How God Has Actively Shown His Care
JEHOVAH GOD has not left mankind to grope around blindly for relief, with no sure hope of finding it. Thousands of years ago he began revealing his purpose and causing that revelation to be written down as his Word, his message for all mankind.
We have that message today in the Bible, God’s inspired Word. In it we can learn what kind of person Jehovah God is, what his qualities are, how he deals with people, what standards he goes by. From its prophecies we can learn what he is determined to do and what course we can take for our own future protection and good.
Within the pages of the Bible we find abundant evidence of God’s care and interest in all mankind. We find that he respects the dignity of every individual; that he does not want forced service or worship but desires willing service from hearts moved by love. (Deut. 30:15, 16) His Word shows there is no difference in God’s eyes between people of different nationalities, races or social orders. Anyone choosing to do so can serve him and receive great blessings for himself and his family.—Acts 10:34, 35.
Consider some of the ways in which the Bible reveals that Jehovah God showed his keen interest in all mankind and his blessing of those who did put trust and faith in him.
Dealings with Abraham Show that God Is Not Racist
Abraham, the father of both the Jewish race and the Arabic races, put faith in Jehovah God’s word and willingly served him. Because of this, God blessed Abraham and his family. So much did God appreciate Abraham’s faith that he determined to use a nation springing from one branch of Abraham’s family in a special way, to represent Him and His worship in the earth. He gave this nation, descended from Abraham’s grandson Jacob or Israel, his laws. He established them firmly in the land called Canaan. (Deut. 4:7, 8) Also, by means of this nation God kept his name before the peoples of the earth, and through that nation he brought forth his Messiah, the one anointed to act as mankind’s Redeemer.—Gal. 3:24; 4:4.
Was this simply a case of favoring a certain nation? As Creator of all, why should God confine his goodness to one nation? Far from selfish favoritism, he actually was laying a preliminary foundation for ‘blessing all families of the earth.’ (Gen. 12:3; 22:18) By his dealings with this one nation and by setting up a government over them, he revealed many personal qualities of himself as both God and King, his loving-kindness and mercy, as well as his firm principles of government. He laid the foundation for the future coming of the Messiah. The Messiah’s lineage or line of descent and an advance prophetic outline of his life were recorded and preserved to enable people to establish faith in him as one really sent from God. Yes, during these centuries of God’s dealing with that nation, the Bible was being written, presenting a factual, historical record along with prophecies and prophetic pictures and ‘shadows of better things to come,’ all for our benefit.—1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 10:1.
God’s Care Shown Toward an Imperfect People
When God selected that nation descended from Abraham, they were a minority group and enslaved. Through the prophet Moses, he told them: “It was not because of your being the most populous of all the peoples that Jehovah showed affection for you so that he chose you, for you were the least of all the peoples. But it was because of Jehovah’s loving you, and because of his keeping the sworn statement that he had sworn to your forefathers, that Jehovah brought you out with a strong hand, that he might redeem you from the house of slaves.” (Deut. 7:7, 8) Thereby God could show not only that he appreciates and rewards faithful service and devotion, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob showed, but also that he is a keeper of his word.—Deut. 7:9.
That nation had every reason to believe in God’s care for them. Many times they were brought under murderous attack and faced overwhelming odds. As long as they put their trust in him, Jehovah came to their rescue. (Judg. chap. 7; 2 Chron. 14:9-15) Even when the nation turned away from God and committed serious sin, God exercised patience and mercy toward them. He disciplined them severely on occasion, but, when they turned back to him, he forgave and blessed them, giving them prosperity, health and peace. (Jer. 7:13, 14; 30:18, 21, 22) His fifteen-centuries-long record of dealings with them is one of amazing long-suffering and endurance of human imperfection, backsliding and sheer obstinacy.
Finally Israel completely rebelled against Jehovah God, rejecting his Son and turning this one over to the Roman governor for execution. In spite of all of this, God kept sending his servants to them and declaring the good news to them exclusively for another three and a half years. Only then did he bring to an end his special care of them and begin sending his messengers to all the Gentile peoples of earth. (Acts chap. 10) His purpose in using Israel as his particular instrument had been completed and the nation’s special relationship with him ceased; yet individuals from among that nation could always gain his favor and blessing by becoming obedient to his Word and showing faith in his provisions.—Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28.
By these dealings God showed that he does indeed care and, in fact, has great love for those who serve him. He demonstrated what he will do if people sincerely listen to him. The law he gave that nation was so fine that, even though keeping it very imperfectly, they remained an independent nation for some nine centuries.
God’s Care for All the Nations
During all this time, God did not forget the other nations. Speaking to a crowd of idol-worshiping Gentiles in the Asian city of Lystra, the apostle Paul urged them to “turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.” He then said: “In the past generations [God] permitted all the nations to go on in their ways, although, indeed, he did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts to the full with food and good cheer.” (Acts 14:15-17) God has kept on giving that “witness” even until our day.
God’s concern for all human creatures is strikingly manifest in his dealings with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. These had sunk into extreme debauchery. God said: “The cry of complaint about Sodom and Gomorrah, yes, it is loud, and their sin, yes, it is very heavy.” (Gen. 18:20) Evidently neighboring peoples were shocked and grieved at the corrupt conduct and cried out to God. He respected their dismayed attitude and their right to be free from the danger that the debauchery of the Sodomites posed to them. For that reason he determined to destroy those two cities and associated ones. Even then, however, if as many as ten righteous men could have been found there, he would have spared the cities for the sake of the ten.—Gen. 18:22-33.
God’s dealing with Sodom and Gomorrah shows that he takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, but wants all to live, if they will just live respectfully toward their fellowman and in obedience to righteous principles. (Ezek. 33:11; Mic. 6:8) Moreover, God’s undeserved kindness and care are so great that he will bring back the people of Sodom by a resurrection, with opportunity to learn and turn around to the way of life, even as his Son stated.—Luke 10:11, 12; Matt. 11:24.
God’s Concern for Planet Earth as Man’s Home
God showed his real concern for his creation, the earth, in the laws he gave the nation of Israel. These provided for the utmost good to the land and to the people and animals living on it. For example, he commanded that every seventh year be a year of rest. All were free from agricultural labor, domestic animals included. Today, every farmer knows that for his ground to lie uncultivated for a time restores its fertility.—Lev. 25:2-7.
Besides this, every fiftieth year was not only such a sabbath year but also a “Jubilee” year, a year when all debts were canceled. All members of the nation who, due to financial reverses, had sold their land were restored to their own land inheritance, free of debt. Even those Israelites in bondage or servitude were set free. What far-reaching and considerate care! As long as the nation kept these laws there could never be an economic crisis such as today faces many nations.—Lev. 25:8-19.
Foregleams of a Coming Government for All the Earth
The inspired apostle writes at Romans 15:4: “For all the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” That hope centers around the coming righteous government that God has purposed for restoring mankind and this earth into full harmony with himself. As the same apostle points out, the laws that God gave through his government over ancient Israel were “a shadow of the good things to come,” foregleams of the benefits of a heaven-based government through which God will administer a program for earth’s inhabitants that will result in the lasting blessing of all those with love of righteousness in their hearts. (Heb. 10:1) Thus we read in the Bible at Ephesians 1:9, 10: “It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.”
Yes, to free mankind from the inheritance of sin, imperfection and death that our first father Adam left us, and to satisfy His own superior standards of justice, God had his own Son give his life to ransom us from our enslaved condition. (Rom. 3:23-26) As Romans 5:7, 8 states: “For hardly will anyone die for a righteous man; indeed, for the good man, perhaps, someone even dares to die. But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
For nearly six thousand years now mankind has labored and struggled. But now the Bible shows that a grand sabbath of rest for the earth and its inhabitants has drawn near. The Bible tells us that with Jehovah ‘a thousand years is as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) And his Word foretells a thousand-year-long day of rest from suffering, war, crime, famine and injustice under his Son’s Kingdom rule. Yes, it will be a thousand-year-long Jubilee when even the enslavement to sin, imperfection, sickness and death will be broken and the Kingdom’s willing subjects will come out of bondage and will enter into the long-awaited and “glorious freedom of the children of God.”—Rom. 8:19-21; Heb. 4:9, 11; Rev. 20:6.
Then, as foretold, “Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples . . . a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow, of wine kept on the dregs, filtered.” (Isa. 25:6) Then it will be true, in a global sense, that “they will not do any harm or cause any ruin . . . because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.”—Isa. 11:9.
Perhaps the most powerful example of God’s care is seen in those who today put their full trust in his promises of such a righteous government. They provide visible evidence of what his Word can accomplish in people, the change in their lives that the hope he gives can bring.
Millions of persons today have declared themselves for Jehovah God’s kingdom as the real and only hope for mankind. These are found in over 200 lands and islands of the sea. They represent a tremendously wide range of nationalities, languages, races and social backgrounds. Yet they are at unity, not divided up by politics, sectarianism, commercial competition, social discrimination or racial prejudice. They enjoy genuine peace and freedom from strife, associating together in true brotherhood. They face the same problems of daily life as all persons and have the same inherent imperfection; yet they find that the application of the wise principles in the Bible aids them to solve their problems and find real joy in living. They are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses because they bear witness of their faith in Jehovah God and testify to his purposes and his care for mankind.—Isa. 43:10, 11.
True, they have suffered persecution at the hands of dictators and powerful religious organizations in many lands. But they know why this comes and count it a privilege to be able to demonstrate their unbreakable adherence to the right standards of God’s Word and unswerving loyalty to his sovereignty. They have confidence like that of the inspired disciple James, who wrote: “Happy is the man that keeps on enduring trial, because on becoming approved he will receive the crown of life, which Jehovah promised to those who continue loving him.”—Jas. 1:12.
Love for neighbor has caused them to risk imprisonment, and even worse, in order to keep on extending to others the hope that they have found through the good news of God’s kingdom. They know God’s concern for mankind, that “he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance,” and they seek to show like concern.—2 Pet. 3:9.
The evidence of God’s care for mankind is therefore undeniable; it surrounds us on all sides. It is abundantly evident in the earth and its provisions for life that is interesting and rewarding, also in our own bodies with their amazing qualities.
But, most of all, it is evident in God’s Word—the explanation it gives as to the cause of mankind’s suffering, its revelation of God’s dealings with his creatures and his unchanging purpose to remedy all the damage done by spirit and human rebellion against his sovereignty, the changes it can make right now in people’s lives, the hope it gives of a resurrection from the dead.
God does care. The question that remains is, Do we? We may say we do, but what really proves whether we do?
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Now after some 6,000 years of human existence, according to Bible prophecies, a thousand-year Jubilee is near—a time of rest from suffering and oppression
1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000
MAN’S NOACHIAN DEATH OF MILLENNIAL
CREATION FLOOD JESUS CHRIST 1914 REIGN OF
33 C.E. CHRIST JESUS?
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By his dealings with Abraham, God was not showing partiality but, rather, was expressing his care for mankind; he promised to bless people of all nations through Abraham’s “seed”
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God’s use of one nation, ancient Israel, allowed for his showing the results of his unified direction and his righteous, principles of government