With humility consider others superior to you.—Phil. 2:3.
Is there someone in your congregation who rubs you the wrong way? Your initial feelings about that person may be negative and can become long-lasting if nothing is done to improve them. To improve relationships, even with enemies, the Bible recommends hospitality. (Prov. 25:21, 22) Extending hospitality to someone can reduce friction and soften hard feelings. It can bring to the surface lovable aspects of our guest’s personality, aspects that Jehovah saw when he drew that one to the truth. (John 6:44) If extended with love, an unexpected invitation can be the start of a completely changed relationship. How can you make sure that love is your honest motive? One way is by following the encouragement given in our day’s text. Finding ways that our brothers or sisters are superior to us—be it their faith, endurance, fearlessness, or some other Christian quality—will deepen our love for them and open the way for genuine and healing hospitality. w18.03 17 ¶18-19
[Jehovah] does not desire anyone to be destroyed.—2 Pet. 3:9.
One of the greatest tests of obedience that some parents have involves their relationship with a disfellowshipped child. Consider the example of a mother whose disfellowshipped daughter left home. The mother admits: “I looked for loopholes in our publications so that I could spend time with my daughter and my granddaughter.” She adds: “But my husband kindly helped me to see that our child was now out of our hands and that we must not interfere.” Some years later, the daughter was reinstated. “She deeply respects my husband and me because she knows that we obeyed God,” the mother says. If you have a disfellowshipped child, will you “trust in Jehovah with all your heart [and] not rely on your own understanding”? (Prov. 3:5, 6) Have faith, then, in Jehovah’s discipline and direction. Do so even when it pains you, the parent, to do what Jehovah says. Yes, work with God’s discipline, not against it. w18.03 31 ¶12-13
Go . . . and make disciples of people.—Matt. 28:19.
The Bible does not specify an age at which a person should get baptized. The Greek word translated “make disciples” at Matthew 28:19 has the sense of teaching with the intent of making pupils, or disciples. A disciple is one who learns and understands Jesus’ teachings and who is determined to observe them. Thus, the goal of all Christian parents should be to teach their children from infancy with the intention of helping them become baptized disciples of Christ. Granted, an infant would not qualify for baptism. However, the Bible shows that even relatively young children can grasp and appreciate Bible truths. For example, Timothy was a disciple who made the truth his own at a young age. His faith was unshakable. (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14, 15) By the time he was in his late teens or early 20’s, Timothy was a Christian disciple who could be considered for special privileges in the congregation.—Acts 16:1-3. w18.03 9 ¶4-5
Continue to be made new in your dominant mental attitude.—Eph. 4:23.
When we became servants of God, we made a transformation. This change affected every area of our life. And it was not over when we got baptized. Since we are not perfect, we all need to continue making changes. (Phil. 3:12, 13) Whether we are young or old, we can ask ourselves these questions: ‘Do I notice changes in myself that indicate that I am moving toward becoming a spiritually-minded person? Is my personality becoming Christlike? What do my disposition and conduct at Christian meetings reveal about the depth of my spirituality? What do my conversations show about my desires? What do my study habits, dress and grooming, or reaction to counsel reveal about me? How do I react when faced with temptations? Have I progressed beyond basics to maturity, becoming full-grown as a Christian?’ (Eph. 4:13) Thinking about our answers to these questions can help us measure our spiritual progress. w18.02 24 ¶4-5
Happy is the people whose God is Jehovah!—Ps. 144:15.
We live in a time of human history that is truly unique. As the Bible foretold, Jehovah is gathering “a great crowd . . . out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues.” Those gathered constitute “a mighty nation” of more than eight million happy people who “are rendering [God] sacred service day and night.” (Rev. 7:9, 15; Isa. 60:22) Never before have there been so many who have come to love both God and their fellow man. Yet, the inspired Scriptures also foretold that in our day, a misdirected kind of love characterized by selfishness would be shown by people who are alienated from God. The apostle Paul wrote: “In the last days . . . , men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, . . . lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.” (2 Tim. 3:1-4) This self-centered kind of love is inconsistent with Christian love; it stands in contrast with it. Indeed, such love fosters a selfish world that is “hard to deal with.” w18.01 22 ¶1-2
Those who seek Jehovah can understand everything.—Prov. 28:5.
Accurate knowledge gave Noah faith and godly wisdom, which protected him from harm, especially spiritual harm. For instance, because Noah “walked with the true God,” he did not walk, or associate, with the ungodly. He was not fooled by the materialized demons, who surely impressed faithless, gullible humans with their superhuman abilities—perhaps even to the point of becoming objects of idolatry. (Gen. 6:1-4, 9) Also, Noah knew that humans were told to reproduce and fill the earth. (Gen. 1:27, 28) Hence, he must have known that sexual unions between women and materialized spirits were both unnatural and wrong. That conclusion was no doubt confirmed when those unions produced abnormal offspring. In time, God warned Noah that He was going to bring a flood upon the earth. Noah’s faith in that warning moved him to build the ark, thus saving his household.—Heb. 11:7. w18.02 9 ¶8
By God’s undeserved kindness I am what I am.—1 Cor. 15:10.
If you have sinned seriously, Jehovah is ready to help you recover. But you must accept the help he provides through the congregation. (Prov. 24:16; Jas. 5:13-15) Do not delay—your everlasting future is at stake! But suppose that long after a transgression was forgiven, you still have pangs of conscience over past mistakes? There were evidently times when the apostle Paul was distressed over past misdeeds. He acknowledged: “I am the least of the apostles, and I am not worthy of being called an apostle, because I persecuted the congregation of God.” (1 Cor. 15:9) Jehovah accepted Paul for what he was, and He expected Paul to realize that about himself. If you are sincerely repentant of past sins and have confessed them to the extent necessary, you can rest assured that Jehovah will be merciful. So take Jehovah at his word, and accept his forgiveness!—Isa. 55:6, 7. w18.01 11 ¶17-18
Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.—Jas. 4:8.
Friendship with Jehovah involves two-way communication—listening and talking. Personal study of the Bible is the prime way we listen to Jehovah. That includes taking in knowledge by reading and meditating on God’s Word and Bible-based publications. As you do that, remember that study of the Bible is not a mere academic exercise. It should not be as if you were memorizing facts just to pass a school exam. Fruitful study is more like an expedition on which you can explore and discover new aspects of Jehovah’s personality. This will help you to draw close to God, and then he will draw close to you. Jehovah’s organization has provided a number of tools to help you put together an effective study program. For example, on jw.org, the study guides “What Does the Bible Really Teach?” can help you to build your conviction about your beliefs.—Ps. 119:105. w17.12 25 ¶8-9
They will not cause any harm or any ruin in all my holy mountain.—Isa. 11:9.
Notice that this tranquil state of affairs will prevail “because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah.” Since animals cannot learn about Jehovah, the spiritual fulfillment of this prophecy applies to people. (Isa. 11:6, 7) There are many who were once as fierce as wolves but who now live in peace with others. You can read some of their experiences in the series “The Bible Changes Lives,” found on jw.org. Formerly fierce people have “put on the new personality that was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.” (Eph. 4:23, 24) As people learn about God, they see the need to conform to his standards. They are then moved to make changes in their beliefs, attitudes, and conduct. Such changes are not easy but can be made because God’s spirit will help those who sincerely desire to do God’s will. w18.01 31 ¶15-16
Each one [will be made alive] in his own proper order.—1 Cor. 15:23.
Speaking of the heavenly resurrection, the Bible says that those who will experience that will be raised “each one in his own proper order.” We can trust that the earthly resurrection will likewise proceed in an orderly manner. That is an intriguing prospect. Will those who died recently be raised near the start of Christ’s Thousand Year Reign and be welcomed by loved ones who know them? Will faithful men of old with leadership abilities come back early to help organize God’s people in the new world? What about people who never served Jehovah? When and where will they be raised? Many questions could be asked. But, frankly, is there any real need to ponder those issues now? Is it not better just to wait and see how Jehovah handles those matters? In the meantime, we should bolster our faith in Jehovah, who through Jesus assured us that the dead in God’s memory will rise.—John 5:28, 29; 11:23. w17.12 12 ¶20-21
You wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as it is becoming in the Lord. You husbands, keep on loving your wives and do not be bitterly angry with them. You children, be obedient to your parents in everything.—Col. 3:18-20.
No doubt you will agree that applying Paul’s inspired counsel will still benefit husbands, wives, and children. Husbands are told: “Keep on loving your wives and do not be bitterly angry with them.” A loving husband honors his wife by listening to her opinions and by assuring her that he values what she says. (1 Pet. 3:7) Although he cannot always do as she asks, he often arrives at a more balanced decision by consulting her. (Prov. 15:22) A loving husband tries to gain his wife’s respect by earning it rather than demanding it. A husband who loves his wife and children is more likely to have a family that happily serves Jehovah and wins the prize of life. w17.11 28 ¶12; 29 ¶15
Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception . . . of the world.—Col. 2:8.
The apostle Paul wrote his letter to Christians in Colossae evidently at the end of his first confinement in Rome, or about 60-61 C.E. He mentioned to them the importance of acquiring “spiritual comprehension.” (Col. 1:9) Paul further stated: “I am saying this so that no one may delude you with persuasive arguments. Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:4, 8) Paul went on to explain why some popular ideas were wrong and why worldly thinking may be appealing to imperfect people. For example, it may make a person feel wise and superior to others. The letter was aimed at helping the brothers to reject worldly thinking and wrong practices.—Col. 2:16, 17, 23. w17.11 20 ¶1
If . . . your hand or your foot makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you.—Matt. 18:8.
What might a Christian need to give up in order to continue to receive divine mercy? He must be prepared to give up even what is dear to him if it would put him in danger of falling into sin. (Matt. 18:9) If certain friends influence you to do things that displease Jehovah, will you cut off association with them? If you struggle to be moderate in your use of alcoholic beverages, are you willing to steer clear of situations that might tempt you to overdrink? If you battle sexually immoral desires, are you avoiding any movies, websites, or activities that may trigger unclean thoughts? Remember, any sacrifice we make to keep our integrity to Jehovah is worth it. Nothing stings more than feeling abandoned by him. At the same time, nothing is more satisfying than feeling his “everlasting loyal love.”—Isa. 54:7, 8. w17.11 11 ¶12
This is the curse that is going out . . . , because everyone who steals . . . has gone unpunished.—Zech. 5:3.
Did you notice at Zechariah 5:4 that “the curse . . . [would] enter into the house of the thief . . . and it [would] remain inside that house and consume it”? Jehovah’s adverse judgment cannot be kept out by bars and locks. It can penetrate any hiding place to uncover wrongdoing among Jehovah’s people. Even if a person is able to conceal thievery from authorities, employers, elders, or parents, he cannot hide it from God, who guarantees that every theft will be exposed. (Heb. 4:13) How refreshing it is to associate with people who are ever conscious of being honest “in all things”! (Heb. 13:18) All forms of stealing are offensive to Jehovah. We view it as an honor to live up to Jehovah’s high moral standard, maintaining conduct that in no way brings reproach on his name. Thus, we may succeed in escaping Jehovah’s judgment against those who deliberately violate his law. w17.10 22 ¶6-7
Earnestly [endeavor] to maintain the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace.—Eph. 4:3.
We do everything in our power to maintain peace with our brothers, even when we feel that we have been misunderstood or treated unfairly. (Rom. 12:17, 18) An apology can help to repair hurt feelings, but it must be sincere. Peace is especially vital in a marriage. A husband and a wife should not pretend to love each other in public but then use the silent treatment, cruel words, or physical violence to hurt each other in private. We must also be ready to forgive freely. We forgive by pardoning someone who has offended us and by letting go of our resentment toward him. For our forgiveness to be genuine, we must control our thinking so that we do “not keep account of the injury.” (1 Cor. 13:4, 5) If we were to harbor resentment or hold a grudge, we would risk permanently damaging our relationship not only with our brother or sister but also with Jehovah.—Matt. 6:14, 15. w17.10 10 ¶14-15
You will have to know that Jehovah of armies has sent me to you.—Zech. 6:15.
How did Zechariah’s message affect the Jews in his day? Jehovah had guaranteed stability and protection for their work. His assurance that the temple would be built must have brought hope to their tired hearts. But how would just a few accomplish so much work? Zechariah’s next words remove any remaining fear or doubt. In addition to the support of faithful ones like Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, God tells of many others who would “come and take part in building the temple of Jehovah.” Confident of divine backing, the Jews quickly swing into action, resuming their building work despite the ban by the Persian king. Soon Jehovah removes the mountainlike obstacle of the official ban, and the temple is completed in 515 B.C.E. (Ezra 6:22; Zech. 4:6, 7) The words of Jehovah, however, describe things far greater for our day. w17.10 29 ¶17
Be courageous . . . and go to work.—1 Chron. 28:20.
Solomon was instructed to oversee one of the most important construction projects of all time—that of the temple in Jerusalem. The building was to be “exceedingly magnificent, so that its fame and beauty [would] be known in all lands.” More important, the temple would be “the house of Jehovah the true God.” Jehovah directed that Solomon be the overseer of this project. (1 Chron. 22:1, 5, 9-11) King David was confident of God’s support, but Solomon was “young and inexperienced.” Would he have the courage to take on the task of building the temple? Would his youth and inexperience be an obstacle? To succeed, Solomon would need to be courageous and go to work. If Solomon did not prove to be courageous, fear could paralyze him, and inactivity would be worse than failure. Like Solomon, we need help from Jehovah to be courageous and complete the work. w17.09 28 ¶1-2; 29 ¶4-5
The word of our God endures forever.—Isa. 40:8.
Can you imagine what your life would be like without the Bible? You would have no reliable advice for day-to-day living. You would not have satisfying answers to questions about God, life, and the future. And you would not know of Jehovah’s past dealings with the human family. Thankfully, we do not face such a bleak situation. Jehovah has provided us with his Word, the Bible. And he has guaranteed that its message will endure forever. The apostle Peter quoted Isaiah 40:8. That verse does not specifically refer to the Bible as we know it; yet, the inspired words apply by extension to the Bible’s message. (1 Pet. 1:24, 25) Although it has not always been easy, over the centuries sincere individuals have persevered in translating and distributing the Scriptures. Their desire was in harmony with God’s will that “all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”—1 Tim. 2:3, 4. w17.09 18 ¶1-2
You are his wife. So how could I commit this great badness and actually sin against God?—Gen. 39:9.
Many young Christians face a trial like Joseph’s. (Gen. 39:7) Consider Kim. Most of her classmates were sexually active, and after a typical weekend, they boasted of their latest sexual encounters. Kim had no such stories to tell. She admits that being different at times made her feel “abandoned and alone” and that her peers considered her stupid because she did not date. Yet, Kim was wise enough to know that among many youths the temptation to engage in sex is great. (2 Tim. 2:22) Schoolmates often asked whether she was still a virgin. That gave her the opportunity to explain why she would not engage in sex. We are proud of young Christians who are determined to resist pressure to share in sexual immorality, and Jehovah is proud of them too! w17.09 4 ¶8; 5 ¶10
Do not become upset and turn to doing evil.—Ps. 37:8.
People who are quick-tempered often express their anger with abusive speech. Obviously, this old personality trait cannot contribute to a happy family life. For good reason, the Bible warns against anger, abusive speech, and screaming. (Eph. 4:31) Sadly, such conduct often escalates into violence. The world may view angry behavior as normal, but it dishonors our Creator. Many had to strip off these harmful ways before being able to clothe themselves with the new personality. (Col. 3:8-10) The practice of lying is also a trait of the old personality. For example, it is common for people to lie on tax returns or to lie to avoid taking responsibility for their sins. By contrast, Jehovah is “the God of truth.” (Ps. 31:5) Therefore, he requires that “each one” of his worshippers “speak truth with his neighbor” and “not lie.” (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9) Thus, we must tell the truth even if it may be embarrassing or inconvenient.—Prov. 6:16-19. w17.08 18 ¶3, 5; 20 ¶12-13, 15
His word runs swiftly.—Ps. 147:15.
Today, Jehovah guides us with his Word, the Bible. And “his word runs swiftly” in that he readily gives us spiritual direction when we need it. Think about how you benefit from reading the Bible, examining the publications of “the faithful and discreet slave,” watching JW Broadcasting, visiting jw.org, talking with the elders, and associating with fellow Christians. (Matt. 24:45) Have you not seen that Jehovah is swift to provide you with his guidance? The psalmist knew how favored God’s ancient people were. They were the only nation given God’s “word” and “his regulations and judgments.” (Ps. 147:19, 20) Today, we are blessed to be the only ones on earth called by God’s name. Knowing Jehovah and having his Word at work in our lives, we have come to enjoy a privileged relationship with him. Like the writer of Psalm 147, do you not have many good reasons to cry out “Praise Jah!” and to encourage others to do the same? w17.07 20 ¶15-16; 21 ¶18
No man serving as a soldier involves himself in the commercial businesses of life, in order to gain the approval of the one who enrolled him as a soldier.—2 Tim. 2:4.
Jesus’ followers today, including an army of over one million full-time ministers, apply Paul’s counsel above to the extent that their circumstances allow. Resisting the pressures of advertising and the world around them, they remember the principle: “The borrower is a slave to the lender.” (Prov. 22:7) Satan would like nothing better than to have us spend all our time and energy as slaves to his commercial world. Some decisions could keep us in financial bondage for years. Huge home mortgages, lingering student loans, expensive car payments, even extravagant weddings can result in great financial pressure. We demonstrate practical wisdom when we simplify our life and reduce debt and expenses, setting ourselves free to slave for God rather than for today’s commercial system.—1 Tim. 6:10. w17.07 10 ¶13
I consider every instruction from you to be right; I hate every false path.—Ps. 119:128.
Jehovah is the rightful Sovereign of the universe. He exercises his authority with perfect justice. He declares: “I am Jehovah, the One showing loyal love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I take delight.” (Jer. 9:24) He does not look to any written code of laws made by imperfect men as a basis for determining what is just and fair. His perfect sense of justice emanates from his own being, and on that basis, he provided written laws for humans. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of [his] throne,” so we can be confident that all of his laws, principles, and decisions are righteous. (Ps. 89:14) In contrast, despite his allegation that Jehovah’s sovereignty is deficient, Satan has been unable to produce a world wherein justice always prevails. w17.06 28 ¶5
O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, . . . your words are truth.—2 Sam. 7:28.
Jehovah is the God of truth. (Ps. 31:5) As a generous Father, he shares divine truths with those who fear him. From the time that we first heard the truth, we have had the opportunity to collect truths from his Word, the Bible, from our Christian publications, and from our conventions, assemblies, and weekly meetings. Over time, we develop what Jesus described as a “treasure store” of old and new truths. (Matt. 13:52) Jehovah will help us to collect precious new truths into our “treasure store” if we search for them as for hidden treasures. (Prov. 2:4-7) How do we do that? We must develop good personal study habits and do careful research in God’s Word and in our publications. This will help us to discover truths that may be “new” in the sense that we did not know them before. (Josh. 1:8, 9; Ps. 1:2, 3) Yes, we must be eager to enrich our own treasure store of divine truths. w17.06 12 ¶13-14
You will call me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.—Jer. 29:12.
A young single brother, whom we will call Eduardo, spoke of his concerns with Stephen, an older married elder. Eduardo had been thinking about what we read at 1 Corinthians 7:28: “Those who [marry] will have tribulation in their flesh.” He asked, “What is this ‘tribulation,’ and how would I deal with it if I marry?” Before addressing that question, Stephen asked Eduardo to consider something else that the apostle Paul wrote, namely, that Jehovah is “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials [“tribulation,” ftn.].” (2 Cor. 1:3, 4) Jehovah is indeed a loving Father, and he comforts us when we face difficulties. You may personally have had experiences in which God provided you with support and guidance, often through his Word. We can be sure that he wants the best for us, as he did for his servants in the past.—Jer. 29:11. w17.06 4 ¶1-2
Jehovah is protecting the foreign residents.—Ps. 146:9.
More than material assistance, our refugee brothers need spiritual and emotional support. (Matt. 4:4) Elders can help by obtaining literature in their language and by helping them contact brothers who speak their language. Many refugees have been torn away from their tight-knit extended families, communities, and congregations. They need to sense Jehovah’s love and compassion among their fellow Christians. Otherwise, they may be drawn to unbelieving relatives or compatriots who can relate to their culture and experiences. (1 Cor. 15:33) By making them feel fully accepted in the congregation, we have the privilege to share with Jehovah in “protecting the foreign residents.” Refugees may not have the option of returning to their homeland as long as their oppressors remain in power. Also, many have been traumatized by what they have experienced. Ask yourself, ‘If I were in their position, how would I like to be treated?’—Matt. 7:12. w17.05 6 ¶15-16
The love of the greater number will grow cold.—Matt. 24:12.
Succumbing to discouragement can weaken our faith and cause our love for God to grow cold. In this wicked system controlled by Satan, all of us at times face discouraging circumstances. (1 John 5:19) Perhaps we are presently confronted with problems caused by old age, poor health, or economic pressures. Or we may be struggling with feelings of inadequacy, with unfulfilled expectations, or with personal failings. Yet, we should never allow such circumstances or feelings to convince us that Jehovah has left us. Instead, we should meditate on reassuring words about Jehovah’s enduring love for us. We find such words at Psalm 136:23, which states: “He remembered us when we were low, for his loyal love endures forever.” Indeed, Jehovah’s loyal love for his servants is constant. Therefore, we can be sure that he hears our “pleas for help” and responds to them.—Ps. 116:1; 136:24-26. w17.05 18 ¶8
If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.—Matt. 6:15.
As shown at Galatians 2:11-14, Peter gave in to the snare of fear of man. (Prov. 29:25) Despite his firsthand knowledge of Jehovah’s thinking on the matter, Peter feared the opinion of the circumcised Jewish members of the congregation in Jerusalem. The apostle Paul confronted Peter in Antioch and exposed his hypocrisy. (Acts 15:12; Gal. 2:13, ftn.) Evidently, Peter humbly accepted Paul’s corrective counsel. There is no indication in the Scriptures that he lost his privileges. In fact, Peter was later inspired to write two letters that became part of the Bible. Jesus, who is head of the congregation, continued to use him. (Eph. 1:22) Members of the congregation thus had an opportunity to imitate Jesus and his Father by extending forgiveness. It is to be hoped that no one allowed himself to be stumbled by an imperfect man’s mistake. w17.04 27 ¶16-18
By reducing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, [God] condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly people of things to come.—2 Pet. 2:6.
When Jehovah brought destruction on that entire region, he was doing more than just putting an end to the wrongdoing there. He was “setting a pattern for ungodly people of things to come.” Just as Jehovah put an end to all the immoral activities back then, so he will put an end to similar wrongdoing today when he brings judgment against this present system of things. What will replace wrong activities? The Paradise earth will be bustling with happy activity. Think of the thrilling work of turning this planet into a paradise or of building homes for ourselves and our loved ones. Consider the prospect of welcoming back millions from the dead and helping to educate them about Jehovah’s ways as well as the history of his dealings with mankind. (Isa. 65:21, 22; Acts 24:15) Our lives will be full of activity that will contribute to our joy and to Jehovah’s praise! w17.04 12 ¶11-12
Whoever comes out of the door of my house . . . will become Jehovah’s.—Judg. 11:31.
When making this vow, Jephthah might well have known that his daughter could be the one who would come out of his house to meet him. Even so, it was an emotionally difficult situation for father and daughter—a real sacrifice for both of them. When he saw her, Jephthah “ripped his garments” and said that his heart was broken. His daughter ‘wept over her virginity.’ Why? Jephthah had no son, and his only daughter would never be able to marry and bear him grandchildren. There would be no way to pass on the family name and legacy. That was not the most important consideration, though. Jephthah said: “I have opened my mouth to Jehovah, and I am unable to turn back.” And his daughter replied: “Do to me as you have promised.” (Judg. 11:35-39) These were loyal individuals who would never have thought of breaking a vow that was made to the Most High God—no matter what it cost them personally.—Deut. 23:21, 23; Ps. 15:4. w17.04 4 ¶5-6
I will wait patiently.—Mic. 7:7, ftn.
Joseph was the victim of some outrageous injustices. First, his brothers sold him into slavery when he was about 17 years old. Then, he was falsely accused of trying to rape his master’s wife and ended up in irons in prison. (Gen. 39:11-20; Ps. 105:17, 18) For his righteous actions, he seemed to be punished rather than blessed. But after 13 years, everything changed very quickly. He was released from prison and promoted to the second-highest position in Egypt. (Gen. 41:14, 37-43; Acts 7:9, 10) Did the injustices make Joseph bitter? Did he lose confidence in his God, Jehovah? No. What helped Joseph to wait patiently? It was his faith in Jehovah. He saw Jehovah’s hand in matters. Notice how this is reflected in what he told his brothers: “Although you meant to harm me, God intended it to turn out well and to preserve many people alive, as he is doing today.” (Gen. 50:19, 20) Ultimately, Joseph realized that the wait was worth it. w17.08 4 ¶6; 6 ¶12-13