Jehovah’s Greatness Is Unsearchable
“Jehovah is great and very much to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”—PSALM 145:3.
1, 2. What kind of person was David, and how did he see himself in relation to God?
THE composer of Psalm 145 is one of history’s well-known men. As a boy, he faced an armed giant and killed him. And as a warrior-king, this psalmist vanquished many enemies. His name was David, and he was the second king of ancient Israel. David’s reputation lived on after his death, so that even today millions know something about him.
2 In spite of David’s achievements, he had a humble view of himself. With reference to Jehovah, he sang: “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) Instead of thinking that he himself was great, David ascribed deliverance from all his enemies to Jehovah and said of God: “You will give me your shield of salvation, and it is your humility that makes me great.” (2 Samuel 22:1, 2, 36) Jehovah displays humility in showing mercy to sinners, and David appreciated God’s undeserved kindness.
‘I Will Exalt God the King’
3. (a) What view did David have of Israel’s kingship? (b) To what extent did David desire to praise Jehovah?
3 Although David was God’s appointed king, he viewed Jehovah as the true King of Israel. Said David: “Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, the One also lifting yourself up as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11) And how David appreciated God as Ruler! “I will exalt you, O my God the King,” he sang, “and I will bless your name to time indefinite, even forever. All day long I will bless you, and I will praise your name to time indefinite, even forever.” (Psalm 145:1, 2) It was David’s desire to praise Jehovah God throughout the day and for all eternity.
4. Psalm 145 exposes what false claims?
4 Psalm 145 is a powerful answer to Satan’s claim that God is a selfish ruler who withholds freedom from his creatures. (Genesis 3:1-5) This psalm also exposes Satan’s lie that those who obey God do so only for what they can get out of it, not because they love God. (Job 1:9-11; 2:4, 5) Like David, true Christians today are supplying an answer to the Devil’s false charges. They treasure their hope of everlasting life under Kingdom rule because they desire to praise Jehovah throughout eternity. Already, millions have started to do so by exercising faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice and by serving Jehovah obediently out of love as his dedicated, baptized worshipers.—Romans 5:8; 1 John 5:3.
5, 6. What opportunities are there to bless and praise Jehovah?
5 Think of our many opportunities to bless and praise Jehovah as his servants. We can do so in prayer when we are deeply touched by something we read in his Word, the Bible. Grateful praise and thankfulness can be expressed when we are moved by God’s way of dealing with his people or when we are thrilled by a certain aspect of his marvelous creation. We also bless Jehovah God when we discuss his purposes with fellow believers at Christian meetings or during private conversations. In fact, all “fine works” done in the interests of God’s Kingdom bring praise to Jehovah.—Matthew 5:16.
6 Recent examples of such fine works include the construction of many places of worship by Jehovah’s people in poverty-stricken lands. Much of this has been done with the financial assistance of fellow believers in other countries. Some Christians have provided help by voluntarily going to such areas in order to share in the construction of Kingdom Halls. And the most important of all fine works is to praise Jehovah by preaching the good news of his Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14) As later verses in Psalm 145 show, David appreciated God’s rulership and extolled His kingship. (Psalm 145:11, 12) Do you have similar appreciation for God’s loving way of ruling? And do you regularly speak to others about his Kingdom?
Examples of God’s Greatness
7. Give a major reason to praise Jehovah.
7 Psalm 145:3 gives a major reason for praising Jehovah. David sings: “Jehovah is great and very much to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” Jehovah’s greatness is without limits. It cannot be fully searched out, comprehended, or measured by humans. But we will certainly benefit from now considering examples of Jehovah’s unsearchable greatness.
8. What does the universe reveal as to Jehovah’s greatness and power?
8 Try to recall an occasion when you were away from bright city lights and looked up into a cloudless night sky. Were you not amazed at the multitude of stars visible against the blackness of space? Were you not moved to praise Jehovah for his greatness in creating all those celestial bodies? What you saw, however, was but a tiny fraction of the number of stars in the galaxy of which the earth is a part. In addition, there are estimated to be more than a hundred billion galaxies, only three of which can be seen without the aid of a telescope. Indeed, the countless stars and galaxies that make up the immense universe are a testimony to Jehovah’s creative power and unsearchable greatness.—Isaiah 40:26.
9, 10. (a) What aspects of Jehovah’s greatness have been displayed in connection with Jesus Christ? (b) How should Jesus’ resurrection affect our faith?
9 Consider other aspects of Jehovah’s greatness—those involving Jesus Christ. God’s greatness was shown in creating his Son and using him for aeons as His “master worker.” (Proverbs 8:22-31) The greatness of Jehovah’s love was manifested when he gave his only-begotten Son as a ransom sacrifice for mankind. (Matthew 20:28; John 3:16; 1 John 2:1, 2) And far beyond human comprehension is the glorious and immortal spirit body that Jehovah fashioned for Jesus at his resurrection.—1 Peter 3:18.
10 Jesus’ resurrection involved many impressive aspects of Jehovah’s unsearchable greatness. God undoubtedly restored Jesus’ memory regarding the work involved in the creation of both invisible and visible things. (Colossians 1:15, 16) These include other spirit creatures, the universe, the productive earth, and all forms of physical life on our globe. In addition to restoring his Son’s knowledge of the complete history of heavenly and earthly life witnessed during the Son’s prehuman existence, Jehovah added what Jesus had experienced as a perfect human. Yes, Jehovah’s unsearchable greatness is evident in Jesus’ resurrection. Moreover, that great act is a guarantee that the resurrection of others is possible. It should strengthen our faith that God can bring back to life the millions of dead people he holds within his perfect memory.—John 5:28, 29; Acts 17:31.
Wonderful Works and Mighty Acts
11. What great work of Jehovah got started at Pentecost 33 C.E.?
11 Since Jesus’ resurrection, Jehovah has performed many other great and wonderful works. (Psalm 40:5) At Pentecost 33 C.E., Jehovah brought into existence a new nation, “the Israel of God,” made up of Christ’s disciples who were anointed by holy spirit. (Galatians 6:16) In a mighty way, this new spiritual nation expanded throughout the then known world. Despite the apostasy that led to the development of Christendom after the death of Jesus’ apostles, Jehovah kept on performing wonderful works to ensure the fulfillment of his purpose.
12. The fact that the Bible is available in all major languages on earth is a testimony to what?
12 For example, the Bible canon was preserved and eventually translated into all major languages on earth today. Bible translation was often carried out under difficult circumstances and under the threat of death from Satan’s agents. To be sure, Bible translation into over 2,000 languages could not have been accomplished if this had not been the will of the unsearchably great God, Jehovah!
13. Since 1914, how has Jehovah’s greatness been manifested in connection with his Kingdom purposes?
13 Jehovah’s greatness has been manifested in connection with his Kingdom purposes. For instance, in the year 1914, he installed his Son, Jesus Christ, as heavenly King. Shortly thereafter, Jesus took action against Satan and his demons. They were ousted from heaven and confined to the vicinity of the earth, where they now await their abyssing. (Revelation 12:9-12; 20:1-3) Since then, Jesus’ anointed followers have experienced increased persecution. However, Jehovah has sustained them during this time of Christ’s invisible presence.—Matthew 24:3; Revelation 12:17.
14. What wonderful work did Jehovah perform in 1919, and what did this accomplish?
14 In the year 1919, Jehovah performed another wonderful work that demonstrated his greatness. Jesus’ anointed followers, who had been reduced to a state of spiritual inactivity, were revived. (Revelation 11:3-11) In the years since then, the anointed have zealously preached the good news of the established heavenly Kingdom. Other anointed ones have been gathered in order to complete the number of 144,000. (Revelation 14:1-3) And by means of Christ’s anointed followers, Jehovah laid the foundation of “a new earth,” a righteous human society. (Revelation 21:1) But what will happen to the “new earth” after faithful anointed ones all go to heaven?
15. What work have anointed Christians been spearheading, and with what results?
15 In 1935, the August 1 and August 15 issues of this journal contained key articles dealing with the “great crowd,” mentioned in Revelation chapter 7. Anointed Christians zealously began to seek out and bring into their association these fellow worshipers from all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. This “great crowd” will survive the imminent “great tribulation,” with the prospect of eternal life in Paradise as permanent members of the “new earth.” (Revelation 7:9-14) Because of the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making work, spearheaded by anointed Christians, over six million people now entertain the hope of endless life in an earthly paradise. Who should get the credit for such increase in the face of opposition from Satan and his corrupt world? (1 John 5:19) Only Jehovah could accomplish all of this, using his holy spirit.—Isaiah 60:22; Zechariah 4:6.
Jehovah’s Glorious Splendor and Dignity
16. Why can humans not literally see ‘the glorious splendor of Jehovah’s dignity’?
16 Whatever their nature, the “wonderful works” and “mighty acts” of Jehovah will never be forgotten. David wrote: “Generation after generation will commend your works, and about your mighty acts they will tell. The glorious splendor of your dignity and the matters of your wonderful works I will make my concern. And they will talk about the strength of your own fear-inspiring things; and as for your greatness, I will declare it.” (Psalm 145:4-6) Yet, how much could David know about the glorious splendor of Jehovah, since “God is a Spirit” and is therefore invisible to human eyes?—John 1:18; 4:24.
17, 18. How could David grow in appreciation of ‘the glorious splendor of Jehovah’s dignity’?
17 Although he could not see God, there were ways for David to grow in appreciation for Jehovah’s dignity. For instance, he could read the Scriptural record of God’s mighty acts, such as the destruction of a wicked world by means of a global flood. Very likely, David noted how Egypt’s false gods were humiliated as God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Such events testify to Jehovah’s dignity and greatness.
18 David undoubtedly grew in appreciation for God’s dignity not only by reading the Scriptures but also by meditating on them. For instance, he may have meditated on what happened when Jehovah gave the Law to Israel. There were thunders, lightnings, a heavy cloud, and a very loud sound of a horn. Mount Sinai rocked and smoked. Assembled at the foot of the mountain, the Israelites even heard “the Ten Words” from the midst of the fire and the cloud as Jehovah spoke to them through an angelic representative. (Deuteronomy 4:32-36; 5:22-24; 10:4; Exodus 19:16-20; Acts 7:38, 53) What manifestations of Jehovah’s grandeur! Lovers of God’s Word who meditate on these accounts cannot help but be moved by ‘the glorious splendor of Jehovah’s dignity.’ Today, of course, we have the whole Bible, which contains various glorious visions that impress us with Jehovah’s greatness.—Ezekiel 1:26-28; Daniel 7:9, 10; Revelation, chapter 4.
19. What will increase our appreciation for Jehovah’s dignity?
19 Another way that David could have been impressed with God’s dignity was by studying the laws God gave to the Israelites. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20; Psalm 19:7-11) Obedience to Jehovah’s laws dignified the nation of Israel and set it apart from all other peoples. (Deuteronomy 4:6-8) As was true in David’s case, reading the Scriptures regularly, meditating on them deeply, and studying them diligently will increase our appreciation for Jehovah’s dignity.
How Great God’s Moral Qualities!
20, 21. (a) Psalm 145:7-9 magnifies Jehovah’s greatness in connection with what qualities? (b) What effect do God’s qualities mentioned here have on all who love him?
20 As we have noted, the first six verses of Psalm 145:1-6 give us sound reasons to praise Jehovah for things associated with his unsearchable greatness. Ps 145 Verses 7 to 9 magnify God’s greatness by referring to his moral qualities. David sings: “With the mention of the abundance of your goodness they will bubble over, and because of your righteousness they will cry out joyfully. Jehovah is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and great in loving-kindness. Jehovah is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works.”
21 Here David first highlights Jehovah’s goodness and righteousness—qualities called into question by Satan the Devil. What effect do these qualities have on all who love God and submit to his rulership? Why, Jehovah’s goodness and his righteous way of ruling bring such joy to his worshipers that they cannot stop bubbling forth his praise. Moreover, Jehovah’s goodness extends “to all.” Hopefully, this will help many more to repent and become worshipers of the true God before it is too late.—Acts 14:15-17.
22. How does Jehovah treat his servants?
22 David also appreciated the qualities that God himself highlighted when He “went passing by before [Moses’] face and declaring: ‘Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.’” (Exodus 34:6) Thus, David could declare: “Jehovah is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and great in loving-kindness.” Though Jehovah is unsearchably great, he dignifies his human servants by treating them graciously. He is full of mercy, willing to forgive repentant sinners on the basis of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. Jehovah is also slow to anger, for he grants his servants opportunity to overcome weaknesses that could bar them from his new world of righteousness.—2 Peter 3:9, 13, 14.
23. What precious quality will we consider in the next article?
23 David extols God’s loving-kindness, or loyal love. In fact, the rest of Psalm 145 shows how Jehovah displays this quality and how his loyal servants respond to his loving-kindness. These matters will be discussed in the next article.
How Would You Answer?
• What opportunities are there to praise Jehovah “all day long”?
• What examples show that Jehovah’s greatness is unsearchable?
• How can we grow in appreciation for Jehovah’s glorious dignity?
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The galaxies of the universe testify to Jehovah’s greatness
Courtesy of Anglo-Australian Observatory, photograph by David Malin
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How has Jehovah’s greatness been manifested in connection with Jesus Christ?
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When the Israelites received the Law at Mount Sinai, they had evidence of Jehovah’s glorious dignity