How Can You Find Real Security?
“Take exquisite delight in Jehovah, and he will give you the requests of your heart.”—Ps. 37:4.
1. Where will true security in every sense be found?
GOD’S new order will be a place of total security. Earth wide the prophecy of Micah 4:4 will see major fulfillment, for peace-loving persons will “sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble.” Yes, “the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Ps. 37:11) While even today a measure of security, especially in a spiritual way, can be found among those who worship Jehovah, total security in all areas of life will be realized only in that new order of God’s making. What a wonderful time that will be when Jehovah, by means of his heavenly kingdom, provides such abundant material blessings and such lasting security that daily life will be an “exquisite delight”!
2, 3. What are some of the benefits Kingdom rule will provide? (Isa. 32:1, 2)
2 No more will there be problems of displaced persons, due to their fleeing from the territories controlled by cruel dictatorial governments. Nor will there be any fear of young or old being torn apart in hideous wars, for “they will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” (Mic. 4:3) Peace will be the rule because all mankind will be blessed by the great Deliverer, of whom it is written: “Let him judge the afflicted ones of the people, let him save the sons of the poor one, and let him crush the defrauder. . . . In his days the righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more. And he will have subjects . . . to the ends of the earth.”—Ps. 72:4-8.
3 Poverty, hunger or want will not mar that security either. God’s Word promises that “there will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.” (Ps. 72:16) Yes, “the tree of the field must give its fruitage, and the land itself will give its yield.” (Ezek. 34:27) We can have confidence that this will be the case since when on earth Jesus Christ, the appointed King of God’s kingdom, demonstrated his ability to arrange for an adequate food supply for multitudes.—Mark 8:19, 20.
ARE YOU LOOKING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?
4, 5. (a) What is at stake today? (Compare Deuteronomy 30:15, 16.) (b) How, only, can we gain life?
4 In view of what the future holds in God’s new order, how shall we regard the things that the world today looks to for security, such as one’s home, bank account, job or material comforts? Since Jehovah created humans to enjoy material blessings, would it be wrong to have these things now? No, it could not be said that such things are wrong in themselves. Jehovah created us with the mental, emotional and physical capacity to enjoy good things. And he promises the best of material things in his new order. But at this point in human history, the question is not whether we were made to enjoy material blessings. What is at stake today is our very lives.
5 The evidence from fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that we are very, very late in the “last days” of this present wicked system of things. (2 Tim. 3:1-5) Soon, God will execute his adverse judgment against it, resulting in a time of unparalleled distress for this world. (Dan. 12:1) Yet, God’s Word shows that there will be “a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues” who will “come out of the great tribulation.” (Rev. 7:9, 14) They will survive because of having God’s approval and protection, not because of any material advantage that they may have. Jesus said: “Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) Eternal life in God’s new order can come only by knowing Jehovah and having his approval.—John 17:3.
6. Will any part of this present wicked system afford security? (Ps. 146:3)
6 Nothing that this world offers as security will mean anything when God’s anger comes against the present human systems. And all the political, religious, military and economic systems now dominating mankind are to be brought to nothing. Hence, they certainly will not provide any security. (Rev. 6:16, 17) So what may appear strong and protective today will crumble when God’s destructive forces strike. In ancient times, many looked to powerful horses for security and escape in time of trouble. But God’s Word says: “The horse is a deception for salvation, and by the abundance of its vital energy it does not afford escape.” (Ps. 33:17) Similarly today, neither seemingly strong man-made systems nor material advantages will provide any better security or escape. “Salvation belongs to Jehovah,” not to any system or work of men. “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.”—Ps. 3:8; Prov. 18:10.
7, 8. How would passengers on a sinking ship regard its material benefits?
7 The situation of people today can be likened to the situation of passengers on a ship. There is nothing wrong with the material benefits that a ship normally affords: the food it carries can be tasty and nourishing; the cabins, warm and comfortable; other services and benefits, enjoyable. But what happens if the ship strikes an object and begins to sink? Consider what happened, for example, to the famous ship “Titanic” in 1912. “Experts had considered the ship unsinkable,” says an encyclopedia. But how much true security was there on the “Titanic,” with all its material benefits, when it struck an iceberg and sank? No security at all. The ship went down with the loss of about 1,500 lives.
8 If you had been on the “Titanic,” what would you have concerned yourself with after it started to sink? While you would not have condemned the previous material benefits of the ship, you certainly would consider them now absolutely unimportant, would you not? The main thing in this new situation would be the preserving of your life. You would consider someone very foolish, even mentally unbalanced, who then spent all his energies trying to get better accommodations, meals, or other material benefits on the ship when, in a few hours, it would plunge beneath the waves!
9, 10. In view of where we stand on the stream of time, what should our attitude be toward material things? (Phil. 3:7, 8)
9 Soon this present system of things will plunge into destruction. Hence, there is now no true security in it, for no part of it will survive. God’s heavenly kingdom “will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms” existing today, and only God’s heavenly government “will stand to times indefinite.” (Dan. 2:44) And since Jesus foretold that at this coming time of judgment from God “there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again,” it is obvious that there will be great loss of life as well as of material possessions.—Matt. 24:21.
10 In the year 1977 we are now in the sixty-third year of the “time of the end,” counting from autumn of the crucial year of 1914. In fulfillment of Bible prophecy, it is obvious from the events of our times that the present wicked system will soon receive its deathblow. What, then, will our attitude be? It all depends. Upon what? It depends upon what we make our goal. If we make our goal eternal life in God’s new order, then we will do everything in our power to search for Jehovah, learn his will, and do it to the best of our circumstances. The material things of the world will not be our main concern. Instead, “having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”—1 Tim. 6:8.
11. (a) Are rich people the only ones who can be materialistic? (b) Why is it shortsighted to make material pursuits our main concern now?
11 When Jesus warned, “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth,” he fully appreciated how temporary and insecure any treasures would be in this present system of things. (Matt. 6:19) Nor was this advice for rich persons only; poor people can be just as intent upon gaining and storing material wealth. People expose their true motives by what they make their objective in life, regardless of their financial standing. “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also,” said Jesus. (Matt. 6:21) If a person constantly reaches out to collect more and more material things, such as a bigger and better home, more money in the bank, a better job, regardless of the consequences, then he betrays himself as really wanting the things of the world. He proves by his works that his mind is primarily on the present system’s benefits. But how shortsighted this is, since “everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.”—1 John 2:16, 17.
LEARNING FROM THE PAST
12. What was wrong with the people in Noah’s day?
12 We can imagine the ridicule that wicked people heaped upon Noah and his family, in the days before the flood, because they spent so much of their time doing Jehovah’s will. Of course, they had to work for their daily needs and to maintain a place to live, but they did not center their activities on that. However, the rest of that world did, devoting themselves to “eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.” (Matt. 24:38) But if excesses are avoided, is there anything wrong with eating, or with drinking, or with marrying? No, for Jehovah himself instituted those things when he created man and woman. What was wrong was that at a time of judgment, when life or death was at issue, those people foolishly centered their lives on such pursuits and did not pay attention to God’s will.
13. Did the material possessions of the people at that time afford them security? Did Noah’s possessions afford him security?
13 Of those people, Jesus said: “They took no note until the flood came and swept them all away.” (Matt. 24:39) Yes, they may have thought Noah “odd” for giving up material benefits in order to concentrate on building the ark and preaching. But what good did the people’s pursuit of material things and their “good times” do them? No lasting good whatsoever. They lost not only their possessions but their lives, as that world was destroyed by water. (2 Pet. 2:5) Also, note this carefully: What good did the homes and possessions of Noah, of his sons and their wives do them? They provided no security either. The ark was where security was to be found. And when the time came for them to abandon the homes that they had, they did not hesitate. They had not been trusting in those things for security, and so they were able to leave them behind with no difficulty.—Gen. 6:22.
14. What loss was suffered by all in Sodom and Gomorrah, but what difference was there in the case of Lot and his daughters? (Luke 9:62)
14 Centuries later, when Jehovah brought destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah for their gross wickedness, how much was left of the homes and possessions in those cities? Nothing! When Lot and his family abandoned Sodom, they could take very little with them. Their home, furniture and most of their possessions also went into destruction. But Lot and his two daughters appreciated that their lives were much more important. They saw the issue. For their faith and obedience to Jehovah’s instructions, they were spared. But the townspeople and their possessions were not spared. As Jesus said, in the days of Lot “they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. But on the day that Lot came out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed them all.” Including whom? Sadly, including Lot’s wife. When in flight, she disobeyed and looked back toward the things left behind, and lost her life.—Gen. 19:26; Luke 17:28, 29.
15. Why did Jesus compare our day with that of Noah and Lot?
15 Jesus said that as it was in the days of Noah and also of Lot, so it would be at the coming “great tribulation.” The vast majority of earth’s population would be unconcerned about God and his will. As a result, they would lose their lives. And when a person is dead, how many of his material possessions can he enjoy? None of them. But with those who want to keep living, and who turn to God for security, that will not be the case. They will not have let themselves become trapped by material concerns. Indeed, they are ready to abandon any material possession “on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed.” For Jesus said: “On that day let the person that is on the housetop but whose movable things are in the house not come down to pick these up, and the person out in the field, let him likewise not return to the things behind. Remember the wife of Lot.”—Luke 17:30-32.
16. Did the Christians suffer loss when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 C.E.?
16 How extensive will the destruction of material things be at the coming “great tribulation”? Only time will tell. But in the examples of Bible history noted above there was huge material loss, which included much material loss to God’s people. That was also the experience in 70 C.E. when Roman armies devastated Jerusalem. The Christians had to abandon their homes earlier, perhaps taking with them only a few things that they could easily carry. (Luke 21:20, 21) What happened to those who would not leave? They lost, not only their homes and possessions to the Romans, but possibly their lives too. The Christians who fled the city, while also suffering the loss of homes and most possessions, escaped with their lives and kept their freedom. So, too, at the coming tribulation, there could be great loss materially. How would you view such personal loss?
17. Why is it a grievous mistake to look in the wrong direction for security? (Zeph. 1:18)
17 So think now, in what do you really trust for security? In “gold” or in God? Where is your mind, and heart, centered—on the things of this system or on God’s new order? Do your actions, your way of life, show where you look for security? What a grievous error it would be to look for security in the wrong direction at this late date! As Job 31:24-28 says: “If I have put gold as my confidence, or to gold I have said, ‘You are my trust!’ If I used to rejoice because my property was much, and because my hand had found a lot of things; . . . that too would be an error for attention by the justices, for I should have denied the true God above.”
18. What thrilling prospect is there in store for those who look in the right direction for security?
18 In view of the imminent collapse of human systems, and the subsequent vast material loss that could take place, it would be shortsighted indeed not to prepare ourselves for it mentally. If you love life, and want to keep living, do not become attached to any material thing. “Valuable things will be of no benefit on the day of fury, but righteousness itself will deliver from death.” “The one trusting in his riches—he himself will fall; but just like foliage the righteous ones will flourish.” (Prov. 11:4, 28) Such “righteous ones” will be ushered into God’s new order, there to share in the thrilling work of making the entire earth a Paradise, a lovely home where they will enjoy living forever. Having looked in the right direction, these ones “will actually dwell in security, with no one to make them tremble.”—Ezek. 34:28.
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Would you be concerned with getting more material comforts if the ship you were on was sinking?