Increase Your Praise of Jehovah!
“Jehovah is great and very much to be praised.”—Ps. 145:3.
1. What has occurred since World War II that is thought by many people to be in fulfillment of Bible prophecy?
WITH mixed interest many people have observed how, since World War II, many thousands of Jews have returned to the land of Palestine. This fact, together with the building up of the economic and military strength of that country, the recognizing of Israel’s sovereignty by all the great powers of the world, and the seating of the Republic of Israel as a member of the august United Nations organization, is hailed by many people, both Jews and non-Jews, as taking place in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Let us, therefore, examine some of the sacred prophecies to see whether the facts warrant such a conclusion.
2. Among other things, what did Zephaniah and Jeremiah foretell would occur to the captives of Judah and Israel?
2 More than 2,600 years ago God inspired his prophet Zephaniah to write: “‘I will save her that is limping, and her that is dispersed I shall collect together. And I will set them as a praise and as a name in all the land of their shame. At that time I shall bring you people in, even in the time of my collecting you together. For I shall make you people to be a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth,’ . . . Jehovah has said.” A few years later this same Jehovah God declared by the mouth of another faithful servant, Jeremiah, these words: “I will bring back the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel, and I will build them just as at the start. And I will purify them from all their error with which they have sinned against me, and I will forgive all their errors with which they have sinned against me and with which they have transgressed against me. And she [Jerusalem] will certainly become to me a name of exultation, a praise and a beauty toward all the nations of the earth who will hear of all the goodness that I am rendering to them.”—Zeph. 3:19, 20; Jer. 33:7-9.
3. (a) For such divine prophecies to be fulfilled by natural Israel, what would have to occur? (b) But what are the facts of the matter?
3 Now, what is the case with the natural Jews who have returned to Palestine? Have they been built up and restored to the former state of affairs enjoyed by their forefathers during the reigns of David and Solomon, when they were happily united under a God-given constitution administered by a God-appointed king sitting upon “Jehovah’s throne”? (1 Chron. 28:5; 29:23) Have they been set up as a people for the name of Jehovah and as a people of praise and exultation to Jehovah among all of earth’s inhabitants, as would be necessary in order to fulfill these prophecies? It is so obvious to all informed people that the answer to these questions is “No” that documented evidence is unnecessary. Politically and socially there is not the slightest semblance of a theocracy, that is, a God-ruled government, among the Jews of Palestine today. Religiously they are divided into many cults, including strict orthodox, liberal “freethinkers,” and rank atheists. Instead of being a nation of people who are praising Jehovah among all of earth’s inhabitants by publishing and making known his fame and glory, they scrupulously refuse even so much as to pronounce or mention Jehovah’s distinguished name in their laws or literature, or in their conversation; not even in their prayers!
4. (a) In this regard, what can be said of heathendom, the Communists and the Moslems? (b) How has Christendom miserably failed as a “people to be a name and a praise” to Jehovah?
4 To whom, then, do the above Bible prophecies have reference? Not to heathendom whose people worship millions of gods of their own making, and who, for the most part, never even heard of the great name of the true God Jehovah. The “godless” Communists who dominate a great portion of the earth’s surface bitterly hate and fight against the name of Jehovah and are against his Word of truth, the Holy Bible. The same is true of millions of Moslems throughout the earth. Well, what about Christendom with her nearly 920,000,000 members? Alas! Christendom is a dominant part of the United Nations and as such is very much a part of “the present wicked system of things” of which Satan the Devil is god. She therefore constitutes herself “an enemy of God.” (Gal. 1:4; 2 Cor. 4:4; Jas. 4:4; Eph. 2:2) Furthermore, like Judaism, Christendom deliberately tries to hide Jehovah’s holy name from the people by never mentioning it in her pulpits and by removing it from her popular translations of the Bible. As a result there are millions of people in Christendom who have never heard of the holy name Jehovah.
5. What conditions does the account of Belshazzar’s feast well depict?
5 All together, Christendom, heathendom, Judaism, the Communists and the Moslems are united in their opposition to Jehovah and his kingdom by Christ Jesus. Unitedly this world empire of false religion joined together in a great Belshazzar festival during World War I, and in their intoxicated condition they blasphemed Jehovah, whose witnesses they persecuted, and boisterously praised their own gods of gold, iron, wood and stone.a—Dan. 5:4, 23.
6. What is the one and only organization of people today that is bringing praise and glory to Jehovah’s holy name?
6 It is quite well known that there is only one organization of people today that has been immovably established despite persecution and ‘set as a praise’ for Jehovah’s name. More than thirty years ago they were given a name that was based on Jehovah’s Word, namely, Jehovah’s witnesses. (Isa. 43:10) These are, not Jews according to the flesh, but, rather, spiritual Judeans (meaning, ‘praisers of Jehovah’), spiritual Israelites composed of many nationalities who have been brought out of captivity to Babylon the Great.—Rom. 2:28, 29; 9:6; Eph. 2:11-18; Heb. 8:7-13.
7. Under what other terms are these praisers of Jehovah identified in the Scriptures?
7 These people, Jehovah’s witnesses and their companions, are the only ones in the earth who are praising and blessing the most important, the most wonderful and the most holy name in all the universe, the name of Jehovah! Other scriptures identify this singular class as “fearers of Jehovah,” ‘seekers of Jehovah,’ “the meek ones,” “the upright ones,” ‘the afflicted and poor ones.’—Ps. 22:23, 26; 33:1; 74:21; Jer. 20:13.
8. From the prophecies and the physical facts, how do we know that these spiritual Israelites will not be gathered together into one country like Palestine?
8 When Zephaniah’s prophecy says these people would be collected or gathered together it does not mean in a physical way to a certain geographical location, for the prophecy continues to say that they would become “a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth.” So it is understandable why Jehovah’s witnesses are scattered the world around in 194 different lands, among peoples speaking more than 162 languages. Simon Peter related how God “for the first time turned his attention to the [non-Jewish] nations to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, ‘After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth of David that is fallen down . . . in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name, says Jehovah.’”—Acts 15:14-17.
THE PRIVILEGES OF THE PRAISERS
9. What grand privilege do Jehovah’s anointed witnesses and their companions have, as outlined in Psalm 113?
9 O what a wonderful privilege to be identified as, and associated with, these united praisers and witnesses of Jehovah! To them the command of Psalm 113:1-3 is given: “Praise Jah, you people! Offer praise, O you servants of Jehovah, praise the name of Jehovah. May Jehovah’s name become blessed from now on and to time indefinite. From the rising of the sun until its setting Jehovah’s name is to be praised.” As servants and slaves of Jehovah his witnesses are most happy to do this, for indeed Jehovah is worthy of all praise.—Ps. 135:1-3.
10. In glorifying Jehovah, what do his praisers have to talk about?
10 Paraphrasing the 145th Psalm Ps 145: ‘Jehovah is great and very much to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Generation after generation [that is, grandfathers and fathers, grandmothers and mothers, together with teen-agers and younger children], yes, generation after generation of his witnesses will commend Jehovah’s works, and about his mighty acts they will tell. The glorious splendor of his dignity and the matters of his wonderful works they will make their concern. They will talk about the strength of Jehovah’s own fear-inspiring things, and, as for his greatness, they are the ones who will declare it. With the mention of the abundance of his goodness they will bubble over, and because of his righteousness they will cry out joyfully.’
11. What did Jesus say would result if his followers let their light shine?
11 When Jesus said to his followers: “You are the light of the world,” he also explained why they must let their light shine, saying: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens.” This means that, the more time Jehovah’s witnesses spend in letting their light shine forth in the house-to-house ministry, the more the people will be encouraged to give glory and praise to the Father Jehovah.—Matt. 5:14-16.
12. For what reasons do Jehovah’s witnesses go from house to house?
12 But do not these Witnesses in going from house to house persistently and persuasively offer literature to the people? Yes. But the placing of a magazine or a book is just a means to an end in that it furnishes the publisher of God’s kingdom the opportunity to call back on the interested householder. And what is their object in calling back on interested people? In order to start a Bible study with them. So the ultimate goal Jehovah’s witnesses have in going from house to house and letting the light of the Bible shine is to aid and encourage people to study their own Bibles, so that they, in turn, may also praise the greatest of all gods, Him alone whose holy name is Jehovah!
HOW TO INCREASE PRAISE TO JEHOVAH
13. What suggestions are given for publishers who cannot engage in the field service on weekends?
13 It has been observed that some publishers of God’s kingdom are irregular in their activity because it is impossible or inconvenient for them to engage in the field ministry on weekends or some evenings before congregational book-study times. If this is the case with you, then engage in the ministry at a time during the week when it is suitable; and if you are regular in your activity, you will be able to increase your individual praise to Jehovah. Congregational servants, especially congregation book study conductors, should give special attention to aiding and encouraging all lovers of God’s kingdom to engage in the field service at such times as it is suitable for the publishers.
14. In a twofold way, how can mature publishers increase praise to Jehovah?
14 Sometimes mature ministers aid new ones to get started in the house-to-house ministry, but then they fail to carry through in the training program by not assisting these new ones to make return calls and start Bible studies of their own. Here is an excellent twofold way for individuals to increase their praise to Jehovah: (1) by the mature ones making more backcalls on interested persons and conducting more Bible studies themselves, and (2) by their also helping the less mature ones to engage in this wonderful feature of the ministry.
15. What very important reason should publishers have in mind when considering entering the pioneer service?
15 Many individuals have given serious thought to entering the full-time ministry called the pioneer service, and in this connection they have no doubt considered the many added privileges and blessings that such a career will mean to them individually. If you are such a person, have you ever thought of the far more important reason for pioneering? Have you ever considered it as a means of increasing your praise of Jehovah? If you have this all-important and overriding motive for becoming a full-time minister, this in itself will make it worth all that it may cost you to start and stay in the pioneer service.
16. (a) The fruitage of Jehovah’s spirit produces what good results? (b) In this connection, what did both Jesus and Paul say?
16 The fruitage of Jehovah’s spirit, we are told, is “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) This kind of beautiful and pleasant fruitage results in good relations between individuals and in greater peace and unity in the theocratic organization. But Jesus pointed out that there was another very important reason for bearing this kind of Christian fruitage. He said: “My Father is glorified in this, that you keep bearing much fruit and prove yourselves my disciples.” Paul also had in mind the praise and glory of the great Jehovah when he wrote: “This is what I continue praying, . . . that you . . . may be filled with righteous fruit, which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.”—John 15:8; Phil. 1:9-11.
17. (a) Besides personal blessings received, what else results from attending meetings of the Lord’s people? (b) Is your mere presence at the meetings sufficient?
17 You no doubt are aware of the many blessings received by you from attending congregation meetings of the Lord’s people. But do you think of the praise Jehovah receives by your attending these meetings? The psalmist David declared: “In the middle of the congregation I shall praise you [Jehovah].” “From you my praise will be in the large congregation.” (Ps. 22:22, 25) More than a thousand years after these words were written, the apostle Paul at Hebrews 2:12 quoted and applied them to the Greater David, Christ Jesus. So as disciples of Christ and as ambassadors substituting for him you must have this same mental attitude toward attending meetings. Remember too, it is not so much your bodily presence at the meetings as it is your participation in the discussions, both mentally and vocally, that gives you a part in praising Jehovah.
18. Explain how your participation in the congregation meetings can bring greater praise to Jehovah.
18 At the Watchtower study, at the service meeting, at the theocratic ministry school, at the congregation book study, you have many opportunities of improving your language, your way of speaking, your presentation of the Kingdom message, your efficiency as one of Jehovah’s ministers, and this, in turn, brings greater praise to Jehovah. This training also qualifies many individuals to receive greater responsibilities in the organization, some as servants and overseers, some as circuit and district and branch servants; and, while these added privileges of service bring individual blessings, the overall result is increased praise to Jehovah.
19. What is required of overseers and servants in the organization if they are to be a praise to Jehovah?
19 Those who are given these greater responsibilities of service should remember the divine principles: “Everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him,” and “whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all,” to the glory of God. (Luke 12:48; Mark 10:44) Therefore, to the praise of Jehovah, let all servants and overseers and all mature ones in the congregations take the lead in showing love and long-suffering and in being tactful, and with tenderness and compassion let them care for the needs of their fellow publishers. Not by bossing, not by browbeating, not by lording it over the flock of God, but by showing the proper example and by helping and aiding your brothers and sisters in every possible way, will the praise of Jehovah be increased in your territory.—1 Pet. 5:1-3.
20. How will assisting one another in the field service increase Jehovah’s praise?
20 This matter of aiding one another is not limited to dealing with your brothers at the Kingdom Hall but also extends out to assisting others in the field service. “The generous soul will itself be made fat, and the one freely watering others will himself also be freely watered.” (Prov. 11:25) So whenever you plan to engage in the house-to-house or back-call or home Bible study activity, ask yourself: “Whom can I invite to go along with me?” Are you a pioneer who goes alone simply because “I just have to get my time in before the end of the month”? Stop and think. If you get in only two hours instead of three, due to helping three weak ones, think how much more praise this means to Jehovah. Four times two equals eight hours instead of your individual three. Maybe you will be praised more by men if you put in more hours working by yourself, but Jehovah is praised more when more praisers are in the field. Paul counsels: Keep “an eye, not in personal interest upon just your own matters, but also in personal interest upon those of the others.”—Phil. 2:4.
PRAISING JEHOVAH WITH THE POWERS OF SPEECH
21. How, according to the Psalms, should we use our organs of speech?
21 So often the Scriptures refer to the organs of speech (the mouth, lips, tongue) being used to praise Jehovah. For example: “He put in my mouth a new song, praise to our God.” “O Jehovah, may you open these lips of mine, that my own mouth may tell forth your praise.” “With lips of joyful cries my mouth offers praise.” “My mouth is filled with your praise.” “I shall laud Jehovah very much with my mouth, and in among many people I shall praise him.” “May my lips bubble forth praise.”—Pss. 40:3; 51:15; 63:5; 71:8; 109:30; 119:171.
22. (a) When are we to use our speech abilities praising Jehovah? (b) How do the Scriptures warn against misuse of our powers of speech?
22 When are you to use your powers of speech to praise Jehovah? Only when you engage in the field ministry? Only when you attend congregational meetings? Psalm 34:1 answers: “I will bless Jehovah at all times; constantly his praise will be in my mouth.” Paul also emphasized this matter of constancy in giving praise to Jehovah at Hebrews 13:15, where he wrote: “Through him [Christ] let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.” It is therefore wholly incompatible with Christian conduct to use your mouth, lips and tongue to speak forth filthy or obscene talk. “Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth, but whatever saying is good for building up as the need may be, that it may impart what is favorable to the hearers.” In this same letter to the Ephesians the apostle also classifies foolish talking along with fornication and shameful conduct, saying that no person who practices these things “has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God.” Therefore, his apostolic order is, “Let fornication and uncleanness of every kind or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming.” (Eph. 4:29; 5:3-5) Asks the Bible writer James: “A fountain does not cause the sweet and the bitter to bubble out of the same opening, does it?” So at all times let your powers of speech bubble forth only the sweet praises of Jehovah.—Jas. 3:11.
23. How must we conduct ourselves in this system of things, and with what results?
23 Not only must you keep your fountain of speech clean and pure, but you must also guard your conduct in general if you are to reflect Jehovah’s praise. For, says the apostle Peter, “maintain your conduct fine among the nations.” Why so? In order, Peter continues, “that . . . they may as a result of your fine works of which they are eyewitnesses glorify God.” (1 Pet. 2:12) So when dealing with outsiders you must be patient and long-suffering. You must show kindness and neighbor love. You must exercise self-control. You must prove your uncompromising integrity to Jehovah when facing the everyday issues. And there are so many issues presented by this materialistic, sex-crazed system of things, including such vital matters as blood transfusions, regimented servitude and saluting of images of the State, all of which must be met with the same intelligent determination as displayed by first-century Christians who boldly declared: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”—Acts 5:29.
24. How can parents increase praise to Jehovah?
24 You dedicated parents, you love and cherish your children very much, do you not? You want them to live forever as united worshipers of Jehovah, do you not? Therefore do as Psalm 78:4 suggests: ‘The praises of Jehovah and his strength and his wonderful things that he has done do not hide from your sons. Relate them even to the generation to come.’ So, by teaching and training your children in Jehovah’s laws and commandments, you parents will be expanding and increasing Jehovah’s praises.
25. Can you children also increase Jehovah’s praise?
25 Now, you children and you teen-agers, do not think that this matter of praising Jehovah is a privilege reserved “for adults only.” You too, by watching your conduct in the home, in the congregation, in the neighborhood and in the school, can greatly magnify the glory of your loving Creator. Satan and his agents are very much opposed to you young ones worshiping and serving Jehovah, and they will try to stop you, just as the religious rulers of Jesus’ day tried to prevent children from praising Jehovah. In rebuking that Satanic crowd Jesus asked them: “Did you never read this, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you [Jehovah] have furnished praise’?” (Matt. 21:16) So also today, Jehovah it is who has provided and furnished you young ones with the privilege and ability of praising Him. Therefore seize hold and make good use of these privileges!
26 As Jehovah’s people around the world, and regardless of your age or sex or national origin or economic status, make sure you individually put these things into practice, and in the days to come may you all increase the volume of your song of praise to Jehovah. Certainly it is not to the Republic of Israel or to Christendom, but to you united worshipers and witnesses of Jehovah that the invitation is given: “Be praising our God, all you his slaves, who fear him, the small ones and the great.” (Rev. 19:5) Really, you have the grandest song to sing that was ever written. What a theme it has! “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be joyful, and let them say among the nations, ‘Jehovah himself has become king!’” (1 Chron. 16:31) The popularity of this song will increase until, soon now, every breathing thing will be praising Jehovah to time indefinite, even forever! So keep on singing. Keep on increasing your individual and collective praise of your Grand Creator, all to your own everlasting blessing and to the glory, honor, vindication and eternal praise of Jehovah!—Pss. 97:1; 145:2; 150:1-6.
a See the book “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules! for detailed proof.