just trying to do everything I could to leave but I had to get on the subway, my companion went with me. This lady, we had a visit with her by herself. The root of the problem was lack of communication! Well, my husband, he should have been here. Where is he? In the shop a couple of blocks away. Let’s go, otherwise we would have had to wait a while. We went to the shop, he was there, it was a misunderstanding, he was there waiting but we were delayed but the wife didn't explain the situation. There is the other side too and then the Lord has a side. There are three sides to everything but there is a perfect side we would like to try and see. We excused ourselves from the lady and just had a visit with the man by himself, he could explain the situation; we found out the real problem wasn't that big at all. Then finally we talked to them together.

Two Mexican boys were fighting over a pecan nut; they ended up with a bloody nose and black eye. Well, what say we just divide it cut it in half? That's a good idea, why didn't we think of it before? They cut it in half, there was nothing in it!!! Sometimes we are fighting over nothing also. Just talk about the thing. We are going to the other side of the globe. An older couple, married just a little over 70 years, they are 90 years old. One of the friends went to visit them but just as he was going to go in the door the old man was coming out. Where are you going? I'm going down to the store; there's a grocery store in every block, you don't have to go far for groceries; if you want an egg or two, that is all you get. Now, he was going to get groceries and he's got a list, so they went together. The man wasn't able to read very well. He handed the list to the man behind the counter, he filled up a bag one by one, finally, he said, the last thing on the list, sir, I don't have it, I can't put it in the bag. Just read the list. I love you honey! Seventy years married but still the same love, the first love, so he went home a little prouder than when he went down to the store; he didn't have honey in the bag! That is something of consideration and kindness after all those years together. Just that consideration, many times, that kind of wins. I am not just thinking about man and wife. It is easier to take credit than to take the blame, isn't it?

Maybe you have heard about two inexperienced hunters, it’s getting dark on the last day of the season and they wanted to bag a trophy. An animal came round behind them through the hush. Bang, Bang! The animal went down. I got it, said one, no, I shot first. They ran over and got behind the bush and found a farmer's cow. Look what you did! No, you shot first! They wanted to take the credit but not the blame. We just have to accept and have consideration one for another, to give in service to God our best and oh to the one by our side we are a companion, to our spouse and others we should have that companionship, consideration, kindness, cooperation. Then for those in the world, like Abraham and David and other individuals, being strangers, keeping that separation and then with ourselves our relationship with ourselves, that we are small. In the world it is different but in God's family you have to how, be small or you will never be useful.

Psalm 55, the heading, I used to jump over them but this is in the original text so what is he talking about? To the chief Musician. He was talking about the Lord. He made a prayer of the Psalm and before there could be a song there has to be a cry, like in our own experience, the cry first then there can be a song. Now this is directed to the chief Musician, that is the Lord, our relationship to the Lord first. Neginoth means a stringed instrument. We are instruments of ten strings. One of my first companions said: we have two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, a heart and a mouth - an instrument of ten strings. We can be in harmony, companions in the Church, whoever we are; we can have the right spirit and manifest the right spirit. God is no respecter of persons but God is a respecter of spirits, of attitudes. We would like to have the right spirit, the right attitude and manifest these. He mentions, where is it in Proverbs, six things that God hates, yea seven, and all you read of its talking about the same instrument, human instruments, eyes, hands, feet... the things we can be doing, what the Lord would hate. He that soweth discord among the brethren - we don't like to think of the negative side but the positive side you can find in Matthew 5, how we can be happy now and forever after. The first six things are possible for us to have and be, the seventh thing, these things God loves, the seventh thing in a peacemaker, those sowing peace, offering peace to all His seed.

Next it says: Maschil. Thirteen little Psalms have Maschil on them. 47 Psalm 7v the meaning of the word, Maschil is simply to sing ye praises with understanding, like it says in I Cor.14.15 I will pray with the spirit and pray with understanding also, I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also. It’s kind of easy to sing the songs not really thinking of the words! Anybody can sing "I will go without a murmur" without the intention of going any place. If you have no intention of going someplace, it’s harder to sing. A hymn that has become very special to me as a young man growing up and making my choice and taking steps is: Lord Jesus, teach me how to choose. I was going to school, it was on this day of Convention sitting behind the brother Workers, I felt if the Lord wanted me to go into the harvest field I would. I was 16 years of age. I had ten years of struggle before I could say "Here I am". Reading this with understanding, my companion and I, we have just finished reading I & II Sam. I believe in this book the prayer in the 55th Psalm can be found. II Sam.15. 16, 17, we studied it in conjunction with the 55th Psalm. It mentions there was an enemy, he just felt overwhelmed, he didn't know what to do, where to go.

Three times in this Psalm he said "I would." Wasn't he thinking I could if I would but I won’t? I would if I could but I can’t. The first I would is in the 6v...Wings like a dove! For then would I fly away...? That is what he was thinking about, just fly away but we never have been promised the wings of a. dove, of going to Heaven when we want to go, we can't have that, I don't think that was the promised to David here. Remember Absalom getting up early in the morning and different ones with complaints, he said: if I am in control, you can come here, I will be on your side; another person came with the same thing, he stole the hearts of all. He wasn't doing what was right. I used to think that his own son was his enemy, it mentions because of the voice of the enemy, like I said: without the enemy there is no battle, without the battle there is no victory, without victory there is no crown but really his enemy, as you continue to read II Sam, you see there was a foolish brother and companion, Ahitophel.

You read there how Absalom asked this man would he change sides, leave advising David and be on his side. Ahitophel was foolish enough to accept the offer and he changed sides and went to the losing side but it mentions that man in the 15 chapter v.12 and Absalom sent for Ahitophel, David's counselor...and then you see how things continued and finally Ahitophel was aiming David, not aiming at all under David but aiming at David, I'm going to get him! It’s a bad thing if somebody has something against you but a worse thing if someone has something on you. Ahitophel not only had something against David but he had something on David. In the 17th chapter v.2 he said I will smite the king only that is bringing it down to him, he had something on him, like mentioned.

You read the genealogy in chapter 11 of. II. Sam. concerning Bath Sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah... go over to II Sam.23.34 Ahitophel was the grandfather of Bath Sheba. He had been aiming at David. Look what you did to my granddaughter! That's getting pretty close to home altogether: It’s a bad thing when someone has something against you but worse if someone has something on you but we believe in the mercy of God, the love of God and the forgiveness of God after the thing has been dealt with. Then, we have to have mercy and show mercy like David did. We read about the sure mercies of David showing the spirit he maintained when others were wrong, that is what David did, showing mercy when others were wrong, showing love when others are right and then we ourselves, if we are wrong we would like to have the spirit of honesty, if we are right we would like to show the spirit of humility. David had love; David had mercy, honesty in dealing with these things.

We were going along to Special Meetings one time and brought up in the visit concerning forgiveness, I told this person I could forgive but it was just about impossible for me to forget. You have heard the expression: forgive and forget, well, after it is forgiven I can still remember the situation. One sister Worker in the car gave an answer that day, we can forgive, like the Bible says, maybe if we must remember it, we remember it in a different way. At home we had to weed the garden sometimes. Dad always told us dig down and get the root also. On the hard surface without too much rain, we scrape across the surface to clean the garden; a few days later the rain would come, up would come the weeds, it wasn't till we got to the root of the weeds, it got plucked out by the roots but if the roots remain they continue to grow again.

Now, here, concerning this situation with Ahitophel, he would be like Judas Iscariot, David like Jesus, we read of him going into the same garden. David is a type of Christ, the rejected king, Solomon as the accepted king. When Jesus comes to reign again, He will, like Solomon, when all will be peace. When Jesus was here He was like David, He was the rejected King. Here in this Psalm we read concerning this situation 7.v 55th Psalm, then would I just got out of here. I don't read anything too much in the paper, I don't have anything against it, you have heard, I guess, of cartoons. One I can identify with one time, and more than one time, there is a big fellow with a round head saying: this is. It, I'm going to get away from it, I'm going to the airport. His sister tagged along. He got all ready to go, she told him, and her last words were: Remember, when you land you will still be Charlie Brown! We are going to take that with us. There's a lot within us, an enemy within us also, so just try to wander far off, we can't escape. I would if I could but I can't.

The last "I would." I would hasten my escape. In most storms waves batter the ship. It is the experience, I believe, of the servants of God, having the tests but it takes the wind. I like the flag of Australia, it is only on a windy day until I could see it, otherwise it is draped round the flagpole. You can see the Southern Cross. Likewise, the Lord loves the windy experiences for us so He can see our true colours and others can see also. In botany we were taught about the root system, I remember there were three parts to the root system, the feeder root, the base root and the tap root. When the wind comes it blows a lot of dead branches but also allows the tap root system to go down further. Our experiences we have to go through and still have to go through this year, well, I hope we wouldn't like to escape, or hasten away, but just passing through we will endure it. v.9,10 of the Psalm, all within the city were bad things, violence, strife... there were seven things within that city then it says in the 12v. For it was not an enemy that reproached me.

You can read the 41st Psalm v.9 talking about that, same individual, Ahitophel, a foolish brother, who was a companion, who lifted up his heel against me, he finally comes to the end of himself, we have to do that also, realizing we can't do some of those things but in the same Psalm in the third I will. 16v. As for me I will call upon God... The secret of success is having success in secret. The secret for every success is rising up over failure. We have more victories than failures that is why we are here. Victories aren't final nor defeat the vital thing but we have to get up and go again, get up again and do what the Lord wants us to do and be. As for me I will call upon God, one place where we can be.

One fellow of kindergarten age wasn't concerned or troubled himself about wars and rumors, he was asked to give thanks for the food before one of the Workers gave thanks, just a simple little prayer. He thanked God for the food and thank you Lord you are still the Boss of the whole world. A simple childish prayer, it touched my heart. We are glad also the Lord is on the throne, we don't have to worry about what is taking place in the kingdoms of men, the Highest is on the throne. Talking about a little boy, I remember when I was a little boy in the home, when I was called to eat a meal at home, mother would call my name then we have to wash, then we eat. One day I was out playing, I was right outside the door, not for very long I didn't think I had got dirty, then I heard my name called; here the condition for the invitation was wash and eat. Well I went into the house, I knew I had to do something, my hands weren't dirty, I adjourned to the kitchen sink; I turned the tap on but didn't put my hands in it, I shut it off after a while and went and sat down. After mum gave thanks mother looked at me and said: did you wash? You heard the water running, didn't you? That wasn't the question, did you wash? Well, I had to do so; I had to use soap also! He could feel we haven't done anything so wrong, kind of go through some verses and not really get it, then down on our knees in the position of prayer going through a few things, not really praying. We would like to get our hands wet, get our hands washed so we can be clean and partake of that which is on the table. "I will." 17v. Evening and morning and noon will I pray...He shall hear my voice.

I remember in one field we had the opportunity to go out and see a bald eagle soaring, it took us eight hours, but we saw it soaring so high till we couldn't see it beat its wings. I was reading an article about condors, they have to be really hungry enough to go down the valley to feed, they won’t unless it is a bright day; they sit in the sunshine, waddle out and extend their wings and soar down to the valley to feed; after it feeds it has just enough strength to get itself off the ground, rising by air currents, thermals, they realize it will carry it up to its perch again. When you don't know what to do, that is the way, like we were singing: wait in your weakness and in darkest hour, just wait when you don't know, the answer is in just waiting. How long did Jacob wrestle? Until the dawn. We don't want to jump in. In the valley of despair you don't want to make a decision, in the emotion of the moment, wait until the sun is shining. I believe the answer is in Isaiah 40, last verse: they that wait upon the Lord...as eagles... that is when they are lifted up with the air current, that is instinctive with birds; with us its patience, we should learn to wait on the Lord. No time is lost when waiting on the Lord. Then it mentions the reason again. 22v. Psalm 55 Cast thy burden upon the Lord... Willingness then to reduce our cares to prayers and leave them before the Lord. The will of God will never leave you; the wonderful grace of God will sustain you. The last "I will." David said: I will trust in Thee. Someone has said it is not your position but your disposition. I long to have the willingness to trust Him. I will trust in Thee. Because Jesus had a right relationship with His Father, a Servant of servants, He had the right relationship with those by His side, their Companion, to those in this world. He was a stranger and with Himself, He was most humble. True humility in not just taking the lower place but feeling it is our place. Jesus experienced death on the cross; He shed His blood, from His back, head, His hands and His feet and finally came out of His side, seven places where the blood flowed from the body of Christ which gives perfect cleansing. We are glad for that, we can be glad for the experiences we read of in the Bible of others that walked, talked and worshiped and as a result drew closer than ever before.