Jehovah Is Great in Loyal Love
“Jehovah is . . . great in loving-kindness.”
1. How far-reaching is God’s love?
“GOD is love.” (1 John 4:8) That heartwarming phrase proves that Jehovah’s way of ruling is based on love. Why, even humans who do not obey him benefit from the sun and rain that he lovingly provides! (Matthew 5:44, 45) Because of God’s love for the world of mankind, even his enemies can repent, turn to him, and attain to life. (John 3:16) Soon, however, Jehovah will sweep away the incorrigibly wicked so that humans who love him can enjoy everlasting life in a righteous new world.
2. What special aspect of love does Jehovah show for those who are in a dedicated relationship with him?
2 Jehovah shows love for his true worshipers in a precious, lasting way. Such love is denoted by a Hebrew word translated “loving-kindness,” or “loyal love.” King David of ancient Israel deeply appreciated God’s loving-kindness. Because of his personal experience and his meditation on God’s dealings with others, David could confidently sing: “Jehovah is . . . great in loving-kindness [or, “loyal love”].”
Identifying God’s Loyal Ones
3, 4. (a) How does Psalm 145 help us to identify Jehovah’s loyal ones? (b) How do God’s loyal ones “bless” him?
3 Regarding Jehovah God, the prophet Samuel’s mother, Hannah, said: “The feet of his loyal ones he guards.” (1 Samuel 2:9) Who are such “loyal ones”? King David supplies the answer. After extolling Jehovah’s marvelous qualities, he states: “Your loyal ones will bless you.” (Psalm 145:10) You may wonder how humans can bless God. They do so primarily by praising him or by speaking well of him.
4 Jehovah’s loyal ones can be identified as those who use their mouths to speak well of him. In social settings and at Christian meetings, what is a common theme of their discussions? Why, it is Jehovah’s Kingdom! God’s loyal servants share the sentiments of David, who sang: “About the glory of your [Jehovah’s] kingship they will talk, and about your mightiness they will speak.”
5. How do we know that Jehovah takes note when his loyal ones speak well of him?
5 Does Jehovah take note when his loyal ones praise him? Yes, he pays attention to what they say. In a prophecy relating to true worship in our day, Malachi wrote: “At that time those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16) It pleases Jehovah very much when his loyal ones speak well of him, and he remembers them.
6. What activity helps us to identify God’s loyal ones?
6 Jehovah’s loyal servants can also be identified by their courage and initiative in speaking to people who are not worshipers of the true God. Indeed, God’s loyal ones “make known to the sons of men his mighty acts and the glory of the splendor of his kingship.” (Psalm 145:12) Do you seek and take full advantage of opportunities to speak to strangers about Jehovah’s kingship? Unlike human governments, which will soon pass away, his kingship is eternal. (1 Timothy 1:17) It is urgent that people learn about Jehovah’s everlasting kingship and take their stand as its supporters. “Your kingship is a kingship for all times indefinite,” sang David, “and your dominion is throughout all successive generations.”
7, 8. What happened in 1914, and what proof is there that God now reigns through the Kingdom of his Son?
7 Since 1914, there has been added reason to speak about Jehovah’s kingship. In that year, God established the heavenly Messianic Kingdom with Jesus Christ, the Son of David, as King. Jehovah thus fulfilled his promise that David’s kingship would be firmly established to time indefinite.
8 Proof that Jehovah now reigns through the Kingdom of his Son, Jesus Christ, is seen in the ongoing fulfillment of the sign of Jesus’ presence. The most outstanding feature of that sign is the work Jesus foretold for all of God’s loyal ones when he said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:3-14) Because God’s loyal ones are zealously fulfilling that prophecy, over six million men, women, and children are now sharing in this grand, never-to-be-repeated work. Soon the end will come for all opposers of Jehovah’s Kingdom.
Benefiting From Jehovah’s Sovereignty
9, 10. What contrast is there between Jehovah and human rulers?
9 If we are dedicated Christians, our relationship with the Sovereign Lord Jehovah brings us many benefits. (Psalm 71:5; 116:12) Because we fear God and practice righteousness, for instance, we enjoy his approval and are spiritually close to him. (Acts 10:34, 35; James 4:8) By contrast, human rulers are often seen in the company of prominent people, such as military leaders, wealthy businessmen, or sports and entertainment celebrities. According to the African newspaper Sowetan, a prominent government official said the following about poverty-stricken areas in his land: “I understand when most of us do not want to go to such areas. It is simply because we want to forget that such situations exist. It pricks our conscience and we are embarrassed by the expensive [automobiles] we drive.”
10 Of course, some human rulers are sincerely concerned about the welfare of their subjects. But even the most noble among them do not know their subjects intimately. Indeed, we may ask: Is there any ruler who cares for all his subjects so much that he quickly comes to the aid of each one in times of trouble? Yes, there is. David wrote: “Jehovah is giving support to all who are falling, and is raising up all who are bowed down.”
11. What trials befall God’s loyal ones, and what help do they have?
11 Many trials and calamities befall Jehovah God’s loyal ones because of their own imperfection and because they live in a world that is lying in the power of Satan, “the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19; Psalm 34:19) Christians experience persecution. Some suffer from chronic illness or because of bereavement. At times, the mistakes of Jehovah’s loyal ones may cause them to ‘bow down’ in discouragement. Whatever trial befalls them, however, Jehovah is always ready to give comfort and spiritual strength to each one of them. The King Jesus Christ has the same loving interest in his loyal subjects.
Satisfying Food in Season
12, 13. How well does Jehovah provide for the needs of “every living thing”?
12 Out of his great loving-kindness, Jehovah provides for all the needs of his servants. This includes satisfying them with nourishing food. King David wrote: “To you [Jehovah] the eyes of all look hopefully, and you are giving them their food in its season. You are opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:15, 16) Even in times of calamity, Jehovah can maneuver matters so that his loyal ones get “bread for the day.”
13 David mentioned that “every living thing” gets satisfied. That includes the animals. If it were not for earth’s abundant vegetation of the land and plants of the sea, aquatic creatures, birds, and land animals would have no oxygen to breathe or food to eat. (Psalm 104:14) However, Jehovah sees to it that all their needs are satisfied.
14, 15. How is spiritual food being provided today?
14 Unlike animals, humans have a spiritual need. (Matthew 5:3) How wonderfully Jehovah satisfies the spiritual needs of his loyal ones! Before his death, Jesus promised that “the faithful and discreet slave” would provide Jesus’ followers with spiritual “food at the proper time.” (Matthew 24:45) The remnant of the 144,000 anointed ones make up that slave class today. Through them, Jehovah has indeed provided spiritual food in abundance.
15 For example, most of Jehovah’s people now benefit from a fresh and accurate translation of the Bible in their own language. What a marvelous blessing the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures has been! Moreover, millions of Bible study aids continue to be published in over 300 languages. All this spiritual food has been a blessing to true worshipers around the earth. Who deserves the credit for all of this? Jehovah God. By his great loving-kindness, he has made it possible for the slave class to provide “food in its season.” Through such provisions, “the desire of every living thing” in the present-day spiritual paradise gets satisfied. And how Jehovah’s servants rejoice in the hope of soon seeing the earth transformed into a physical paradise!
16, 17. (a) What examples are there of spiritual food that came in the right season? (b) How does Psalm 145 express the feelings of God’s loyal ones regarding the primary issue raised by Satan?
16 Consider a striking example of spiritual food received in the right season. During 1939, World War II started in Europe. In that same year, the November 1 issue of The Watchtower contained an article entitled “Neutrality.” As a result of the clear information presented, Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world saw the need to maintain strict neutrality in the affairs of the warring nations. This brought upon them the wrath of governments on both sides of that six-year conflict. Despite being banned and persecuted, however, God’s loyal ones kept on preaching the good news of the Kingdom. From 1939 to 1946, they were blessed with an amazing increase of 157 percent. Moreover, their striking record of integrity during that war continues to help people to identify the true religion.
17 The spiritual food that Jehovah provides is not only timely but also richly satisfying. While the nations were in the thick of battle during World War II, Jehovah’s people were helped to focus on something far more important than their own salvation. Jehovah helped them to understand that the primary issue, involving the whole universe, relates to Jehovah’s rightful sovereignty. How satisfying it is to know that by their loyalty each Witness of Jehovah had a small part in the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty and in proving the Devil to be a liar! (Proverbs 27:11) Unlike Satan, who slanders Jehovah and his way of ruling, Jehovah’s loyal ones continue to declare publicly: “Jehovah is righteous in all his ways.”
18. What recent example is there of spiritual food that is both timely and richly satisfying?
18 Another example of timely, satisfying spiritual food is the book Draw Close to Jehovah, which was released at hundreds of “Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers” District Conventions held around the world in 2002/03. This book, produced by “the faithful and discreet slave” and published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, focuses on Jehovah God’s marvelous qualities, including those mentioned in Psalm 145. This fine book will surely play an important role in helping God’s loyal ones to draw even closer to him.
A Time to Draw Closer to Jehovah
19. What crucial time draws near, and how can we deal with it?
19 A crucial stage in settling the issue of Jehovah’s sovereignty is drawing near. As foretold in Ezekiel chapter 38, Satan will soon complete his role as “Gog of the land of Magog.” This will involve a worldwide attack on Jehovah’s people. It will be an all-out attempt on the part of Satan to break the integrity of God’s loyal ones. As never before, worshipers of Jehovah will need to call upon him earnestly, even crying for help. Will their reverential fear of God and love for him prove to be in vain? No, indeed, for Psalm 145 says: “Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, to all those who call upon him in trueness. The desire of those fearing him he will perform, and their cry for help he will hear, and he will save them. Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.”
20. How will the words of Psalm 145:18-20 prove true in the near future?
20 How thrilling it will be to experience Jehovah’s nearness and his saving power when he annihilates all the wicked! At that crucial time now so near, Jehovah will listen only to “those who call upon him in trueness.” He certainly will not listen to hypocrites. God’s Word clearly shows that any last-minute use of his name by the wicked has always proved to be in vain.
21. How do Jehovah’s loyal ones show that they delight in using the divine name?
21 Now more than ever before is the time for those who fear Jehovah to “call upon him in trueness.” His loyal ones delight to use his name in their prayers and in the comments they make at their meetings. They use the divine name in private conversations. And they courageously declare Jehovah’s name in their public ministry.
22. Why is it vital to keep resisting worldly attitudes and desires?
22 To continue benefiting from our close relationship with Jehovah God, it is also vital that we keep on resisting such spiritually detrimental things as materialism, unwholesome entertainment, an unforgiving spirit, or indifference toward needy ones. (1 John 2:15-17; 3:15-17) If not corrected, such pursuits and traits can result in the practice of serious sin and the eventual loss of Jehovah’s approval. (1 John 2:1, 2; 3:6) It is the course of wisdom to bear in mind that Jehovah will continue to show loving-kindness, or loyal love, toward us only if we remain faithful to him.
23. What grand future awaits all of God’s loyal ones?
23 Let us therefore keep our thoughts centered on the grand future that awaits all of Jehovah’s loyal ones. By doing so, we have the wonderful prospect of being included among those who will exalt, bless, and praise Jehovah “all day long” and “even forever.” (Psalm 145:1, 2) May we therefore ‘keep ourselves in God’s love with everlasting life in view.’ (Jude 20, 21) As we continue to benefit from our heavenly Father’s marvelous qualities, including the great loving-kindness he displays toward those who love him, may our sentiments always be like those expressed by David in the final words of Psalm 145: “The praise of Jehovah my mouth will speak; and let all flesh bless his holy name to time indefinite, even forever.”
How Would You Answer?
• How does Psalm 145 help to identify God’s loyal ones?
• How does Jehovah ‘satisfy the desire of every living thing’?
• Why do we need to draw closer to Jehovah?
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God’s loyal ones take delight in discussing his mighty acts
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Jehovah’s servants courageously help strangers to learn about the glory of his kingship
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Jehovah provides food for “every living thing”
Animals: Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno
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Jehovah gives strength and guidance to his loyal ones, who seek his help in prayer