Serving First the Divine Interests
THE Christian is obligated to serve first the divine interests. Why? Because the divine One, Jehovah God, is the Supreme Sovereign and the Creator of all creatures. As the Supreme One he has the right to dictate to his subjects as to what they should do. As their Creator he has the right to expect them to fulfill the purpose for which he created them. Jehovah being just, wise and loving, we may be sure that to put first our “attending to all the interests of the Eternal” will be to our own lasting welfare.—1 Chron. 26:30, Mo.a
What is meant by interests and what are the divine interests, you ask? Interests are concerns, advantages, rights and possessions. They are the things to which one gives one’s time, attention, energy and means. For example, a married man may have such interests as a wife, children, a job, various possessions and hobbies.
The divine interests are those things God is concerned with, interested in. These are seen in the expressions of his will and purposes. At the present time God is interested in or concerned with the following interests: the completion of a bride for his Son, consisting of 144,000 humans of proved integrity; the gathering of a great crowd of “other sheep,” lovers of righteousness who may survive Armageddon to form the nucleus of a new earth in which righteousness will dwell; the preaching of this good news of the Kingdom in all the world for a witness, and the declaring of the day of vengeance, warning the wicked.
From the foregoing it is clear that each Christian witness of Jehovah has personal as well as divine interests that he must care for. He must keep these two interests in proper relation to each other, which means that although his personal interests may consume more of his time, attention, energy and means, still the divine interests must ever be recognized as coming first and must be given priority to the extent possible. Selfishly to put first one’s own personal interests is to do bad, to build up a record of blame and to suffer destruction, even as Adam and Eve did. Unselfishly to put the divine interests first is to do good, to build up a record of merit and to gain the reward of everlasting life.
For us to be serving first the divine interests requires that we make our minds over by a study of God’s Word, thereby acquainting ourselves with his purposes and his will for us. It further means dedicating ourselves to do God’s will even as Jesus did. It also means discarding the works of the flesh and cultivating the fruitage of the spirit. (Gal. 5:19-23) It also means accepting congregational interests by attending meetings arranged for the equipping of oneself to care better for the divine interests, preparing for such meetings and taking part in them. And especially does it mean to be following Jesus’ example by witnessing to Jehovah’s name and kingdom at every opportunity.
Today the people of the world are steeped in the pursuit of selfish interests as never before. Perilous times are upon us, for we are in the foretold last days. The seductive snare of materialism is causing many to put first the serving of personal interests, slighting the divine interests. We must therefore be alert, on guard, look earnestly to the divine interests, that we at all times keep serving them first. Remember Lot’s wife! Do not be like her, nor like Esau, who sold his divine interests for the sake of some personal interests. Rather, let us imitate Jesus Christ, letting the divine interests be our meat and drink and joy.
a For details please see The Watchtower, July 15, 1956.