Jehovah Cares for You
“Throw all your anxiety upon [God], because he cares for you.”—1 PETER 5:7.
1. In what important respect are Jehovah and Satan complete opposites?
JEHOVAH and Satan are complete opposites. Any person who feels drawn to Jehovah can only be repulsed by the Devil. This contrast is pointed up in a standard reference work. With regard to Satan’s activities as outlined in the Bible book of Job, the Encyclopædia Britannica (1970) says: ‘Satan’s task is to roam through the earth seeking out acts or persons to be reported adversely; his function thus is the opposite of that of the “eyes of the Lord,” which roam through the earth strengthening all that is good (II Chron. xvi, 9). Satan is cynical about unselfish human goodness and is permitted to test it under God’s authority and control and within the limits God sets.’ Yes, what a contrast!—Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7.
2, 3. (a) How is the meaning of the word “Devil” well illustrated in what happened to Job? (b) How does the Bible show that Satan continues to accuse Jehovah’s servants on earth?
2 The word “Devil” comes from a Greek word meaning “false accuser,” “slanderer.” The book of Job reveals that Satan accused Jehovah’s faithful servant Job of serving Him out of self-interest, saying: “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God?” (Job 1:9) The account in the book of Job shows that in spite of his tests and trials, Job drew ever closer to Jehovah. (Job 10:9, 12; 12:9, 10; 19:25; 27:5; 28:28) After his ordeal, he said to God: “In hearsay I have heard about you, but now my own eye does see you.”—Job 42:5.
3 Has Satan ceased accusing God’s faithful servants since the time of Job? No. The book of Revelation shows that in this time of the end, Satan continues to accuse Christ’s anointed brothers and assuredly also their faithful companions. (2 Timothy 3:12; Revelation 12:10, 17) Hence, the dire need of all of us as true Christians is to subject ourselves to our caring God, Jehovah, serving him out of deep love and thus proving Satan’s accusation to be false. So doing, we will make Jehovah’s heart rejoice.—Proverbs 27:11.
Jehovah Seeks to Help Us
4, 5. (a) In contrast with Satan, what does Jehovah look for on earth? (b) If we are to experience Jehovah’s favor, what is necessary on our part?
4 The Devil roves about in the earth, seeking to accuse and devour someone. (Job 1:7, 9; 1 Peter 5:8) In contrast, Jehovah seeks to help those who need his strength. The prophet Hanani told King Asa: “As regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) What a difference between Satan’s hateful scrutiny and Jehovah’s loving care!
5 Jehovah is not spying on us to catch our every fault and failing. The psalmist wrote: “If errors were what you watch, O Jah, O Jehovah, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3) The implied answer is: no one. (Ecclesiastes 7:20) If we draw near to Jehovah with complete hearts, his eyes will be upon us, not to condemn us, but to observe our efforts and answer our prayers for help and forgiveness. The apostle Peter wrote: “The eyes of Jehovah are upon the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their supplication; but the face of Jehovah is against those doing bad things.”—1 Peter 3:12.
6. How is David’s case both a comfort and a warning for us?
6 David was imperfect and sinned grievously. (2 Samuel 12:7-9) But he poured out his heart to Jehovah and drew near to him in fervent prayer. (Psalm 51:1-12, superscription) Jehovah heard his prayer and forgave him, although David bore unpleasant consequences for his sin. (2 Samuel 12:10-14) This should be for us both a comfort and a warning. It is comforting to know that Jehovah is willing to forgive our sins if we are truly repentant, but it is sobering to realize that sins often bring dire consequences. (Galatians 6:7-9) If we want to draw close to Jehovah, we should stay as far away as possible from anything that displeases him.—Psalm 97:10.
Jehovah Draws His People to Him
7. What kind of people does Jehovah watch for, and how does he draw them to himself?
7 David wrote in one of his psalms: “Jehovah is high, and yet the humble one he sees; but the lofty one he knows only from a distance.” (Psalm 138:6) In a similar vein, another psalm says: “Who is like Jehovah our God, him who is making his dwelling on high? He is condescending to look on heaven and earth, raising up the lowly one from the very dust.” (Psalm 113:5-7) Yes, the almighty Creator of the universe condescends to look down upon the earth, and his eyes see “the humble one,” “the lowly one,” people who are “sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done.” (Ezekiel 9:4) He draws such ones to himself by means of his Son. While on earth, Jesus stated: “No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him . . . No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”—John 6:44, 65.
8, 9. (a) Why do we all need to come to Jesus? (b) What is so remarkable about the ransom arrangement?
8 All humans should come to Jesus and put faith in the ransom sacrifice because they were born sinners, alienated from God. (John 3:36) They need to be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20) God did not wait for sinners to plead with him to provide some arrangement whereby they might find peace with him. The apostle Paul wrote: “God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. . . . For if, when we were enemies, we became reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, now that we have become reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”—Romans 5:8, 10.
9 The apostle John confirmed the sublime truth that God is reconciling humans to himself, writing: “By this the love of God was made manifest in our case, because God sent forth his only-begotten Son into the world that we might gain life through him. The love is in this respect, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent forth his Son as a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9, 10) The initiative was God’s, not man’s. Do you not feel drawn to a God who showed so much love for “sinners,” “enemies” at that?—John 3:16.
Need for Seeking Jehovah
10, 11. (a) What must we do to seek Jehovah? (b) How should we view Satan’s system of things?
10 Of course, Jehovah does not force us to come to him. We must seek him, “grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27) We must recognize Jehovah’s right to call for our subjection. The disciple James wrote: “Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones.” (James 4:7, 8) We should not hesitate to take a firm stand against the Devil and for Jehovah.
11 This means distancing ourselves from Satan’s wicked system of things. James also wrote: “Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Conversely, if we want to be Jehovah’s friends, we must expect Satan’s world to hate us.—John 15:19; 1 John 3:13.
12. (a) What comforting words did David write? (b) What warning did Jehovah give by means of the prophet Azariah?
12 When Satan’s world opposes us in some particular way, we need especially to approach Jehovah in prayer, asking for his help. David, who felt Jehovah’s saving hand so many times, wrote for our comfort: “Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, to all those who call upon him in trueness. The desire of those fearing him he will perform, and their cry for help he will hear, and he will save them. Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.” (Psalm 145:18-20) This psalm shows that Jehovah can save us when we are tested individually and that he will save his people collectively at the time of “the great tribulation.” (Revelation 7:14) Jehovah will stay close to us if we stay close to him. Guided by “the spirit of God,” the prophet Azariah stated what we can take as an overall truth: “Jehovah is with you as long as you prove to be with him; and if you search for him, he will let himself be found by you, but if you leave him he will leave you.”—2 Chronicles 15:1, 2.
Jehovah Must Be Real to Us
13. How can we show that Jehovah is real to us?
13 The apostle Paul wrote of Moses that “he continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) Of course, Moses never actually saw Jehovah. (Exodus 33:20) But Jehovah was so real to him that it was as if he saw Him. Similarly, after his trials, Job’s eyes of faith saw Jehovah more distinctly, as a God who allows his faithful servants to undergo trials but who never forsakes them. (Job 42:5) It was said of Enoch and Noah that they ‘walked with God.’ They did this by seeking to please God and obey him. (Genesis 5:22-24; 6:9, 22; Hebrews 11:5, 7) If Jehovah is as real to us as he was to Enoch, Noah, Job, and Moses, we will “take notice of him” in all our ways, and he will “make [our] paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5, 6.
14. What does it mean to “cling” to Jehovah?
14 Just before the Israelites were due to enter the Promised Land, Moses counseled them: “After Jehovah your God you should walk, and him you should fear, and his commandments you should keep, and to his voice you should listen, and him you should serve, and to him you should cling.” (Deuteronomy 13:4) They were to follow Jehovah, fear him, obey him, and cling to him. With regard to the word here translated “cling,” one Bible scholar states that “the language indicates a very close and intimate relationship.” The psalmist stated: “The intimacy with Jehovah belongs to those fearful of him.” (Psalm 25:14) This precious, close relationship with Jehovah will be ours if he is real to us and if we love him so much that we dread to displease him in any way.—Psalm 19:9-14.
Are You Aware of Jehovah’s Care?
15, 16. (a) How does Psalm 34 show that Jehovah cares for us? (b) What should we do if we have trouble remembering Jehovah’s acts of goodness toward us?
15 One of Satan’s crafty acts is to try to get us to lose sight of the fact that our God, Jehovah, is constantly taking care of his faithful servants. King David of Israel was well aware of Jehovah’s protective arm even when he faced a most perilous moment. When he was compelled to feign insanity in front of King Achish of Gath, he composed a song, a very beautiful psalm, which included these expressions of faith: “O magnify Jehovah with me, you people, and let us exalt his name together. I inquired of Jehovah, and he answered me, and out of all my frights he delivered me. The angel of Jehovah is camping all around those fearing him, and he rescues them. Taste and see that Jehovah is good, O you people; happy is the able-bodied man that takes refuge in him. Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the calamities of the righteous one, but out of them all Jehovah delivers him.”—Psalm 34:3, 4, 7, 8, 18, 19; 1 Samuel 21:10-15.
16 Are you convinced of Jehovah’s saving power? Are you aware of his angelic protection? Have you personally tasted and seen that Jehovah is good? When was the last time that you were particularly conscious that Jehovah had been good to you? Try to recall. Was it at that last home you visited in the ministry, just as you were feeling you could do no more? Perhaps you then had a wonderful conversation with the householder. Did you remember to thank Jehovah for having given you the extra strength you needed and for blessing you? (2 Corinthians 4:7) On the other hand, you may have trouble recalling some particular act of goodness that Jehovah performed in your behalf. You may have to think back a week, a month, a year, or more. If this is the case, why not make a conscious effort to draw closer to Jehovah and try to see how he guides and directs you? The apostle Peter admonished Christians: “Humble yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God . . . while you throw all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6, 7) Indeed, you will be amazed at how much he cares for you!—Psalm 73:28.
Keep Seeking Jehovah
17. What is necessary if we are to keep seeking Jehovah?
17 Maintaining our relationship with Jehovah must be an ongoing matter. Jesus said in prayer to his Father: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Taking in knowledge of Jehovah and his Son requires constant effort on our part. We need the help of prayer and holy spirit to comprehend “the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10; Luke 11:13) We also need the guidance of “the faithful and discreet slave” to feed our minds with spiritual food given “at the proper time.” (Matthew 24:45) Through that channel, Jehovah has counseled us to read his Word daily, attend our Christian meetings regularly, and have a meaningful share in preaching the “good news of the kingdom.” (Matthew 24:14) By doing so, we will keep seeking our caring God, Jehovah.
18, 19. (a) What should we be determined to do? (b) If we take our stand firmly against the Devil and keep seeking Jehovah, how will we be blessed?
18 Satan is doing all in his power to bring persecution, opposition, and pressure from all quarters upon Jehovah’s people. He tries to disrupt our peace and destroy our fine standing with our God. He does not want us to continue our work of finding honesthearted ones and assisting them to come over to Jehovah’s side of the issue of universal sovereignty. But we must be determined to stay loyal to Jehovah, trusting in him to deliver us from the wicked one. By letting God’s Word guide us and by staying active with his visible organization, we can be sure that he will always be there to support us.—Isaiah 41:8-13.
19 May we all, therefore, take our stand firmly against the Devil and his crafty acts, all the while seeking our dear God, Jehovah, who will not fail to ‘make us firm, make us strong.’ (1 Peter 5:8-11) Thus we will ‘keep ourselves in God’s love, while we are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with everlasting life in view.’—Jude 21.
How Would You Answer?
• What does the word “Devil” mean, and how does the Devil live up to that designation?
• How does Jehovah differ from the Devil in the way He observes the inhabitants of the earth?
• Why must a person accept the ransom in approaching Jehovah?
• What does it mean to “cling” to Jehovah, and how can we keep seeking him?
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In spite of his trials, Job came to appreciate that Jehovah cared for him
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Daily Bible reading, regular attendance at Christian meetings, and zealous participation in the preaching work remind us that Jehovah cares for us