Jehovah—The One Who Is Vigorous in Power
“Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.”—ISAIAH 40:26.
1, 2. (a) On what physical power source do we all depend? (b) Explain why Jehovah is ultimately the Source of all power.
POWER is something many of us take for granted. For example, we give little thought to the electrical power that gives us light and heat or to the convenience of plugging in any electrical appliance we may own. Only an unexpected power outage brings home to us that without power, man’s cities would practically shut down. Most of the electricity on which we depend comes indirectly from the earth’s most reliable power source—the sun.a Every second this solar reactor consumes five million tons of nuclear fuel, showering the earth with life-sustaining energy.
2 Where does all this solar power come from? Who constructed this celestial power plant? Jehovah God did. Referring to him, Psalm 74:16 says: “You yourself prepared the luminary, even the sun.” Yes, Jehovah is the ultimate Source of all power, just as he is the Source of all life. (Psalm 36:9) Never should we take his power for granted. Through the prophet Isaiah, Jehovah reminds us to look up at the heavenly bodies, such as the sun and the stars, and meditate on how they came into existence. “Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.”—Isaiah 40:26; Jeremiah 32:17.
3. How do we benefit from manifestations of Jehovah’s power?
3 Since Jehovah is vigorous in power, we can rest assured that the sun will continue to provide us the light and heat on which our lives depend. However, we rely on the power of God for much more than our basic physical needs. Our redemption from sin and death, our hope for the future, and our trust in Jehovah are all inseparably linked to his exercise of power. (Psalm 28:6-9; Isaiah 50:2) The Bible abounds with examples that testify to Jehovah’s power to create and redeem, to save his people and destroy his enemies.
God’s Power Is Manifest in Creation
4. (a) How was David affected by observing the night sky? (b) What do the heavenly bodies reveal regarding divine power?
4 The apostle Paul explained that our Creator’s ‘eternal power can be clearly perceived in the things he has made.’ (Romans 1:20) Centuries earlier, the psalmist David, who as a shepherd must frequently have looked up at the night sky, perceived the grandeur of the universe and the might of its Maker. He wrote: “When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have prepared, what is mortal man that you keep him in mind, and the son of earthling man that you take care of him?” (Psalm 8:3, 4) Despite his limited knowledge of celestial bodies, David understood that he was very insignificant in comparison with the Creator of our vast universe. Today, astronomers know much more about the immensity of the universe and the power that sustains it. For example, they tell us that our sun every second emits energy equivalent to the explosion of 100,000 million megatons of TNT.b A very small fraction of that energy reaches the earth; yet that is enough to sustain all life on our planet. Still, our sun is by no means the most powerful star in the heavens. Some stars radiate in only one second the energy that the sun radiates in a whole day. Imagine, then, the power at the disposal of the One who created such heavenly bodies! Elihu rightfully exclaimed: “As for the Almighty, we have not found him out; he is exalted in power.”—Job 37:23.
5. What evidence of Jehovah’s strength do we find in his works?
5 If we ‘search for God’s works’ as David did, we will see evidence of his power everywhere—in wind and waves, in thunder and lightning, in mighty rivers and majestic mountains. (Psalm 111:2; Job 26:12-14) Furthermore, as Jehovah reminded Job, animals testify to His strength. Among these is Behemoth, or the hippopotamus. Jehovah told Job: “Its power is in its hips . . . Its strong bones are like wrought-iron rods.” (Job 40:15-18) The fearsome power of the wild bull was also well-known in Bible times, and David prayed that he might be spared from “the mouth of the lion, and from the horns of wild bulls.”—Psalm 22:21; Job 39:9-11.
6. What does the bull symbolize in the Scriptures, and why? (See footnote.)
6 Because of its strength, the bull is used in the Bible to symbolize Jehovah’s power.c The apostle John’s vision of Jehovah’s throne depicts four living creatures, one of which had a face like a bull. (Revelation 4:6, 7) Evidently, one of the four principal attributes of Jehovah portrayed by these cherubs is power. The others are love, wisdom, and justice. Since power is such an important facet of God’s personality, a clear understanding of his power and how he uses it will draw us closer to him and help us to imitate his example by using well any power at our disposal.—Ephesians 5:1.
“Jehovah of Armies, the Powerful One”
7. How can we be sure that good will triumph over evil?
7 In the Scriptures, Jehovah is called “God Almighty,” a title that reminds us that we should never underestimate his power or doubt his ability to vanquish his enemies. (Genesis 17:1; Exodus 6:3) Satan’s wicked system of things may seem well entrenched, but in Jehovah’s eyes “the nations are as a drop from a bucket; and as the film of dust on the scales they have been accounted.” (Isaiah 40:15) Thanks to such divine power, there is no doubt that good will triumph over evil. At a time when wickedness is rampant, we can take comfort in knowing that “Jehovah of armies, the Powerful One of Israel” will eliminate evil forever.—Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 37:9, 10.
8. What heavenly armies does Jehovah command, and what indication do we have of their power?
8 The expression “Jehovah of armies,” which occurs 285 times in the Bible, is another reminder of God’s power. The “armies” here referred to are the host of spirit creatures that Jehovah has at his command. (Psalm 103:20, 21; 148:2) In a single night, just one of these angels slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers who were threatening Jerusalem. (2 Kings 19:35) If we recognize the power of Jehovah’s celestial armies, we will not easily be intimidated by opposers. The prophet Elisha was unconcerned when trapped by an entire army that was seeking him because, unlike his servant, he could see with the eyes of faith a vast host of heavenly forces supporting him.—2 Kings 6:15-17.
9. Why, like Jesus, should we have confidence in divine protection?
9 Jesus was likewise conscious of angelic support when he faced a mob armed with swords and clubs in the garden of Gethsemane. After telling Peter to return his sword to its place, Jesus told him that, if necessary, He could appeal to his Father for “more than twelve legions of angels.” (Matthew 26:47, 52, 53) If we have a similar appreciation for the heavenly armies at God’s disposal, we will also trust implicitly in divine backing. The apostle Paul wrote: “What, then, shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who will be against us?”—Romans 8:31.
10. In behalf of whom does Jehovah employ his power?
10 We have every reason, then, to trust in Jehovah’s protection. He always uses his power for good and in harmony with his other qualities—justice, wisdom, and love. (Job 37:23; Jeremiah 10:12) While powerful men frequently trample on the poor and humble ones for selfish gain, Jehovah ‘raises up the lowly one from the very dust’ and ‘abounds in power to save.’ (Psalm 113:5-7; Isaiah 63:1) As Mary, the modest and unassuming mother of Jesus, understood, “the powerful One” unselfishly exercises his power in behalf of those who fear him, humbling the haughty and exalting the lowly.—Luke 1:46-53.
Jehovah Reveals His Power to His Servants
11. What testimony to God’s power did the Israelites witness in the year 1513 B.C.E.?
11 On several occasions, Jehovah manifested his might to his servants. One of such occasions was at Mount Sinai in 1513 B.C.E. During that year the Israelites had already seen impressive evidence of God’s power. Ten devastating plagues had revealed the strong hand of Jehovah and the impotence of Egyptian gods. Soon thereafter, the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh’s army gave further proof of divine strength. Three months later, at the foot of Mount Sinai, Jehovah invited the Israelites to become his “special property out of all other peoples.” For their part, they promised: “All that Jehovah has spoken we are willing to do.” (Exodus 19:5, 8) Then, Jehovah provided a vivid demonstration of his power. Amid thunder and lightning and the loud sound of a horn, Mount Sinai smoked and trembled. The people, standing at a distance, were terrified. But Moses told them that this experience should teach them godly fear, a fear that would move them to obey their all-powerful and only true God, Jehovah.—Exodus 19:16-19; 20:18-20.
12, 13. What circumstances led Elijah to leave his assignment, but how did Jehovah strengthen him?
12 Several centuries later, during the time of Elijah, Mount Sinai witnessed another display of divine power. The prophet had already seen God’s power at work. For three and a half years, God “shut up the heavens” because of the apostasy of the Israelite nation. (2 Chronicles 7:13) During the resulting drought, ravens fed Elijah in the torrent valley of Cherith, and later a widow’s meager supply of flour and oil was miraculously extended to provide him with food. Jehovah even empowered Elijah to resurrect this widow’s son. Finally, in a dramatic test of Godship on Mount Carmel, fire came down from heaven and consumed Elijah’s sacrifice. (1 Kings 17:4-24; 18:36-40) Nevertheless, soon thereafter, Elijah became afraid and discouraged when Jezebel threatened to kill him. (1 Kings 19:1-4) He fled the country, thinking that his work as a prophet was over. To reassure and strengthen him, Jehovah kindly gave him a personal demonstration of divine power.
13 While Elijah hid in a cave, he saw an awe-inspiring exhibition of three of the forces that Jehovah controls: a strong wind, an earthquake, and finally a fire. However, when Jehovah spoke to Elijah, he did so in “a calm, low voice.” He assigned him more work to do and informed him that there were still 7,000 faithful worshipers of Jehovah in the land. (1 Kings 19:9-18) If, like Elijah, we ever feel discouraged at the lack of results in our ministry, we can petition Jehovah for “power beyond what is normal”—a power that can strengthen us to continue preaching the good news without letup.—2 Corinthians 4:7.
Jehovah’s Power Guarantees the Fulfillment of His Promises
14. What does Jehovah’s personal name reveal, and how is his power connected with his name?
14 Jehovah’s power is also closely connected with his name and the carrying out of his will. The unique name Jehovah, which means “He Causes to Become,” reveals that he causes himself to become the Fulfiller of promises. Nothing or nobody can prevent God from bringing his purposes to fruition, however farfetched skeptics may consider them to be. As Jesus once told his apostles, “with God all things are possible.”—Matthew 19:26.
15. How were Abraham and Sarah reminded that nothing is too extraordinary for Jehovah?
15 To illustrate, Jehovah once promised Abraham and Sarah that he would make their descendants a great nation. However, they remained childless for many years. They were both very old when Jehovah told them that the promise was about to be fulfilled and Sarah laughed. In reply, the angel said: “Is anything too extraordinary for Jehovah?” (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:4-8; 18:10-14) Four centuries later, when Moses finally assembled Abraham’s descendants—now a great nation—on the Plains of Moab, he reminded them that God had fulfilled his promise. Moses said: “You continue to live, because [Jehovah] loved your forefathers so that he chose their seed after them and brought you out of Egypt in his sight with his great power, to drive away nations greater and mightier than you from before you, so as to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance as at this day.”—Deuteronomy 4:37, 38.
16. Why did the Sadducees fall into the error of denying the resurrection of the dead?
16 Centuries later, Jesus censured the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection. Why did they refuse to believe God’s promise that he would bring back the dead? Jesus told them: “You know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) The Scriptures assure us that ‘all those in the memorial tombs will hear the voice of the Son of man and come out.’ (John 5:27-29) If we know what the Bible says about the resurrection, our confidence in the power of God will convince us that the dead will be raised up. God “will actually swallow up death forever, . . . for Jehovah himself has spoken it.”—Isaiah 25:8.
17. On what future day will trust in Jehovah be essential in a special way?
17 In the near future, there will come a time when every one of us will need to trust in God’s saving power in a special way. Satan the Devil will launch an attack on God’s people, who will appear to be unprotected. (Ezekiel 38:14-16) God will then manifest his great power in our behalf, and everyone will have to know that he is Jehovah. (Ezekiel 38:21-23) Now is the time to build our faith and confidence in God the Almighty so that we will not waver at that crucial time.
18. (a) What benefits do we derive from meditating on Jehovah’s power? (b) What question will be considered in the following article?
18 Without doubt, there are many reasons for meditating on Jehovah’s power. As we contemplate his works, we are humbly moved to praise our Grand Creator and give thanks that he uses his power in such a wise and loving way. We will never be intimidated if we trust in Jehovah of armies. Our faith in his promises will be unwavering. Remember, though, that we have been created in the image of God. Hence, we also have power—albeit to a limited extent. How can we imitate our Creator in the way we exercise our power? This will be considered in the following article.
a It is widely held that such fossil fuels as oil and coal—the principal sources of energy for power stations—derive their energy from the sun.
b In contrast, the most powerful nuclear bomb ever tested had an explosive power equivalent to 57 megatons of TNT.
c The wild bull referred to in the Bible was likely the aurochs (Latin urus). Two thousand years ago, these animals were found in Gaul (now France), and Julius Caesar wrote the following description of them: “These uri are scarcely less than elephants in size, but in their nature, colour, and form, are bulls. Great is their strength, and great their speed: they spare neither man nor beast when once they have caught sight of them.”
Can You Answer These Questions?
• How does creation testify to Jehovah’s power?
• What armies can Jehovah use to support his people?
• What were some occasions when Jehovah demonstrated his power?
• What guarantee do we have that Jehovah will fulfill his promises?
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“Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things?”
Photo by Malin, © IAC/RGO 1991
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Meditating on demonstrations of Jehovah’s power builds faith in his promises