Keep Your Place
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will counsel thee with mine eyes upon thee.”—Ps. 32:8, AS.
1. Why is a consideration of one’s place in relationship to Jehovah important?
JEHOVAH, the great Creator of the universe, knows the proper place for all things animate and inanimate. He has created not only all things but also places for all things. It does persons, of high intellect and of low intellect, good to meditate daily on their relationship to Jehovah and the multitude of other objects and living creatures that Jehovah has placed around them. Doing so will aid them to appreciate the majesty and honor and greatness of Jehovah and will aid them to seek to find their place in Jehovah’s grand arrangement of things in this wonderful universe.
2. How does the psalmist show relationship between Jehovah’s greatness and the things He had performed?
2 The psalmist was a person who did this and his words are recorded for our benefit at Psalm 104. In the opening verses he states the need for a creature’s blessing Jehovah because of Jehovah’s greatness: “Bless Jehovah, O my soul. O Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty: who coverest thyself with light as with a garment; who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.” (Ps. 104:1, 2, AS) Here the psalmist ties in Jehovah’s greatness with acts of his performance in placing things by remarking that Jehovah is the one that placed the heavens in their location stretching them out “like a curtain.”
3, 4. Name some things that Jehovah has found places for.
3 The stretching out of the heavens is only the beginning of the many features of Jehovah’s great placing work. The psalm continues, listing for our benefit many things from angels in the heavens down to animals and inanimate things upon the earth. “Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind; who maketh winds his messengers [or, his angels winds]; flames of fire his ministers; who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved for ever.” (Ps. 104:3-5, AS) It is an important fact to note in this day of social upheavals and threats to destroy the earth by superpowerful instruments of destruction in man’s hands that the Scriptures point out that Jehovah placed the earth where it is on foundations out in space and he has decreed that “it should not be moved for ever.” The writer of this psalm knew much about the history of the creation of the earth and wrote of the Noachian flood upon the earth with its resulting physical upheavals that gave the earth its present form with towering mountains and deep oceans, as is noted in Ps 104 verses 6-9 (AS): “Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a vesture; the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away (the mountains rose, the valleys sank down) unto the place which thou hadst founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.” Notice the proper appreciation of Jehovah’s power used in setting bounds on the water so that it must stay in its place.
4 Of course, water is needed in all parts of the earth, too, as well as in the seas for the purpose of watering plants and providing drink for all living creatures. Jehovah made places for water to appear even away up in the mountains convenient for other things of his creation that are in all parts of the earth. “He sendeth forth springs into the valleys; they run among the mountains; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their habitation; they sing among the branches.” (Ps. 104:10-12, AS) Great wisdom and harmony are revealed to man by observing how Jehovah has properly arranged for the supply of water—one of the great necessities of life.
5. How does Jehovah provide food for living creatures placed in various parts of the earth?
5 Along with water, food is needed for sustaining life. The combination of water and earth causes vegetation and plants to grow and abundantly care for this need. “He watereth the mountains from his chambers: the earth is filled with the fruit of thy works. He causeth grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man; that he may bring forth food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread that strengtheneth man’s heart.”—Ps. 104:13-15, AS.
6, 7. What else does the psalmist mention as being in their proper places?
6 After meditating and writing of the wonders and perfectness of the placing of provisions for living creatures’ needs, the psalmist showed appreciation and understanding of the placing of certain animals and birds in various places. Down to this day these same creatures stay in the same habitats. “The trees of Jehovah are filled with moisture, the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir-trees are her house. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the conies.”—Ps. 104:16-18, AS.
7 Not unnoticed are other things of creation, and the marvel of their unerringly being in their proper places at all times catches the psalmist’s attention. These are the sun and the moon. “He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.” (Ps. 104:19, AS) For years without number Jehovah has kept not only our sun and moon but also countless billions of other stars and the planets precisely in their places. Even clocks and timepieces of split-second accuracy can be checked by them.
8. What different activities take place during the night and the day?
8 A considerable variety of activity takes place upon the earth as the days continually proceed through daylight and darkness. “Thou makest darkness, and it is night, wherein all the beasts of the forest creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God. The sun ariseth, they get them away, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening.” (Ps. 104:20-23, AS) There is a perfect interweaving of purposes and placements in Jehovah’s placing man, animals, birds, fish, plants, waters, earth, sun, moon, planets, stars, mountains, valleys, rivers, etc., in the places that he did and giving each a particular assignment or work to do. One could come to no other conclusion than that to which the psalmist came: “O Jehovah, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”—Ps. 104:24, AS.
GOD’S PENETRATIVE VISION
9. These wonders of creation should cause men to do what? Do they?
9 The psalmist continues in this 104th psalm to point out more harmony and marvels of creation, but just the facts mentioned above should cause men to know something about God and to want to praise him and properly worship him. In fact, the apostle Paul points out that man actually has no excuse not to know God. “What may be known about God is manifest among them, for God made it manifest to them. For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are understood by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable; because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their unintelligent heart became darkened. Although asserting they were wise, they became foolish and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed creatures and creeping things.” (Rom. 1:19-23, NW) Man has not looked at creation and learned from its marvels and wonders that there is a God with greatness, honor and majesty, but he has foolishly worshiped creation itself. Today men worship money, power, a great name, and, to gain these things, engage in all sorts of wickedness and do not imitate the loving provisional characteristics of the Creator. In fact, man implies by his wrongdoing and his ignoring of Jehovah that Jehovah does not even see him in his evil-doings. Egotistically, the mass of human society turn their back on the Creator and, unmindful of him, proceed to do things their way.
10. How can we be sure that God does see all that man does?
10 But is it true that Jehovah sees them? Has the population of mankind gotten so great that things have gotten out of hand for him? No! Never! Jehovah is not such a weak God. His wisdom and understanding are infinite. Man is considered quite wise when he builds larger telescopes and can count a few more thousands of the untold billions of stars in the heavens. Yet there are whole galaxies that man can barely see even with his telescopes. But Jehovah not only sees and counts the number of all the stars but also calls them all by their names. “He counteth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; his understanding is infinite.” (Ps. 147:4, 5, AS) God does not lose track of things. He knows what you are doing, however important or unimportant you may feel in this world. Even down to the tiny forms of life, God’s care for detail is felt. Consider the tiny gnat that so bothers one as it flies around one’s head or the almost invisible chigger that irritates the skin so much. The presence of these in such great numbers shows they have the organs necessary for life and reproduction in great numbers. Nothing was omitted by forgetfulness, they have all that is necessary to their livelihood.
11. Can inanimate things and the lower animal life get out of their places? Why?
11 It is well worth our time to think seriously of the power demonstrated by Jehovah in causing the creation of so many things, and even though they number in the millions of millions he has arranged for them to stay in their respective and proper places. Inanimate things are controlled by various laws of nature—such as law of gravity, law of centrifugal force, etc. Living things are bounded by laws of “kind.” It is impossible for any living thing to cross with another family “kind” and make some new thing and create a new place that Jehovah did not provide. Even with coaxing and with forcing by man’s efforts with all his laboratories with X rays, violet rays, antiseptic conditions, etc., no new “kinds” have ever been formed or created and all things continue in the places that Jehovah made for them. Some think that a mule is an exception to the above statement, but a mule is no family kind in itself, as it cannot reproduce. Mules, left to themselves with plenty of good food and water, would in due time die off. Any of the true “kinds” of life continue to live on and on with sufficient food and water.
THE FIRST LEAVER OF HIS PLACE
12. What about the angels?
12 Even the angels in heaven have a certain place made and provided for them by God. They, of course, are not bound by the same laws as such low forms of creation as inanimate things and as plants and animals. However, they are expected to stay in their proper places and disastrous results accompany their leaving such assigned places. The Scriptures tell us of one angel, a cherub, that left his assignment, and of the results. It is the angel that was assigned as overseer in the garden of Eden and betrayed his assignment, becoming Satan the Devil. The account tells of his original great wisdom and perfection and of his being placed in a certain position as a part of Jehovah’s organization. “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, . . . Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee. By the abundance of thy traffic they filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore have I cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.” (Ezek. 28:11-16, AS) The information is very specific that this angel was assigned to a certain place in God’s organization and upon disobeying the instructions for carrying out his obligations he was cast out of Jehovah’s organization. Some religious organizations try to lead a person to believe that Satan was not cast out of Jehovah’s organization but merely had a change in assignment by saying that now Satan is foreman down in a place they call “hell-fire” and that he is wearing a red suit, carrying a pitchfork and stoking the fires. However, the Bible testifies otherwise, as is shown in Jude 6 (NW): “And the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling-place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgment of the great day.” Forsaking their place means a complete destruction and annihilation, as there is no place in a harmonious universe for disunity and disobedience. In symbolic language John reveals to us this fact, writing about the whole wicked pack of demons and all wicked persons, using the terms “heaven” and “earth” to symbolize them: “And I saw a great white throne and the one seated on it. From before him the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.”—Rev. 20:11, NW.
13. What proof do we have that Jehovah can keep control of things?
13 For those that think Jehovah cannot accomplish the destruction of such a huge system as now exists in both the spirit realm and the physical realm, a little consideration of the power available to him should change their minds. Great hosts of angels have stayed in their place and are obediently carrying out the work assigned to them in God’s perfect organization. In vision Daniel was given some indication as to the number of them. “Thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” (Dan. 7:10, AS) Describing the host in heaven at the present moment in battle array against the wicked forces, John writes: “And the number of the armies of cavalry was two myriads of myriads [twenty thousand times ten thousand; that is, 200,000,000]: I heard the number of them.” (Rev. 9:16, NW) The power of such hosts can be appreciated when we read of the activity of just one angel used by Jehovah to destroy 185,000 human soldiers within one night. (2 Ki. 19:35) An atomic bomb in a split second can destroy upward of 60,000 persons and more. But once exploded the energy of the bomb is completely expended. Angels can repeat the performance of destruction as many times as needed. Multiplying this power by hundreds of millions and considering it a continuous power forcefully causes one to come to the conclusion that man’s power cannot even be compared with God’s power.
14. Confidence in Jehovah’s power gives one what kind of attitude toward the wicked?
14 Appreciating this and the fact that God knows what is going on and does not overlook or miss anything will help a Christian to be not overly worried about the wicked. Practically all mankind, similar to many of the angels, have left the place assigned to them by Jehovah, stubbornly refusing to obey his counsel. The expenditure of thousands upon thousands of lives on battlefields, billions of dollars in equipment, and tremendous efforts of mankind today are futile in stamping out wrongdoing. Instead, the whole society of man is steadily progressing downward in its stubborn course, reaping its wicked harvest of greed, selfishness, delinquency, graft, corruption, disobedience, dishonesty, etc. The man of God does not get unduly excited about the activities of these wicked and proud persons and invent in his mind places of eternal torment after this life as punishment for the wicked. But he realizes that God can handle the situation, and waits upon him and does not fret himself. “Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, 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. 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. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil-doing. For evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait for Jehovah, they shall inherit the land. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and he shall not be. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord will laugh at him; for he seeth that his day is coming.” (Ps. 37:1, 2, 7-10, 12, 13, AS) Imperfect man, in trying to stamp out evil, commits evil himself. Those that wait upon Jehovah trust and know that he will take care of the wicked, leaving them absolutely no place for existence anywhere in his vast and glorious universe.
GUIDANCE FOR KEEPING IN PLACE
15. How can man know where his proper place is?
15 This promised housecleaning stirs up intelligent and honesthearted men and women to be anxious to learn where their place is in Jehovah’s sight. Does God have laws of nature to bind them in a certain place? Is man forced to stay in his place? Do the Scriptures tell us where man’s place is and how to get into it and stay in it? David expressed the truth on the matter and shows us that there is a relationship possible between man and his Creator and that man’s getting into this relationship means a secure place for him with protection and deliverance. “Thou art my hiding-place; thou wilt preserve me from trouble; thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.” (Ps. 32:7, AS) With man’s expressing himself as recognizing his dependence upon Jehovah, as shown in this psalm, Jehovah answers him in the next two verses and shows exactly what arrangements he has made to put man in his place and for him to keep his place. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will counsel thee with mine eye upon thee. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding; whose trappings must be bit and bridle to hold them in, else they will not come near unto thee.”—Ps. 32:8, 9, AS.
16. Why does God use different means to guide man than he uses for animals?
16 In these two verses it is clear that Jehovah knows his creatures and knows what to use to keep them in their proper places. For man who was created with a marvelous brain, far, far superior to that in any animal, the intellect is the part of man that needs guidance and it is the intellect of man that directs him. Therefore God did not provide the same kind of boundaries for man that he did for lesser creation, but he provided counsel for him. So in many places in the Scriptures men of understanding spoke of the value of God’s written Word as a guide for them and as a light for their path. So, in the above verses of Psalm 32:8, 9, Jehovah contrasts the means of guiding man with that of guiding a horse or a mule. Having a very inferior brain, a horse or a mule has to be guided to places it is desired for it to go by physical means—a bit and bridle. Man, then, should not expect that God would provide the same thing for him, for certainly God knows that man was created on a much higher level and can be directed in a superior way. Therefore, man is counseled to be not like a horse or mule. Jehovah does not force or drive man to do certain things. He uses the appropriate way—he gives counsel that man can take in through his eyes by reading and his ears by hearing and store it in his mind and then use the information to direct his steps and control his actions.
17. How important does this make the Bible?
17 This clearly puts much emphasis on the importance of the Bible. It is God’s provision for aiding us to know what to do and how to do it, so that we not only can please him but also get into a place that is in complete harmony with the operation of the entire universe. It is a provision that will enable obedient mankind to get back into a relationship with Jehovah that was set before Adam. If he had been obedient to God’s instructions, he could have continued living even down to our day and on through our day. So if one will accept Jehovah’s counsel today, he may look forward to the undeserved gift of everlasting life.
18. How does one show that he is in his proper place?
18 Yes, man’s proper place is one of worshiping God with spirit and truth. This cannot be done as tried by some in becoming hermits and monks and isolating themselves. But the great Exemplar, Christ Jesus, demonstrated to us that God is properly worshiped by man in publicly proclaiming God’s purposes and his qualities and his characteristics to other human creatures. All his disciples Jesus counseled to be busy in proclaiming the Kingdom message. He showed his faithfulness by doing so himself, even though he was killed because of it. Worshiping God is a necessary feature of man’s daily life. And it is necessary as long as man lives. “Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.” (Ps. 145:2, AS) Therefore man should accept this counsel now and not refuse or balk like a stubborn mule but obey like an intelligent human creature. He should seek out how to worship God and look to him as a hiding place and a place of deliverance.
ONE’S PLACE IN THE NEW WORLD SOCIETY
19. What society is it proper to associate with, and how will Armageddon affect it? Why?
19 Those who are now associating with the New World society are doing just that. They know that the New World society has accepted God’s Word as its guide and is following a path that is made clear in that Word. They know that this is the proper place for them to be and that the warning in the Bible of the destruction of the wicked with no place left for them does not apply to the New World society. The battle of Armageddon which will destroy the wicked and remove them will change nothing with the New World society, because it has gotten willingly into its proper place and is not deserving of destruction. It will not even change the need to continue preaching, as it will be necessary to praise God’s name by talking throughout eternity. However, there will be no more wicked ones left to talk to, but there will be the children to teach and in due time the millions of persons who will be raised from the grave by means of the resurrection.
20. Why can we expect it to take effort to find and keep our proper place?
20 Certainly it is wise counsel now to urge everyone to follow theocratic counsel. Find your place and stay in it. Work with the New World society now and it may be that you will be able to work with the New World society after Armageddon. It takes effort to seek out and follow theocratic counsel. It requires sacrifice on your part. Such is a commandment from God. “By this we have come to know love, because that one [God’s Son Jesus] surrendered his soul for us; and we are under obligation to surrender our souls for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16, NW) This proper love and concern for our human brothers we will show by telling each one who will listen of the need for him to praise and worship God. Actually there is no place outside the New World society for Jehovah’s people. Such outside places are for another people, a stubborn people that seek out places of habitation according to their own way of thinking; a people who will soon feel the results of refusing to obey God.
21. Name some of the requirements for Christians to meet to be in their proper places. What should be our attitude toward these requirements?
21 All who are now associated with the New World society should appreciate their place of favor and stick to it. Many have positions of responsibilities and all have positions of service in connection with the New World society. In order to keep our place there we must be diligent to follow the counsel given us by inspired writers of the Bible. The course of a true Christian is far different from the course of people associated with this old world system and he must keep in this different course to maintain a permanent place. The apostle Paul mentions many of the requirements for the overseers in particular and for every true Christian in general: “The overseer should therefore be irreprehensible, a husband of one wife, moderate in habits, sound in mind, orderly, a lover of strangers, qualified to teach, not a drunken brawler, not a smiter, but reasonable, not belligerent, not a lover of money, a man presiding over his own household in a right manner, having children in subjection with all seriousness; (if indeed any man does not know how to preside over his own household, how will he take care of God’s congregation?) not a newly converted man, for fear that he might get puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment passed upon the Devil. Moreover, he should also have a favorable testimony from people on the outside, in order that he might not fall into reproach and a snare of the Devil.” (1 Tim. 3:2-7, NW) Those who have positions of responsibilities and are special representatives of the New World society should strive to carry out all the counsel mentioned by Paul here and counsel given throughout the entire Bible. Jehovah caused it to be recorded and preserved for the very purpose of aiding us to get into our proper place in whatever position we serve. One should not try to evade the duties that come upon a Christian, thus trying to step out of his place, but he should be eager to accept the responsibilities and diligent to carry them out.
22. What counsel does the Bible give for women? How do we know that even those in the world recognize that it is proper for the man to have headship over the woman?
22 Considerable attention is given in the Scriptures also on the matter of the proper place of women in the congregations. In writing to Titus, Paul stated: “Let the aged women be reverent in behavior, not slanderous, neither enslaved to a lot of wine, teachers of what is good, that they may recall the young women to their senses to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sound in mind, chaste, workers at home, good, subjecting themselves to their own husbands, so that the word of God may not be spoken of abusively.” (Titus 2:3-5, NW) Women of the old-world society today often cannot appreciate this position. Many feel that such a position would be interfering with their rights. But this is an arrangement made by Jehovah God, and women are in their proper place only as they do subject themselves to their husbands. While there are some that say they do not believe that women should subject themselves to their husbands, yet the general run of comments about a household where the woman instead of the man rules shows that everyone appreciates the correctness of God’s arrangements. In such a household, the man in America is frequently referred to as “henpecked” or as a “weak sister” and the woman may be referred to as a “battle-ax.” Women of the New World society will be anxious to please God by observing Jehovah’s arrangement as to their placement and they will not try to run things in the congregation, nor will they try to take over their husband’s duties. It would mean that they are trying to become a man in God’s sight, thus leaving their proper place. In a similar argument, a man in the New World society will be diligent to step into a man’s place and he will not try to give to his wife things to do that are rightfully his and will not depend upon his wife to direct his thoughts and activities. Thus he will avoid stepping out of a man’s assigned place and becoming a woman in God’s sight.
23. State other reasons why all should be completely in their place.
23 A man or woman who has taken up the ministry and observed all the counsel of God and willingly steps into his proper place becomes an ambassador of Christ and is well qualified to urge others to become reconciled to God by getting into their proper place. The ministry is the way that God is using to enable multitudes of persons to learn how to please God properly. “We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us. As substitutes for Christ we beg: ‘Become reconciled to God.’” (2 Cor. 5:20, NW) It is easily seen that for one to humble himself and to be squarely in his proper place is so very important for the success of his ministry and the resulting obtaining of everlasting life not only by others that he preaches to but also by himself.
24. Why do some find it hard to accept Jehovah’s arrangement?
24 This is difficult for many persons to do because of the prestige they may have in this old world. Perhaps one is too proud to carry God’s message of life from door to door. Perhaps he is afraid that some of his business associates and friends will see him. One might feel that he should have an elevated position where all he does is speak from the public platform and instruct large groups. A woman may have been a social worker for many years and used to taking the oversight over many people—men and women. Coming into the New World society she may find it difficult to subject herself to the oversight of men. She may feel that because of her abilities an exception should be made and that she might continue in a work of directing others. Men may have secular positions in which they direct the activities, and successfully so, of dozens or hundreds of other men. When they come into the New World society they might find it hard or may not want willingly to come under the oversight of a man of directive powers inferior to theirs. Many are the conditions that people find themselves faced with that tend to prevent their stepping into a proper place, in God’s perfect arrangement of things.
GOD ADHERES TO ASSIGNMENTS MADE
25. What example in the Bible shows that God does not vary his provisions because an individual would like to have something different?
25 But Jehovah is not going to change his organization because of man or woman. It is up to us to change if we want to fit into God’s organization. Recorded for our benefit is an account where a mighty military man of old desired to take advantage of a provision of Jehovah. He became very angry when no special provision was made for him because of his high position. The man was Naaman, a captain in Syria’s army. “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him Jehovah had given victory unto Syria: he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maiden; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would that my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! then would he recover him of his leprosy.” (2 Ki. 5:1-3, AS) This information soon came to the attention of the king of Syria and in typical showy fashion the king wrote a letter to the king of Israel requesting the services of the prophet to heal Naaman, sending along ten talents of silver and six thousand pieces of gold and ten changes of raiment. Arrangements were made and Naaman presented himself before the door of the house of Elisha the prophet, accompanied with an array of horses and chariots as he was accustomed to. But when Elisha did not even bother to come to the door and did not make a show or fuss over Naaman but merely sent a messenger down to him and told him to go and wash in the Jordan River, Naaman was furious and turned away in a rage, stating that the waters of the rivers in his home country were far better than the water of the Jordan. So reads the account: “Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Jehovah his God, and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.” (2 Ki. 5:10-12, AS) One of his servants approached him and calmed him down, pointing out that if Elisha had asked him to do some great thing he would gladly do it; so why not do this small thing. When Naaman did exactly as Elisha had told him, he was completely cured of his leprosy.
26. What provisions do we have today?
26 The mighty military man had to change, and not God. Jehovah had a way for doing it and he was not going to change it just because of the egoism of a mere man. And so it is with Jehovah’s dealings with mankind today. Jehovah has made wonderful provisions—the ransom sacrifice, a theocratic organization with a “faithful and discreet slave” class, one revelation after another of his truths revealed to his people, etc.—all giving any humble and honest person a hope with a sure basis for a spiritual curing today that will lead to everlasting life. (Matt. 24:45-47, NW) He will make no special provisions for a person who might think he is different from or better than others; he is not going to pick out some individual and give him special revelations or extra outpouring of the spirit, but he is dealing with people as a group in an organizational way, giving copious counsel in his Word, the Bible, on how the group is to work together. The growth of the organization and its spiritual prosperity today is visible proof of the truthfulness of this. Today, hundreds of thousands of persons appreciate this and are accepting the provisions that Jehovah has made and are looking forward to further blessings of his kingdom, just as people who knew Jehovah down through the centuries looked forward to the Kingdom and its attending blessings.
27. What one thing have all servants of God looked forward to? This results in what kind of path for all servants?
27 Righteous Abel looked forward to it. So did Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. (Heb. 11:1-40) Jesus taught us to pray for it and seek it. (Matt. 6:9, 10, 33) The apostles and disciples of Jesus believed in it and looked forward to it, and so do multitudes of persons today. And Jehovah has not let one faithful person down. He has not changed this great purpose of his to have the universe ruled by the righteous kingdom, but has steadily through thousands of years worked out the details for such an arrangement. Thus persons have been able to worship God and know what to look forward to and have not had to be disappointed and change their hopes. God’s Word has been a ‘lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their path.’ (Ps. 119:105) Walking in the way Jehovah directs, they have found their feet on a steady and even place.
28. What kind of path do those not trusting in Jehovah have to walk in?
28 In contrast with this, those persons who have not looked to Jehovah for counsel but have looked to great ones in this old world’s systems have constantly been disappointed and have had their hopes fail them as one scheme after another, one agreement after another, one king after another, has failed to bring them real satisfaction and has always left them with plenty of troubles and problems, many seeming to be unsolvable. Their feet are on a path that is full of pitfalls, a very uneven path with no sure goal in view.
29. What can one say about a place in Jehovah’s congregations?
29 It should be clear, then, that it is not those things that are great and popular in the sight of this old world that are best for man, but it is the arrangement that Jehovah has made that is best. As humble as a place in the congregations of Jehovah’s people may seem to be, it is the place of real safety and value. It is the place that a Christian should seek out, get into it and then keep his place there. This he will do if he has the psalmist’s appreciation: “Jehovah, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with men of blood; in whose hands is wickedness, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless Jehovah.”—Ps. 26:8-12, AS.