The Faithful Creator
“A God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.”—Ex. 34:6.
1, 2. What are some of the modern-day ideas about “God”?
THE desire to worship someone or something is inherent in all men. However, there are many different ideas about “God.” Some say, I cannot understand “God,” and make no effort to understand. Others say, There is no God. However, they worship self, sports heroes, film stars and the like. Then there are others whose conception of “God” is represented in a mystic trinity, a halo-crowned saint or Buddha, or in some costly religious temple. Some gods are inoffensive-looking gods of “good luck.” Others are the enshrined souls of warriors, or ancestral spirits who are said to return on certain feast days to receive the lavish offerings of food and drink made by their surviving families.
2 In this twentieth century there are multitudes of new gods, or old gods with new names. A group of twenty-five Catholic and Protestant theologians in America recently named some of these as “physical power and comfort,” “financial security,” “prestige,” “sex,” “science,” “social status,” “atomic power,” “Libido” and “war.”a Even the Soviets have their gods, such as Marx, the lonely Lenin and “the god of fortresses.”—Dan. 11:38.
3. What clear statements does the Bible make about the faithful God?
3 In the face of the world’s confusion about “God,” what a joy it is to read the clear statements in the Bible about the faithful God and Creator, who is “abundant in loving-kindness and truth”! He it is who expresses loyal love toward his creature man, leading him in pathways of righteousness, and teaching him the truth of His eternal purposes. He is not only the true God and Creator of mankind, but also the trustworthy Friend of men of faith. (Gen. 5:22-24; 6:9; Jas. 2:23) Those who become friends of this loving God rejoice to hear his name and to be called by his name, for that name carries with it all that is to be cherished in the way of loving-kindness, faithfulness and truth.
4, 5. (a) How has the Creator himself made declaration concerning his name? (b) What depth of meaning does his name hold for those whom he befriends?
4 Who could be more competent to make known the glorious name of God, the Creator, than the faithful Creator himself? And that he does! Hear his own words to the prophet Moses: “And Jehovah went passing by before his face and declaring: ‘Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.’” (Ex. 34:6) What emphasis he lays upon the fact of his having a name! It is a name that identifies him as the Great Purposer, who accomplishes his with certain success. Jehovah! Jehovah! It is the name above all other names—unchanging, eternal, expressing the magnificent personality of the faithful Creator himself.—Isa. 55:8-11.
5 In the new world that Jehovah purposes to create, his peerless name will be exalted above all the heavens. Earth, too, will become a sanctuary for his praise. Then will be fulfilled his glorious promise: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes.” (Rev. 21:3, 4) That happy relationship between God and man will be so close and so abundant in the excellence of loving-kindness that life in the new world will overflow with joyfulness and exultation. (Isa. 65:17, 18) A faithful Friend and Creator indeed! A God merciful and gracious, and distinguished above all the “no gods” of this corrupt world by his unique, his incomparable, his grand name—JEHOVAH!—Ps. 115:1-4; Isa. 37:18-20.
THE GLORIES OF HIS CREATION
6. (a) What should Jehovah’s faithful creations inspire in us? (b) How are the Creator’s praises sung in the heavens?
6 Consider Jehovah’s faithfulness as expressed in his creations. Does this not inspire us to faithfulness in studying his Word and in doing his divine will? (Ps. 19:1, 14) From time immemorial the hosts of heaven have praised Jehovah for his faithful creations. (Job 38:4-7) Down to this day that loyal organization of living creatures “offer glory and honor and thanksgiving to the one seated upon the throne, the one that lives forever and ever.” Those who are bought from the earth to inherit the heavenly kingdom with Christ Jesus, the Son of God, also take up the song of praise: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”—Rev. 4:9-11.
7. How is purpose to be observed in Jehovah’s creation of earth?
7 The creations of Jehovah abound with wonderful purpose. Though the earthly creation is a lesser reflection of the glories of the heavenly, yet we on earth may marvel at the generous provision God has made for mankind. He set sun, earth and moon in place, all in proper relation one to another, so that earth would be provided with warmth, light and energy, night and day, the seasons and the tides. Earth’s natural forces were all wondrously balanced, according to the design of the great Mastermind. Of a truth, “the works of Jehovah are great, searched for on the part of all those delighting in them. His activity is dignity and splendor themselves, and his righteousness is standing forever. A memorial he has made for his wonderful works.”—Ps. 111:2-4.
8. For what earthly provisions should man render the Creator heartfelt thanks and praise?
8 These works astound in their wisdom and scope. How rich is earth’s store of minerals and oil, and how abundant that essential commodity—water! Jehovah made also the air for man to breathe, and to be maintained in freshness and purity—a provision that unthankful men have abused in these “last days” by filling the atmosphere with smog and radioactive fallout. (2 Tim. 3:1, 2) He brought forth a luxuriant variety of plant life, endowed with remarkable powers of photosynthesis, whereby sunlight is captured and built into energy-rich food. And what a wide range of menus he prepared for man’s future enjoyment! Moreover, he created the colorful array of fish, bird and animal life, for the service and pleasure of man. Truly God’s preparation and provisioning of earth as his gift to humankind is a superlative example of his faithfulness and loving-kindness. What heartfelt admiration and praise it should excite among God-fearing men!—Ps. 37:29; Job 12:7-10.
9, 10. In what respects is man himself a masterpiece among Jehovah’s creations?
9 In making man himself, Jehovah provided a mind, a body, a set of organs and an ability and capacity for work that are a miracle of miracles in all the material creation. Consider, for example, the God-given abilities of speaking, listening, writing and reading. Even though fallen from perfection, the man of God can exclaim: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.”—Ps. 139:14.
10 What a wondrous masterpiece of construction is the upright human frame! The design and balance of the body, its mechanics and its chemistry, and the amazing hookup of nerves, mind and senses, are without parallel in human scientific achievement. Reflect on those ten marvelously designed levers, the human fingers. Even the smartest engineer could never have thought out, or manufactured, anything so beautifully utilitarian. Reflect, too, that no human production on this earth, from a tiny transistor to a mighty ocean liner, could have been constructed without the skillful manipulation of those God-given fingers.—Prov. 31:10-13.
11. How does the miracle of reproduction show forth the Creator’s faithfulness?
11 As further loving provision of the faithful Creator, man was endowed with power to reproduce his kind. “Male and female he created them. Further, God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:27, 28) Is there anything so marvelous in the realm of the material creation as this miracle of reproduction? No outside architect or blueprint decides the form that a growing embryo shall take. The egg cell, once made fertile, divides and multiplies of itself. By miraculous processes—designed by the all-wise Creator, and passed down through each generation of humankind—the embryo develops true to pattern, producing head, body, arms and legs. No outside building materials need be brought in to fashion those sparkling eyes, that powerful heart, or the soft hair that will provide beauty and protection. All is brought forth wondrously from the laboratory of the ever-multiplying cells. As the end of the divinely ordered process, another baby is born, with prospect of further growth to the full radiance of manhood or womanhood. Truly we can thank and praise the faithful Creator for his arrangement whereby we have received the gift of human life.—Ps. 139:15-17; Eccl. 11:5.
12. What expression should mankind make in thankfulness for God’s provisions?
12 With perfection of wisdom Jehovah made the earth for man and man for the earth. In gratitude all mankind should declare: “Bless Jehovah, O my soul. O Jehovah my God, you have proved very great. With dignity and splendor you have clothed yourself. How many your works are, O Jehovah! All of them in wisdom you have made.” Mortal man should want to use all his God-given body, abilities and vital force to the honor of his God and Maker. His expression should be: “Your loving-kindness, O Jehovah, has filled the earth. Teach me your own regulations. All your commandments are faithfulness itself.”—Ps. 104:1, 24; 119:64, 86.
FAITHFULNESS TO THE CREATOR
13. Why can man be thankful that he was made in the image of God and his Son?
13 “Teach me your own regulations.” How appropriate this request! The loving-kindness of the faithful Creator should prompt the God-given human mind to make just such a petition. What a marvelous faculty is that of mind! How thankful we can be that “God went on to say: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness’”! Thus Jehovah placed in mortal man godly intelligence and attributes of mind that He and His beloved heavenly Son exercise so wonderfully. Man was made with the capacity to appreciate the divine principles that would govern his existence. God’s laws were plainly stated to him. In loving obedience man could now show gratitude for all of Jehovah’s bounteous provision in the earthly paradise.—Gen. 1:26-31.
14, 15. (a) In what did Adam fail, and with what result to mankind? (b) How did the Creator now proceed to carry out his will with respect to the earth?
14 The first man proved unfaithful to this glorious trust, and as a result death came to rule as king over all mankind. (Rom. 5:12-14) What rank ingratitude on Adam’s part! However, Jehovah continues ever faithful to his divine purpose concerning this earth, which was created to become a global paradise to his praise. (Isa. 45:18, 19) Out of his great love for the world of mankind, he sent his beloved Son to earth to make known the name of the faithful Creator and to become a ransom for those exercising faith in God’s provision.—John 1:14; 3:16; 17:6.
15 This Son, Jesus Christ, was faithful in witnessing for Jehovah, even to a cruel death on a stake. (Rev. 1:5; 3:14) Jehovah therefore resurrected his Son and exalted him to His own right hand of favor in the invisible heavens. Since A.D. 1914 the Son rules in God’s kingdom, having received authority and power to carry out the Creator’s will with regard to this earth. He has been called “Faithful and True,” and in harmony with this he prepares now to fight Armageddon’s war of righteousness, for the purpose of clearing heaven and earth of every last vestige of wickedness.—Rev. 19:11-21.
16. What new creation has Jehovah brought forth, and what prospect lies ahead for obedient mankind?
16 In faithfulness to his purpose Jehovah has now brought forth a new creation: “Consequently if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away, look! new things have come into existence.” (2 Cor. 5:17) These “in union with Christ” are the “called and chosen and faithful” from among mankind, and will rule as kings with Christ in his heavenly kingdom for the blessing of the nations of obedient mankind. Already “a great crowd, which no man was able to number,” has been gathered from 185 nations and island territories of the earth, and is being prepared to survive through this world’s end, for eternal life in the earthly realm of the Kingdom.—Rev. 17:14; 14:3; 7:4, 9-17; Matt. 25:31-34.
17. What is required of all who will enter the Creator’s new world, and what examples should these follow?
17 Faithfulness and integrity are required of all who will enter the Creator’s new world of righteousness. Jehovah himself is faithful in all his creation and activity, and dedicated Christians must also cultivate this quality. “The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; righteous and upright is he.” (Deut. 32:4) Christ Jesus is also outstanding in his faithfulness in doing the divine will. Psalm 40:8 was truly fulfilled in him: “To do your will, O my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts.” We too can have God’s law written on our inward parts by prayerfully studying his Word, by constantly associating with his people in assembly and in service, and by loyally following the leadings of Jehovah’s approved “faithful and discreet slave” organization at this time of the end.—Matt. 24:14, 45-47.
FAITHFULNESS TO DIVINE PRINCIPLES
18. (a) What is the prayer of those who support the Kingdom interests? (b) How does God show himself faithful in time of trial?
18 In this evil day it is our prayer “that the word of Jehovah may keep moving speedily and being glorified.” If we all hold integrity in support of the Kingdom interests, then certainly we shall continue to share in a grand expansion of the work. Moreover, the faithful Creator will strengthen us to stand against the buffetings of Satan’s world. “The Lord is faithful, and he will make you firm and keep you from the wicked one.” (2 Thess. 3:1-3) In times of temptation and persecution we will find strength in his further promises: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13) “So, then, also let those who are suffering in harmony with the will of God keep on commending their souls to a faithful Creator while they are doing good.” (1 Pet. 4:19) Be ever confident that faithfulness in upholding God’s work and his principles will bring a rich reward from “Jehovah, who is faithful.”—Isa. 49:7.
19. What principle do true Christians observe with regard to exclusive devotion, and how?
19 What are some of these principles? An outstanding principle, as stated through Moses, and repeated by Christ Jesus when on this earth, is that “Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.” (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29) This fundamental principle of true worship eliminates all other gods, whether they be Baal, a trinity of gods, Allah, Brahma, Buddha or the Red god of Communism. In harmony with this principle Jehovah’s witnesses will not compromise, such as in consenting to a part-Christian, part-Buddhist funeral service. Nor will they compromise by taking part in a local religious ceremonial in honor of community gods. “You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion.”—Ex. 20:5.
20. Why do Jehovah’s witnesses avoid mixed marriages?
20 It is out of respect for this principle, too, that Jehovah’s witnesses decline to take part in mixed marriages or to consent to the marriage of their sons and daughters to adherents of another god or no god at all. The danger of this course is as real as in the days of ancient Israel, when Jehovah warned concerning the surrounding nations: “And you must form no marriage alliance with them. Your daughter you must not give to his son, and his daughter you must not take for your son. For he will turn your son from following me, and they will certainly serve other gods; and Jehovah’s anger will indeed blaze against you, and he will certainly annihilate you in a hurry.” (Deut. 7:3, 4) This warning carries added weight, as we stand now at the threshold of Armageddon’s war.
21. What precautions should wisely be taken against a return to demon worship?
21 A family, formerly of a pagan religion, may come to a knowledge of Bible truth and dedicate to Jehovah. What should then be done with the appendages of demon worship, the images, the family altars, the plaques of the dead? So long as these things remain in the house they constitute a spiritual danger. If the head of the house appreciates divine principles, he should see that these emblems of religious wickedness are got out. Thus will be removed the danger of contaminating the household again with demon worship. Even wise King Solomon, who once placed high store on divine principles, was corrupted by the idols he permitted heathen wives to bring into Israel.—Ps. 106:36; 1 Ki. 11:1-13.
22. How do Jehovah’s witnesses show respect for the principle stated at 2 Corinthians 10:3, and with what result?
22 An important Christian principle is clearly stated at 2 Corinthians 10:3: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare according to what we are in the flesh.” The divided powers of Satan’s world may bring all their nationalistic might to bear upon us, but never may we permit this to break the bond of love that unites Jehovah’s witnesses worldwide. We must be faithful to principle. It was this faithfulness during World War II that made Jehovah’s witnesses a worldwide spectacle of unity. Thus they demonstrated, and they continue to demonstrate, that they are the only people on earth who fully appreciate the divine principle involved in ‘beating swords into plowshares and spears into pruning shears.’ (Isa. 2:4) Neither Communist browbeatings nor democratic war hysterias can sway them from their faithfulness to divine principle.
23. How is the “new personality” created according to God’s will?
23 As each individual Christian lives faithfully according to the divine will, he will be successful in putting on the “new personality” described by the apostle Paul: “You should be made new in the force actuating your mind, and should put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.” (Eph. 4:23, 24) Loyalty to the divine will demands that the Christian must not become contaminated by the newfangled crazes or last-ditch innovations of Satan’s dying world that run counter to Christian integrity.—1 Tim. 4:7-10.
24, 25. (a) In what way should the modern craze of transfusing blood be viewed by those respecting divine principle and law? (b) How may blood transfusions damage the “new personality”?
24 One such craze is the modern flood of blood transfusions that has been let loose in the world. This may seem a small matter to a world that has spilled the blood of millions of humans in two world wars. (Gen. 9:5, 6) However, it is an important matter to loyal Christians holding fast to the divine principle that blood is sacred to Jehovah. The faithful Creator and Life-Giver himself says: “The life of all flesh is the blood thereof.” (Lev. 17:14, AS) Blood is precious in the sight of God, and he wisely made laws governing its use, which laws are for man’s benefit. His law stated to Noah at Genesis 9:4 applies to all mankind as descendants of Noah: “Only flesh with its soul—its blood—you must not eat.” This law is repeated for the instruction of all true Christians in a decision handed down by the governing body of the early Christian congregation: “For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things, to keep yourselves free from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!”—Acts 15:28, 29.
25 Are idolatry and fornication damaging to the Christian personality? Disastrously so! So too is the taking in of blood, whether through blood foods or blood transfusions, for the Christian governing body has included this in the same category as the other evils. Moreover, recent medical research has indicated in a realistic way how blood transfusions may damage the individual’s personality. According to one authority: “The blood in any person is in reality the person himself. It contains all the peculiarities of the individual from whence it comes. This includes hereditary taints, disease susceptibilities, poisons due to personal living, eating and drinking habits.”b Transfusing blood, then, may amount to transfusing tainted personality traits. How great the danger may become if the blood is taken from blood banks to which criminals and other derelicts of society have contributed! Wisely and in faithfulness the Creator of man guarded against this, and other harmful consequences, by his law forbidding blood.—Lev. 17:11-14.
26. What rewards await those who are loyal to the will of the faithful Creator?
26 Those who remain loyal and faithful in doing the will of the Creator will never lack his favor and blessing. “For Jehovah is righteous; he does love righteous acts. The upright are the ones that will behold his face.” (Ps. 11:7) They will really come to know Jehovah as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” They will continue to rejoice in his name and in his provided protection when shortly he brings the Armageddon of destruction upon this last generation of ‘those who hate him.’ All survivors will “well know that Jehovah your God is the true God, the faithful God, keeping covenant and loving-kindness in the case of those who love him and those who keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” Thus the complete fullness of mankind, to the symbolic ‘thousandth generation,’ will gain the reward of everlasting life in the paradise earth, for an eternity of praise to the faithful Creator.—Deut. 7:9-11; Ps. 98:1-3.
a The Protestant journal Christianity Today.
b Who is Your Doctor and Why?, by Doctor Alonzo Jay Shadman.