Will it Mean Food for Us to Eat?
Millions of persons work hard to eke out a meager existence. To such ones, could there be anything of greater value than food?
DO YOU spend the greater part of each day working to get food for yourself and your family? Have you found it necessary to shoulder greater responsibility at work? Were you compelled to accept a second job for the sake of a better standard of living? If so, you are not alone.
The majority of earth’s people have to work hard to provide the necessities of life, and others generally seem unconcerned as to whether they succeed or not. Since food is necessary for life, it seems to many that the practical thing for them to do is to make the getting of daily food their foremost concern. But is it?
While such a course might supply one’s immediate material needs, its practicalness is questionable. A Hong Kong newspaper, The Star, of December 19, 1968, carried this bold headline: “WORKING TOWARDS AN EARLY GRAVE.” The article pointed out that the majority of men in Hong Kong work very hard to support their families. Some have more than one job. Others work two shifts each day. But warned a doctor: “This, eventually, must take its toll on a man’s health.”
When you stop to think about it, what does a man get out of life if he devotes all his time to getting his daily bread and hastens to an early grave? Yet, many hardworking people view any other course as impractical. For example, they consider a study of God’s Word the Bible a waste of time, because they see no immediate, tangible benefits for their efforts. As one Chinese housewife remarked, “But it can’t give us rice.” All over the world people with a similar attitude are devoting their efforts almost exclusively to obtaining material things.
Man’s Efforts Disappointing
The advice commonly heard is: “Work hard, save your money and you will have a ‘nest egg’ for the future.” Yet people who follow this advice are often bitterly disappointed.
Consider the Chinese woman who worked hard selling vegetables on a crowded Hong Kong street. After forty years of such hard work she returned home late one night to find that a thief had broken into her home and stolen more than $10,000, her life savings! “Now I feel like committing suicide—I have nothing to live for,” she said. Others, who have kept their money in a bank, have had it suddenly devalued. Thus, they too have lost much or everything overnight.
Does this not underscore the soundness of the advice given by Jesus Christ? He said: “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”—Matt. 6:19, 20.
Jesus thus indicated that there are treasures of greater value than material ones. Humans need more than physical food, as Jesus explained: “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matt. 4:4) Spiritual food, that is, knowledge concerning our heavenly Creator, Jehovah God, also is necessary. That is why Jesus urged ones in his day who apparently were placing undue importance on physical food: “Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for life everlasting.”—John 6:27.
In our day it should be obvious that a quest merely for food, or for money to buy food, can only lead to disappointment. Why is this? It is because of what lies ahead. Even at this very moment 1,500 million people in South America, Africa, India and China are getting less than a minimum adequate diet and are undernourished. In fact, according to The South China Morning Post, January 2, 1969, with the passing of every minute some sixty-six persons in the world die from the effects of starvation! But this is just a foretaste of what lies ahead.
A noted scientist comments in Reader’s Digest, February 1969: “It is shockingly apparent that, in the battle to feed humanity, our side has been routed . . . . it is already too late to prevent a drastic rise in the death rate through starvation. In a well-documented book, Famine—1975!, William and Paul Paddock predict that the time of famines will be upon us full-scale in 1975 . . . . What’s done is done. We must look to the survivors, if any.”
Scientists now see disastrous global famine as inevitable, regardless of the efforts of men to avert it. What a dismal prospect! Should this not cause us to inquire: Could there be another solution to man’s problems? Is there One who can provide sufficient food?
A Source to Consider
Think about the matter. Who made the earth with its many beautiful landscapes, and the heavens with its countless billions of stars? We appreciate these creations, but who put them there for our enjoyment? The true answer is recorded in the Bible: “Jehovah . . . is the Maker of the earth by his power, the One firmly establishing the productive land by his wisdom, and the One who by his understanding stretched out the heavens.”—Jer. 10:10, 12.
Few persons today give any thought to the worship of their Creator. What a blessing they thereby miss! For Jehovah God indeed cares for those who put their trust in him. An ancient king made this true observation: “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.”—Ps. 37:25.
Although others may have come into want, God’s servants had food to eat. Would you not like to have the assurance of receiving life’s necessities? Observe, then, what Jesus Christ said to those who would worship the heavenly Father: “So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.”—Matt. 6:31-33.
What a grand assurance! All these other things, including food to eat, will be added to you. Your efforts to obtain them will be blessed with success. But did you observe what you must do in order to be assured of these necessities of life? You must ‘keep on seeking first the interests of God’s kingdom and his righteousness.’ How practical, therefore, it is to take time to study God’s Word the Bible and learn what is necessary to please your heavenly Creator! This can lead to your receiving, not only God’s marvelous guarantee of physical necessities now, but everlasting life with both spiritual and physical plenty in God’s new system of things.—John 17:3.
Long-Range View Practical
Working with a view to life in God’s righteous new system is most practical. However, does someone object, saying: “But that is in the future”?
Well, think about it in this way. Parents work hard to give their children a good education. This often involves supporting them and paying for their education for ten to fifteen years or more. But they believe that this long-term view of things is practical, because in time their children will be able to secure a job and supplement the family income. To heed Jesus’ advice to prepare for the future by laying up treasures in heaven is even more practical.
But how do you lay up treasures in heaven? This is done by pursuing a course of life that will result in the goodwill of God in heaven. No thief can take away these treasures, nor will they tarnish with age. These treasures will even benefit you should you die. How so? Because your having the approval of God will assure that God will remember you with a restoration to life in his new system of things.—Matt. 6:19, 20.
Consider for a moment that grand new system of God’s making. It is not going to be this old system patched up and renovated by weak, imperfect men. No, it will be completely new. But how will it be possible to replace present governments of men with a rule by God?
Out with the Old, In with the New
This will require God’s bringing to an end this entire wicked system of things. In the Bible Jesus Christ spoke about the “conclusion of the system of things,” and his disciples referred to “the last days.” Jesus’ prophecy relates initially to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., but it is evident that it has an application also during Christ’s second presence, which in the first century was yet in the distant future. Jesus gave physical evidences for persons to look for so that they could identify this momentous time.
The Bible describes for “the last days” a time of chaotic, frightening world conditions that would include wars, pestilences, earthquakes and increased lawlessness. Also Jesus said: “There will be food shortages.” (Matt. 24:3-14; 2 Tim. 3:1-5) How evident these conditions are in the world today! All together, these things mean that we have now reached the “time of the end,” the time of Christ’s second presence, when God soon will destroy this wicked system of things.
However, there are now bright prospects for those who take the time to learn God’s will and do it. They can confidently expect preservation, as the Bible promises: “Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:17) Think of it! Surviving when God brings to an end this wicked world.
Then, in God’s new system, life will not be a long, hard struggle for existence. God’s blessing on man’s labors will be evident. The joy-yielding work of making disciples of people of all nations and of building up the Christian organization will be extended soon to include a literal building program. The Bible promise is: “They will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage.” What a pleasure it will be to work when the benefits of one’s labors can be so enjoyed! Earth’s inhabitants then “will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance; because they are the offspring made up of the chosen ones of Jehovah, and their descendants with them.”—Isa. 65:21, 23.
At that time food will no longer be scarce, as it is in so many places today. Yes, God’s new system will usher in a time of plenty! During the reign of King Solomon of old God’s people enjoyed a time of plenty. This is prophetic of an earth-wide prosperity soon to be realized, as the Bible foretells: “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.”—Ps. 72:16; Matt. 12:42.
Truly, what a fine time that will be to live! The new system will certainly fulfill the promise given through the psalmist, who said of the loving Creator: “You are opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.”—Ps. 145:16.
A Time for Action
Clearly, this is not the time to become loaded down with the cares of this life and to concentrate all efforts on material interests. Time is fast running out for this wicked system of things! It is, therefore, urgent that we do not make material food our chief concern in life. Rather, if we truly want life, we need to heed Jesus’ counsel: “Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for life everlasting.”—John 6:27.
This admonition is of particular import at this time when people the world over are so engrossed in providing for themselves the daily necessities. Yet, no matter how busy you may be in such pursuits, it is absolutely vital that you also allow time to take in spiritual food. You simply cannot live much longer without this knowledge of God! Why not, then, accept the invitation of Jehovah’s witnesses to help you become acquainted with the will of Jehovah God and his glorious purposes for mankind. The amount of time you spend in this will prove to be very small in comparison to the rewards and blessings that will follow.
Really, how happy will be your lot if you put your trust, not in material food, but in the great Provider of food, Jehovah God! If you do that, you will be in line to experience his protective care during this old system’s destruction, now but a few short years away. Then you will enjoy life to the full in a cleansed earth where ‘Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples a banquet of well-oiled dishes.’—Isa. 25:6.