Security Now and Forever
OUR Creator, who knows the value of everything, inspired men to offer this counsel: “Whoever relies on his wealth is riding for a fall.” “A king is not saved by a great army, nor a warrior delivered by great strength.” “A man cannot trust his horse to save him, nor can it deliver him for all its strength.” (Prov. 11:28; Ps. 33:16, 17, The New English Bible) Jesus Christ truthfully stated that “even when a man has more than enough, his wealth does not give him life.”—Luke 12:15, NE.
Of course, in a worsening criminal climate, we may have to take certain practical steps to safeguard our life and our possessions. But we must recognize that, at best, these measures are only temporary and in no way guarantee our security. What we really desire is the assurance that no set of outside circumstances can do us lasting harm. Is it possible to live with such confidence? Is there any source of strength and authority that can make our way of life secure now and even forever? Can we live in security even when we are threatened by violence, food shortage or economic collapse?
Real Security Identified
Here is something to ponder: Why was it that, in ancient Israel, families could leave their homes and villages unprotected and journey to Jerusalem for their religious festivals even though they were surrounded by enemy nations? How could it be that when Jerusalem was besieged by the mighty Assyrian army not a drop of Israelite blood was spilled and yet 185,000 enemy soldiers fell in one night? (2 Ki. 19:32-35) How could a nation of some three million men, women and children live for 40 years in a “vast and terrible wilderness infested with poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty, waterless land”?—Deut. 8:15, NE.
Jehovah their God, the Creator of all things, was the one making their life secure. It proved to be just as the inspired psalmist David declared: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you yourself alone, O Jehovah, make me dwell in security.”—Ps. 4:8.
Do you doubt that Jehovah God, our heavenly Father, would care for us in the 20th century in the same way that he cared for the Israelites back there? Suppose your local bank president said to you: “I don’t want you to worry about anything. Just let me know what you need and I will take care of it.” Would not such a promise alleviate your concern about security? Of course, it is unlikely that a bank president could give this guarantee. However, Jehovah God has assured all of his faithful servants that he will care for all their needs. (Matt. 6:31-33) We can have full confidence in this because the Most High always carries out his word, as shown by examples, past and present.—Josh. 21:45.
Wise King Solomon came to recognize the limited value of material things and at the same time experienced the close relationship with Jehovah God that enabled him to live in security. Solomon wrote: “The valuable things of the rich are his strong town, and they are like a protective wall in his imagination.” (Prov. 18:11) How true—“in his imagination”! The rich man imagines that these valuable things will protect him when calamity strikes. But how often has experience shown that such a “protective wall” is unreal and offers no protection in times of economic collapse, runaway inflation, political upheaval or terminal illness!
In Proverbs 18:10, Solomon makes this contrast: “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.” There is no crisis of any proportion nor any set of circumstances that can place a servant of God beyond divine help. Here, then, lies the source of real security—our personal relationship with our loving Father.—Ps. 59:16, 17; 62:5-8.
How Can We Be Assured of Protection?
This confidence does not develop overnight. Like a tree that grows stronger with each year, firmer with each storm it survives, our faith in Jehovah is strengthened as we see his righteous ways work out for the best in our lives. Our daily study of his Word, the time we spend in preaching the “good news,” our regularly seeking him in prayer—all of these contribute to this personal bond.
Isaiah described the kind of security that we desire in these words: “He is the one that will reside on the heights themselves; his secure height will be craggy places difficult to approach. His own bread will certainly be given him; his water supply will be unfailing.” (Isa. 33:16) However, this security is only for those who desire to live a life that contributes to the welfare of others. Isaiah also stated: “There is one who is walking in continual righteousness and speaking what is upright, who is rejecting the unjust gain from frauds, who is shaking his hands clear from taking hold on a bribe, who is stopping up his ear from listening to bloodshed, and who is closing his eyes so as not to see what is bad.” (Isa. 33:15) How do these requirements for God’s protection apply in modern times?
“Continual righteousness” suggests a daily pursuit of Jehovah’s standards of righteousness or honesty. The words “rejecting the unjust gain” remind us that we should not imitate the get-rich-quick ways of the world. In addition to not accepting bribes, never allowing a favor or material gain to color judgment, a person who wishes to have the approval of Jehovah must be a person who is “stopping up his ear from listening to bloodshed, and who is closing his eyes so as not to see what is bad.” Twentieth-century films, books and magazines were not available to the prophet, but one who desires a close friendship with Jehovah would avoid violent and immoral entertainment today.
Our adherence to right principles contributes to our enjoying security. Wise King Solomon summed up the matter in a few words: “He that is walking in integrity will walk in security.”—Prov. 10:9.
At times, some Witnesses of Jehovah also have experienced what they viewed as divine protection. Take, for example, Brother Z——. He was reading The Watchtower in his car one day when someone suddenly grabbed him around the neck. He prayed fervently to Jehovah. The attacker became motionless, and his grip slackened. Brother Z—— started up the car, bade farewell and left the man standing like a statue in the middle of the road.
Then there was a missionary from Kenya. Her parents were bitterly opposed when she started to serve Jehovah. The father threatened her with death if she did not leave those “white monkeys,” as he called the Witnesses. He hired thugs to harm her. She reports: “Jehovah’s protection enabled me never to fall into their hands.”
As these experiences illustrate, Christians do have to deal with critical situations. However, with full trust in Jehovah, we can be confident that absolutely nothing can do us lasting harm. Our heavenly Father has promised: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.” So we can confidently react to any threat to our security, saying: “Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”—Heb. 13:5, 6.
Very soon now the whole human family will experience a crisis that will demolish the seemingly protective walls offered by wealth, military might or political power. Only those who have trusted in the unseen but mighty hand of Jehovah will survive and enjoy security forever under the righteous rule of God’s kingdom. (Rev. 21:1, 4) May this be your happy lot for having developed a close personal tie with the Most High.