Jehovah, the God of Truth
“You have redeemed me, O Jehovah the God of truth.”—PSALM 31:5.
1. What were the conditions in heaven and on earth when there was no untruth?
THERE was a time when there was no untruth. Inhabiting the invisible heavens were perfect spirit creatures, serving their Creator, “the God of truth.” (Psalm 31:5) There was no falsehood, no deception. Jehovah communicated what was truthful to his spirit sons. He did so because he loved them and because he was deeply interested in their welfare. The situation on earth was the same. Jehovah created the first man and woman, and through his appointed channel, he always communicated with them in a clear, straightforward, and truthful manner. How wonderful that must have been!
2. Who introduced untruth, and why?
2 Eventually, however, a spirit son of God brazenly set out to establish himself as a rival god, opposing Jehovah. This spirit creature, who became known as Satan the Devil, wanted others to worship him. To achieve his goal, he introduced untruth as a means to bring others under his control. In so doing, he became both “a liar and the father of the lie.”—John 8:44.
3. How did Adam and Eve react to Satan’s lies, and what were the results?
3 By means of a serpent, Satan told the first woman, Eve, that if she disregarded God’s command and ate the forbidden fruit, she would not die. That was a lie. He further told her that by eating she would become like God, knowing good and bad. That, too, was a lie. Though Eve had never before been lied to, she must have recognized that what she heard from the serpent was not in harmony with what God had told her husband, Adam. Still, she chose to believe Satan, not Jehovah. Thoroughly deceived, she took the fruit and ate. Later, Adam also ate of the fruit. (Genesis 3:1-6) Like Eve, Adam had never before heard a lie, yet he was not deceived. (1 Timothy 2:14) By his actions, he showed that he rejected his Maker. The consequences to humankind were disastrous. Because of Adam’s disobedience, sin and death—along with corruption and untold misery—spread to all his offspring.—Romans 5:12.
4. (a) What was the nature of the lies told in Eden? (b) What must we do so as not to be misled by Satan?
4 Untruth also spread. We must recognize that those lies told in the garden of Eden were assaults against the truthfulness of Jehovah himself. Satan asserted that God was deceitfully depriving the first human couple of something good. That, of course, was not so. Adam and Eve did not benefit from their disobedience. They died, just as Jehovah had said they would. Nonetheless, Satan’s slanderous assault against Jehovah continued, to the extent that centuries later the apostle John was inspired to write that Satan “is misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation 12:9) To avoid being misled by Satan the Devil, we must have complete confidence in the truthfulness of Jehovah and his Word. How can you develop and strengthen your trust in Jehovah and fortify yourself against the deception and lies promoted by his Adversary?
Jehovah Knows the Truth
5, 6. (a) What knowledge does Jehovah possess? (b) How does human knowledge compare with that of Jehovah?
5 The Bible consistently identifies Jehovah as the one who “created all things.” (Ephesians 3:9) He is “the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.” (Acts 4:24) Since Jehovah is the Creator, he knows the truth about everything. To illustrate: Consider a man who designs and then builds his own house, laying every timber and driving every nail. He will know that house inside and out and will possess an understanding of it greater than that of any observer. People know about the things they design and make. Similarly, the Creator knows all that there is to know about what he has created.
6 The prophet Isaiah beautifully expressed the scope of Jehovah’s knowledge. We read: “Who has measured the waters in the mere hollow of his hand, and taken the proportions of the heavens themselves with a mere span and included in a measure the dust of the earth, or weighed with an indicator the mountains, and the hills in the scales? Who has taken the proportions of the spirit of Jehovah, and who as his man of counsel can make him know anything? With whom did he consult together that one might make him understand, or who teaches him in the path of justice, or teaches him knowledge, or makes him know the very way of real understanding?” (Isaiah 40:12-14) Truly, Jehovah is “a God of knowledge” and is “perfect in knowledge.” (1 Samuel 2:3; Job 36:4; 37:16) How little we know in comparison! Despite the impressive knowledge that has been amassed by humankind, our understanding of the material creation does not extend even to “the fringes of [God’s] ways.” It is like “a whisper” compared with “mighty thunder.”—Job 26:14.
7. What did David recognize about Jehovah’s knowledge, and thus what must we acknowledge?
7 Since Jehovah created us, it follows that he knows us well. King David recognized this. He wrote: “O Jehovah, you have searched through me, and you know me. You yourself have come to know my sitting down and my rising up. You have considered my thought from far off. My journeying and my lying outstretched you have measured off, and you have become familiar even with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but, look! O Jehovah, you already know it all.” (Psalm 139:1-4) David, of course, realized that humans exercise free will—God has given us the capacity either to obey or to disobey him. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Joshua 24:15) Nevertheless, Jehovah knows us far better than we know ourselves. He wants what is best for us, and he is in a position to direct our ways. (Jeremiah 10:23) Indeed, there is no teacher, no expert, no counselor better equipped to teach us the truth and to make us wise and happy.
Jehovah Is Truthful
8. How do we know that Jehovah is truthful?
8 It is one thing to know the truth, but it is quite another always to tell the truth, to be truthful. The Devil, for example, chose not to “stand fast in the truth.” (John 8:44) In contrast, Jehovah is “abundant in . . . truth.” (Exodus 34:6) The Scriptures consistently testify to Jehovah’s truthfulness. The apostle Paul stated that “it is impossible for God to lie,” and that God “cannot lie.” (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2) Truthfulness is an important part of God’s personality. We can rely on and trust in Jehovah because he is truthful; he never deceives his loyal ones.
9. How is Jehovah’s name linked to truth?
9 Jehovah’s very name testifies to his truthfulness. The divine name means “He Causes to Become.” This identifies Jehovah as the one who progressively becomes the Fulfiller of all that he promises. No one else is in that position. Because Jehovah is the Supreme One, nothing can thwart the realization of his purposes. Not only is Jehovah truthful but he alone has the power and the wisdom to make all that he says come true.
10. (a) How did Joshua witness Jehovah’s truthfulness? (b) What promises of Jehovah have you seen fulfilled?
10 Joshua was one of many who witnessed remarkable events that testified to Jehovah’s truthfulness. Joshua was in Egypt when Jehovah brought the ten plagues upon that nation, foretelling each in advance. Among other things, Joshua experienced the fulfillment of Jehovah’s promises to deliver the Israelites from Egypt and to lead them into the Promised Land, subduing the powerful Caananite armies that opposed them. Toward the end of his life, Joshua told the older men of the nation of Israel: “You well know with all your hearts and with all your souls that not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you. Not one word of them has failed.” (Joshua 23:14) Though you have not witnessed the miracles Joshua did, have you experienced the truthfulness of God’s promises in your lifetime?
Jehovah Reveals the Truth
11. What shows that Jehovah wants to communicate the truth to mankind?
11 Imagine a parent who has vast knowledge but who rarely speaks to his children. Are you not thankful that Jehovah is not like that? Jehovah lovingly communicates with mankind, and he does it generously. The Scriptures call him the “Grand Instructor.” (Isaiah 30:20) In his loving-kindness, he reaches out even to those who are not inclined to listen to him. For example, Ezekiel was assigned to preach to those whom Jehovah knew would be unreceptive. Jehovah said: “Son of man, go, enter in among the house of Israel, and you must speak with my words to them.” Then he warned: “They will not want to listen to you, for they are not wanting to listen to me; because all those of the house of Israel are hardheaded and hardhearted.” That was a difficult assignment, but Ezekiel carried it out faithfully, and in doing so, he reflected Jehovah’s compassion. If you find yourself in a challenging preaching assignment and you rely on God, you may be confident that he will strengthen you just as he did his prophet Ezekiel.—Ezekiel 3:4, 7-9.
12, 13. In what ways has God communicated with humans?
12 Jehovah desires that “all sorts of men . . . be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) He has spoken through prophets, through angels, and even through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:1, 2; 2:2) To Pilate, Jesus said: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is on the side of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate had a priceless opportunity to learn the truth about Jehovah’s provision for salvation directly from the Son of God. However, Pilate was not on the side of the truth, and he did not want to learn from Jesus. Instead, Pilate cynically replied: “What is truth?” (John 18:37, 38) How sad for him! Yet, many did listen to the truth Jesus proclaimed. To his disciples he said: “Happy are your eyes because they behold, and your ears because they hear.”—Matthew 13:16.
13 Jehovah has preserved the truth by means of the Bible and has made it available to people everywhere. The Bible reveals things as they actually are. It describes God’s attributes, purposes, and commands, as well as the true state of affairs among mankind. Jesus said in prayer to Jehovah: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Because of this, the Bible is a unique book. It alone was written under inspiration of the God who knows all things. (2 Timothy 3:16) It is a precious gift to humankind, one that God’s servants treasure. We are wise to read it daily.
Hold Fast to the Truth
14. What are some things Jehovah says he will do, and why should we believe him?
14 We should take seriously what Jehovah tells us in his Word. He is what he says he is, and he will do what he says he will do. We have every reason to trust in God. We can believe it when Jehovah says that he will bring “vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.” (2 Thessalonians 1:8) We may also take Jehovah at his word when he says that he loves those who pursue righteousness, when he says that he will grant everlasting life to those who exercise faith, and when he says that he will eliminate pain, outcry, and even death. Jehovah underscored the reliability of this last promise by giving this instruction to the apostle John: “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”—Revelation 21:4, 5; Proverbs 15:9; John 3:36.
15. What are some lies that Satan promotes?
15 Satan is the exact opposite of Jehovah. Rather than enlighten, he deceives. To achieve his aim to turn people away from pure worship, Satan promotes an array of lies. For example, Satan would have us believe that God is emotionally distant and insensitive to the suffering on earth. Yet, the Bible shows that Jehovah cares deeply for his creatures and deplores badness and suffering. (Acts 17:24-30) Satan also wants people to believe that spiritual pursuits are a waste of time. On the contrary, the Scriptures assure us that “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.” Moreover, they clearly state that “he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”—Hebrews 6:10; 11:6.
16. Why must Christians remain vigilant and hold fast to the truth?
16 Concerning Satan, the apostle Paul wrote: “The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Like Eve, some are thoroughly deceived by Satan the Devil. Others follow the course of Adam, who was not deceived but who deliberately chose the path of disobedience. (Jude 5, 11) Thus, it is essential that Christians remain vigilant and hold fast to the truth.
Jehovah Requires “Faith Without Hypocrisy”
17. What must we do to have Jehovah’s favor?
17 Because he is truthful in all his ways, Jehovah expects those who worship him to be truthful also. The psalmist wrote: “O Jehovah, who will be a guest in your tent? Who will reside in your holy mountain? He who is walking faultlessly and practicing righteousness and speaking the truth in his heart.” (Psalm 15:1, 2) To the Jews who sang those words, mention of Jehovah’s holy mountain doubtless brought to mind Mount Zion, where King David brought the ark of the covenant to the tent he had erected there. (2 Samuel 6:12, 17) The mountain and the tent called to mind the place where Jehovah symbolically dwelt. There people could approach God in order to implore his favor.
18. (a) What does friendship with God require? (b) What will be discussed in the next article?
18 Anyone who wants Jehovah’s friendship must speak the truth “in his heart,” not merely with his lips. True friends of God must be honest of heart and must give evidence of “faith without hypocrisy,” for acts of truthfulness come from the heart. (1 Timothy 1:5; Matthew 12:34, 35) A friend of God is not devious or deceptive, for “a man of . . . deception Jehovah detests.” (Psalm 5:6) Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the earth work hard at being truthful in imitation of their God. The next article will examine this subject.
How Would You Answer?
• Why does Jehovah know the truth about everything?
• What shows that Jehovah is truthful?
• How has Jehovah revealed the truth?
• As regards truth, what is required of us?
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The God of truth knows everything about what he has created
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Jehovah’s promises will come true