God’s Word a Sure Guide
THE sun that warms our earth is just one of one hundred thousand million suns in our Milky Way. Our Milky Way is just one of a million million milky ways or galaxies in the known universe. All of these millions and billions and trillions of stars are hurtling through space, each keeping in its assigned orbit, each running on a schedule of split-second timing so flawless that we set our most accurate timepieces by their movements. Can men guide them? No. And this Jehovah called to Job’s notice saying: “Can you send forth Mazzaroth in its season, and lead forth the Bear with its satellites? Do you know the laws of the heavens?”—Job 38:32, 33, AT.
Birds migrate for hundreds and thousands of miles, without map or compass, without ever having made the trip before. Can man guide the birds on their southward flight? God queried Job: “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, and spreads his wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26, AT) To the backsliding, rebellious Israelites Jehovah said: “Even the stork knows her time for assembly and migration, and the crane and swallow keep the season of their coming, but my people know not the decrees of the Everliving [Jehovah].”—Jer. 8:7, Fenton.
God guides the stars by his laws of motion and gravitation. Man cannot guide them. God guides the migrating birds by his laws of instinct. Man cannot guide them. Man cannot even guide himself. Jeremiah 10:23 (AS) states: “O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” The stars heed God’s laws, the birds obey the migration laws, but men balk at God’s laws for them. But if God is capable of guiding the stars by natural law, of guiding the birds by instinct, then is he not capable of guiding man by the Bible? “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light on my path.”—Ps. 119:105, AT.
Consider a few of the fields in which God’s Word gives sure guidance. It is a guide in matters of marriage. When Israel entered Canaan they were told concerning the heathen: “You must not intermarry with them, neither giving your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor receiving their daughters for your sons; for they would turn your sons from following me to serving alien gods.” (Deut. 7:3, 4, AT) To Christians the same prohibition was carried over when they were told to marry “only in the Lord”. (1 Cor. 7:39, NW) Of course, there are always some headstrong ones who resent any interference in their personal affairs, even from God’s Word. Solomon was one of such. He married women not in the truth, probably reasoning that they were nice girls, and that he could get them into the truth after marriage. Instead, they got him out of the truth. God’s guiding Word was right, and Solomon’s rejection of it was so wrong it cost him eternal life. (1 Ki. 11:1-11) It still happens today.
After marriage and children come, God’s Word guides in rearing them. Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 (AT) states: “These instructions that I am giving you today are to be fixed in your mind; you must impress them on your children, and talk about them when you are sitting at home, and when you go off on a journey, when you lie down and when you get up.” Christian parents are instructed to raise their children “in the discipline and authoritative advice of Jehovah”. (Eph. 6:4, NW) This does not say to wait until the child is old enough to decide for itself, to democratically cast its vote on whether it wishes to be brought up “in the discipline and authoritative advice of Jehovah”, by attendance at Kingdom Hall, etc. This would not be theocratic order in the family circle. God instructs the parent on how to rear the child, and the child does not carry any veto power over the divine command. The theocratic order is for the parent to raise the child, not the child the parent.—Prov. 22:6.
Rulers over men and nations could find good guidance in the Bible, just as the kings of Israel were commanded to find it: “As soon as he has taken his seat on his royal throne, he must write for himself in a book a copy of this code as approved by the Levitical priests; he must keep it with him, and peruse it all the days of his life, that he may learn to stand in awe of the LORD his God, by being careful to observe all the provisions of this code and these statutes, that he may not consider himself more exempt than his fellow-countrymen.”—Deut. 17:18-20, AT.
No special privilege for ruler or party members of a political machine. No bribes either, for Psalm 26:10 condemns those whose “right hand is filled with bribes”. (Margin) This word “bribe”, it is a nasty word and its use makes certain politicians nervous and fidgety. To escape this uncomfortable feeling and soothe nerves and calm fidgetings, today bribes are often called gifts. But that is out too, for Deuteronomy 16:19 says to officials: “Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.” In these days when the accepting of gifts for political favors is so common that the president of the United States suggests that public officials list all gifts received from their business connections, this Bible rule could be applied with profit to the people.
There are many other fields in which the Bible sets forth good guidance. It guides in eating, not so much in what we eat as in how much, forbidding gluttony. It guides in drinking, not so much in what we drink as in how much, forbidding drunkenness. It would steer us out of the present moral collapse, forbidding lying and fornication and adultery. It would reduce bickering and quarreling, advising that soft answers turn away wrath. It forbids that great troublemaker in human relations, the gossiper and the talebearer. It would halt much evil at its inception, telling us to render evil for evil to no man. It would silence the guns and bombs of war, forbidding killing. It would eliminate racial prejudice, reminding us that all men came from one man, Adam, and that all can be made one in or under Christ. All class distinctions and false standards set up by vain humans would vanish under the Bible’s guidance. This old world would be changed beyond recognition if it but followed a few of the Bible’s guiding principles.
Most important of all, the Bible guides in true worship of the Creator. It explains his purposes toward the earth and us, instructs us about Christ’s kingdom, commands us to preach this kingdom. (Matt. 24:14; 2 Tim. 4:2) Its prophecies show us the sign that announces the nearness of Armageddon, the divine battle that sweeps wickedness from the earth to make room for a clean new world of righteousness. In symbol this battle is spoken of as winter, and we should see the sign of this symbolical winter’s approach. (Matt. 24:20; Rev. 16:14, 16) God-given instinct guides the animals and birds to react to the sign of literal winter’s approach and make the necessary preparations to pass through alive; God-given intelligence should make mankind react to God’s Word and the sign it gives of Armageddon’s approach and make us prepare for surviving it.
Those who are fashioned after this system of things cast God’s Word into the discard. They have new guides, new gods. Many take themselves as their guides, thinking if they do as they think best all will be well. The Bible disagrees: “What man thinks a right course, may end upon the road to death.” “Man’s ways are always right in his own eyes, but the Eternal has the verdict on his life.”—Prov. 14:12; 21:2, Mo.
Some cling to orthodox religions as a sure guide. Yet Jesus said the clergy were blind guides and those who followed them would land in the ditch with them. (Matt. 15:14) Why were their religions false? Jesus told them why. Listen: “Why is it you also overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition? . . . you have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition. You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep paying respect to me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” (Matt. 15:3-9, NW) It is the same today. Tradition and creed crowd out God’s Word in the Fundamentalist religions.
The Modernist clergy cast God’s Word aside altogether, saying the God of the Old Testament is a tribal god of the Jews, a bloody god. Or, as one prominent clergyman called Jehovah, “a dirty bully!” They turn to science and philosophy, advocating psychology and psychiatry for the mind. (Col. 2:8) But attend to what Doctor James Tucker Fisher, a leading psychiatrist, said in his book A Few Buttons Missing: the Case Book of a Psychiatrist: “If you were to take the sum total of all the authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene—if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage—if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount.” It is as Anthony Standen says in his book Science Is a Sacred Cow, page 151: “A social scientist prefers the more long-winded expression every time, because it gives an entirely spurious impression of scientificness to what he is doing.”
For many, political rulers are their guides. The Egyptians deified the Pharaohs; the Romans deified the Caesars; the Communists deify Stalin, the Albanian parliament calling him “the Deity” and “the Glorious Savior”. Eva Perón said of her husband and Argentina’s president: “He is God for us, so much so we cannot conceive heaven without Perón. . . . He is our sun, our air, our water, our life.” The Japanese always considered their emperors gods, though that position was recently abandoned, officially.
Coming to the United States, no one can accuse people of thinking President Truman or his political associates are gods. So instead Truman and his political cronies always talk about praying for God’s help, getting Him on their side. But how could this succeed? God says his kingdom is no part of this world, that Satan is the god of this world, that the whole world lies in this wicked one’s grasp, and that a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Will prayer make God become a friend of the world and his own enemy? (John 18:36; 2 Cor. 4:4; Jas. 4:3, 4; 1 John 5:19, NW) So just how can Truman and his associates lure God into their politics?
Of God the Bible says: “He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?” (Ps. 147:16, 17) Jehovah has at his beck and call all the cold in the universe; so how can they entice God? He does not need a deep freezer! Again the Bible says of God: “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” That goes for the mink on a thousand hills too, so no use offering God a mink coat! He can make any needed coats. (Gen. 3:21) Again we read: “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Ps. 24:1) Everything is already his, his one hundred per cent. No use trying to buy his influence for five per cent! Anyway, God is against bribes or gifts, whether to get him into government or nonexistent souls out of a mythical purgatory. Political failures and broken campaign promises prove men poor, unreliable, undependable, hopeless, hypocritical guides in government.—Prov. 29:2.
But Jehovah God is a God who knows government, and he qualifies as a guide in matters of government. While Assyria was the second world power, God through his prophet Nahum foretold its fall. (Nah. 1:8; 2:6, 8) Isaiah foretold the fall of Babylon, the third world power, to Cyrus the Persian, while Assyria still stood as the second power and Babylon had not even become a world power. (Isa. 44:28; 45:1) Daniel, while Babylon was the third power, foretold the falls of the fourth and the fifth powers to come and the rise of the sixth. (Dan. 8:20-25) And when Rome was the sixth power John foretold the rise and fall of the seventh and of the eighth coming in, which would be an international combine of ruling powers that would go down, come back, then go into perdition. (Rev. 17:8-14) This international combine arose as the League of Nations, went down, and returned as the United Nations. Its final fall will come at Armageddon, at the latest. God knows human government forward and backward. Judging by the results, human rulers know it only backward.
Jehovah God is for clean government, for Christ’s government, which is a theocratic government. God will not identify himself with a government where gamblers pull strings and politicians play the puppets and dance in response. Today it seems that the Gettysburg address’ high resolve that “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth” has been replaced by the resolve of the defenders of the political puppets of gamblers, which new resolve seems to be that “government of corruption, by the corrupted, for the corrupters shall not perish from the earth”. But it will perish. We hope so, we think so, we know so, because God says so: “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”—Dan. 2:44.
That will be a government of God, by God, for the worshipers of God; and it shall not perish from the earth, but will continue as long as the sun shines and will give an abundance of peace as long as the moon endures. The King, Christ Jesus, will judge among many peoples and rebuke strong nations, and swords will be beaten into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks, nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures throughout all generations. By him God opens his hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing, because then every living, breathing thing will be praising Jehovah. He will bring in health and cure for the people, and wipe every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither mourning nor outcry nor pain. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all that blessed new world, because the former things of this old world will have passed away and will have been forgotten after Jehovah makes all things new.—Ps. 72:7, 8; 145:13, 16; 150:6; Isa. 11:6-9; Jer. 33:6; Mic. 4:1-4; Rev. 21:1-5.
So we must shun the false guides of men and their false religions, babbling psychologists, wordy psychiatrists and polluted politicians, all of which have built up such tremendous reputations as colossal failures. Look at the messes they have made, know them by their rotten fruits, reject them for their fruits. Know God as a guide by his fruits, and accept him because of those fruits. Would you like to be guided into the new world as surely as the stars are guided in their orbits? Then make their Guide your Guide. Would you like to be guided as surely as the birds are guided in their migrations? Then make their Guide your Guide. Would you like to be guided in your preparations to pass through the symbolical winter of Armageddon just as surely as birds and animals and insects are guided in their preparations to pass through literal winters? Then make their Guide your Guide.