The Divine Interests
“Attending to all the interests of the Eternal [Jehovah].”—1 Chron. 26:30, Mo.
1. What subject is to receive attention, and how do such matters arise?
JEHOVAH God made man to be curious to search out new things. From the beginning the whole story of curious mankind has been one of continually developing newer interests as a result of his searchings into Jehovah’s rich treasure house of the earth. Such fascinating new interests required laws to be maintained for orderly civilization to expand. Thus for Jehovah’s witnesses, who are seeking greater knowledge of theocratic government and divine legal principles, the subject of interest is a basic one and needs considerable fundamental attention. Furthermore, if man has come to acquire interests the question arises, Does God have any interests, and if so what are they? Then of what concern are such possible divine interests to us as Christians?
2. Before laws are made what must come to view, and why? Give examples.
2 The subject of interest is closely associated with the subject of law. Indeed before laws are made governing human conduct, interests in certain fields of action must exist, become apparent or be anticipated. For example, no laws were required in connection with the operation of motorcars before motorcars were invented. As long as there were two or three motorcars in existence no laws would be necessary. But as soon as many people began to manifest interest in operating automobiles, then for the general safety gradually more and more rules on how to drive and the control of motor traffic had to be made by the government. And so it has been with almost all inventions of mankind; new interests have been created among men with the result that many people have desired to concern themselves with such new interests. In consequence laws or rules of action have become necessary to maintain order among all having such interests.
3. What are interests? Who have them, and how are they related to living?
3 What, then, is an interest? An interest is a concern, an advantage.* It is a use of power in a certain direction for a satisfaction. It is a field of effort to do something. Also it is the carrying out of a given purpose. Likewise it is the exertion of the will to participate in a thing. Both singly and collectively, all intelligent creatures, also the Creator himself, are parties with wide ranges of ever-increasing interests. The going from one performance of interest to another execution of interest is the very zest of existence. The carrying out of interests in a set pattern is an enjoying of life itself.
4. How are legal rights and duties created? Give examples.
4 It must be observed at this point that not all fields of interest become the subject of governmental supervision. But when a government takes notice of a new interest that it feels requires supervision for the common good, it proceeds to describe and define the interest and then arranges for the control of it by a government agency.* By so doing the government makes a new law or a series of laws that set out rules creating rights and duties with respect to that new field of interest. A right is defined as a legal advantage. For every new right brought into existence there must be an equal and opposite duty. For example, motorcar drivers have the right to operate their cars under license on an unobstructed highway within the lawful speed limit. All others have the duty to grant the driver the clearance of way to drive his car along the highway at the legal speed. No one should get in his way to hinder his movement, otherwise he would be denying him his right of way to drive along safely.
USE OF INTERESTS
5. How may interests be used, and what is the outcome?
5 Interests may be used in a bad way or may be used in a good way. If they are used in a harmful, bad way they produce evil, sorrow and, truly, unhappiness. But if they are used in a wholesome, good way they produce joy, contentment and, above all, happiness. Where the interest is used in a course of badness the results will build up a record of fault. Such a record of fault will then bring punishment. On the contrary, if the interest is used in a course of goodness the results will build up a record of merit. Such a record of merit will then bring reward.
6. Contrast the way Adam pursued an interest and its outcome with that of Jesus’ course.
6 For example, Adam was selfishly interested in retaining Eve as his wife. In pursuing this interest it was necessary for him, undeceived, to join Eve in the bad way of rebellion against his sovereign God. This course of badness built for Adam a record of fault (or sin). In turn this record of fault brought him the punishment of death. In contrast, note the interest of Jesus to become man’s redeemer. Jesus carried out this interest in a good way, keeping God’s every law and will even to the point of giving his life on the torture stake. (Phil. 2:8) This course of goodness resulted in a record of merit. This merit then brought him the reward of a resurrection to endless life. Adam’s “one trespass” produced a fault, which has passed condemnation upon all men as sinners, whereas the “one act” of Jesus produced a merit through his lifeblood that makes possible “a declaring of [men] righteous for life.”—Rom. 5:18, NW.
7. How is it that Jehovah has interests? What scripture proves this?
7 Of all persons in the universe the great God Jehovah himself has the widest range of vital interests. The pursuing of his multitudinous interests brings him immense delight. These divine interests are made clear in the expressions of his divine will and are evident in the purposes he sets out. Jehovah is a dynamic God, a God of action who does things and accomplishes amazing achievements. His every expression of will is perfect and his every purpose is flawless. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure; . . . yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.”—Isa. 46:9-11, AS.
8. How are the divine interests always carried out? Why so?
8 All God’s interests are executed in a good way, never carried out in a course of badness. Upon the completion of his gigantic interests of creation the record reads: “After that God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31, NW) Of his absolute goodness Jesus testified: “Nobody is good, except one, God.” (Mark 10:18, NW) For this reason God’s goodness always brings him a record of merit that in turn yields the reward of happiness and exhilarating refreshment. It is because of this that he is called “the happy God.”—1 Tim. 1:11, NW.
9. What are some of the divine interests today affecting earth’s inhabitants?
9 It might be asked, What are some of God’s interests today affecting the earth and mankind in general? One of his major interests or purposes is to have this richly endowed earth robed in paradisaic beauty and populated with righteous inhabitants who are in harmony with the Living God by becoming his loving subjects. “For thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, the God that formed the earth and made it, that established it and created it not a waste, that formed it to be inhabited.” (Isa. 45:18, AS) Another interest is his announced program to rid this earth of wickedness through his chosen Seed, his King Christ Jesus. (Gen. 3:15) It is also his will by means of a Kingdom-Seed organization, Christ Jesus the King and 144,000 chosen ones as his bride, to permit all good-will peoples of the nations to “bless themselves.” (Gen. 22:18, NW) Again, according to his majestic will he has taken keen interest in establishing a New World system, including a new heavens planted in 1914 and a new earth founded in 1919, reflected on earth now in a New World society. (Isa. 51:16) Today that society of Jehovah’s witnesses is vigorously preaching the message of the established Kingdom to aid all righteously inclined ones to forsake Satan’s old-world system, which is doomed under community condemnation, and to take their stand now on God’s side of the issue of universal sovereignty. (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 18:4) Finally, in this generation it is God’s great will to prove his sovereign rulership by vindicating his name at Armageddon in destroying every vestige of Satan’s organization visible and invisible.—Rev. 16:16.
10, 11. (a) Why do the divine interests have priority? (b) How should these divine interests concern us?
10 Since Jehovah God is the Sovereign Ruler he legally recognizes all his own interests. As we have noted earlier, when interests are recognized by a government rights are created. This means, then, that the highest legal rights in the universe, inherent rights, belong to God in his carrying out of his sovereign pleasure or concerns, interests. Thus divine interests have a priority.—Matt. 6:33.
11 How should these divine interests concern us? Very vitally! Jesus set the pattern when he dedicated his life to the doing of Jehovah’s will and by continuing in harmony with God’s every divine interest. Of Jesus it is written: “Look! I am come . . . to do your will, O God.” (Heb. 10:7, NW) We too must be in full accord with the divine will and always be in line with His divine interests. This we do by each one of us dedicating his life to the doing of Jehovah’s will and then symbolizing this by water baptism. We cannot be passive as to the divine interests. We cannot sit on the fence and be indecisive about these universal interests. We must become active by being conscious of these divine interests and of our relation to them. (1 Chron. 26:30, Mo) Indeed our present and future salvation lies in being identified with God’s every interest in connection with this earth. God’s goodness ever being manifested in his divine interests, happiness supreme will be our lot by maintaining the divine interests in favorable balance with our other interests.
Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, p. 576
Handbook of Elementary Law, by W. D. Smith, p. 97.