Give Attention to God’s Wonderful Works
“Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us; there is none to be compared to you.”—PSALM 40:5.
1, 2. We have what evidence of God’s wonderful works, and what should this prompt us to do?
WHEN you read the Bible, you can readily see that God did wonderful things for his ancient people, Israel. (Joshua 3:5; Psalm 106:7, 21, 22) Even if Jehovah is not presently intervening in that way in human affairs, we find around us abundant proof of his wonderful works. So we have reason to join the psalmist in saying: “How many your works are, O Jehovah! All of them in wisdom you have made. The earth is full of your productions.”—Psalm 104:24; 148:1-5.
2 Many today ignore or reject such clear evidence of the Creator’s activities. (Romans 1:20) We, however, do well to reflect on them and to draw conclusions relative to our position before and duty toward our Maker. Job chapters 38 to 41 are excellent aids in this, for Jehovah there called to Job’s attention certain aspects of His wonderful works. Consider some valid issues that God raised.
Works Powerful and Wonderful
3 At one point, God inquired of Job: “Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow, or do you see even the storehouses of the hail, which I have kept back for the time of distress, for the day of fight and war?” In many parts of our earth, snow and hail are part of life. God went on: “Who has divided a channel for the flood and a way for the thunderous storm cloud, to make it rain upon the land where there is no man, upon the wilderness in which there is no earthling man, to satisfy storm-stricken and desolate places and to cause the growth of grass to sprout? Does there exist a father for the rain, or who gave birth to the dewdrops? Out of whose belly does the ice actually come forth, and as for the hoarfrost of heaven, who indeed brings it to birth?”—Job 38:22, 23, 25-29.
4-6. In what sense is man’s knowledge of snow incomplete?
4 Some who live in a fast-paced society and who must travel may view snow merely as an obstacle. Yet, countless others view snow as a delight, producing a winter wonderland that opens up opportunities for special activities. With God’s question in mind, do you have an intimate knowledge of snow, even of what it looks like? Oh, we know what a lot of it looks like, perhaps from photos of snowbanks or because we have actually seen plenty of snow. But what of individual snowflakes? Do you know what they look like, maybe having examined them at their source?
5 Some men have spent decades studying and photographing snowflakes. A snowflake may be composed of a hundred delicate ice crystals in a variety of beautiful designs. The book Atmosphere says: “The endless variety of snowflakes is legendary, and although scientists insist that no law of nature forbids their duplication, two identical flakes have never been found. One search of epic proportions was conducted by . . . Wilson A. Bentley, who spent more than 40 years examining and photographing snowflakes through a microscope without ever finding two that were exactly alike.” And even if, in a rare case, two appeared to be twins, would that really alter the wonder of the staggering variety of snowflakes?
6 Recall God’s question: “Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow?” Many think of clouds as the storehouses of snow. Can you imagine going to these storehouses to inventory snowflakes in their infinite variety and to study how they came to be? A science encyclopedia says: “The nature and origin of the ice nuclei, which are necessary to induce freezing of cloud droplets at temperatures about -40°F (-40°C), are still not clear.”—Psalm 147:16, 17; Isaiah 55:9, 10.
7. How exhaustive is human knowledge about rain?
7 Or what about rain? God asked Job: “Does there exist a father for the rain, or who gave birth to the dewdrops?” The same science encyclopedia says: “Because of the complexity of atmospheric motions and the enormous variability in vapor and particle content of the air, it seems impossible to construct a detailed, general theory of the manner in which clouds and precipitation develop.” In simpler terms, scientists have offered detailed theories, but they really cannot fully explain rain. Yet, you know that the vital rain falls, watering the earth, sustaining plants, making life possible and pleasant.
8. Why are Paul’s words recorded at Acts 14:17 appropriate?
8 Would you not agree with the conclusion the apostle Paul came to? He urged others to see in these wonderful works testimony about the One behind them. Paul said of Jehovah God: “He did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts to the full with food and good cheer.”—Acts 14:17; Psalm 147:8.
9. How do God’s wonderful works manifest his great power?
9 There can be no question that the Doer of such wonderful and beneficial works has infinite wisdom and enormous power. As to his power, think of this: It is said that there are some 45,000 thunderstorms every day, more than 16 million a year. This means that about 2,000 are occurring at this very moment. The complex clouds of a single thunderstorm churn with energy equal to ten or more of the nuclear bombs dropped in World War II. You see some of that energy as lightning. Besides being awesome, lightning actually helps to produce forms of nitrogen that reach the soil, where plants absorb them as natural fertilizer. So lightning is displayed energy, but it also brings real benefits.—Psalm 104:14, 15.
What Effect on You?
10. How would you answer the questions found at Job 38:33-38?
10 Imagine yourself in Job’s place, being questioned by Almighty God. You will likely agree that most people give little attention to God’s wonderful works. Jehovah asks us the questions we read at Job 38:33-38. “Have you come to know the statutes of the heavens, or could you put its authority in the earth? Can you raise your voice even to the cloud, so that a heaving mass of water itself may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are!’? Who put wisdom in the cloud layers, or who gave understanding to the sky phenomenon? Who can exactly number the clouds in wisdom, or the water jars of heaven—who can tip them over, when the dust pours out as into a molten mass, and the clods of earth themselves get stuck together?”
11, 12. What are some things that prove that God is the Doer of wonderful works?
11 We have touched on only a few of the points that Elihu raised with Job, and we have noted some questions that Jehovah called on Job to answer “like an able-bodied man.” (Job 38:3) We say “some” because in chapters 38 and 39, God focused attention on other notable aspects of creation. For example, the constellations of the heavens. Who knows all their laws, or statutes? (Job 38:31-33) Jehovah directed Job’s attention to some of the animals—the lion and the raven, the mountain goat and the zebra, the wild bull and the ostrich, the mighty horse and the eagle. In effect, God asked Job if he had given these varied animals their characteristics, allowing them to live and to thrive. You may enjoy studying these chapters, especially if you like horses or other animals.—Psalm 50:10, 11.
12 You could also examine Job chapters 40 and 41, where Jehovah again asked Job to respond to questions about two particular creatures. We understand these to be the hippopotamus (Behemoth), prodigious in size and strong in body, and the formidable Nile crocodile (Leviathan). Each in its own way is a marvel of creation worthy of attention. Let us now see what conclusions we should reach.
13. God’s questioning had what effect on Job, and how should these matters affect us?
13 Job chapter 42 shows us what effect God’s questioning had on Job. Earlier Job gave too much attention to himself and others. But accepting the correction implicit in God’s questions, Job changed his thinking. He confessed: “I have come to know that you [Jehovah] are able to do all things, and there is no idea that is unattainable for you. ‘Who is this that is obscuring counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I talked, but I was not understanding things too wonderful for me, which I do not know.” (Job 42:2, 3) Yes, after giving attention to God’s works, Job said that these things were too wonderful for him. After reviewing these creative marvels, we should likewise be impressed with God’s wisdom and power. To what end? Is it simply a matter of being impressed with Jehovah’s enormous power and ability? Or should we be moved beyond that?
14. How did David respond to God’s wonderful works?
14 Well, in Psalm 86, we find related expressions made by David, who in an earlier psalm said: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; and of the work of his hands the expanse is telling. One day after another day causes speech to bubble forth, and one night after another night shows forth knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1, 2) But David went further. At Psalm 86:10, 11, we read: “You are great and are doing wondrous things; you are God, you alone. Instruct me, O Jehovah, about your way. I shall walk in your truth. Unify my heart to fear your name.” David’s awe of the Creator for all His wondrous works included a due measure of reverential fear. You can appreciate why. David did not want to displease the One who is able to perform these wonderful works. Neither should we.
15. Why was David’s reverential fear of God fitting?
15 David must have realized that since God has and controls tremendous power, he can direct it against any who merit his disfavor. For them, that is ominous. God asked Job: “Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow, or do you see even the storehouses of the hail, which I have kept back for the time of distress, for the day of fight and war?” Snow, hail, rainstorms, wind, and lightning are all in his arsenal. And what staggeringly powerful natural forces they are!—Job 38:22, 23.
16, 17. What illustrates the awesome power that God has, and how has he used such power in the past?
16 Probably you recall some local catastrophe caused by one of these—a hurricane, typhoon, cyclone, hailstorm, or flash flood. To illustrate, toward the end of the year 1999, a vast storm struck southwestern Europe. It surprised even weather experts. Gale winds reached 125 miles per hour [200 km/hr], ripping off thousands of roofs, toppling electric-line pylons, and overturning trucks. Try to visualize this: That storm period uprooted or broke in half some 270 million trees, 10,000 in just the park of Versailles, outside Paris. Millions of households lost electricity. The death toll was near 100. All of that in one brief period. What force!
17 One might call storms freak, undirected, uncontrolled occurrences. What, though, could happen if the all-powerful One performs wondrous works by using such forces in a controlled, directed way? He did something like that back in the days of Abraham, who learned that the Judge of all the earth had weighed the wickedness of two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. They were so corrupt that cries over them ascended to God, who helped all righteous ones to escape the condemned cities. History reports: “Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens,” upon those cities. That was a wondrous work, preserving righteous ones and destroying the hopelessly wicked.—Genesis 19:24.
18. To what wonderful things does Isaiah chapter 25 point?
18 At a later time, God issued a judicial decision against the ancient city of Babylon, which may be the city referred to in Isaiah chapter 25. God foretold that a city would become a ruin: “You have made a city a pile of stones, a fortified town a crumbling ruin, a dwelling tower of strangers to be no city, which will not be rebuilt even to time indefinite.” (Isaiah 25:2) Modern-day visitors to the site of Babylon can confirm that this has proved to be so. Was Babylon’s destruction just a coincidence? No. Rather, we can accept Isaiah’s evaluation: “O Jehovah, you are my God. I exalt you, I laud your name, for you have done wonderful things, counsels from early times, in faithfulness, in trustworthiness.”—Isaiah 25:1.
Wonderful Works in the Future
19, 20. We can expect what fulfillment of Isaiah 25:6-8?
19 God fulfilled the above prophecy in the past, and he will act wonderfully in the future. In this context, where Isaiah mentions “wonderful things” of God, we find a reliable prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled, just as the judgment on Babylon was fulfilled. What ‘wonderful thing’ is promised? Isaiah 25:6 says: “Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow, of wine kept on the dregs, filtered.”
20 That prophecy will assuredly be fulfilled in the new world of God’s promise, just ahead of us. At that time, mankind will be relieved of problems that now weigh so many down. In fact, the prophecy at Isaiah 25:7, 8 guarantees that God will use his creative power to do one of the most wonderful works of all time: “He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.” The apostle Paul later quoted from that passage and applied it to God’s bringing dead ones back to life, resurrecting the dead. What a wonderful work that will be!—1 Corinthians 15:51-54.
21. What wonderful works will God do for the dead?
21 Another reason why tears of sorrow will vanish is that humans will have their physical maladies removed. When Jesus was on earth, he cured many—returning sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, vigor to the disabled. John 5:5-9 relates that he healed a man lame for 38 years. Observers thought that this was a marvel, or wonderful work. And it was! Jesus, however, told them that more marvelous will be his resurrecting the dead: “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life.”—John 5:28, 29.
22. Why can the poor and afflicted look forward with hope?
22 That is bound to occur because the one promising it is Jehovah. Rest assured that when he employs and carefully directs his great restorative power, the result will be wonderful. Psalm 72 points to what he will do through his King-Son. Then the righteous one will sprout. Peace will be abundant. God will deliver the poor and afflicted. He promises: “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow. His fruit will be as in [ancient] Lebanon, and those who are from the city will blossom like the vegetation of the earth.”—Psalm 72:16.
23. God’s wonderful works should move us to do what?
23 Clearly, we have reason to give attention to all of Jehovah’s wonderful works—what he did in the past, what he is doing today, and what he will do in the near future. “Blessed be Jehovah God, Israel’s God, who alone is doing wonderful works. And blessed be his glorious name to time indefinite, and let his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 72:18, 19) That should regularly be a subject of our enthusiastic conversation with relatives and others. Yes, let us “declare among the nations his glory, among all the peoples his wonderful works.”—Psalm 78:3, 4; 96:3, 4.
How Would You Reply?
• How do the questions posed to Job emphasize the limits of human knowledge?
• What examples of God’s wonderful works highlighted in Job chapters 37-41 impressed you?
• How should we respond after considering some of God’s wonderful works?
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What do you conclude about the staggering variety of snowflakes and the awesome power of lightning?
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Let God’s wonderful works be a regular part of your conversation