‘No Weapon Formed Against You Will Succeed’
THOSE words of Jehovah, recorded at Isaiah 54:17, have seen fulfillment time and again throughout the centuries. In fact, their fulfillment can even have an amusing aspect, as shown by the following report from an African land where Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted:
‘At the town of K——, a local authority sent soldiers to arrest a group of Witnesses in order to interrogate them. The following day about 80 of the Witnesses, male and female, were rounded up and brought to the zone. After questioning, the zone authority decided to punish the males before locking them in prison. They were ordered to run five laps around the huge compound, and soldiers were assigned to accompany them, making sure they ran and took no shortcuts. The idea was to exhaust them and weaken their balance and reason.
‘The local authorities forgot one thing. The arrested Witnesses lived in the bush. Despite the fact that some were getting up in years, they were accustomed to running, for they hunted animals for their food. So they were not discouraged at the idea of running five laps around the town with soldiers. It was preferable to being beaten. To the contrary, it was the soldiers who were displeased at the idea of having to run to control the Witnesses.
‘At the end of lap one, Jehovah’s Witnesses were running easily. The soldiers, however, were encouraging them to slow down, and to speed up only when they came in sight of the zone authorities. The Witnesses explained that “we are just obeying the instructions” and, little by little, the soldiers fell behind. Before long, the Witnesses were left to run by themselves.
‘By the second lap, some of the Witnesses were getting tired, but they kept faithfully on. What a surprise at that point when an older brother, about 60 years of age, overtook the rest of the field and pulled out front. By that time the event had attracted the interest of more and more spectators who began to shout and cheer. The whole thing was becoming a comic theater with an older man “leading the pack,” and not a soldier in sight. Even some of the zone authorities were rolling with laughter at the spectacle.
‘Seeing that even the Witnesses were enjoying the “sport” and that all had run and not one had tried to escape, and especially that an older man had outrun the rest, the zone authority took pity on them, stopped the race, and released the Witnesses. These made good use of the opportunity to witness to the onlookers. Then they took their wives and returned to their villages. All the charges were forgotten.’