The Words of Young Oon Kim
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to thy word. With my whole heart I seek thee; let me not wander from thy commandments! I have laid up thy word in my heart, that I might not sin against thee. With my lips I declare all the ordinances of thy mouth. In the way of thy testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.... My soul is consumed with longing for thy ordinances at all times. Thy testimonies are my delight, they are my counselors.... I understand more than the aged, for I keep thy precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep thy word. I do not turn aside from thy ordinances, for "thou has' taught me. How sweet are thy words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!... I love thy commandments above gold, above fine gold. Therefore I direct my steps by all thy precepts ;... Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but thy commandments are my delight. Thy testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live. (Psalms 119:9-20; 144)
In reading Psalms I find a full expression of how reverently the Israelites regarded the commandments of God. How faithfully they strived to observe His precepts and statutes! How deeply they loved and appreciated His word!
I suppose this is the reason why Psalms provides such inspiration to readers who share this feeling -- wherever they may live and at whatever time.
I find similar expression in the words of a prominent Indian leader, Vinoba Bhave. He was a colleague of Gandhi and is now carrying on Gandhi's work. Both Gandhi and Vinoba were motivated and inspired by religious truth and expressed their dedication in social reform, which was most urgently needed in India. Gandhi and Nehru often consulted with Vinoba in the execution of their respective tasks. Vinoba is a great lover of Bhagavad Gita, which is one of the great scriptures of Hinduism. Vinoba wrote in his Talks on the Gita:
The bond between the Gita and me transcends reason. My heart and mind have both received more nourishment from the Gita than my body has from my mother's milk. Where the heart is touched, there is no room for argument. Leaving logic behind, I be at the twin wings of faith and practice and, to the best of my ability, fly up into the heavens of the Gita. I live and move in the atmosphere of the Gita. The Gita is my life's breath. To vary the image, I swim in the sea of the Gita when I speak of it; but when I am alone, I dive to the depths of this ocean of nectar and there rest at ease.
Vinoba is an active leader in present-day India. Therefore we cannot say that the feeling of the Psalmist is obsolete or remote from the feeling of modern people.
It is also said in Psalms 63:1-3;
O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is, I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory, because thy steadfast love is better than my life, my lips will praise thee.
The Israelites' deep love and veneration of the word of God was the prime reason God chose that people to fulfill His central dispensation. Because God's work up to now has been carried out through His word, He had to find people who would cherish it and preserve it carefully. Even now the sacred duty of Jewish fathers is to pass on the words of God to their children.
When the Israelites were in Babylon as captives, they participated in Babylonian commerce, farming and even government work. But this was only the external part of their life.
During this time they took part not only in the economic life of Babylon, but also studied the fascinating religion of Persia, Zoroastrianism, which on some points seemed far more rational than their own teaching. Nevertheless, though they learned many new things, they remained faithful to God. While in Babylon, they completed the writing of Deuteronomy. They also wrote down the Holiness Code and the Priest Code, which are included in the Books of Moses. According to Biblical criticism, the Priest Code contains the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Jews in Babylon recorded the words, stories and historical facts which up to them had survived from generation to generation by oral tradition alone. They made additions and corrections, organized and compiled a great portion of the five books of Moses. In this way, the word of God was set down and preserved in written form.
The Psalmist again said:
By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! (Psalms 137:1-6)
These words reflect the great threat to their faith which the Israelites found in the temptations of Babylon. Though they could easily have turned away from God, they set themselves absolutely against it and threatened themselves with the loss of their right hand and speech should they ever lose God.
The Jews expressed their unchanging faith, their unbroken dedication, by their work of compiling and preserving traditional material. On this basis, Nehemiah and Ezra were able to appeal to them and bring about revival of their religious life after the return to Jerusalem. In order to preserve the word of God, they erected the temple. Because the word was kept there, they worshiped there. Because the Jews protected and cherished God's word, the Messiah who was to fulfill it could be sent to them.
The word of God was the focal point of their worship, of their loyalty, and of their entire life and being. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the dispersed Jews persisted in preserving the word of God wherever they went, even at the cost of their lives. Having lost their native land, rejected by established nations, they had to move from one place to another. Through all these adversities they preserved the word of God by which they maintained their faith and were united more strongly than many stable nations. After 2000 years they succeeded in reclaiming their land after great sacrifice. All of this was possible because of their concept of the absolute word of God, which they venerated with unchanging loyalty. Such conviction is a most praiseworthy aspect of the Jewish national character..
Today the word is given to us in even a higher form. This word is not merely a promise of distant fulfillment, but its reality.
Let me read The Divine Principle, page 5:
Man was created to be the central source of harmony in the cosmos. Thus, when Adam and Eve are married and become one, they form the responsive object (beauty) to God's love. They then become the center of the fulfilled good.
Then God, the parent, rests in them and feels stimulating joy forever, because He has in them a true object for His divine love. They are the incarnation of His Word and the base is the center of truth. Thus the base draws the hearts of all men toward the fulfillment of God is purpose of creation.
That base will serve as an axis around which the entire universe will have purposeful spherical movement of give and take.
As the first family expands to a clan, tribe, nation and world, its base expands as well. Thus the spherical movement of give and take of love utterly centered on God will encompass the entire cosmos. Then, by His divine love, He will rule directly the whole cosmos and see the purpose of creation fulfilled. This gives the first family cosmic significance.
Having discovered what God's original purpose for man was, and that it could not be fulfilled because of man's union with Satan, our Leader tirelessly fought the cosmic enemy. He shed countless tears for God and prayed most fervently for the world. Fourteen years after his battle started, he established the personal and family foundation of victory by fulfilling his blessed marriage on February 24, 1960. A month later, on March 27, or March 1 by the lunar calendar, he declared the first Parents Day. Then he went on to expand the foundation to tribal, national and world scope in order to fulfill the word of God completely.
The realization of the word is now bringing about great change in both worlds, the spiritual and physical God, who has been at great distance, now has a channel through which to work directly with man. When the balmy spring breeze comes, trees get ready to bud, spring birds sing, and people feel a bursting joy and excitement. Spring visits the earth with life and brings a transformation from cold to warmth, from dimness to brightness, from death to life. Yet spring comes in like a lamb.
Through the realization of the word, cosmic spring has come, which also entered quietly but is to bring about a mighty change: from ignorance to understanding; from separation to unity, from death to resurrection. Since the True Parents fulfilled the word, we can now become true children of the Father. Because the Parents exist, we can now have true brothers and sisters, and thus a true family.
As our Unified Family grows, the heavenly Father's foothold will expand and His domain enlarge. Because of the blessed Parents' nature, the whole creation is restored to us. For the first time heaven and earth come together in harmony and God and man embrace each other!
In this season the Jews celebrate Passover to commemorate God's wondrous work of delivering their ancestors from Egypt. For the Christians this is Holy Week. After Lent they will celebrate Easter in remembrance of Jesus' resurrection. On this beautiful spring day we celebrate Parents Day as the central point of universal deliverance and cosmic resurrection.
Jesus came to fulfill a mission of this scope. Hence, he said to his disciples, "When the Bridegroom is with you, you don't need to fast, but should rejoice.” At another time he said, “Your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” He also said, "Deny yourself and bear your cross. Whoever wishes to live must die." Jesus didn't say that because things were being fulfilled his disciples should just sit back and enjoy it. Rather, he required of his followers the highest righteousness and the utmost commitment.
Our righteousness and dedication must exceed that of the Christians. Do we have reverence and appreciation for the word of God that is equal to that of the Psalmist? Do we live up to the word more faithfully than the Jews and Christians? Do we deny our selfish interests and desires and put the Father's will first? Do we serve and attend Him with genuine love and gratitude? Are we willing to sacrifice our lives for the restoration of this nation and the world? The desire and effort to achieve our own perfection are not enough. Our Leader used to say that to achieve personal restoration, we must strive for the higher goal of national restoration; and that to achieve national restoration, a nation must serve the higher goal of world restoration. He will bless you on the trust that you offer your total life to the restoration of your nation and the world.
I often wonder what the effect on the American people would be if America were to win in Vietnam. Would Americans not become even more lax? Would they not seek even more sensual and material pleasures? Thus, would not the spiritual life of the people decline still further and become even emptier?
I sometimes wonder if the American Negroes were to obtain all they want immediately, would they be happy and would they make use of all these benefits for their spiritual betterment and the glorification of God? Negro Americans! Fight and get what you want. But don't forget that unless you implant the word of truth in the hearts of your people, you won't get lasting value and strength. White Americans! Don't brag of the greatness of your nation, but rather examine yourselves. What truly enduring foundation of ideals do you have? Unless you adopt the new spiritual truth of God, what else do you have to guarantee your prosperity and position? In view of all this, I often feel great tension and anxiety.
Today our Leader's anguish for the world is beyond words. How anxiously he wants us to proclaim to every American this glorious day! In this time of trouble and anguish for America and the world, the heavenly Father called us to be His voice. Our Leader brought us the word from the depths of the Father's heart. His word is a wonderful counselor and a mighty weapon to destroy Satan. Let it guide our thought, kindle our hearts, and direct our whole being. Let the word and its reality be the salvation and fortress of this nation. Through them God is now turning the cosmic axis to bring about a new heaven and earth. Let your heart hear our Leader's cry.
Senator Kennedy said in announcing his Presidential candidacy, "We need a new birth of this nation. We must build a new America." We are the ones who are called to this task. We are the only ones who have the determination to respond to the call and the resources to do the job. Without our dedication, Mr. Kennedy will not see a new birth of this nation. With God's mighty word, the glorious message of this day, let us mount a full-scale advance in the restoration of America and the world.