Security That Even Money Cannot Buy
TO MOST people security means having material possessions. If they have a good job, a fine home and a substantial bank account, they feel they are secure.
While such things can bring a measure of comfort, do they really guarantee security?
Can anyone really guarantee that a person will have his job a year from now? Multitudes of persons have lost jobs for reasons outside their control. Perhaps their company moved, or changed its policies, laying off workers. Or it may go bankrupt, forcing a layoff in workers. In some places, people must even leave jobs due to racial or religious prejudice!
Also, in many lands civil war or rioting has destroyed both homes and places of business. As the aftermath of one such riot in the United States last summer, note the course of action a man took after seeing his life’s work go up in smoke in minutes. A report relates: “A negro who lost two businesses in fires that accompanied racial rioting in Cambridge [Maryland] July 24 committed suicide today.”
Then there was the grocer who had worked hard all his life and to whom the following happened, as reported in the press: “A 60-year-old grocer was killed yesterday during an attempted robbery in his shop.” His life’s hard work came to a bitter end.
What security do millions of persons have when they do not even know where their next meal is coming from? A report from India recently stated the following:
“It has been estimated that between 35 and 40 per cent of the children of India have suffered permanent brain damage by the time they reach school age because of protein deficiency.
“This means that [in India] we are, in effect, producing subhuman beings at the rate of 35 million a year. By the time they reach school age they are unable to concentrate sufficiently to absorb and retain knowledge.”
And what of the millions of persons who thought that they had security, only to lose homes, businesses and even their lives in the horrors of two world wars, the Korean war, and now the Vietnam war? What of the many whose savings were wiped out when runaway inflation ruined the value of their money?
INSECURITY OF LIFE ITSELF
How elusive security is, and how unwise it is to put one’s whole trust in material possessions, Jesus Christ illustrated when he said:
“The land of a certain rich man produced well. Consequently he began reasoning within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, now that I have nowhere to gather my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my storehouses and build bigger ones, and there I will gather all my grain and all my good things; and I will say to my soul: “Soul, you have many good things laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, enjoy yourself.’”
“But God said to him, ‘Unreasonable one, this night they are demanding your soul [life] from you. Who, then, is to have the things you stored up?’
“So it goes with the man that lays up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”—Luke 12:16-21.
The point of Jesus’ illustration is that real security through material possessions is an illusion. Even if a person does manage to hold on to his material possessions all his life, what good will they do him when he dies? He cannot take them to the grave with him. As Job said: “Naked I came out of my mother’s belly, and naked shall I return [to the earth].”—Job 1:21.
The truth of the matter is just as the apostle Paul wrote under inspiration: “We have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out.”—1 Tim. 6:7.
PROVIDER OF TRUE SECURITY
Jesus Christ said: “Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) No material possession can give life. None can keep a person alive indefinitely either. And certainly no material thing can bring back the dead to life.
It is God Almighty alone who has the power to give life. (Acts 17:25, 28) He also has the power to give everlasting life. (John 17:3) And God has promised to give life back to those who have died already, if they are within the scope of Christ’s ransom sacrifice! That is why Job was moved to say: “O that in Sheol [the grave] you would conceal me, . . . that you would set a time limit for me and remember me!” (Job 14:13) Yes, God remembers those who put their trust in His provision instead of in material possessions. Even death will not gain permanent victory over them, because in his new system of things God will resurrect, or restore to life, those individuals who are under the benefit of Christ’s ransom sacrifice.—John 5:28, 29.
Who else can guarantee you life again? Who else can promise you a restored paradise earth, even if you die before that time comes?—Rev. 21:1-4.
Not only did the Bible writers have such confidence of being brought back to life in the resurrection, but they also knew that their God, Jehovah, would take care of them while they were alive.
It is the same today. Those who put their trust in God, and not in material possessions, have this security. Loss of material things, while it may cause hardship, does not make them lose their balance or give up. Since they did not put their trust in these things, they are not unduly dismayed if they lose them. They maintain their mental calm and their happiness because they know that God will take care of them. They appreciate that there is no true security anywhere apart from that provided by Jehovah God.
In this regard, note how solid the basis for their confidence is. The Bible states at Hebrews 13:5, 6: “Let your manner of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things. For [God] has said: ‘I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.’ So that we may be of good courage and say: ‘Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”
How can you, or anyone else, have such confidence in the security that Jehovah provides? By doing what every person who already has that security has done: study God’s Word, the Bible; determine what God’s will is; and follow it. Then without fail you will be assured that God will look after your best interests. He will assist you in your time of need, for “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.
SPIRITUAL BROTHERS GIVE AID
One who serves the true God has spiritual brothers who also come to his aid in time of need. These are persons who believe in, and serve, the true God just as he does. Nor are these spiritual brothers few. They are many! In fact, such spiritual brothers who serve the true God, Jehovah, are found in 197 lands world wide. Well over a million persons are actively associated with this organization, and they gladly provide assistance in time of need. The aid they render is very substantial!
For example, in September of 1967 hurricane “Beulah” smashed into lower Texas and upper Mexico along the Gulf coast. Many of Jehovah’s witnesses lost virtually all their material possessions. When this became known, their spiritual brothers in nearby areas immediately responded by sending thousands of dollars in money, food and clothing. Truckloads of necessities were rushed to those who were hard hit. When floodwaters forced many to flee their homes, they were taken into the homes of fellow Witnesses in safer places. Food, shelter and clothing were given to them. Such outpourings of Christian hospitality are part of the love that marks true worshipers of Jehovah God, for Jesus himself said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.”—John 13:35.
One of the many offers of assistance came from congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses in New Orleans. Having heard of the difficulties due to hurricane “Beulah,” they wrote: “The brothers in this area would like to know what we can do to aid and assist our brothers in those areas.” They were deeply appreciative of the privilege of assisting others because they themselves had already been the recipients of such assistance! In 1965 they had been in the path of hurricane “Betsy” when it smashed into the New Orleans area, leaving a trail of ruined buildings and floods. At that time the presiding ministers of the congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses there immediately organized a “nose count” to see who needed assistance. Even though 80 percent of the telephones were not working, and they had to find their way through water and debris that often contained snakes, they accounted for every one of their spiritual brothers!
On that occasion hundreds who needed aid were taken to the homes of fellow Witnesses. And from all over the country their spiritual brothers poured in assistance in the form of thousands of dollars, food, clothing and other needed items. One who received such aid said: “What impressed me was the love that the brothers showed by getting all these things together to aid all of us. It certainly was a display of real love.” Yes, these Christians in and around New Orleans had a very deep appreciation of the privilege of helping their brothers in Texas and Mexico who were affected by “Beulah”!
Then, too, when rioting flared last summer in American cities, where it was necessary ministers of Jehovah’s witnesses contacted their spiritual brothers and told them to stay indoors. It was arranged for food and other items to be taken to them so that the majority avoided having to expose themselves to danger. And in Detroit, when one of Jehovah’s witnesses had her home destroyed by fire, she was quickly moved into another place and her Christian brothers contributed food, clothing and money until she could take care of her needs.
JEHOVAH ALWAYS PROVIDES
However, even when fellow Christians are not at hand to render aid, God fulfills his promise to provide security for his servants. He can open the heart of anyone when the need arises. That is why the psalmist could observe: “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.”—Ps. 37:25.
Particularly does Jehovah take delight in providing for the needs of those who are full-time preachers of His kingdom. As they devote their lives to God’s work, they look to God to provide as he has promised. They are never disappointed. That is why Jesus said: “Seek continually [God’s] kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”—Luke 12:31.
So when a person seeks for God and serves him, God promises to take care of him, to provide for him. Not that he will provide material riches now, for he has not promised that. Jesus did not encourage his disciples to pray for a large bank account. He taught them to pray to God: “Give us today our bread for this day.” (Matt. 6:11) It is in God’s new system that He will shower down material prosperity. Then all of earth’s inhabitants will enjoy the good things that God has in store for those who love him.
Until that time comes, the right attitude is the one that the apostle Paul had when he stated: “Having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.” (1 Tim. 6:8) But he also said: “It is a means of great gain, this godly devotion along with self-sufficiency.” (1 Tim. 6:6) Yes, taking in knowledge of God, and then serving him, brings the greatest gain possible. It brings many spiritual brothers that really care about you, and deeply so. And it brings the friendship and care of God. That is security that money cannot buy, security that only God can give.
Such security is not temporary either. It will continue forever. Those who serve God now will have God’s approval and be preserved alive into his new order where, earth wide, Jehovah promises, “the bow and the sword and war I shall break out of the land, and I will make them lie down in security.”—Hos. 2:18.