“Droop Not Your Hands”
Delivered by the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society at 5:45 p.m., Sunday, August 6, 1950, as the closing feature of the 8-day Theocracy’s Increase Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at the Yankee Stadium, New York city.
1. How has it been demonstrated God has a people on earth called by his name? Who do they prove to be?
THROUGH years of world-wide publicity efforts since A.D. 1914, through years of hard work pushed to the ends of the earth, through years of international reproach and persecution, and through years of divine protection, preservation and increase, it has been definitely established before all mankind that Jehovah God has a people in the earth who are called by his name. This has startled and alarmed all Christendom. For sixteen centuries she has professed to be the favored organization of God. Yet it has not been Christendom that has brought God’s name to the fore. She has not made plain what his marvelous works in this critical time are nor what his blessed purpose for the immediate future of mankind is. She has not stood up for his side of the controversy that must now be settled: The rule of the universe by Jehovah God or world domination by Satan, which? It has been a despised and persecuted people that has been used by divine providence to do these things, Jehovah’s witnesses! And their work is not yet done. It takes on greater importance as the world situation grows more critical, and it will be blessed with yet larger results by God’s favor.
2. What active force is today at work on earth? and how? Whence does it spring?
2 Who can deny that the invincible spirit of Jehovah God is now at work in the earth as it was in ancient times? It has enveloped the people who bear his name and clothed them like a garment to identify them before all the world. That spirit is the active force issuing forth from the Kingdom which the Most High God established in the heavens in 1914 in the hands of Jesus Christ his Son, and that spirit must now be reckoned with by all the nations. The activity and onward-sweeping movement of the witnesses who exalt the name of Jehovah God spring from him. It is according to his will and therefore has his blessing. It could not have come about otherwise. By establishing his kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ in 1914 he raised the Signal of hope for all peoples. All of these can now turn to it, just as the faces of all the Israelites in the wilderness who had been bitten by deadly serpents turned to the brazen serpent which Moses raised on a pole that they might be healed from the venom of death.—Num. 21:4-9; John 3:14, 15; 8:28.
3. To oppose the Kingdom what did Satan stir up, and yet how did God turn a message of hope to the peoples?
3 In opposition to God’s newly established kingdom Satan the Devil stirred up the wrath of the nations of earth in the first total war for world domination. Taking advantage of that war of 1914-1918 he subjected God’s witnesses to oppressive measures. Yet from 1919 forward Jehovah delivered, revived and regathered his consecrated people that they might publish the Kingdom message to all nations before the world’s destruction at Armageddon. In this way he has turned to the peoples of all nations the new message of hope. As the prophecy of Zephaniah 3:9 foretold, he has ‘turned to the peoples a pure language’.
4. What age-long prayer has God answered? Whom has he thus drawn together?
4 Our heavenly Father has answered the age-long prayer for his kingdom. He has set up the Kingdom separate and distinct from religious Christendom and higher than all earthly governments, yes, higher than the “tower of Babel” skyscrapers of the United Nations capital in New York city. This potent fact has influenced the speech of God’s people and acted as a corrective. It has been the basis of the purifying of their language as his witnesses. It has drawn them to the heavenly Signal, the Kingdom, and has unified them all over the earth, in utter contempt of the racial, color, social, language, political, national, and religious differences and divisions of this world.
5. To what have the dispersed ones come? How as suppliants?
5 No matter how far off they have been dispersed over the earth, the pure language of the Kingdom message has sounded out like a trumpet blast at a king’s coronation and has reached their ears and turned these dispersed ones to the Kingdom. So from all places they have assembled to it as one people by uniting their hearts to the Kingdom. They have come as “suppliants”, making supplication for the favor of Jehovah God and his reigning King Jesus Christ, and their supplications have risen like an incense that is sweet-smelling to God. Speaking of this very time in which the worldly nations and kingdoms have been gathered together to be consumed by God’s fury and indignation, he gave the prophecy that has now come to pass: “Then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed [ones], shall bring mine offering.”—Zeph. 3:9, 10, AS.
6. What do we have that demonstrates such coming of His dispersed ones?
6 In proof of this we could speak of the united activities of Jehovah’s witnesses today in 106 nations under 64 Branch offices of the Watch Tower Society, and with 357,889 active Kingdom publishers reporting in the month of April, 1950, not including those uncounted ones in Russia and Yugoslavia. However, no more stupendous demonstration of this united coming of God’s dispersed ones could have been given, all concentrated in one small locality, than the Theocracy’s Increase Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York city, for the eight days of July 30 to August 6, 1950. For among the 89,451 delegates attending it there were representatives not only from “beyond the rivers of Ethiopia” but also from seventy other nations. The offerings of praise and of devotion to God’s kingdom which they brought were only a token of the larger offerings made by their fellow witnesses in all the lands they represented.
THEIR REFUGE AND THEIR KIND OF SPEECH
7. What kind of people are Jehovah’s witnesses, just as foretold by the prophecy?
7 It was to be expected that Christendom and the rest of the world would look down upon them. But Jehovah’s witnesses never did claim to be religiously prominent or socially high or politically powerful in this world. The Most High God of glory does not need such kind of persons to contribute any glory, money or influence to him. What is more, he did not promise to gather such kind of persons and blend them into one people by means of his “pure language”. Jehovah’s witnesses are persons who were once transgressors like the rest of the world, but their transgressions have now had divine forgiveness through Christ. Comparatively, they are a “little people”, an afflicted, poor and humble people in the midst of an alien world. But that just fits the description of those whom the God of glory promised to assemble round his Kingdom Signal on the heavenly Mount Zion. Pointing to this “day of Jehovah”, he said: “In that day shalt thou not be put to shame for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me; for then I will take away out of the midst of thee thy proudly exulting ones, and thou shalt no more be haughty in my holy mountain. But I will leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall take refuge in the name of Jehovah.”—Zeph. 3:11, 12, AS.
8. Why do they take refuge in Jehovah’s name?
8 Their refuge is an outstanding feature about them. The name of Jehovah has been practically a lost name in this world, even in Christendom. Today the tendency of religious clergy who seek worldly recognition and respect is to get away from that name as being the cognomen of a tribal god of a despised people. No other name has borne more reproach and vilification, from Christendom in particular, than the name of Jehovah since his witnesses publicly chose in 1931 to be marked by it. But his witnesses know from the Holy Bible what that name stands for. They know all the glorious history connected with it. They know all the divine promises, covenants and prophecies that have been given and fulfilled over that name. They know, too, that every last one of the nations of this world will yet be made to know that name as belonging to the Supreme and Omnipotent God of the universe. Therefore they have enough faith, enough Christian respect, and enough childlike confidence to “take refuge in the name of Jehovah”. To them it stands for the only Rightful Government, for God’s Fatherhood of Jesus Christ the King, for our eternal deliverance from Satan’s world, and for our everlasting life in the unbroken peace, health and happiness of an enduring new world. Therefore we consider it a privilege to bear the reproaches which the Devil casts upon that name. We count it an honor to call upon that name, sounding it forth in praiseworthy language to all who long for knowledge of the true God.
9. Why do the remnant of Israel no longer work unrighteousness?
9 At this time there is only a small remnant of spiritual Israelites. (Gal. 6:16) These anointed followers of Jesus Christ form the core of the visible Theocratic organization of Jehovah God on earth today. To show the results which prove that this remnant had the pure language turned to them from 1919 onward, the prophecy says: “The remnant of Israel shall not work unrighteousness, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: but they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” (Zeph. 3:13, Da) Unrighteousness, lies, deceit, and molestation and disturbance of peace and security will be no part of the coming new world. They have no place now in the Theocratic organization which has had its speech purified and which is the only visible organization that will survive this world’s end into the clean new world. The remnant of spiritual Israelites can no longer follow the lawlessness, nor the self-willed irregularity, such as marked the time when there was no king in Israel and when everyone did what seemed right in his own eyes. We now recognize that the Kingdom has been set up and that now we have a reigning King. This certainly makes a difference, and so we take orders from our King. We are Theocratic.—Judg. 18:1; 19:1; 21:25
10. Why is no deceitful tongue found in their mouths, and how do they feed and lie down?
10 Our speech has been cleansed of the traditional religious lies which we picked up and became tainted with during our captivity in Babylonish Christendom, and we have chosen to “let God be true”, though it makes every religious instructor in Christendom a liar. The remnant of spiritual Israel are now out to preach the truth which is in God’s Word. And so we are proclaiming the good news of his Government, and we have renounced a deceitful tongue. We are not peddlers of God’s Word who misrepresent their product in order to deceive their customers and make sales for self-enrichment at the people’s expense. We boldly declare the truth and let its simple purity recommend the truth to every honest seeker of truth and right. We fear God, to whom we are responsible, and hence we trust in his protection and, like sheep under his Right Shepherd Jesus Christ, we feed in green spiritual pastures and lie down without fear of being molested by disturbers within the organization. The spiritual Israelites today may be only a remnant, but now the Right Shepherd of Jehovah gathers to our side a great flock of “other sheep” to enjoy the blessings of Theocratic organization with us.—John 10:11, 14, 16, NW.
THE ROYAL PRESENCE BARS EVIL
11, 12. Who should sing, shout, be glad and rejoice, and why?
11 What if the world does not love us, but oppresses and persecutes us? With conditions so marvelously changed to a flourishing Paradise state among God’s devoted people this is no time to be sad and mourn and lose all ambition. From millenniums past the inspired prophecy comes booming down to us: “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. Jehovah hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even Jehovah, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not fear evil any more.”—Zeph. 3:14, 15, AS.
12 Yes, from the capital city on down to the lowest limits of the Theocratic organization; from the heavenly Mount Zion, where Jesus thrones as King, on down to the remnant of spiritual Israel and all the international “strangers” who have been gathered to us, it is a time to sing, aye, shout and be glad and rejoice with the whole heart. Just think of it: Jehovah God is in our midst. He, the Supreme Ruler of the universe, is our King! In 1914 he took his great power and began ruling as King toward our earth, where we spiritual Israelites and persons of good will are located. The kingdom of God, prayed for so many centuries, has at last been established; and in convincing demonstration of that fact Jehovah God has seated his anointed Son Jesus Christ on the royal throne to rule now and until the battle of Armageddon in the midst of his enemies. And in overwhelming proof that Jehovah now reigns on the heavens which are his throne, he has by his King Jesus Christ routed our great enemy from the heavens and cast Satan the Devil and all his demons down to his footstool the earth, to await destruction after a short period of time. (Rev. 12:1-13) So sing, rejoice!
13, 14. (a) Who is our King, and why? (b) How has he taken away our judgments, cast out our enemy, and freed us from fear?
13 We belong to Jehovah God by individually dedicating ourselves to him. His Son the Right Shepherd surrendered his human soul for us that he might purchase us; and we have acknowledged his rightful ownership of us. God has therefore every right to be our King and to establish himself as our King. With joy unspeakable we rejoice that to us he has revealed his Kingship since 1914. Him we will obey as Ruler rather than man, and his enthroned Son Jesus Christ we will have as our Leader rather than any totalitarian dictator.—Acts 5:29 and Matt. 23:10, NW.
14 Jehovah has accepted us as his worthy subjects. To that end he has taken away all his judgments which he held against us because of our having once been soiled, misguided and mistaught by the Babylonish world to which we had fallen captive. He has cleansed us from these worldly soils. He has put a pure speech in our mouths. He has clothed us with the garments of identification as his subjects and witnesses. He has rid the organization of his people of all untheocratic features and individuals. He has therefore lifted his curse from us; for we read: “And no more will there be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his slaves will render him sacred service, and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:3, 4, NW) And so he says: “Thou shalt not fear [or, see] evil any more.” (Zeph. 3:15, AS, margin) That means that Jehovah will manage his Theocratic organization from the top down, as he has been managing it from 1919 onward; and he will direct it in the ways of right-doing, so that never again will his displeasure be upon his organized people. Never again will evil and trouble be allowed to come upon them as a rebuke and punishment from him.
15. (a) Does that mean individuals will not come under adverse judgment? (b) So why should we stick to the organization, and how?
15 What a comfort this is, to know that Jehovah’s adverse judgment will no more be upon his organized people, now that he has turned them Theocratic! Oh, individuals from among us may become insubordinate and unruly and may stray away and come under His adverse judgment, resulting in their personal destruction. Jehovah has promised to clear out those who become haughty in their self-assumed importance and in their self-willed independent spirit: “for then I will take away out of the midst of thee thy proudly exulting ones, and thou shalt no more be haughty in my holy mountain.” (Zeph. 3:11, AS) Let those who think they can get along without the organization go their way. Let those who feel they have direct personal connections with God and are not bound by any Theocratic regulations pursue their course, thereby being gathered out of the organization by God’s angels, even though they do not appreciate that fact. On the other hand, let us show mature understanding of our relationship with our Creator in this time of the Kingdom. Let us be that poor humble people which the prophecy speaks about, and so may we stay in harmony and unity with the Theocratic organization Jehovah has built up. Let us loyally work with it and enjoy its blessings, help, protection and guidance in common with all those who faithfully stick to it. We want Jehovah to be our King, for he is the All-highest of the universe. We want God-rule, Theocracy, and we pray for its increase. And in accord with His rule we gladly follow the Leader he has anointed for us. “The King of kings and Lord of lords,” Jesus Christ. We invite others to follow with us.
16. What does the prophecy next call on us to do? Why should we obey?
16 Now at this late period of the world’s “time of the end” the united cry of all the Bible prophecies is for ACTION, fearless action, on the part of Jehovah’s Theocratic organization. “On that day,” says the prophecy, “shall Jerusalem be told, ‘Fear not, droop not your hands, O Sion.’” (Zeph. 3:16, Mo) Our Leader, Jesus Christ, who rules in heavenly Jerusalem, is not afraid of the Devil’s entire organization. He is a Lion for boldness and fearlessness. On the heavenly Mount Zion, where he has stood up in his authority, he does not droop his hands. He wields the royal scepter, the rod of his strength, the iron rod, and makes its significance felt out from Zion. It is for us, his subjects, to be willing in this day which we recognize to be that of his regal power. With Jehovah at last as Supreme King in our midst, and with such an undaunted Leader as He has given us in his Son Jesus Christ, why should we be afraid even faced with a world turning totalitarian? Let us not, then, be paralyzed with fear so that our hands droop helplessly in inaction. “Droop not your hands,” is the divine command in this day to Jehovah’s anointed remnant and their companions of good will. And why not?
17. Why should we not fear? How can we foil the purpose of persecution?
17 The prophecy inspires us to fearlessness and activity with our hands, by the words: “Jehovah thy God is in the midst of thee, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17, AS) Since we have our God in our midst as for us, who can be against us and succeed? No one! By our faithfulness to him we can foil the malicious purpose of the persecution directed against us. The enemy may forcibly take us into his power and hold us bound or restricted physically, but if we fearlessly continue to speak the pure language to all with whom we come in touch under even the most unfavorable circumstances, then God’s word or message of the Kingdom will not be bound. (2 Tim. 2:8, 9, NW) But our God is mighty to come to our rescue and to deliver us in his own time and manner. He now has great joy, and “the joy of Jehovah is your strength”.—Neh. 8:10, AS.
18. Why does he rejoice over his people? How does he rest in his love?
18 Remember that he will save his Theocratic organization whom he here addresses, and so let our desire for safety and deliverance spur us to adhere tightly to the organization. With all the loving joy of a devoted Husband Jehovah is rejoicing over his beloved “woman”, his Theocratic organization, because of its godly submission and obedience to him in the midst of an enemy world. And in loving his organized people he finds rest. He is not excited, disturbed, irritable, and suspicious, for joyfully he observes the unmistakable proofs of our love for him. There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety-nine self-righteous ones of Christendom who feel no need of repenting and returning to Jehovah God. (Luke 15:7, NW) He has restored his organized people to his love and has renewed her in his love. He is so happy that he is singing over them, shouting joyfully over them.
19. What big evidence did he give of this recently? How should we respond?
19 What an evidence of this there was in the blessed Theocracy’s Increase Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York, in 1950! There he imparted to his witnesses a song, not merely in their singing from a new songbook, but in filling their mouths more fully than ever before with the sublime “new song” of the Kingdom. One printed release followed after another: the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures; the enlarged Watchtower magazine, the new bound book “This Means Everlasting Life” both in English and in Spanish; the new booklets in English Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth? Evolution versus the New World, and Defending and Legally Establishing the Good News, besides the 25 other printed releases in 16 different languages. This rapid succession of spiritual gifts raised repeated shouts among his assembled people, and they are shouting forth the Kingdom message since then as at no time in the past. So, seeing that he rejoices thus over his organization, and since he rests in his love for it, let us individually give him no cause for uneasiness about us, but let us keep ourselves in God’s love.—Jude 21.
20, 21. For what did we once sorrow? In what respect can we no longer be reproached?
20 Time was, not only during the captive period of His witnesses during World War I, but also in the individual experiences of each one of us before we got the truth, when we longed sorrowfully for the one true God to gather us to his people, about whom there could be no mistake that they were His. And now in this “time of the end”, when we are at the threshold of the new world, he has gathered us to his organization in fulfillment of his promise: “I will gather them that sorrow for the solemn assembly, who were of thee; to whom the burden upon her was a reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all them that afflict thee; and I will save that which was lame, and gather that which was driven away; and I will make them a praise and a name, whose shame hath been in all the earth.”—Zeph. 3:18, 19, AS.
21 Our past sins under God’s disfavor held us from his organization. Also for our sins we were handed over to the enemy’s power. The enemy’s action held us captive and tried to prevent us from assembling to Jehovah’s exalted Signal on Mount Zion, where we could associate together and serve the Most High God at his temple in company with all his consecrated servants and subjects. But now Jehovah has proved himself our King and Savior by delivering us from the enemies’ power and bringing us together in solemn assembly, a most serious and high occasion indeed. The reproach of being a scattered and disorganized people, subject to the bossism and whims of this world, he has removed from us who represent his Theocratic organization. We can no longer be reproached as a man-made organization, following a human leader. Now we are Theocratically assembled and organized and have a Rightful Ruler over us, the King of eternity.
22. What holds us together as an indivisible people?
22 So, let the enemy, now robbed of his prey, continue to persecute. Our King gives us his word that in due time he will deal with those who smite us, reproach us and oppress us. For his own name’s sake he will do this. Never mind, then. The enemy will never again be able to break up our world-wide unity. Spread though we may be over all the earth among the many yet-existing nations, Jehovah is King over all the earth and he can be our common Supreme Ruler no matter where we are on this globe. His Kingship over us is what unites us. By turning to us his one “pure language”, and by his setting our hands to work in his united service, and by assembling us together in conventions and other gatherings, the God of peace and unity has welded us together more tightly. Through the common worship and faith which he has given us out of his One Book, the Bible, and through his one Theocratic organization, he has cemented us together in the unity of a new world people. He has deepened in us beyond erasure the consciousness that we are a people separate from this world and are Jehovah’s indivisible people. The love which he has instilled into us acts as a “perfect bond of union”, which the enemy can never break.—Col. 3:14, NW.
MADE TO BE A NAME AND A PRAISE
23. What reasons have we now for putting our hands to work?
23 You are engaged in a constructive work for the new world, which is now at the portals. This upbuilding work is the service to which the new world’s Creator has assigned us. You are pioneers of the New World! Always let ring in your ears the divine encouragement, “Fear not!” and, “Droop not your hands!” And oh! what constructive implements the heavenly Father has put into our hands, especially since the 1950 Theocratic assembly at New York! These implements were meant for work, for our use to the full. The field of action to which we go forth, and the future stretching ahead of us till Armageddon, are not the place and time for us to slack our hands, either through laziness or through fear. Know for certain: the time is short! Lift up your hands and put them to work with a will. Only if we fulfill the work for which God has gathered us will he grant us a share in the fulfillment of his precious promise: “At that time will I bring you in, and at that time will I gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring back your captivity before your eyes, saith Jehovah.”—Zeph. 3:20, AS.
24. How has he made us a name and praise among all the peoples?
24 Because we have not cowardly drooped our hands since he turned us from a captive state in 1919, he has vindicated this promise to us in a wondrous way. For the shame that we once bore, he has made Jehovah’s witnesses a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth. Not among the hardened worldlings who ridicule and who goatishly refuse the Kingdom message; but among the godly inclined peoples of all lands who sigh and cry for the religious, political, commercial and social abominations carried on in the land and who long for a heart-satisfying relationship with the one true God. To these Jehovah has sent his witnesses, speaking a pure language, a message which the sighing peoples have recognized as not from this unclean old world but from the God of Christianity, the Creator of the new heavens and the new earth. Eagerly and appreciatively they take up the message, the pure language, and they give praise to the name which his witnesses bear. They do good to these who represent Jehovah’s King Jesus. They seek meekness and righteousness and Jehovah’s favor, that they may be safely hid in the day of his expression of anger.—Zeph. 2:3.
25. So what course shall we pursue henceforth?
25 With hundreds of thousands this has already occurred. Who knows how many other hundreds of thousands are yet to have this occur with them before the battle of Armageddon? So never let the name of Jehovah suffer reproach because of anything vile that you personally do. Never let his praise be lessened or silenced because of laziness, fear or treachery on your part. Let your lives as well as your purged lips speak the pure language. The name of the wicked enemies who belong to this world will rot, but the name and praise of Jehovah’s witnesses will live forever on the luminous pages of eternity to God’s vindication. To the final work, then! “Let us not give up in doing what is right, for in due season we shall reap by not giving out.” (Gal. 6:9, NW) Till we reap the full share in the vindication of Jehovah’s name at his victory on Armageddon’s battlefield, “droop not your hands,” but raise them always in praise to him and his King.
Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Jehovah will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy power, in holy array.—Ps. 110:1-3, AS.