Where Can You Find Trustworthy Guidance?
“I WELL know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step. Correct me, O Jehovah.”—Jeremiah 10:23, 24.
The Bible writer Jeremiah wrote those words some 25 centuries ago. The deplorable condition of mankind after thousands of years of applying human guidance proves the irrefutable truthfulness of this statement. But you may ask, ‘Where can trustworthy guidance be found?’
The scripture quoted above points to a source of reliable guidance and direction that is greatly superior to man—the Creator of man, Jehovah God. Surely no one knows man’s makeup and his needs better than our Creator. Nonetheless, is God interested in providing us such guidance and direction? How does he do it? Is it practical for our times?
Designed to Receive Divine Guidance
It is well-known that a principal difference separating man from animals centers on the structure, capacity, and functions of the human brain. In animals nearly all the cerebral functions have been programmed in what has come to be called instinctive wisdom. This is not the case with humans.—Proverbs 30:24-28.
Unlike the brains of animals, a great part of the human brain is free of fixed programs. God endowed humans with the faculty of free will, enabling them to make intelligent decisions and to display superior qualities, such as love, generosity, unselfishness, justice, and wisdom.
Is it logical to think that God would create man with such mental capacity without providing some kind of guidance as to how it can best be used? God gave direct guidance to the first humans. (Genesis 2:15-17, 19; 3:8, 9) Even after man’s fall into sin, Jehovah continued to guide faithful men and women, most notably through his own inspired Word, the Bible. (Psalm 119:105) This has permitted humans to face with success the daily problems of life as they use their free will wisely.
Divine Authorship of the Bible
What makes the Bible a trustworthy source of guidance? For one thing, it presents information that only the Creator could provide. It outlines the history of events that took place long before the beginning of human life. For example, it provides the history of how the earth was prepared in successive stages until it became fit to sustain human life. (Genesis, chapters 1, 2) Although this was recorded in the Bible more than 3,000 years ago, it is in harmony with modern scientific concepts.
Long before mankind in general accepted that the earth was round, the Bible declared: “[God] is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) Furthermore, the Bible reveals that “there is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers.” (Isaiah 40:22) Only God, the Creator, could have provided this detail.
The ability to foresee what is to come is not a gift that has been given to man. Rather, the Creator foretells the future through the pages of the Bible. God inspired the prophet Isaiah to write of Him: “I am the Divine One and there is no other God, nor anyone like me; the One telling from the beginning the finale, and from long ago the things that have not been done.”—Isaiah 46:9, 10.
The Bible has demonstrated that it can foretell the finale from the beginning with amazing exactness. For example, it foretold the rise, the fall, and the characteristics of principal world powers during thousands of years of human history. These remarkable prophecies were written centuries before their fulfillment, in some cases thousands of years before. Thus the Bible accurately foretells modern-day events, as well as their final outcome. The Bible is also unique because it points to the way of survival during the destruction of imperfect man-made governments at Armageddon, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” God’s Kingdom in the hands of his Son, Jesus Christ, will accomplish that great act.—Revelation 16:14, 16; 17:9-18; Daniel, chapters 2, 8.
Always Beneficial—Never Harmful
Mere human wisdom is imperfect; hence, human counsel is not always beneficial, even though it may be given with good intentions. This is not the case with the Bible’s counsel. God himself says: “I, Jehovah, am . . . the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”—Isaiah 48:17, 18.
Divine guidance helps us to set priorities and adhere to superior values in life. While modern society puts emphasis on material accomplishments and goals, the Bible stresses how valuable it is for us to “keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) In this way we are encouraged to have the finest goals in life, namely, spiritual goals in connection with doing God’s will, the ultimate goal being that of everlasting life in a just new system.
As the Christian exerts himself to pursue these elevated goals, Bible counsel helps him to live the best kind of life possible in this wicked system of things. Modern human wisdom tends to encourage the philosophy of work the least and earn the most. On the other hand, the Bible tells us that “the one working with a slack hand will be of little means, but the hand of the diligent one is what will make one rich.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Hebrew Christians: “We trust we have an honest conscience, as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.”—Proverbs 10:4; Hebrews 13:18.
The Bible also gives practical advice on the family arrangement. It establishes specifically the role of both the husband and the wife in the marriage arrangement, as well as the correct way to bring up and educate the children. It says: “Husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. . . . On the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband. Children, be obedient to your parents . . . You, fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.” Following the Creator’s superior advice greatly contributes to the stability and happiness of families.—Ephesians 5:21–6:4.
A Secure Future for Those Who Follow God’s Guidance
The written Word of God points out the solution that God has for all of mankind’s problems. Very soon Jehovah God will eliminate the present system of things, with all its pain, injustice and sufferings, and will replace it with his righteous new system. The Bible describes this at 2 Peter 3:7-10, adding at 2Pe 3 verse 13: “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” This constitutes by far the best good news that could be given to the human family. It is precisely the message that the Bible presents and that Jehovah’s Witnesses preach in more than 200 lands and islands of the sea.
When God’s will is practiced in all the earth, the entire human family will benefit by following the excellent guidance of its Creator, Jehovah. No more will there be problems of poverty, crime, and drugs. No more will mankind be afflicted with sickness, old age, and death. The human family will be elevated to the perfection that our first parents had before they rebelled against God’s guidance.
How well the last book of the Bible sums up the happy condition of those who put their trust in divine guidance! Revelation 21:4, 5 says: “[God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Our Creator guaranteed that, saying: “Look! I am making all things new.” He adds: “These words are faithful and true.”
If we are to receive these blessings, what does God expect of us? The apostle Paul explains that God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) Jehovah’s Witnesses cordially invite you to gain that accurate knowledge of the truth through a thorough study of the Bible. By diligently learning about the divine will, you too can find through experience that divine wisdom is the only reliable guidance in these perilous times. The urgency of the times makes it more imperative than ever to follow it!