God’s Servants—An Organized and Happy People
“Happy is the people whose God is Jehovah!”—PSALM 144:15.
1, 2. (a) Why does Jehovah have the right to set standards for his servants? (b) What are two of Jehovah’s characteristics that we should especially want to imitate?
JEHOVAH is the Universal Sovereign, the almighty God, the Creator. (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 100:3) As such, he rightly sets the standards of behavior for his servants, knowing what is best for them. (Psalm 143:8) And he is their Chief Exemplar whose qualities they need to imitate. “Become imitators of God, as beloved children,” wrote an apostle.—Ephesians 5:1.
2 A characteristic of God that we need to imitate has to do with organization. He is ‘not a God of disorder.’ (1 Corinthians 14:33) When we carefully observe what God has created, we are compelled to conclude that he is the most organized Personage in the universe. However, another characteristic of God that he wants his servants to imitate is his happiness, for he is “the happy God.” (1 Timothy 1:11) Thus, his organizational ability is balanced with happiness. One is not made paramount at the expense of the other.
3. How do the starry heavens demonstrate God’s ability to organize?
3 All that Jehovah has made, from the largest to the smallest, gives evidence that he is a God of organization. Consider, for example, the visible universe. It contains thousands of billions of stars. But these are not scattered about haphazardly. Astrophysicist George Greenstein observes that there is “a pattern to the organization of stars.” They are organized into groups called galaxies, some containing hundreds of billions of stars. And it is estimated that there are billions of galaxies! The galaxies are also organized, a number of them (from a few to several thousand) being grouped together into a cluster of galaxies. And clusters of galaxies are thought to be organized into even larger units called superclusters.—Psalm 19:1; Isaiah 40:25, 26.
4, 5. Give examples of organization among living things on earth.
4 The superb organization of God’s creations is seen everywhere, not only in the visible heavens but also on earth, with its myriads of living things. Regarding all of this, Paul Davies, a professor of physics, wrote that observers are “awestruck” by the “majesty and intricate organization of the physical world.”—Psalm 104:24.
5 Consider a few examples of the “intricate organization” that is found in living things. Neurosurgeon Joseph Evans said of the human brain and spinal cord: “The reality of great order is almost overwhelming.” Of the microscopic living cell, bacteriologist H. J. Shaughnessy stated: “The complexity and beautiful order of the microbiological world is so wonderfully constructed that it appears to be part of a divinely ordained system.” And molecular biologist Michael Denton said of the genetic code (DNA) inside a cell: “It is so efficient that all the information . . . necessary to specify the design of all the species of organisms which have ever existed on the planet . . . could be held in a teaspoon and there would still be room left for all the information in every book ever written.”—See Psalm 139:16.
6, 7. What organization is shown among spirit creatures, and how do they express appreciation for their Maker?
6 Not only does Jehovah organize his material creations but he also organizes his spirit creations in heaven. Daniel 7:10 informs us that angels to the number of ‘ten thousand times ten thousand kept standing right before Jehovah.’ A hundred million powerful spirit creatures in attendance, each assigned to his proper work! It is staggering to think of the skill it must take to organize such enormous numbers. Appropriately, the Bible states: “Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you [angelic] armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will.”—Psalm 103:20, 21; Revelation 5:11.
7 How magnificently organized and efficient the Creator’s works are! It is no wonder that mighty spirit creatures in the heavenly realm declare in an awe-inspired and submissive way: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”—Revelation 4:11.
8. What examples show that Jehovah organizes his servants on earth?
8 Jehovah also organizes his servants on earth. When he brought the Deluge of Noah’s day in 2370 B.C.E., Noah and seven others survived the Flood as a family organization. In the Exodus of 1513 B.C.E., Jehovah brought several million of his people out of Egyptian bondage and gave them a detailed code of laws to organize their daily affairs and worship. And later, in the Promised Land, tens of thousands of them were organized for special service at the temple. (1 Chronicles 23:4, 5) In the first century, Christian congregations were organized under divine direction: “He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work.”—Ephesians 4:11, 12.
Modern-Day Servants Also Organized
9, 10. How has Jehovah organized his people in our time?
9 Similarly, Jehovah has organized his modern-day servants so that they can effectively do his work for our day—preaching the good news of his Kingdom before he brings an end to this present ungodly system of things. (Matthew 24:14) Consider what is involved in this global work and how important good organization is. Millions of men, women, and children are being trained to teach Bible truths to others. To assist with this training, huge quantities of Bibles and Bible-based publications are printed. Why, every issue of The Watchtower now has a printing of over 16 million in 118 languages, and Awake! about 13 million in 73 languages. Nearly all issues are printed simultaneously so that practically all of Jehovah’s servants get the same information at the same time.
10 In addition, more than 73,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide are organized to meet regularly for Bible instruction. (Hebrews 10:24, 25) There are also thousands of larger gatherings—circuit assemblies and district conventions—each year. There is the large-scale global construction of new or improved Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls, Bethel homes, and facilities for printing Bible literature. There are schools for the advanced training of Bible teachers, such as the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead for missionaries and the Pioneer Service School, conducted in lands around the globe.
11. What future benefit will come from learning good organization now?
11 How well Jehovah has organized his people on earth to ‘accomplish their ministry fully,’ assisted by his ministering angels! (2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 1:13, 14; Revelation 14:6) By instructing his servants in the ways of good organization now, God is accomplishing something else. His servants are being well prepared so that when they pass through the end of this system of things, they will already be organized to begin life in the new world. Then, in an organized way under Jehovah’s direction, they will start building the global Paradise. They will also be well prepared to teach God’s detailed requirements for life to billions of people who will be resurrected from the dead.—Isaiah 11:9; 54:13; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:12, 13.
Organized yet Happy
12, 13. Why can we say that Jehovah wants his people to be happy?
12 While Jehovah is a prodigious worker and superb organizer, he is not cold, rigid, or mechanical. Instead, he is a very warm, happy Personage who is concerned with our happiness. “He cares for you,” declares 1 Peter 5:7. We can see his care and his desire for his servants to be happy in what he has made for humans. For example, when God created the perfect man and woman, he placed them in a paradise of pleasure. (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:8, 9) He gave them everything they needed to make them supremely happy. But they lost all of it through rebellion. As a result of their sin, we inherited imperfection and death.—Romans 3:23; 5:12.
13 Although imperfect now, we humans can still find happiness in what God has made. There are many things that bring us enjoyment—majestic mountains; beautiful lakes, rivers, oceans and beaches; colorful, fragrant flowers and other vegetation in endless variety; an abundance of tasty foods; spectacular sunsets that we never tire of; the starry heavens that we enjoy contemplating at night; the animal creation with its vast variety and appealing young with their playful antics; inspiring music; interesting and useful work; good friends. It is apparent that the One who arranged such things is a happy individual who enjoys making others happy.
14. What balance does Jehovah ask of us in imitating him?
14 Thus, mere organized efficiency is not what Jehovah wants. He also wants his servants to be happy, just as he is happy. He does not want them fanatically organizing things at the expense of their happiness. God’s servants must balance organizational skills with happiness, as he does, for where his powerful holy spirit is, there is joy. Indeed, Galatians 5:22 shows that the second fruit of God’s holy spirit operating on his people is “joy.”
Love Generates Happiness
15. Why is love so important to our happiness?
15 It is of great interest to note that the Bible states: “God is love.” (1 John 4:8, 16) It never says: “God is organization.” Love is God’s chief quality, and it must be imitated by his servants. That is why the first fruit of God’s spirit listed at Galatians 5:22 is “love,” with “joy” next. Love generates joy. When we imitate Jehovah’s love in our dealings with others, happiness follows, for loving people are happy people.
16. How did Jesus demonstrate the importance of love?
16 The importance of imitating godly love is made prominent in the teachings of Jesus. He said: “Just as the Father taught me I speak these things.” (John 8:28) What, especially, was Jesus taught that he, in turn, taught others? It was that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love neighbor. (Matthew 22:36-39) Jesus exemplified such love. He said: “I love the Father,” proving it by doing God’s will to the death. And he showed his love for people by dying for them. The apostle Paul told the Christians in Ephesus: ‘Christ loved you and delivered himself up for you.’ (John 14:31; Ephesians 5:2) Thus, Jesus told his followers: “This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.”—John 15:12, 13.
17. How did Paul show that expressing love to others is vital?
17 Paul expressed how vital this godly love is by saying: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a sounding piece of brass or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophesying and am acquainted with all the sacred secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to transplant mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body, that I may boast, but do not have love, I am not profited at all. . . . There remain faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”—1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13.
18. What can we expect from Jehovah that adds to our happiness?
18 When we imitate Jehovah’s love, we can count on his love toward us, even when we make mistakes, for he is “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6) If we sincerely repent when we make mistakes, God does not keep account of these but lovingly forgives us. (Psalm 103:1-3) Yes, “Jehovah is very tender in affection and merciful.” (James 5:11) Knowing this contributes to our happiness.
Relative Happiness Now
19, 20. (a) Why is total happiness not possible now? (b) How does the Bible show that we can have relative happiness at this time?
19 However, is it possible to be happy today, living as we do in the last days of this crime-filled, violent, immoral world under Satan, where sickness and death confront us? Of course, we cannot now expect the degree of happiness that will exist in God’s new world, such as his Word foretells: “Here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. But exult, you people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating.”—Isaiah 65:17, 18.
20 What God’s servants can have now is relative happiness because they know his will and have accurate knowledge of the marvelous blessings soon to come in his paradisaic new world. (John 17:3; Revelation 21:4) That is why the Bible can say: “O Jehovah of armies, happy is the man that is trusting in you,” “happy is everyone fearing Jehovah, who is walking in his ways,” “happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” (Psalm 84:12; 128:1; Matthew 5:5) Thus, in spite of the present difficult circumstances we have to contend with, we can have a substantial measure of happiness. Even when bad things happen to us, we do not become saddened as do those who do not know Jehovah and who do not have the hope of eternal life.—1 Thessalonians 4:13.
21. How does giving of themselves contribute to the happiness of Jehovah’s servants?
21 Happiness also comes to Jehovah’s servants because they expend time, energy, and resources teaching Bible truths to others, especially people who are ‘sighing and crying over all the abominations’ committed in Satan’s world. (Ezekiel 9:4) The Bible says: “Happy is anyone acting with consideration toward the lowly one; in the day of calamity Jehovah will provide escape for him. Jehovah himself will guard him and preserve him alive. He will be pronounced happy in the earth.” (Psalm 41:1, 2) As Jesus said, “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
22. (a) As regards happiness, contrast God’s servants with those who do not serve him. (b) For what special reason should we expect to be happy?
22 So while God’s servants cannot expect supreme happiness at this present time, they can obtain happiness that is not enjoyed by those who do not serve God. Jehovah declares: “Look! My own servants will cry out joyfully because of the good condition of the heart, but you yourselves will make outcries because of the pain of heart and you will howl because of sheer breakdown of spirit.” (Isaiah 65:14) Also, those who serve God have a very special reason for happiness now—they have his holy spirit that “God has given to those obeying him as ruler.” (Acts 5:32) And remember, where God’s spirit is, there happiness is.—Galatians 5:22.
23. What will we consider in our next study?
23 In the organization of God’s servants today, an important part is played by the “older men,” the elders, who take the lead in the congregations, contributing to the happiness of Jehovah’s people. (Titus 1:5) How should these ones view their responsibilities and their relationship to their spiritual brothers and sisters? Our next article will discuss this.
How Would You Answer?
□ How does creation testify to Jehovah’s being organized?
□ How has Jehovah organized his servants in the past and in the present?
□ What balance does Jehovah want from us?
□ How important is love to our happiness?
□ What kind of happiness can we expect in our time?
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Top: Courtesy of ROE/Anglo-Australian Observatory, photograph by David Malin