Words That Mean Life
THE spoken word of Jehovah God carries greater power than that at the disposal of all this world’s atom-smashing scientists and far greater efficacy than anything concocted by modern medicine’s wizards of healing. Jehovah spoke into existence the depths of the fathomless universe, molding it to his will. When our primitive earth was swathed in darkness, “God said—Light be. And light was.”—Gen. 1:3, Ro.
Think, therefore, of the force and power behind the message contained in the Bible, God’s Word. Some presumptuous men set themselves up as the Bible’s critics, hastily overlooking the long period of divine inspiration during which God’s spirit rested upon the many varied men from diverse walks of life to compose one harmonious book pointing up one all-absorbing purpose, God’s sovereignty and its vindication by his kingdom. Critics have brushed aside all recognition of the undeniable way in which Bible prophecy has been fulfilled. Such ones infer that God spent 1,600 years on a masterpiece only to await their judgment upon where it should rank in respect to books that are of mere human origin. Can they destroy the Word that declared the beginning of creation?
Does this mean then that Bible believers worship a book? No, but in the case of the Bible they worship the One who is revealed therein. They readily conform themselves to the formula for pleasing God which the Bible unfolds. They do these things because in the Bible, alone of all literature in this world, is the way to life. In prayer to his Father, the Bible’s great Author, Jesus had the right attitude and did not try to exalt himself to the position of critic of God. (1 Tim. 6:19; John 17:3, 17, NW) His earthly life left a glowing example for championing God’s Word, moving his future apostle Paul to write:
“Keep this mental attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. . . . Keep doing all things free from murmurings and arguments, that you may come to be blameless and innocent, children of God without a blemish in among a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you are shining as illuminators in the world, keeping a tight grip on the word of life, that I may have cause for exultation in Christ’s day, that I did not run in vain or work hard in vain.”—Phil. 2:5-16, NW.
“Keeping a tight grip on the word of life” today certainly means upholding the most important name in that Word, the name of its author, Jehovah. In the Hebrew Scripture canon the name Jehovah appears 6,823 times; yet some seek to hide that name! If Jehovah is our life-giver, if we must learn his purposes to conform to them and win his favor and have life, then must we not at the very start learn his name, the name that is our “strong tower” of refuge, the name of Him that is the “fountain of life”, the name of the rightful great “King over all the earth”?—Prov. 18:10; Ps. 36:9; Zech. 14:9, AS.
In 1950 the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society released the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, a literal, modern-speech translation which presented scholarly support for its position in rendering the divine name consistently in the Greek Scriptures, or “New Testament”. For this and its many splendid features this work won the admiration of unbiased authorities of many quarters.
What a privilege to be on the side of God’s Word today, its upholders and defenders, not its opposers! Think of it—to be used as messengers as the word of life flows out, fills the earth, eventually to cover it as the waters do the sea! (Hab. 2:14) Certainly none of the other instrumentalities of God’s creation question the wisdom of his Word. The stars do not. The planets do not. The animals following their natural laws do not. The floral life does not. And by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness we will not. We will not, as the scoffers, deride the timeliness of the Word of life’s message, clinging to the old life of this dying world as better, smarter or more practical. “‘All flesh is as vegetation, and all its glory is as a flower of the vegetation; the vegetation becomes withered, and the flower falls off, but the word spoken by Jehovah endures forever.’ Well, this is the ‘word spoken’, this which has been declared to you as good news.”—1 Pet. 1:23-25, NW.
This good news we, as God’s living servants today, obediently offer to all mankind of good will toward God. It is all we can do and the best. The Word of God endures. You want to endure, do you not? Then read it, study it, believe it, follow it and live it.