Make Jehovah Your Trust
“Trust in Jehovah and do good; . . . take exquisite delight in Jehovah.”—PSALM 37:3, 4.
1, 2. (a) What happened to those who did not trust in Jehovah in the first century, and to those who did? (b) What questions may be asked about religion in our time?
IN THE first century of our Common Era, the Jewish religious leaders claimed to worship God. But they did not trust in him. They broke his commandments and persecuted his representatives. (Matthew 15:3; John 15:20) As a result, ‘their house was abandoned’ by Jehovah. (Matthew 23:38) In 70 C.E., Roman armies devastated Jerusalem and its temple, with great loss of life to the religious leaders and their followers. But those who trusted in Jehovah were protected, for they had heeded the warnings of his spokesmen and had fled to safety.—Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24.
2 In these last days of this system of things, are this world’s religions trusting in the true God, Jehovah? Are they obeying his commandments and doing his will, or are they imitating the religious leaders of the first century whom God abandoned? Which of today’s religions can expect to be protected by Jehovah because they “trust in Jehovah and do good”?—Psalm 37:3.
Where Is the Brotherly Love?
3. Why have religious efforts to bring peace failed?
3 Not long ago, Pope John Paul II warned that “all of humanity faced grave threats to its survival.” He emphasized that “those threats were best countered by joint efforts among diverse religious groups.” It is God’s will, he said, that religious leaders “work together” for “peace and reconciliation.” However, if that is God’s will, then why has God not blessed the centuries of efforts in this direction? He has not done so because these religions have not trusted in God’s way to bring peace by means of his heavenly Kingdom. (Matthew 6:9, 10) Instead, they have supported the politics and wars of the nations. As a consequence, in wartime, religious people of one nation have killed religious people of another nation, even killing people of their own religion. Catholic has killed Catholic, Protestant has killed Protestant, and other religions have done the same. But do true spiritual brothers kill one another while claiming to serve God?
4. What did Jesus say was the standard for true religion, and why was this “a new commandment”?
4 Jesus set the standard for true religion when he said to his followers: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:34, 35) So those who practice true religion must love one another. This was “a new commandment” in that Jesus said: “Just as I have loved you, . . . you also love one another.” He was willing to lay down his life for his followers. They must be willing to do the same—no, not take the life of fellow believers, but lay down their own life if necessary. That was new, for such had not been required by the Mosaic Law.
5. How does God’s Word forcefully emphasize the need for love and unity among his true worshipers?
5 God’s Word states: “If anyone makes the statement: ‘I love God,’ and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot be loving God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that the one who loves God should be loving his brother also.” (1 John 4:20, 21) By this love, those who trust in Jehovah maintain true international unity. The apostle Paul, at 1 Corinthians 1:10, says: “I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among you, but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.”—See also 1 John 3:10-12.
6. Why can Jehovah’s Witnesses say that they are “clean from the blood of all men”?
6 The World Book Encyclopedia says that 55 million people were killed in World War II. They were killed by people of every major religion except Jehovah’s Witnesses. Not one of those deaths was caused by a witness of Jehovah, for they obeyed the command to love one another and refused involvement in the wars of the nations. While many witnesses were martyred for their neutral stand, they could say as did the apostle Paul: “I am clean from the blood of all men.”—Acts 20:26.
7, 8. How do some churchmen acknowledge their bloodguilt?
7 A Catholic chaplain for the airmen who dropped the atom bombs on Japan in 1945 stated recently: “For the last 1,700 years the church has been making war respectable. It has been inducing people to believe that it is an honorable Christian profession. This is not true. We have been brainwashed. . . . The gospel of the Just War is a gospel that Jesus never taught. . . . There is nothing in the life or teaching of Jesus that would suggest that while it is illegitimate to incinerate people by a nuclear warhead, it is legitimate to incinerate people by napalm or flamethrower.”
8 The Catholic Herald of London stated: “The first Christians . . . took Jesus at His word and refused to be conscripted into the Roman army even if the penalty was death. Would the whole of history have been different if the Church had stuck to its original stand? . . . If the churches of today could come out with a joint condemnation of war . . . , which would mean that every member would be bound in conscience to be, like the Christians, a conscientious objector, peace might indeed be assured. But we know that this will never happen.”
9. Why do we conclude that Jehovah has abandoned this world’s religions?
9 Thus, the religions of this world have fatally compromised God’s laws. They do not trust him any more than the Pharisees did. “They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by their works, because they are detestable and disobedient and not approved for good work of any sort.” (Titus 1:16) As a result, God has abandoned this world’s religions as certainly as he abandoned the hypocritical Jewish religion in the first century.—Matthew 15:9, 14.
Survival by Trusting in Jehovah
10, 11. What did King Hezekiah do when Assyria demanded the surrender of Jerusalem, and who was Sennacherib’s spokesman taunting?
10 Do not put your trust in human solutions to this world’s problems. Instead, trust the One who can fulfill his promises. (Joshua 23:14) As an example, note what happened in the eighth century before Christ, in the days of King Hezekiah of Judah. The Bible says of him: “He continued to do what was right in Jehovah’s eyes.” (2 Kings 18:3) During his rule, the mighty world power Assyria came against Jerusalem. Assyrian king Sennacherib’s spokesman demanded Jerusalem’s surrender, saying: “This is what the king has said, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you people, for he is not able to deliver you out of my hand. And do not let Hezekiah cause you to trust in Jehovah.’”—2 Kings 18:29, 30.
11 What did Hezekiah do? The Bible states: “Hezekiah began to pray before Jehovah and say: ‘O Jehovah 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 the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to taunt the living God. . . . O Jehovah our God, save us, please, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Jehovah, are God alone.’”—2 Kings 19:15-19.
12. How did Jehovah answer Hezekiah’s prayer?
12 Jehovah heard this prayer and sent the prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah: “This is what Jehovah has said concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He will not come into this city nor will he shoot an arrow there nor confront it with a shield nor cast up a siege rampart against it.’” Was Hezekiah to oppose Assyria with an army? No, he was to trust in Jehovah, which he did. The result? “The angel of Jehovah proceeded to go out and strike down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians.” Sennacherib himself paid for taunting Jehovah and Jehovah’s servants, for his own sons later murdered him. True to Jehovah’s word, not one weapon came against Jerusalem.—2 Kings 19:32-37.
13, 14. On what basis will people from all nations survive the end of this present system of things?
13 In our day a similar thing will happen. Those who trust in Jehovah will survive this world’s taunts and this world’s end. “Those knowing your name will trust in you, for you will certainly not leave those looking for you, O Jehovah.” (Psalm 9:10) But before Jehovah executes this bloodguilty world, he invites honesthearted ones to come to him for security. These constitute “a great crowd” from all nations, who “come out of the great tribulation.” They survive this system’s end because they trust in Jehovah and serve him “day and night.”—Revelation 7:9-15.
14 These are answering the call now going out with increasing force worldwide, as foretold at Isaiah 2:2, 3: “And it must occur in the final part of the days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah [his true worship] will become firmly established . . . And many peoples will certainly go and say: ‘Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, . . . and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’” Isa 2 Verse 4 says: “And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”
15. Who are fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 2:2-4, and how?
15 Who, in our time, ‘turn their swords into plowshares’? Who ‘do not learn war anymore’? Who have unbreakable love for their spiritual brothers and sisters all over the earth and unity with them? Who really trust in Jehovah and invite others to do the same? The facts of our time show that the answer can only be: Jehovah’s Witnesses. They, like Hezekiah, trust in Jehovah with all their heart and demonstrate it by keeping his commandments.
A Bright Future
16, 17. What bright future does Jehovah offer to those who trust in him?
16 To those who trust in him, Jehovah offers the brightest future imaginable when he replaces this old world society with his new one. In the new world here on earth, there will be no fear or distrust, no poverty, injustice, or crime. No longer will people be slaughtered in wars or by abortions. Revelation 21:4 even promises that “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”
17 In time, earth will become a paradise as Jesus promised. (Luke 23:43) And since even death will be abolished, those who trust in Jehovah will be able to live forever in Paradise. Completely fulfilled will be Micah 4:4: “They will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble.” Imagine living in a society where everyone you meet will be someone you can trust! Why will that be so? Because, as Isaiah 54:13 says: “All your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant.”
18. What benefits do those who trust in Jehovah reap even now?
18 However, even now millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide reap benefits by trusting in Jehovah. For instance, because of obeying Jehovah’s laws and principles, Jehovah’s servants are free from lung cancer caused by smoking tobacco. Because of living in a morally clean environment, they are generally not endangered by the worldwide epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Their not abusing drugs guards them greatly against mind-damaging and death-dealing afflictions that many drug abusers have. And since they do not take blood transfusions, they avoid the deadly diseases that are transmitted through blood, including hepatitis, which kills or permanently injures ten thousand blood recipients each year in the United States alone.
19. How will Jehovah rescue those who serve him even if they die now?
19 Even if some of those who now trust in Jehovah should die because of old age, sickness, or an accident, Jehovah will rescue them. He will redeem them by means of the resurrection. Thus, the apostle Paul encouraged us to “have our trust, not in ourselves, but in the God who raises up the dead.”—2 Corinthians 1:9.
Jehovah Upholds His Servants
20, 21. (a) What opposition can we expect, as evidenced by what happened to Jesus? (b) How does Jehovah vindicate his people, as he did Jesus?
20 Keep in mind that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one,” Satan the Devil. (1 John 5:19) So if you trust in God, you will be opposed by Satan and his world. They will try to damage your trust by ridicule or persecution, as was the case with Jesus. After he was nailed to the torture stake, “passersby began speaking abusively of him, wagging their heads and saying: . . . ‘If you are a son of God, come down off the torture stake!’ In like manner also the chief priests with the scribes and older men began making fun of him and saying: ‘Others he saved; himself he cannot save! . . . He has put his trust in God; let Him now rescue him if He wants him.’”—Matthew 27:39-43.
21 Three days later, God indeed rescued Jesus by resurrecting him from the dead. That generation of mockers, however, were killed or enslaved by Roman armies. Since Christ as King of God’s heavenly Kingdom will oversee the resurrection, if those mockers come back from the dead, they will have to submit to the One they mocked two thousand years ago! Yes, Jehovah vindicates his servants, who say: “In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid. What can earthling man do to me?”—Psalm 56:11.
22. What does Jehovah declare regarding those who trust in him, and those who do not?
22 Regarding his servants, Jehovah declares: “Blessed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in Jehovah, and whose confidence Jehovah has become. And he will certainly become like a tree planted by the waters, that sends out its roots right by the watercourse; and he will not see when heat comes, but his foliage will actually prove to be luxuriant. And in the year of drought he will not become anxious, nor will he leave off from producing fruit.” But Jehovah also declares: “Cursed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in earthling man and actually makes flesh his arm, and whose heart turns away from Jehovah himself. And he will certainly become like a solitary tree in the desert plain and will not see when good comes.”—Jeremiah 17:5-8.
23. What must we do if we want everlasting life?
23 Thus, in these critical times, “trust in Jehovah and do good; reside in the earth, and deal with faithfulness. Also take exquisite delight in Jehovah, and he will give you the requests of your heart.” (Psalm 37:3, 4) May your fulfilled requests include the gift of everlasting life in the righteous new world, promised by the God in whom we trust.
Questions for Review
◻ What standard must be observed by those who trust in Jehovah?
◻ Do this world’s religions teach trust in Jehovah?
◻ How was King Hezekiah’s trust in Jehovah vindicated?
◻ In our day, how is the prophecy of Isaiah 2:2-4 fulfilled?
◻ What future will be realized by those who trust in Jehovah?
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The Assyrian king’s spokesman taunted Jehovah and demanded Jerusalem’s surrender
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In the new world, those who trust in Jehovah will enjoy complete peace and security