Jehovah, an Appreciative God
JEHOVAH GOD is the Source of life. All intelligent creatures in the heavens and on earth owe their existence to him. Nothing anyone can do could change the supreme position Jehovah God occupies toward all creation. As young Elihu pointed out to faithful Job: “If you sin, what injury do you do to God? Even if your offenses are many, how do you hurt him? If you are righteous, what do you give him, or what does he receive from your hand? Your wickedness can affect only a man like yourself; and your justice only a fellow human being.”—Job 35:6-8, New American Bible.
True, his supreme position is unaffected by what anyone may do or refuse to do. Nevertheless, Jehovah God highly appreciates the faithful service of his intelligent creatures. The Bible tells us: “Jehovah is finding pleasure in those fearing him, in those waiting for his loving-kindness.” (Ps. 147:11) “The prayer of the upright ones is a pleasure to him.” (Prov. 15:8) Never does Jehovah God unappreciatively forget what his servants have done. The Scriptures give this assurance: “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.” (Heb. 6:10) His past dealings add force to the Biblical assurances that he appreciates what his servants do.
Take the case of Israelite King Jehu. He was specifically designated by Jehovah God to execute judgment upon the bloodguilty royal house of Ahab. In appreciation for what Jehu did, Jehovah God promised him: “For the reason that you have acted well in doing what is right in my eyes, and according to all that was in my heart you have done to the house of Ahab, sons themselves to the fourth generation will sit for you upon the throne of Israel.”—2 Ki. 10:30.
It is noteworthy that Jehu’s record as king was not without flaw. The Bible reports: “Jehu himself did not take care to walk in the law of Jehovah the God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam with which he caused Israel to sin.” (2 Ki. 10:31) Instead of removing all centers of false worship from his realm, Jehu permitted the calf worship started by King Jeroboam to continue. Furthermore, according to the prophecy of Hosea, Jehu’s house became bloodguilty before Jehovah. (Hos. 1:4) Yet, despite the fact that Jehu’s life was not without serious derelictions, Jehovah God held true to his promise. In fulfillment of that promise, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam (II) and Zechariah—Jehu’s offspring to the “fourth generation”—occupied the throne of the ten-tribe kingdom.
ONE WHO SERVED UNWITTINGLY
Remarkable, too, is the fact that Jehovah does not limit rewards to those who recognize him as God. For instance, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar rendered a service against the city of Tyre. That city deserved punishment for the treacherous way it had dealt with the Israelites. At one time Tyre had been on very friendly terms with them but in later years allied itself with their enemies.
The siege of Tyre proved to be long and difficult. Whatever spoils were taken evidently fell far short of expectations. It was as though Nebuchadnezzar and his forces received no wages. Though Nebuchadnezzar served only unwittingly as executioner of divine vengeance against Tyre, Jehovah God did not overlook what he did. Through his prophet Ezekiel, Jehovah declared: “Nebuchadrezzar himself, the king of Babylon, made his military force perform a great service against Tyre. . . . But as for wages, there proved to be none for him and his military force from Tyre for the service that he had performed against her. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am giving to Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon the land of Egypt, and he must carry off its wealth and make a big spoil of it and do a great deal of plundering of it; and it must become wages for his military force.’”—Ezek. 29:18, 19.
Think of it, Nebuchadnezzar did not even know that he had performed a service that suited God’s purpose! Yet Jehovah God did not fail to pay for services rendered. He saw to it that Nebuchadnezzar and his forces were amply compensated. How much more, then, will the Most High show appreciation for what his loyal servants knowingly do!
APPRECIATION FOR LITTLE THINGS
The Creator appreciates even the smallest things. This is evident from what Jesus Christ told his followers: “He that receives you receives me also, and he that receives me receives him also that sent me forth. He that receives a prophet because he is a prophet will get a prophet’s reward, and he that receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will get a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water to drink because he is a disciple, I tell you truly, he will by no means lose his reward.”—Matt. 10:40-42.
The giving of a cup of cold water to a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ truly is a small thing. Yet, when such an act is done in recognition of a person’s being a disciple of Christ, Jehovah God appreciates this very much. Along with his Son, he views it as being done to him. The rightly motivated individual will, therefore, be richly rewarded spiritually. Though seemingly insignificant, the act of kindness rendered to a disciple of Jesus Christ may be a step leading to the person’s gaining an approved relationship before Jehovah God.
The fact that Jehovah God has time and again shown his appreciation to humans who could in no way change his supreme position should certainly cause us to examine our own attitude. As humans, we are very much dependent upon others. But do we show appreciation for the kindnesses extended to us?
If we desire to be like Jehovah, we should strive to be appreciative. When people do things for us, we should be grateful both to them and to Jehovah God, who created man in a way that makes acts of kindness and generosity possible. Our desire for such persons should be like that of Boaz for Ruth: “May Jehovah reward the way you act, and may there come to be a perfect wage for you from Jehovah.”—Ruth 2:12.