“Do Not Forget All His Doings”
1. Psalm 103:3-5 tells us what about Jehovah God’s mercy?
TURN to the Word of God and be like faithful King David, a true worshiper of Jehovah God. He said: “Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and do not forget all his doings.” (Ps. 103:2) David, a man after God’s own heart, did not want to forget anything that Jehovah had done for him. What were some of the things Jehovah did for him? He said Jehovah was the one “who is forgiving all your error, who is healing all your maladies, who is reclaiming your life from the very pit, who is crowning you with loving-kindness and mercies, who is satisfying your lifetime with what is good.” (Ps. 103:3-5) David fully appreciated that “with error I was brought forth with birth pains, and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Ps. 51:5) He knew he made mistakes, but he went to God in prayer and asked for forgiveness. He had full confidence that Jehovah would forgive him, because he turned from the wrong course and took the right one. David would not forget the one who was forgiving all his error.
2, 3. (a) While we may get advice on how to care for our health, how is it that our illnesses are healed? (b) What blessings with regard to health do we look forward to, and how was this confirmed by Jesus?
2 David could not forget the God who is healing all of man’s maladies. Man is truly marvelously and wonderfully made. David recognized this. He appreciated that he could see, hear, speak, feel and smell. He wanted to use these faculties wisely. He was concerned with the healthy condition of his heart and kidneys. (Ps. 26:2; 7:9) When he got ill David would know that this condition was inherited along with the sin of Adam. But how is recovery effected? We say: “Take care of yourself.” David would do likewise in sickness, very likely go to bed, keep warm, drink some helpful fruit juices. Maybe he received some good advice from doctors of his time. Now what advice do most doctors give to those who have maladies today? “Go to bed.” “Rest more.” “Take a vacation.” “Get more exercise.” “Breathe more deeply.” But what does the healing? Why this wonderful body of ours. Jehovah God made it so that it restores itself. The body does the healing. (Ps. 30:2; 103:5) If David did not forget, then we should not forget the one “who is healing all your maladies.” What a grand day it will be when even death will have no hold on mankind. For when the new heavens and new earth are fully established, God’s Word says, “he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away.”—Rev. 21:4.
3 Neither could David forget the one “who is reclaiming your life from the very pit.” David knew that the life-span of man was seventy years and, because of special mightiness, maybe eighty. (Ps. 90:10) Then death would come and one’s soul would go down into the pit. However, David, like Job, had faith in the resurrection of the dead, for Job believed God would set a time limit and remember him. (Job 14:13) Jesus Christ confirmed this hope and said: “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29) David with such faith could not forget God, who would reclaim him from the pit. Could you?
4. In what ways was David an example of a person not forgetting Jehovah’s doings?
4 Nor could David forget the God “who is crowning you with loving-kindness and mercies.” David had an interesting life. He was a good shepherd boy who took care of his father’s sheep. When a lad he was anointed to be king of Israel by the prophet Samuel. He stayed humble and never tried to usurp the throne of King Saul. David knew that God had anointed Saul, and even though David was persecuted by Saul he waited upon Jehovah to make a change. The kingdom of Israel grew under King David’s reign and Jehovah allowed him to plan and gather material together for the building of the great temple of his son Solomon. David had his moments of sorrow and regret. He made mistakes, but he trusted in the loving-kindness and mercy of Jehovah his God. Is your life crowned with God’s loving-kindness and mercies too? Do you, like David, “not forget all his doings”?
5. How has Jehovah provided help for mankind so that those who love him will not forget
5 We can be sure of it—Jehovah God will not forget! Even though we might forget, he will not do so. To help ourselves not to forget we must review, keep reading, keep listening to God’s Holy Word. This is so essential to right living! All Christians who have come to an accurate knowledge of the truth and have dedicated their lives to the doing of God’s will and who have been baptized in water must continue to study the Bible. In time, having studied his written judicial decisions, they will be able to discern between right and wrong. The Bible clearly states the right principles and the right way for man to go. But even Christians who have served him well for many years can forget God if they stop studying God’s Word. Some persons deliberately want to forget God, and this is marked in their conscience as with a branding iron.—1 Tim. 4:2.
6. How does Psalm 50:16-18 have application in our day, and why have Christendom’s religions been of no help to the people?
6 The writer of the fiftieth psalm says: “But to the wicked one God will have to say: ‘What right do you have to enumerate my regulations, and that you may bear my covenant in your mouth? Why, you—you have hated discipline, and you keep throwing my words behind you. Whenever you saw a thief, you were even pleased with him; and your sharing was with adulterers.’” (Ps. 50:16-18) Many people claim to be Christian, but do they have any right to represent Jehovah God? If they are in the new covenant with God, why do they hate God’s discipline and throw God’s words behind them? Millions upon millions of people and their hypocritical clergy in Christendom’s religious organizations today have actually thrown the words of God behind them. They have shown they are through with God’s Word but still call themselves Christians. They know, as well as anyone else, that one should not steal, that married people should not commit adultery nor single ones engage in fornication. But, they are well described by the words of the psalmist, ‘When they see a thief they are pleased with him.’ In their hearts they would like to be able to get away with such stealing themselves. Have you noticed that all false religious organizations wink at persons who are sharing with adulterers? These are not reprimanded or disfellowshiped from their religious organization. They continue to be “good” members in fine standing in the church organizations of Christendom. How many times have you read in your newspapers about a person’s third, fourth and fifth marriage while their former mates are still living? For such persons marriage becomes legalized adultery. In many Catholic-controlled countries people cannot get divorces on any grounds and so the adulterers just live with their mistresses and continue in good standing in their immoral religious systems. They certainly have thrown God’s Word behind them. No wonder the world empire of false religion is called “Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth.” (Rev. 17:5) Do you want to belong to such a religious system?
7, 8. What do forgetters of God overlook regarding God’s view of immorality and immoral persons?
7 The psalmist goes on to say to forgetters of God: “Your mouth you have let loose to what is bad, and your tongue you keep attached to deception.” (Ps. 50:19) Lying is common. Most people look upon lying as something that does not do any harm. Here is where the breakdown in morals begins. The immorality of the religious, political and commercial system of things is appalling. Good morals are practically nil. The majority of the people in Christendom today, and probably the majority of people in other religious persuasions, think that God does not see what is going on and is not interested anyway. Jehovah expresses himself through his written Word, and someday he will speak very forcefully by actions. Jehovah goes on to say in this fiftieth psalm: “You imagined that I would positively become like you. I am going to reprove you, and I will set things in order before your eyes. Understand this, please, you forgetters of God, that I may not tear you to pieces without there being any deliverer.”—Ps. 50:21, 22.
8 You can say that “there is no God,” if you wish, and that “God is dead.” The evolutionist says, “I proved there is no God,” but that will not change matters. Jehovah speaks boldly through his Word to the immoral ones and all “forgetters of God,” and warns that he will tear them to pieces. Despite all their howling when the war of Armageddon in the great day of God the Almighty strikes, there will be no deliverer. Then Jehovah will surely set things in order for the blessing of those who love righteousness.
9. How does the psalmist describe one who does not forget God?
9 Maybe you are one of those who really love God and who are practicing his sayings and have not forgotten God’s Word. To such the psalmist says: “The one offering thanksgiving as his sacrifice is the one that glorifies me; and as for the one keeping a set way, I will cause him to see salvation by God.” (Ps. 50:23) Are you keeping a set way, along with thousands of persons who are offering thanksgiving to Jehovah daily? Keep on glorifying Jehovah by preaching from house to house and encouraging people who love righteousness to study his Word. “Keeping a set way,” the righteous way, will cause an even greater crowd of people to sing God’s praises day and night and to see salvation.
10, 11. Of what benefit to others can a person be if he does not forget God?
10 The best way to keep from forgetting God is to keep thinking about him. Get acquainted with what he wants done and then do it. Jehovah says through the psalmist: “Do give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ear to the sayings of my mouth.” (Ps. 78:1) Is there any value in doing this? Are there benefits? Is there something to be gained? Is it rewarding to incline your ears and to listen to what God has to say and then do it? It certainly is! Not only will you personally profit by inclining your ears to the sayings of Jehovah’s mouth, but another good purpose is this: “In order that the generation to come, the sons that were to be born, might know them, that they might rise up and relate them to their sons, and that they might set their confidence in God himself and not forget the practices of God but observe his own commandments.”—Ps. 78:6, 7.
11 How many people in Christendom today really want their children to “set their confidence in God himself”? Before you can instill such confidence in your children, you must learn about Jehovah and “not forget the practices of God.” How can your children know anything about God unless you yourself observe God’s commandments and teach them to your children?
12. Whose responsibility is it to teach children God’s commandments, and why?
12 Humankind is the creation of Jehovah God. He knows better how we should conduct our lives and live them than anyone else does. Educators and scientists think they know better how to teach and conduct the lives of children. Parents who believe the Word of God and observe God’s commandments, however, are the ones that have the responsibility. It cannot be given to the State. The Israelites were instructed to teach their children the things that they saw and heard and to inculcate in the minds of their children the principles of truth and righteousness. The State is not doing this, and every year fewer people teach their children what the Bible counsels. Every person who professes to be a true Christian should say: “With your orders I will concern myself, and I will look to your paths. For your statutes I shall show a fondness. I shall not forget your word.” (Ps. 119:15, 16) How pointed and direct this advice! Have you concerned yourself as to what Jehovah’s statutes are? Do you want to know the orders of God and his regulations for proper living? Even in the normal processes of life most people recognize order and law and get acquainted with the rules of the land, but far more important are the laws that Jehovah has had written. These pertain to our living, and our children’s living, forever. We must show a fondness for His statutes, and we must not forget his Word, the Holy Bible. Teach them to your children.
13. How do Jehovah’s witnesses show they are interested in what Jehovah has to say?
13 Jehovah’s witnesses are very much interested in what Jehovah God has to say. They study the Bible in five meetings each week. That does not mean that they will remember every scripture and be able to quote the whole Bible verse by verse, but by reading the Bible regularly they will get the overall picture of what Jehovah’s way of life is for mankind, what his principles of truth and righteousness are; and they appreciate the way that they should conduct their lives in relationship to others, their children and neighbors, and especially in relationship to God.
14. Why is it important to know what Jehovah’s will is for man?
14 It is very important for Christians to know what Jehovah’s will is, because each one has to make the decision as to whether he is going to take the right course or the wrong course. Jehovah does not force one to do something. Really one’s life, or whatever life one will have in the future, is dependent on one’s own course of action. Hence one dare not forget the law of God. One must know right from wrong. Through speaking the truth one feels confident that Jehovah will find pleasure in the voluntary offerings of one’s mouth. At all times one must be very much interested in having Jehovah God teach one his own judicial decisions, that is, Jehovah’s judicial decisions. A person does not want to be the judge as to what is right and what is wrong. God makes the judicial decisions. We must get in line with them for our own welfare. It pays to do what is right. A Christian wants Jehovah God to state what is the right way, the correct course to take. The Christian must make the decision. No one else can, because the Christian knows that he personally is responsible to God, the Giver of life.
15. How was it that Adam and Eve followed a course of rebellion in Eden?
15 In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve had their lives at stake. Jehovah said to the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.” (Gen. 2:16, 17) God was not making it difficult for the first man that he created and put in the paradise of Eden to keep on living. Of all of the trees in the garden—and there may have been thousands of them—he could freely eat, but there was just one he should not eat from, at least for the present. After God created Adam he created a helpmate, Eve. He saw that it was not good for the man to continue by himself. When Adam saw Eve after she was created from his rib, Adam exclaimed: “This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one will be called Woman, because from man this one was taken.” (Gen. 2:23) Adam informed Eve of what God had told him directly about not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. But one day Satan by the form of the serpent began to say to the woman: “‘Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?’ At this the woman said to the serpent: ‘Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. But as for eating of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, “You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it that you do not die.’” At this the serpent said to the woman: ‘You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.’”—Gen. 3:1-5.
LIFE DEPENDENT UPON DECISION
16, 17. What course of action did Adam and Eve choose when it came to listening to God’s command, and with what result?
16 We know what happened in the garden of Eden. The record is in the third chapter of the book of Genesis. Eve ate of the fruit of the tree because she wanted to be the one who would decide what was good and what was bad. She wanted to be like God, making judicial decisions, deciding what is good and bad. She chose to act contrary to Jehovah’s already established statute. She did not want to listen to Jehovah’s law, and God did not step in and stop her from taking and eating the fruit of that tree, because when Jehovah created Adam and Eve he created them both as free moral agents. Their lives depended on their own decisions. They could do with their lives as they pleased and reap whatever they sowed. Jehovah gave them sound counsel, good advice on how to carry on their lives in harmony with His will, but he did not force them to do his will. They could go contrary to it if they chose to do so. He did tell them not to eat of one particular tree; but if they wanted to be disobedient to his law, then, as he told Adam, they would be choosing death.
17 So it was up to Adam and Eve to make the vital decision. As free moral agents, they did with their lives as they pleased. They brought death upon themselves as well as upon the entire human family.—Rom. 5:12.
18. Because all men are free moral agents, what choice also lies before them?
18 But that act on Adam’s part did not change man’s freedom to make decisions for himself. As far as every person on earth is concerned, each one is still a free moral agent and may still do with his life what he pleases to do. He can find out what God’s law is and live by it, or he can live contrary to it. It is surely much wiser for an individual to listen to and follow the Word of the all-wise God and to live by it, than to go contrary to it. Why not be like the psalmist who said: “I shall not forget your word.”
19. How does Christendom justify wrong conduct, but what has God provided for man to help him walk uprightly?
19 Adam and Eve both quickly forgot God’s law in the garden of Eden after Satan began talking. They brushed aside God’s command to “not eat” and they ate of the forbidden fruit. Will you do the same with God’s laws today? You are just as free to make your decisions as Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden. The question is: Will you make your decisions without consulting God’s law? Millions of people do. For the result, look at the immorality world wide. Maybe you say: “You can’t blame them.” But these people still support Christendom, which no longer teaches God’s law on adultery, fornication and homosexuality, and has no objection to loose conduct. Christendom may try to justify itself by saying: “These laws of God are not applicable today.” That is just what Satan said to Eve. So people today have thrown the Ten Commandments and all the other laws of God behind them. They want freedom, they want to go places, but no signposts. Whether they like it or not the signposts are up! God’s laws stand and are there to help mankind. Will you follow the laws and live by them? You can if you wish. Your life is at stake.
20. (a) What is happening to today’s world, leading to what? (b) Therefore, how will the Christian’s course be different?
20 Earthly governments make laws so that there might be some order among the people. But look what happens when the schoolchildren rebel, the parents rebel, the labor people rebel, and the nationalities rebel. All the unrest in the world today shouts out: “We do not like the law.” What will this worldwide disorder of things come to? It will come to the situation that the Bible calls Armageddon. (Rev. 16:16) That is why true Christians today who pay attention to God’s law and do not forget it can rejoice. By what they see they know these are the “last days” of this wicked system of things. So, having read the Holy Scriptures, they say to fellow Christians: “But as these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28) They know there must and will be a change in world affairs, and they have been praying to God: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” They believe that prayer, and that is why Jehovah’s witnesses keep on preaching that the kingdom of the heavens is at hand. Listen and do not forget.
21. How can the advice of Proverbs 3:1, 2 be helpful to a Christian now and in the future?
21 While you still have your life at stake take the advice of Proverbs 3:1, 2: “My son, my law do not forget, and my commandments may your heart observe, because length of days and years of life and peace will be added to you.” If Adam had listened to the law of God and lived by it, his life would have continued to this very day. In fact, he would be nearly six thousand years old, according to Bible chronology. When God’s Kingdom rule is established without a rival and the resurrection of the dead takes place and the one-thousand-year reign ends, will the life of each man still depend on his individual decision? Yes, at the end of the millennial reign of Christ Jesus man’s life or soul will still be at stake, because Revelation 20:7-10 shows that Satan will be loosed out of his prison and he will go out to mislead the nations. So each individual can either go with Satan the Devil or follow God’s laws. Everlasting life will come by one’s being obedient to God’s laws for directing mankind at the end of the thousand years. Those who choose Satan’s side will die with the Devil when he is cast into the lake of fire, the second death. So if one wants to ‘lengthen his days and have years of life and peace added to him,’ then it is better for him to listen and do what God says. Jehovah is the Giver of life, and he knows how to extend your life. If you put your trust in Jehovah and believe him and you do not forget his laws, “length of days and years of life” will be yours.
22. (a) Why was God’s Word written, and therefore what is our responsibility? (b) Of what personal benefit can God’s Word be to us?
22 Listen to the wise man: “Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding. Do not forget, and do not turn aside from the sayings of my mouth.” (Prov. 4:5) Sometimes people think that after spending a few years reading the Bible they know everything God has to say. But that is not true. The older we get the more knowledge we acquire and the more wisdom we gain. So we have better understanding. God wrote his Word, the Bible, for a very definite purpose, “for our instruction.” (Rom. 15:4) Therefore, we should keep on reading it and truly studying it. With more knowledge true Christians can appreciate the principles of truth and righteousness. A Christian having instruction can endure and face the difficulties, persecutions and hardships while walking in his integrity. God’s Word strengthens him to be a publisher of the Kingdom, maybe a missionary or a pioneer, or circuit servant or district servant somewhere in Jehovah’s visible organization. God is not unmindful of what faithful Christians are doing. Paul appreciated this and so he wrote: “For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name, in that you have ministered to the holy ones and continue ministering. But we desire each one of you to show the same industriousness so as to have the full assurance of the hope down to the end, in order that you may not become sluggish, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”—Heb. 6:10-12.
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Do you help your children to remember what God has done?