Who Are Giving God Glory Today?
“You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power.”—REVELATION 4:11.
1, 2. (a) What examples illustrate the field called biomimetics? (b) What question arises, and what is the answer?
ONE day in the 1940’s, Swiss engineer George de Mestral took his dog for a walk. Upon returning home, he noticed that his clothes as well as the dog’s fur were covered with burs. Curious, he examined the burs under a microscope and was intrigued by the tiny hooks that latched onto anything that had a loop. Eventually, he invented a synthetic equivalent—Velcro. De Mestral was not alone in copying from nature. In the United States, the Wright brothers designed an airplane after studying large birds in flight. French engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel designed the tower in Paris bearing his name, using the basic principles that enable the human thighbone to support the body’s weight.
2 These examples well illustrate what is called biomimetics, the field of science that seeks to mimic designs found in nature.* A fair question arises, though: How often do inventors give credit to the One who designed the tiny burs, the large birds, the human thighbone, and all the other brilliant originals upon which many human inventions are based? The sad reality is that in today’s world, God is rarely given the credit or the glory that he deserves.
3, 4. What is the meaning of the Hebrew word rendered “glory,” and to what should it refer when used of Jehovah?
3 ‘Why,’ some may wonder, ‘is it necessary to give glory to God? Is not God already glorious?’ True, Jehovah is the most glorious Personage in the universe, but that does not mean that he is glorious in the eyes of all humans. In the Bible, the Hebrew word rendered “glory” has the basic sense of “heaviness.” It refers to anything that makes a person seem weighty or important to others. When used of God, it refers to that which makes God impressive to man.
4 Few today take note of what makes God impressive. (Psalm 10:4; 14:1) In fact, prominent figures in society, if they believe in God at all, have often influenced people to treat the glorious Creator of the universe with disrespect. In what ways have they done so?
“They Are Inexcusable”
5. How do many scientists explain away the wonders of creation?
5 Many scientists insist that there is no God. How, then, do they explain the wonders of creation, including humankind? They attribute such marvels to evolution, a blind force based on chance. For example, evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould wrote: “We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures . . . We may yearn for a ‘higher’ answer—but none exists.” Similarly, Richard E. Leakey and Roger Lewin wrote: “Perhaps the human species is just a ghastly biological blunder.” Even some scientists who praise the beauty and design in nature fail to give credit to God.
6. What dissuades many from giving God the credit he deserves as the Creator?
6 When learned individuals assert that evolution is a fact, they imply that only the ignorant refuse to believe it. How do many react to such an assertion? Some years ago, a man well-versed in evolution interviewed people who accepted the theory. He said: “I discovered that most believers of evolution are believers because they have been told that all intelligent people are believers.” Yes, when educated individuals express their atheistic views, others are dissuaded from giving God the credit he deserves as the Creator.—Proverbs 14:15, 18.
7. According to Romans 1:20, what can clearly be seen by means of the visible creation, and why?
7 Have scientists come to their conclusions because facts and evidence point that way? Hardly! We are surrounded by evidence of a Creator. Regarding him, the apostle Paul wrote: “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s [mankind’s] creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they [unbelievers] are inexcusable.” (Romans 1:20) The Creator left his imprint on his handiwork. Paul is thus saying that from the start of mankind’s existence, it has been possible for humans to ‘perceive’ evidence of God’s existence by means of the visible creation. Where is this evidence?
8. (a) How do the physical heavens testify to God’s power and wisdom? (b) What indication is there that the universe had a First Cause?
8 We see evidence of God in the starry heavens. “The heavens are declaring the glory of God,” says Psalm 19:1. “The heavens”—the sun, moon, and stars—testify to God’s power and wisdom. The sheer number of stars fills us with awe. And all these heavenly bodies move through space, not aimlessly, but according to precise physical laws.* (Isaiah 40:26) Is it reasonable to attribute such order to blind chance? Significantly, many scientists say that the universe had a sudden beginning. Explaining the implications of this, one professor wrote: “A universe that eternally existed is much more congenial to an atheistic or agnostic [view]. By the same token, a universe that began seems to demand a first cause; for who could imagine such an effect without a sufficient cause?”
9. How is Jehovah’s wisdom evident in the animal creation?
9 We also see on the earth evidence of God. The psalmist exclaimed: “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) Jehovah’s “productions,” including the animal creation, bespeak his wisdom. As we noted at the outset, the design of living things is such that scientists often seek to mimic it. Consider a few other examples. Researchers are studying antlers, with the goal of building stronger helmets; they are looking at a species of fly that has acute hearing, with a view toward improving hearing aids; and they are examining the wing feathers of owls, with the idea of improving stealth airplanes. But try as he will, man cannot truly duplicate the perfect originals found in nature. Notes the book Biomimicry—Innovation Inspired by Nature: “Living things have done everything we want to do, without guzzling fossil fuel, polluting the planet, or mortgaging their future.” What wisdom indeed!
10. Why is it illogical to deny the existence of a Great Designer? Illustrate.
10 Whether you look at the heavens above or gaze at creation right here on earth, the evidence of a Creator is clear. (Jeremiah 10:12) We should heartily agree with the heavenly creatures who cry out: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things.” (Revelation 4:11) Yet, many scientists fail to see the evidence with ‘the eyes of their heart,’ even though they may marvel at the design in things they see with the eyes of their body. (Ephesians 1:18) We can illustrate it this way: To admire the beauty and design in nature and deny the existence of a Great Designer is as illogical as admiring a magnificent painting and at the same time denying the existence of the artist who transformed a blank canvas into a masterpiece. Little wonder that those who refuse to believe in God are pronounced “inexcusable”!
“Blind Guides” Mislead Many
11, 12. The doctrine of predestination is based on what supposition, and what shows that this doctrine does not glorify God?
11 Many religious people sincerely believe that their form of worship gives glory to God. (Romans 10:2, 3) However, religion as a whole constitutes another element of human society that has actually prevented millions from glorifying God. How so? Let us consider two ways.
12 First, religions detract glory from God by means of false teachings. Take as an example the teaching of predestination. This doctrine is based on the supposition that since God has the power to know the future, he must foreknow the outcome of everything. Predestination thus suggests that God long ago foreordained the future—good or bad—of every individual. According to this notion, blame for all suffering and wickedness in today’s world must lie with God. It hardly glorifies God when he is assigned the blame that rightly belongs to his chief Adversary, Satan, the one whom the Bible calls “the ruler of the world”!—John 14:30; 1 John 5:19.
13. Why is it foolish to think that God cannot control his ability to know the future? Illustrate.
13 Predestination is an unscriptural teaching that slanders God. It confuses what he can do with what he actually does. The fact that God can foreknow events is clearly stated in the Bible. (Isaiah 46:9, 10) However, it is illogical to think that he cannot control his ability to know the future or that he is responsible for every outcome. To illustrate: Suppose you had great physical strength. Would that make you feel inclined to lift every heavy object in sight? Of course not! Likewise, having the ability to know the future does not compel God to foreknow or foreordain everything. His use of foreknowledge is selective and discretionary.* Clearly, false teachings, including predestination, do not glorify God.
14. In what way has organized religion dishonored God?
14 A second way that organized religion dishonors God is through the conduct of its adherents. Christians are expected to follow the teachings of Jesus. Among other things, Jesus taught his followers to “love one another” and to remain “no part of the world.” (John 15:12; 17:14-16) What about members of Christendom’s clergy? Have they really followed those teachings?
15. (a) What is the clergy’s record when it comes to the wars of the nations? (b) The conduct of the clergy has had what effect on millions?
15 Consider the clergy’s record when it comes to war. They have supported, condoned, even taken the lead in many wars of the nations. They have blessed the troops and justified the killing. We cannot help wondering, ‘Has it never occurred to such clergymen that their counterparts on the opposing side are doing the same thing?’ (See the box “Whose Side Is God On?”) The clergy do not glorify God when they claim to have his backing in bloody wars; neither do they glorify him when they pronounce Bible standards out-of-date and condone sexual immorality of any kind. How they remind us of the religious leaders whom Jesus called “workers of lawlessness” and “blind guides”! (Matthew 7:15-23; 15:14) The conduct of the clergy has caused millions to cool off in their love for God.—Matthew 24:12.
Who Are Truly Giving Glory to God?
16. To answer the question of who are truly giving glory to God, why must we look to the Bible?
16 If the prominent and influential people of the world have by and large failed to glorify God, then who are truly doing so? To answer that question, we must look to the Bible. After all, God has the right to say how he is to be glorified, and he sets the standards in his Word, the Bible. (Isaiah 42:8) Let us consider three ways to glorify God, in each case addressing the question of who today are truly doing so.
17. How did Jehovah himself indicate that glorifying his name is a vital aspect of his will, and who today are praising God’s name throughout the earth?
17 First, we can glorify God by praising his name. That doing so is a vital aspect of God’s will is evident from what Jehovah said to Jesus. A few days before he died, Jesus prayed: “Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice answered: “I both glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28) The speaker undoubtedly was Jehovah himself. From his response, it is plain that the glorifying of his name is important to him. Who today, then, are glorifying Jehovah by making his name known and praising it throughout the earth? Jehovah’s Witnesses are, and they are doing so in 235 lands!—Psalm 86:11, 12.
18. How can we identify those who are worshiping God with “truth,” and what group has been teaching Bible truth for over a century?
18 Second, we can glorify God by teaching the truth about him. Jesus said that true worshipers would “worship [God] with . . . truth.” (John 4:24) How can we identify those who are worshiping God with “truth”? They must reject doctrines that are not based on the Bible and that misrepresent God and his will. Instead, they must teach the pure truths of God’s Word, including the following: Jehovah is the Most High God, and the glory of this position goes to him alone (Psalm 83:18); Jesus is God’s Son and the appointed Ruler of God’s Messianic Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:27, 28); God’s Kingdom will sanctify Jehovah’s name and fulfill his purpose toward this earth and humans upon it (Matthew 6:9, 10); the good news about this Kingdom must be preached in all the earth. (Matthew 24:14) For well over a century, only one group has faithfully been teaching such precious truths—Jehovah’s Witnesses!
19, 20. (a) Why may a Christian’s fine conduct bring glory to God? (b) What questions can help us to determine who today are glorifying God by maintaining fine conduct?
19 Third, we can glorify God by living in harmony with his standards. The apostle Peter wrote: “Maintain your conduct fine among the nations, that, in the thing in which they are speaking against you as evildoers, they may as a result of your fine works of which they are eyewitnesses glorify God in the day for his inspection.” (1 Peter 2:12) A Christian’s conduct reflects on his faith. When observers make that connection—that is, when they see that the Christian’s fine conduct is a direct result of his faith—it brings glory to God.
20 Who today are glorifying God by maintaining fine conduct? Well, what religious group have many governments praised for being peaceful, law-abiding citizens who pay their taxes? (Romans 13:1, 3, 6, 7) What people is known the world over for their unity with fellow believers—a unity that rises above racial, national, and ethnic differences? (Psalm 133:1; Acts 10:34, 35) What group is recognized worldwide for their Bible education work that fosters respect for law, family values, and Bible morality? There is only one group whose fine conduct in these and other areas speaks for itself—Jehovah’s Witnesses!
Are You Giving Glory to God?
21. Why should we consider whether we personally are giving glory to Jehovah?
21 Each one of us does well to ask, ‘Am I personally giving glory to Jehovah?’ According to Psalm 148, most of creation gives glory to God. The angels, the physical heavens, the earth and its animal creation—they all praise Jehovah. (Ps 148 Verses 1-10) How sad that most humans today do not! By living in a way that gives God glory, you put yourself in harmony with the rest of creation that is praising Jehovah. (Ps 148 Verses 11-13) There is no better way to use your life.
22. By giving glory to Jehovah, in what ways are you blessed, and what should be your resolve?
22 By giving glory to Jehovah, you are blessed in many ways. As you exercise faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice, you become reconciled to God and enjoy a peaceful and fruitful relationship with your heavenly Father. (Romans 5:10) As you look for reasons to give glory to God, you become more positive, appreciative. (Jeremiah 31:12) Then, you are in a position to help others live a happy, fulfilling life, thereby finding greater happiness yourself. (Acts 20:35) May you be among those who make it their firm resolve to give God glory—now and forever!
The term “biomimetics” comes from the Greek biʹos, meaning “life,” and miʹme·sis, meaning “imitation.”
See Volume 1, page 853, of Insight on the Scriptures, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Do You Recall?
• Why can we say that the scientific community in general has not helped people to glorify God?
• In what two ways has organized religion prevented people from giving glory to God?
• In what ways can we glorify God?
• Why should you consider whether you personally are giving glory to Jehovah?
[Box on page 12]
“Whose Side Is God On?”
A man who was in the German Air Force during World War II but who later became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses recalls:
“What disturbed me during those war years . . . was seeing clergymen of practically all denominations—Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, and so forth—blessing the aircraft and their crews before they took off on missions to drop their deadly cargo. I often thought, ‘Whose side is God on?’
“German soldiers wore a belt with a buckle on which was inscribed the words Gott mit uns (God is with us). But I wondered, ‘Why wouldn’t God be with soldiers on the other side who were of the same religion and who were praying to the same God?’”
[Picture on page 10]
Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s Witnesses are truly giving glory to God