Be Attentive to “the Wonderful Works of God”
“Do give ear to this. . . ; stand still and show yourself attentive to the wonderful works of God.”—Job 37:14.
1. Why should all praise Jehovah for his creations?
ALL nations of mankind should praise Jehovah, the great God, for his wonderful works of creation. All should extol him as the Creator of the majestic universe and for the multitude and harmony of his productions on this earth. (Ps. 104:24; 150:1-6) Is not the creation breathtaking in its scope and beauty? From the mighty island universes of the heavens to the most delicate flower and tiniest organism known to man, yes, right down to the intricate structure of the atom itself, all of Jehovah’s works reflect intelligence and order on an astounding scale. What rich variety! What unity and balance! Truly Jehovah has made everything “well-arranged in its time.”—Eccl. 3:11.
2. What was the psalmist’s expression concerning Jehovah and his works?
2 In all ages, lovers of God and righteousness have praised Jehovah for his incomparable works. Listen, for example, to the psalmist’s exulting song: “Blessed be Jehovah God, Israel’s God, who alone is doing wonderful works. And blessed be his glorious name to time indefinite, and let his glory fill the whole earth.” (Ps. 72:18, 19) Similarly, Psalm 136 extols Jehovah as “the God of the gods” and “the Lord of the lords,” “the Doer of wonderful, great things by himself,” “the Maker of the heavens with understanding” and “the One spreading out the earth above the waters.” All his works are done in loving-kindness, and “his loving-kindness is to time indefinite.” (Ps. 136:1-5) Loving-kindness, together with wisdom and discernment, is to be seen in all his creations.—Prov. 3:19.
3. How have men of science been compelled to acknowledge God’s handiwork?
3 Though they may not praise him, renowned men of science have often been compelled to acknowledge Jehovah’s handiwork. Thus it was Sir Isaac Newton, propounder of the law of gravity, who said of our solar system: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” Albert Einstein attributed “the marvelous structure of the universe” to a supreme “intelligence.” As recently as February 11, 1961, British scientists using the world’s largest radio-telescope announced their “conclusion that the universe had a beginning as the Bible said it did.”
4. What works of God are incomparably superior to those of space-age scientists?
4 The Soviets boasted loudly of their achievement in sending aloft the first cosmonaut, and declared him “immortal”—a god. However, which of the space-age scientists could ever build or send into orbit a space ship the size of our earth, create the miracle of life on the space ship itself, and clothe it with beauteous plant, bird, fish and animal life, each kind perpetuating itself through millenniums of time? Which of them could begin to design anything so wonderful as perfect man? (Ps. 100:3; 139:14) Superlative indeed are the wonderful works of our Creator God, who ‘hung the earth upon nothing’ and who purposes to fill it with billions of perfect humans, living in a happy environment of perpetual joy.—Job 26:7; Isa. 45:18.
5, 6. (a) To what extent have men of science been able to probe the works of God? (b) What should lovers of righteousness heed today?
5 Godless men of science may temporarily bury their nuclear hatchets and unite in probes such as the recent geophysical year, but at most they can uncover only a minute part of the secrets of the universe. None of them has the know-how to ‘wrap up water in clouds’ and to cause “the cloud mass” to carry and deposit refreshing rains over the surface of the earth. None of them can fathom Jehovah’s power by which “he has stirred up the sea,” or produce the tempestuous wind by which “he has polished up heaven itself.” They probe at the fringe of his creation, while ignoring the Creator himself. It is just as integrity-keeping Job exclaimed: “Look! these are the fringes of his ways, and what a whisper of a matter has been heard of him!”—Job 26:8, 12-14.
6 Though scarcely a whisper concerning God is to be heard among space-age intellectuals, he is not without witnesses to his power and glory, even in this materialistic twentieth century. Job himself was a prophetic type of these modern-day witnesses of Jehovah. All of these, and indeed all lovers of righteousness throughout the earth, do well to heed Job’s example in keeping integrity in fear of Jehovah.—Job 28:28.
“DO GIVE EAR TO THIS”
7. What challenge did Satan make concerning man, and whom did Job picture in first meeting the challenge? How?
7 It was Satan, the proud and boastful challenger of Jehovah’s supremacy, who defied God to put a man on this earth who would hold fast his integrity under the test. In meeting the trials recorded in Job chapter one, this faithful servant of God typifies the Son of God who became the “man Christ Jesus,” and who did God’s will on this earth despite every trial and affliction that Satan could heap upon him.—Heb. 5:7-9.
8, 9. (a) How did Job meet further testing, and what is pictured thereby? (b) In what did Job fail, and what did this foreshadow?
8 As Jehovah permitted further testing of Job (chapter 2), so he has also permitted Satan to heap reproach and suffering on the footstep followers of Christ. (1 Pet. 2:19-23) In the face of bitter trials and persecutions, and despite much opposition from false shepherds and “comforters” of Christendom, these Christian witnesses of Jehovah are able to declare as did Job: “Until I expire I shall not take away my integrity from myself!”—Job 27:5.
9 Job held fast his integrity, trusting confidently in Jehovah. However, not having full knowledge of the issue at stake, he fell to justifying self rather than giving all the honor due to Jehovah’s name. In this Job pictured the modern-day witnesses of Jehovah, who in a time of testing A.D. 1918 hesitated for a brief season to witness boldly and uncompromisingly in vindication of Jehovah’s great name. In each case Jehovah gave correction.
10. (a) Who was Jehovah’s channel for correcting Job, and why was he urgent in doing so? (b) What is the prophetic fulfillment?
10 God’s channel of correction for Job was the young man Elihu. Just as his name means “God is he,” so he was urgent in speaking for God’s vindication. “Look, please! I have to open my mouth; my tongue with my palate has to speak. My sayings are the uprightness of my heart, and knowledge is what my lips do utter sincerely.” (Job 32:6; 33:2, 3) In prophetic fulfillment, Elihu pictures the governing body in Jehovah’s New World society on earth today. Through this zealous spokesman, Jehovah has brought correction and admonition to his witnesses on earth, building them up in right doctrine, cleansing them from sanctimonious religious practices and making clear their responsibility to proclaim his glorious kingdom by Christ.—Job 36:1-6, 11, 12; Ps. 145:10-13.
11. What urgent counsel is now given to lovers of life?
11 In this day of his established kingdom, all who love life should be attentive to Jehovah’s requirements for survival. As space-age problems and the threat of nuclear annihilation press in on humankind, God’s spokesman gives urgent counsel concerning Jehovah’s will for this time: “Remember that you should magnify his activity of which men have sung. Behold! God is more exalted than we can know.” (Job 36:24, 26) It is the time to witness as never before in magnifying Jehovah’s name and works. From times of old, men of God have sung prophetically of Jehovah’s great day of vindication. That day is now here! Pay heed, then, to Elihu’s words to Job: “Do give ear to this. . . ; stand still and show yourself attentive to the wonderful works of God.”—Job 37:14.
12. What wonderful work of God is at hand, and what should we therefore be doing?
12 These wonderful works now include much more than God’s works of creation in the material universe. They include, outstandingly, Jehovah’s “unusual work” of vindication, his extermination of the wicked at Armageddon, which has been decided upon for this generation. (Isa. 28:21, 22; Rev. 16:14-16) This is no time to act independently of God’s New World society, or to seek self-honor or self-justification. It is the time to contemplate Jehovah’s awesome works, and to be “working hard and exerting ourselves, because we have rested our hope on a living God, who is a Savior of all kinds of men, especially of faithful ones.”—1 Tim. 4:10.
13. Why should men fear God, and with what result?
13 Behold the magnificence of Jehovah’s glory as he comes forth to perform his work of vindication! “Out of the north golden splendor comes. Upon God dignity is fear-inspiring. As for the Almighty, we have not found him out; he is exalted in power, and justice and abundance of righteousness he will not belittle. Therefore let men fear him. He does not regard any who are wise in [their own] heart.” (Job 37:22-24) Those who fear God and who honor his name will survive to enjoy his favor throughout the eternity to come.—Ps. 84:11, 12.
OTHER WORKS OF GOD
14. Through what creation will Jehovah administer the universe, and what did Paul say in contemplation thereof?
14 Jehovah purposes to establish balance and order throughout his vast universe, visible and invisible. With his name vindicated, this will be an everlasting harmony that will never be ruffled by satanic challenge. To this end, Jehovah has brought forth a “new creation” in union with Christ Jesus, and this he forms into a heavenly government to administer the universe in righteousness. Wonderful it is that 144,000 of humankind, “those called and chosen and faithful,” should be purchased from the earth to share in that administration with the Lamb, Christ Jesus! (Eph. 2:10; Rev. 17:14; 14:1, 3) Wonderful that Christ already rules as King in this government since A.D. 1914! In attentive contemplation of this heavenly creation, Paul was compelled to exclaim: “Oh the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!”—Rom. 11:33.
15. What further wonderful work is proceeding today and with what result?
15 The remnant of this integrity-keeping spiritual class is now few upon the earth, but through them Jehovah has been performing a further wonderful work in vindication of his name. It is a world-shaking work of witnessing, of causing men of all nations to be attentive to the wonderful works of God. “‘And I will rock all the nations, and the desirable things of all the nations must come in; and I will fill this house with glory,’ Jehovah of armies has said.” (Hag. 2:7) Hearing the message of God’s kingdom, the meek ones of earth are shaken free from Satan’s doomed world, joyfully to enter the harmony of Jehovah’s house of worship. Serving God day and night in his temple, they are destined to become the earthly subjects of the heavenly Kingdom, dwelling in everlasting unity and peace.—Isa. 2:2-4; Rev. 7:15-17.
16, 17. (a) What beauty do the “nations” bring into Jehovah’s house? (b) Of what must they be careful to rid themselves? (c) How do they show themselves attentive?
16 These ones desirable in Jehovah’s eyes now stand with the Job class in an organizational array that is balanced and harmonious, like every other part of Jehovah’s universal creation. There is beauteous variety in their many national backgrounds, and this beauty they bring with them into the New World society. However, they are also careful to clean themselves up, ridding themselves of the harmful customs that they knew among the nations. Like the anointed Christians, they appreciate that “the time that has passed by is sufficient for you to have worked out the will of the nations when you proceeded in deeds of loose conduct, lusts, excesses with wine, revelries, drinking matches, and idolatries that are without legal restraint.”—1 Pet. 4:3.
17 Jehovah’s desirable ones out of the nations shun idolatry in every form, whether it be in family or community worship, the idolizing of human dictators, superpatriotism or exalting a “peace” makeshift such as the U.N. They shed the greedy, quarrelsome spirit of Satan’s world, cultivating the fruitage of God’s spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) Rejoicing in the knowledge of Jehovah, they seek to be filled more and more with his enlightening, energizing spirit, the same spirit that supplies and sustains the marvelous harmony and unity to be seen in all his creations. They show themselves attentive to the privilege of coming to the great Unifier, Jehovah, in dedication.—Acts 10:34, 35.
BE ATTENTIVE IN GODLY DEDICATION
18, 19. (a) How should dedication be viewed? (b) What is marvelous in the way Jehovah rules the universe? (c) In what way is man most privileged among all the material creation?
18 Dedication—what a privilege! It is a step to be taken voluntarily, and from a heart filled with love and appreciation of Jehovah and all his goodness. (Ps. 34:8) Consider how Jehovah rules the universe in which we live. The vast heavens move in perfect order and harmony, according to the laws that Jehovah planted in them at the time of their creation. Likewise, divine laws govern the seasons and cycles of life on this earth. Further, in the realm of animaldom we perceive God-given powers of instinct, whereby unreasoning beasts are able to make remarkable provision for living out their life span.—Ps. 145:16; 147:9.
19 However, in man we find a creation unique in all the material universe. Man alone is made in God’s image and likeness. (Gen. 1:26) Man alone has reasoning power and is able to gain accurate knowledge concerning Jehovah and his wonderful works. Man alone may dedicate to Jehovah through Christ, thus entering into the balance, harmony and unity of Jehovah’s organization. By maintaining that balance, he may walk in the path of everlasting life and joy.—Prov. 20:7; 28:26.
20. (a) How will the wise view dedication? (b) How does Jehovah reward those dedicating to him? (c) In what should we follow Jesus’ steps closely?
20 This dedication and keeping one’s place in Jehovah’s New World society is of life-and-death importance to every human on the face of this earth today. They are wise who show themselves attentive to the inspired counsel: “Choose life in order that you may keep alive, you and your offspring, by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him, for he is your life and the length of your days.” (Deut. 30:19, 20) If we show love for Jehovah by dedicating to him and obeying him, he in his turn will show his great love toward us. In love he will guide us, in the same way that he rules his vast universe by love. God’s own Son, Jesus, delighted to dedicate himself to Jehovah, and to do His divine will faithfully. He is our “model,” that we may “follow his steps closely.”—Ps. 40:7-9; 1 Pet. 2:21.
HEED GOD’S INSTRUCTION
21. (a) What should be our attitude toward discipline? (b) How may the Christian avoid pitfalls and maintain spiritual strength?
21 In the same way that a God-fearing father disciplines his sons, so the heavenly Father, Jehovah, disciplines and molds those who serve him in dedication. (Heb. 12:5-11) Accept his discipline gratefully. “Listen, O sons, to the discipline of a father and pay attention, so as to know understanding. For good instruction is what I certainly shall give to you. My law do not leave.” (Prov. 4:1, 2) This good instruction includes the right principles of Jehovah’s Word. By heeding this instruction, Christians today may avoid the pitfalls of this world of unbalance, safeguarding moral integrity for life in God’s new world. “How will a young man cleanse his path? By keeping on guard according to your word.” (Ps. 119:9) Study of Bible principles, constant review and making declaration in the congregational meetings are essential to maintaining spiritual strength.—Heb. 2:1-4; 10:23-25.
22, 23. (a) What painstaking effort is necessary, and why? (b) How should we regard prophecy, and what can be said concerning its accuracy?
22 Peter tells us that there is need for “painstaking effort” in developing godly attributes, so that we may be fruitful “regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 1:5-8) “For this reason,” he adds, “I shall be disposed always to remind you of these things, although you know them and are firmly set in the truth which is present in you.” (2 Pet. 1:12) This accurate knowledge includes not only right principles and right doctrine, but also knowledge of the powerful word of prophecy. At the time of the transfiguration in the mountain, Peter received a striking forevision of the magnificence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the day of his presence and power in the kingdom of God. (Matt. 17:1-9) Hence he could state with deep conviction: “We have the prophetic word made more firm, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place.”—2 Pet. 1:19.
23 Just as the extensive visible creation of God is a thing of order and beauty, so the unfolding of Jehovah’s prophetic Word is orderly, harmonious and upbuilding to the student of that Word. “For everything there is an appointed time, even a time for every affair under the heavens.” (Eccl. 3:1) Fulfillment of Bible prophecy gives convincing evidence of this. Long centuries in advance, and with pinpoint accuracy, Daniel’s prophecy foretold Messiah Christ’s first advent for the year (A.D.) 29, and his second advent in heavenly glory for (A.D.) 1914, as well as giving many other time features surrounding these important events.—Daniel, chapters 4, 9, 11 and 12.
24, 25. (a) What powerful prophecy did Jesus give, and how should its fulfillment affect us? (b) In view of the times, to what else should we be attentive?
24 Outstanding is Christ’s own prophecy concerning the “sign” that would mark his presence in Kingdom power and the end of the world. What a powerful fulfillment these Bible chapters of Matthew 24 and Mt 25, Mark 13 and Luke 21 have had in our own twentieth century! In this smart space age, the “anguish of nations” intensifies, “while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.” However, those who understand the prophecy lift their heads in confident hope of deliverance. (Luke 21:25-28) Jehovah’s wonderful work of vindication and salvation is at hand!
25 In showing ourselves attentive to the prophetic Word, we must also continually examine our own course, so as to hold fast integrity to Jehovah. After describing numerous features of the “sign” that marks the end of this satanic world, Jesus adds a warning: “But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth. Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and to hold your position before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:34-36) This is the time of all times to keep awake!
26. How may we heed the example of Jehovah’s watchman in being attentive?
26 Hold your position in the New World society as the day of God’s battle—Armageddon—draws close! Be attentive to all opportunities of study, service to God and association with His people. Be steadfast. Attentively follow the lead of the faithful watchman class of Jehovah’s witnesses on earth today, as it boldly proclaims what it sees in fulfillment of Jehovah’s Word of prophecy: “And he paid strict attention, with much attentiveness. And he proceeded to call out like a lion: ‘Upon the watchtower, O Jehovah, I am standing constantly by day, and at my guardpost I am stationed all the nights.’” Jehovah rewards his alert watchman with a preview of the battle and its effect on Satan’s Babylonish world: “And he began to speak up and say: ‘She has fallen! Babylon has fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he has broken to the earth!’”—Isa. 21:7-9.
27. What awesome work is approaching, and how should integrity-keepers act?
27 Make no mistake! The most wonderful, the most awesome of all of Jehovah’s works is rushing in upon this generation of mankind. Now, before he unleashes the whirlwind of destruction, Jehovah addresses himself to integrity-keepers in his New World society: “Gird up your loins, please, like an able-bodied man.” Keep witnessing fearlessly, to the honor of Jehovah’s name! As Armageddon breaks, God himself will thunder “with his voice in a wonderful way, doing great things that we cannot know.” His armament of heaven will roar into action, striking more accurately than any missiles known to man. Who knows what cosmic or other forces Jehovah will call into play in destroying the wicked? “Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow, or do you see even the storehouses of the hail, which I have kept back for the time of distress, for the day of fight and war?” (Job 37:5; 38:1, 3, 22, 23) Oh, may we all maintain our dedicated stand within Jehovah’s New World society down to Armageddon, and right through that wondrous time of battle!—1 Cor. 16:13; Ps. 46:1, 2.
28. (a) What is pictured by God’s rewarding Job? (b) What do attentive praisers of Jehovah now sing?
28 As Job was richly rewarded for being attentive to God’s wonderful works, and particularly Elihu’s message concerning Jehovah’s vindication, so the spiritual remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses today have entered into a marvelous prosperity. They have been blessed with a multitude of “children,” who expect to live forever on this earth and who are beautiful indeed in their world-wide service to God. (Job 42:12-15) All praise Jehovah in one harmonious unity, rejoicing together in the prospect of survival into his new world. Happily they sing: “Jehovah is great and very much to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Generation after generation will commend your works, and about your mighty acts they will tell. The glorious splendor of your dignity and the matters of your wonderful works I will make my concern.” (Ps. 145:3-5) All together they hold integrity in attentiveness to the wonderful works of God.