Comfort for Men Who Sigh and Cry
NEVER, in all of man’s miserable history, have world conditions brought greater agonizing sorrow on humanity than they do today. Every department of activity, every field of endeavor, every branch of society continues to sink deeper and deeper in the mire of corruption and sin. As a result, good upright people throughout the earth are sighing and mourning, and the proverb explains why: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man beareth rule, the people sigh.”—Prov. 29:2, AS, margin.
Political integrity in government has broken down in every department. Not only among petty local officials but also on the highest international level, within the inner circles of the supposedly sacred United Nations, deceit and wickedness abound. Even in the military establishments and law-enforcement agencies graft and corruption flourish. Sometimes wicked officials are voted out of office, other times a whole government is overthrown by revolution or, again, the people in their despair turn to military dictatorships or godless communism for relief. Yet the burdens and hardships upon their necks are not lightened in the least. “As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.”—Prov. 28:15.
Economically, conditions go from bad to worse. Honesty and fairness are unknown quantities in the business world. In their place lying, greed and deceit are looked upon as established ethics by the cruel eyes of commercialism. Price wars, taxation, artificial shortages, and many other vices work together to bring oppression and misery upon the people.
No longer is implicit confidence placed in the judicial courts, for many of their weighty decisions hang on the tiny threads of technicalities, and in some instances they “sell justice” to the highest bidder. Likewise faith in the school systems has been shattered. At a tender age children learn the ways of this world, and as they advance through the colleges and universities many prepare themselves for a lifetime career of “respectable” crime. Witness the recent scandals in high school dope traffic and collegiate sports. Socially, this world is more corrupt than ever before in history. Juvenile delinquents of the past generation grew up to become the present adult delinquents, who in turn breed and bring forth a crop of offspring that outdo their parents in unrestrained wickedness. In many cases all sacredness of the family has disappeared altogether, and divorce mills and abortion clinics flourish.
And what about the organized systems of religion? During this period when moral integrity and fidelity have constantly decreased, church membership has constantly increased. Proof this is that there is more churchianity and less Christianity. Proof too that the leaders of these religious systems are greatly responsible for the crime and wickedness now running wild. For hire the priests and ministers, by their traditions and doctrines of devils, make void Jehovah’s sacred Word, the Bible. As a result the people have turned away from God and his holy Code of Ethics and substituted the vain philosophies of so-called science. The whole crowd, the blind people and their blind guides, have fallen flat on their faces in a muddy ditch.—Matt. 15:14.
PEOPLE DIVIDED IN ATTITUDE
This is a frightful commentary on the present system of things; nevertheless it is an honest evaluation of conditions as they exist. It is as the prophet Isaiah declared when telling of Christendom’s prototype, Israel: “Ah! sinful nation, guiltladen people; brood of evildoers, children who deal corruptly; who have forsaken the LORD, and spurned the Holy One of Israel, and gone back in estrangement from him!” (Isa. 1:4, AT) Jeremiah also fittingly describes them, saying: “For among my people are found wicked men: they watch, as fowlers lie in wait; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxed rich. They are waxed fat, they shine: yea, they overpass in deeds of wickedness; they plead not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith Jehovah; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? Astonishment and horror is come to pass in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so.”—Jer. 5:26-31, AS, margin.
Of course, the wicked, who now prosper at the expense of others, “love to have it so.” They do not desire a change. Their unfortunate victims, on the other hand, fall into two classes: those who become bitter and cynical and turn to selfish fleshly pleasures in an effort to forget the suffering of fellow creatures and the terrible reproach upon God’s name brought by these wicked conditions; and those persons of good will, a great multitude of such among all classes, creeds and cults, who are deeply concerned and who lament and sorrow because of the present abominable conditions. The crying of this latter group is not because they are “sissies” unable to “grin and bear it”. Rather, it is because they have the same love for God’s righteous laws that moved the stouthearted psalmist to exclaim: “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.” (Ps. 119:136) These are the ones that are now blessed and comforted by God.
There is no question as to those making up this class of good-will persons, for they are given a special mark of identification. “And Jehovah said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem [the city called by God’s name and which well pictured Christendom today], and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry over all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.” After such marking work is completed, the prophecy says, the execution forces of Almighty God will move swiftly at Armageddon and will utterly destroy every man, woman and child who is not properly marked, that is, all who do not sigh and cry because of the wickedness committed in the earth.—Ezek. 9:2-5, AS.
HOW COMFORTED AND COUNSELED
The comfort that these mourning ones receive comes from “the God of all comfort”, the one “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those in any kind of tribulation through the comfort with which we ourselves are being comforted by God”.—2 Cor. 1:3, 4; 7:6; 2 Thess. 2:16, NW.
It is “through the comfort from the Scriptures” that Jehovah gives hope to those who are out of sympathy with this present system of things. (Rom. 15:4, NW) It is through the inspired Scriptures that Jehovah says: “Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” “Seek Jehovah, and ye shall live; . . . Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live; and so Jehovah, the God of hosts, will be with you, as ye say. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish justice in the gate.” “O ye that love Jehovah, hate evil.” (Zeph. 2:3; Amos 5:6, 14, 15; Ps. 97:10, AS) “Let your love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is wicked, cling to what is good.” “Let everyone mentioning the name of Jehovah renounce unrighteousness.”—Rom. 12:9; 2 Tim. 2:19, NW.
If one loves righteousness and hates evil, as this class of individuals do who are disgusted with the Devil’s setup in the world today, they will flee the filthy paths of unrighteousness and will walk along the beautiful highway leading to the glorious new world. The pure word of counsel is: “O man of God, flee from these things. But pursue righteousness, godly devotion, faith, love, endurance, mildness of temper.” “So, flee from the desires incidental to youth, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart.” “Keep yourselves free from every form of wickedness.”—1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Thess. 5:22, NW.
HOPE PLACED IN A NEW WORLD
Amid this world crisis a knowledge of Jehovah God and his purposes as revealed to those whom He comforts gives them a contentment and confidence and peace of mind not enjoyed by others. They are not unduly worried and fretful, and do not fuss and fume about current developments from day to day. They are not envious of the present prosperity of the wicked. Not impatient, they do not wrongfully charge God with being slow about uprooting violence in the earth. (2 Pet. 3:9) Instead they heed the comforting counsel of the Proverbs and Psalms: “Envy thou not the man of violence, and choose none of his ways. For the perverse is an abomination to Jehovah; but his friendship is with the upright.” (Prov. 3:31, 32; 23:17; 24:1, 19, AS) “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against them that work unrighteousness. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in Jehovah, and do good; . . . Rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and he shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”—Ps. 37:1-3, 7, 10, 11, AS.
What a precious promise that is! Those who long to live under a just and righteous rule in peace and contentment will have their prayers answered, and that very soon now. The great Theocrat, Jehovah the Almighty, has already begun to rule as King upon his glorious throne in the heavens and, now speedily, he purposes to clean out all rebellion and iniquity, destroy those who now wreck and ruin the earth, and establish a new world wherein will dwell righteousness. (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 11:18) Those, therefore, who now withdraw their approval and support from the Devil’s Babylonish world and give their full allegiance to God’s new world will have the grand opportunity of living under that theocratic rule forever and ever, all to the praise and glory and vindication of Jehovah God.