Trust in Jah Jehovah!
“Trust in Jehovah, you people, for all times, for in Jah Jehovah is the Rock of times indefinite.”—ISAIAH 26:4.
1, 2. What exultant song of praise is set forth at Isaiah 26:1-6, and why?
THE abasing of the ‘town of tyrannical nations’ calls for a victory song! (Isaiah 25:3) Appropriately, then, the prophecy at Isaiah chapter 26, verses 1 to 6, sets forth an exultant song of praise to the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. It is even now being sung “in the land of Judah,” Judah meaning “Lauded.” Here, again, the King James Version uses the expression “the LORD JEHOVAH” where the divine name is doubled. But how much more thrilling are the words of that song as they appear in the New World Translation, where this and all other occurrences of the divine name are rendered correctly!
2 Listen now to that melodious song: “We have a strong city. He [Jehovah] sets salvation itself for walls and rampart. Open the gates, you men, that the righteous nation that is keeping faithful conduct may enter. The inclination that is well supported you will safeguard in continuous peace, because it is in you that one is made to trust. Trust in Jehovah, you people, for all times, for in Jah Jehovah is the Rock of times indefinite. For he has laid low those inhabiting the height, the elevated town. He abases it, he abases it to the earth; he brings it in touch with the dust. The foot will trample it down, the feet of the afflicted one, the steps of the lowly ones.” What a joy to be among the trusting ones who now share in singing this song—Jehovah’s Witnesses!
3. (a) What is “the righteous nation,” and who have entered through its open “gates”? (b) How is it that Jehovah’s organization moves forward unitedly despite enemy efforts to break it up?
3 The Lord Jehovah—Jah Jehovah—will indeed abase the proud and deliver those who trust in him always. Though once a “little one,” spiritual Israel has become “a mighty nation,” “the righteous nation.” Through the open “gates” of Jehovah’s citylike organization, there has entered also a mighty throng of goodwill companions numbering more than three million. Together they make up an international brotherhood, the population of which exceeds that of at least 57 of the nations making up the so-called United Nations. But God’s “nation” and those associating with it are truly united. Earth wide, their inclination is to obey his righteous principles. The organizational “walls” of God’s “nation” provide a bulwark against Satan’s efforts to tamper with its faithful conduct in support of truth. The enemy cannot break up the loyal forward march of God’s people! Our trust always rests in ‘Jah Jehovah, the Rock to time indefinite.’—Isaiah 54:17; 60:22.
4, 5. (a) What is “the elevated town,” and how do Jehovah’s people trample it down in a figurative way? (b) When does the prophecy of Isaiah 26:10 have its major fulfillment, and how so? (c) What other application does this prophecy have?
4 As we sound the warning that Jehovah is about to lay low “the elevated town,” “Babylon the Great,” it is heartening to see the afflicted and lowly ones of earth embracing the good news of the Kingdom. (Revelation 18:2, 4, 5) In a figurative way they, too, trample down that “elevated town,” not by sharing in the destructive work, but by taking part in declaring the day of Jehovah’s vengeance upon that corrupt system. (Isaiah 61:1, 2) For decades now, Jehovah’s Witnesses have shown kindness even to the wicked by calling at their homes with the lifesaving Kingdom message. But the result has been as stated at Isaiah 26:10: “Though the wicked one should be shown favor, he simply will not learn righteousness. In the land of straightforwardness he will act unjustly and will not see the eminence of Jehovah.”
5 This restoration prophecy has its major fulfillment today. Though favored with the opportunity, few people want to make over their lives in order to receive Jehovah’s favor in “the land of straightforwardness.” Those who reproach Jehovah and his loyal witnesses “will not see the eminence of Jehovah,” for they will not survive to enjoy the marvelous blessings that will flow to mankind after Jehovah’s name has been sanctified. (Isaiah 11:9) The prophecy may apply, too, in the Paradise earth among those who are raised from the tombs. Any who refuse to conform to God’s requirements, as made plain in the divine “scrolls” of that time, will not have their names written in “the book of life.”—Revelation 20:12, 15; compare Ezekiel 33:11.
Jehovah Adjudges Peace
6. What words do Jehovah’s loyal people joyfully cry out, and why so?
6 God’s loyal people, though, are intensely interested in seeing Jah Jehovah exalted, vindicated. They call on him to “adjudge peace” to his people, and joyfully they cry out: “You have added to the nation; O Jehovah, you have added to the nation; you have glorified yourself. You have extended afar all the borders of the land.” (Isaiah 26:12, 15) In 210 lands around the earth, Jehovah continues to add sheeplike persons to his spiritual nation. Hundreds of thousands of new associates are being baptized. Over half a million special, regular, and auxiliary pioneers serve in peak months. More Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls are being built. Watch Tower branches are extending their Bethel Homes and factories and are adding printing equipment. The growth is continuous!
7. What accounts for the expansion of Jehovah’s citylike organization?
7 This expansion comes because the “Prince of Peace” is directing the affairs of God’s people on earth. As Isaiah states earlier in his prophecy: “To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom in order to establish it firmly and to sustain it by means of justice and by means of righteousness, from now on and to time indefinite. The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6, 7) How grandly those words have been fulfilled today! Those who trust in Jehovah already experience the peace, the justice, the righteousness, of that princely rule. It has brought them together in a loving unity that is enjoyed only by Jesus’ true disciples. (John 13:34, 35) Moreover, they look forward with keen anticipation to the fast-approaching time when Jesus’ Kingdom rule and “the knowledge of Jehovah” will fill the entire earth.—Isaiah 11:9; Daniel 2:35, 44, 45.
8. What is indicated by Jehovah’s words at Isaiah 26:20, and with what are the “interior rooms” linked?
8 As Kingdom expansion moves to a climax, Jehovah’s call at Isaiah 26:20 rings forth: “Go, my people, enter into your interior rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for but a moment until the denunciation passes over.” No doubt the “interior rooms” of this prophecy are linked closely with the more than 54,000 citylike congregations that serve Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the earth today. What Jehovah has in mind remains to be seen. But we can be sure that when he destroys the wicked, he will protect his trusting people, just as he did in Isaiah’s day in turning back the cruel Assyrian.—Isaiah 10:24-26.
9. (a) How did King Hezekiah show his trust in Jehovah? (b) When we are persecuted or reviled by haters of Jehovah, what is our proper response?
9 Jehovah’s servants today trust in him for the same reason that King Hezekiah did. He relied implicitly on Jehovah as his Sovereign Lord. Hence, at the height of the Assyrian threat, he prayed to Jehovah in these words: “O Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, sitting upon the cherubs, you alone are the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You yourself have made the heavens and the earth. Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear. Open your eyes, O Jehovah, and see, and hear all the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to taunt the living God.” (Isaiah 37:16, 17) When persecuted, mocked, or reviled by haters of Jehovah, does not a similar prayer leap up in your heart? With full trust in Jehovah, do you not petition him to remove the reproach on his name? That is the way Jesus felt when about to die on the torture stake. He even asked that the cup that he was about to drink might “pass away” from him because of the great reproach to his Father.—Matthew 26:39-44.
10. (a) What did Hezekiah’s prayer reveal about his main concern? (b) How can we be like Hezekiah as we face up to the tests just before Armageddon?
10 Hezekiah’s prayer showed that he had no selfish motive in seeking deliverance from the Assyrian. He was not just trying to save his own skin. Rather, he was concerned that Jehovah’s name be sanctified and His sovereignty be vindicated. Thus, his prayer concluded with the words: “And now, O Jehovah our God, save us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Jehovah, are God alone.” (Isaiah 37:20) Similarly, as we face up to the tests that precede the final war of Armageddon, let us have in mind that our personal salvation is secondary to the sanctifying of Jehovah’s name. As our Sovereign Lord declared some 60 times by his prophet Ezekiel: “They will have to know that I am Jehovah.”—Ezekiel 38:23.
11. (a) What mistake did Sennacherib make, and what did Jehovah say regarding this? (b) In view of the outcome to Sennacherib, what trust can we have?
11 After Hezekiah had prayed, Isaiah informed the king about the word that Jehovah had spoken against Sennacherib. What a mistake that Assyrian blasphemer had made in reproaching the living God! Through Isaiah, Jehovah said regarding Sennacherib: “Whom have you taunted and spoken of abusively? And against whom have you lifted up your voice and do you raise your eyes on high? It is against the Holy One of Israel.” And it was the Holy One of Israel that acted that night! It took only one angel of Jehovah to strike down and make “dead carcasses” of 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, the cream of Sennacherib’s army. That proud king retreated in shame to Nineveh and some years later was struck down by his own sons while persisting in his idolatrous worship. We can trust in Jehovah, confident that He will mete out similar treatment to Satan and all his cohorts that blasphemously revile and persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses.—Isaiah 37:23, 36-38.
Avenging the “Killed Ones”
12. (a) How does Isaiah 26:21 describe the accounting that will take place at Armageddon? (b) Who are the “killed ones” that will be avenged even before Armageddon, and how so?
12 It was an awesome battle scene back there, but a far more terrible accounting will take place during the “great tribulation.” (Matthew 24:21) Jehovah invites us to view the extent of that slaughter: “For, look! Jehovah is coming forth from his place to call to account the error of the inhabitant of the land against him, and the land will certainly expose her bloodshed and will no longer cover over her killed ones.” (Isaiah 26:21) First, Jehovah will cause the political powers to execute judgment on the advocates of religious error. Their false gods will not save them in that day! Let the Roman pope continue to gather all religions of “Babylon the Great” for multifaith prayers. None of these patrons of interfaith honor the true and living God, Jehovah. Their teachings are erroneous, non-Biblical, and so are their ways. They have slaughtered one another throughout the centuries. They have shed the blood of nonviolent Christians. In this 20th century, many of these wrongdoers have supported the cruel dictators that slew Jehovah’s Witnesses in prisons and concentration camps by firing squads and by the ax. As Jehovah forthrightly declares by his prophets, such “killed ones” will be avenged.—Deuteronomy 32:41, 43; Isaiah 1:24; 63:4; Revelation 17:15-18; 18:21, 24.
13. What does Isaiah foretell regarding “the day of Jehovah,” and to whom do the words apply?
13 After false religion has been devastated, Jehovah will move swiftly against all remaining opposers of Christ’s Kingdom. To all such opposers, as well as to “Babylon the Great,” God’s words at Isaiah 13:6, 9 apply: “Howl, you people, for the day of Jehovah is near! As a despoiling from the Almighty it will come. Look! The day of Jehovah itself is coming, cruel both with fury and with burning anger, in order to make the land an object of astonishment, and that it may annihilate the land’s sinners out of it.” It will be just as the psalmist David foretold: “Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.”—Psalm 145:20; Revelation 19:11-21.
14. What further words of Isaiah do the nations do well to heed, and why?
14 The nations of the earth would do well to heed Isaiah’s further words at chapter 34, verses 1 through 8: “Come up close, you nations, to hear; and you national groups, pay attention. . . . For Jehovah has indignation against all the nations, and rage against all their army. He must devote them to destruction; he must give them to the slaughter. And their slain ones will be thrown out; and as for their carcasses, their stink will ascend; and the mountains must melt because of their blood. . . . For Jehovah has a day of vengeance.” In the realms of politics, big business, and false religion today, corruption and immorality are rampant. But Jehovah purposes a clean earth. To this end, he is gathering out of the nations—for survival—those persons who are willing to make over their lives to serve him in righteousness. All others must perish in his day of vengeance.—Jeremiah 25:31-33.
A Paradise of Peace
15. What does Isaiah describe in chapter 35 with regard to (a) today? (b) the future?
15 In Isaiah chapter 35, God’s prophet proceeds, in beautiful pictorial language, to describe the condition of Jehovah’s restored people, those today who always place their trust in him. Having been gathered into a spiritual paradise, these “see the glory of Jehovah, the splendor of our God.” They also look forward to a physical paradise and the fulfillment of the promise: “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness. For in the wilderness waters will have burst out, and torrents in the desert plain.” (Isaiah 35:1, 2, 5, 6) Do you rejoice in that prospect? Do you trust in Jehovah, confident that he will fulfill those promises?
16, 17. (a) What urgent appeal does Isaiah make while describing Paradise? (b) How should Jehovah’s people respond to this appeal?
16 Trusting in Jehovah, you may share in encouraging new ones, as well as others whose faith may need to be strengthened. In the midst of describing Paradise, the prophet Isaiah sandwiches this urgent appeal: “Strengthen the weak hands, you people, and make the knees that are wobbling firm. Say to those who are anxious at heart: ‘Be strong. Do not be afraid. Look! Your own God will come with vengeance itself, God even with a repayment. He himself will come and save you people.’” (Isaiah 35:3, 4) Yes, we want to see all whose hearts are righteously inclined build up trust in Jehovah, in order to make it into the Paradise earth.
17 Let us therefore support any drooping hands so that they may keep “a tight grip on the word of life.” Let us brace up any having wobbling knees, giving them aid where needed to “walk worthily of Jehovah to the end of fully pleasing him.” (Philippians 2:16; Colossians 1:10) Yes, let us console any who may be depressed at heart, and let us encourage one another, when faced with trials or persecution, to show “all the more courage to speak the word of God fearlessly.” (Philippians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Ephesians 5:15, 16) Then, when Jehovah’s day of vengeance strikes, we can be assured of his blessing as ‘he comes to save his people.’ In that day, will you be among those trusting in Jehovah for salvation?
18. What glorious prospect lies ahead for those who trust in Jehovah, and what is their determination?
18 For those who always trust in Jehovah, what a glorious prospect lies beyond that day! Sinful oppressors will be gone! In a new world, lovers of Jah Jehovah will be restored by his Son to sinless perfection! Do you not yearn for that time? Your trusting in Jehovah will bring you to that marvelous day. Yes, trust always in Jehovah, you people, for this means salvation!
Questions in Review
□ What does the victory song of Isaiah 26 encourage us to do?
□ What “elevated town” will Jehovah abase, and how do we trample it down?
□ What do we learn from Hezekiah’s prayer in the face of Sennacherib’s threat?
□ How are the “killed ones” of Isaiah 26:21 avenged?
□ What will be the outcome if we trust in Jah Jehovah?
[Box on page 19]
Prosecute the Holy See?
In summarizing an article by Umberto Siniscalchi in Il Giornale of Milan, World Press Review states: “Italy’s highest Court of Appeals is under severe criticism because it nullified, in July , the arrest warrants for three Vatican bank officials involved in the Banco Ambrosiano corruption scandal.” The decision, based on an old treaty between the Vatican and the Italian government, granted immunity to the bank’s chairman, who is an archbishop, as well as the bank’s managing director and chief accountant. The review adds: “Some critics, although they do not fault the judges for the decision, maintain that the pact flies in the face of the Italian constitution by granting immunity to those who have committed infractions on Italian soil. Some legislators are pressing for an agreement permitting Italy’s justice system to prosecute the Holy See for crimes committed in Italy.”