Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah’s Organization
“We will certainly be satisfied with the goodness of your house.”—PSALM 65:4.
1, 2. (a) The arrangements in connection with the temple would have what effect on God’s people? (b) What provisions did David make for the temple’s construction?
DAVID of ancient Israel is one of the most outstanding people discussed in the Hebrew Scriptures. This shepherd, musician, prophet, and king placed implicit trust in Jehovah God. David’s deep personal attachment to Jehovah aroused in him a desire to build a house for God. Such a house, or temple, would become the center of true worship in Israel. David knew that the arrangements in connection with the temple would bring joy and blessings to God’s people. David therefore sang: “Happy is the one you [Jehovah] choose and cause to approach, that he may reside in your courtyards. We will certainly be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holy place of your temple.”—Psalm 65:4.
2 David was not permitted to supervise the construction of Jehovah’s house. Instead, that privilege was reserved for his son Solomon. David did not murmur because someone else was granted the privilege that he himself so earnestly desired. What was most important to him was that the temple be built. He wholeheartedly supported the project by passing on to Solomon the architectural plans that he had received from Jehovah. Moreover, David organized thousands of Levites into divisions of service and donated a large amount of gold and silver for temple construction.—1 Chronicles 17:1, 4, 11, 12; 23:3-6; 28:11, 12; 29:1-5.
3. What attitude do God’s servants have toward arrangements for true worship?
3 Faithful Israelites supported the arrangements made for true worship at the house of God. As present-day servants of Jehovah, we similarly support provisions for worship within the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization. We thereby demonstrate that we have the same frame of mind that David had. Ours is not a spirit of complaint. Instead, we focus on the goodness of God’s organization. Have you thought about the many good things for which we can truly be grateful? Let us consider some of them.
Grateful for Those Taking the Lead
4, 5. (a) How does “the faithful and discreet slave” fulfill its commission? (b) How have some Witnesses felt about the spiritual food they receive?
4 We have sound reasons to be grateful for “the faithful and discreet slave” appointed by Jesus Christ over his belongings on earth. The slave class of spirit-anointed Christians takes the lead in preaching the good news, arranges meetings for worship, and publishes Bible-based literature in over 400 languages. Millions of people earth wide gratefully partake of this spiritual “food at the proper time.” (Matthew 24:45-47) There certainly is no reason to murmur about it.
5 For many years, an elderly Witness of Jehovah named Elfi has experienced comfort and support by taking to heart the Scriptural counsel found in publications of the slave class. Deep appreciation moved Elfi to write: “What would I do without Jehovah’s organization?” Peter and Irmgard have also been God’s servants for decades. Irmgard expresses gratitude for all the provisions made by “Jehovah’s loving and caring organization.” These publications include those designed for people with special needs, such as individuals with impaired vision or hearing.
6, 7. (a) How are the activities of congregations earth wide supervised? (b) What has been said about the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization?
6 The ‘faithful slave’ is represented by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a small group of spirit-anointed men serving at the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York. The Governing Body appoints experienced servants of Jehovah to serve at branch offices that supervise the activities of over 98,000 congregations earth wide. Men who meet the Biblical requirements are appointed as elders and ministerial servants in these congregations. (1 Timothy 3:1-9, 12, 13) The elders take the lead and lovingly shepherd the flock of God in their care. What a blessing it is to be part of that flock and to experience the love and unity that exist among “the whole association of brothers”!—1 Peter 2:17; 5:2, 3.
7 Far from registering complaints, individuals often express appreciation for the loving spiritual guidance they receive from the elders. For example, consider Birgit, a Christian wife in her 30’s. As a teenager, she got into bad company and almost slipped into wrongdoing. But the clear Biblical counsel of the elders and the support of fellow believers helped her out of a potentially harmful situation. How does Birgit feel now? She says: “I am deeply grateful that I still belong to Jehovah’s wonderful organization.” A 17-year-old named Andreas states: “This is really Jehovah’s organization, the best organization in the world.” Should we not be grateful for the goodness of the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization?
Those Taking the Lead Are Imperfect
8, 9. How did some of David’s contemporaries act, and how did David react to such behavior?
8 Of course, those appointed to take the lead in true worship are imperfect. All of them make mistakes, and some have persistent weaknesses that they are working hard to control. Need we be upset because of this? No. Even individuals entrusted with much responsibility in ancient Israel made grave errors. While David was still a young person, for instance, he was called upon to serve as musician to calm troubled King Saul. Later, Saul tried to kill David, who ultimately had to flee for his life.—1 Samuel 16:14-23; 18:10-12; 19:18; 20:32, 33; 22:1-5.
9 Other Israelites behaved treacherously. For instance, David’s military commander Joab murdered Saul’s relative Abner. Absalom conspired against his father, David, for the kingship. And David’s trusted adviser Ahithophel betrayed him. (2 Samuel 3:22-30; 15:1-17, 31; 16:15, 21) Yet, David did not become a bitter complainer; nor did he turn his back on true worship. In fact, the opposite was true. Adversity moved David to cling to Jehovah and maintain the fine attitude he had when he ran away because of Saul. At that time, David sang: “Show me favor, O God, show me favor, for in you my soul has taken refuge; and in the shadow of your wings I take refuge until the adversities pass over.”—Psalm 57:1.
10, 11. What did a Christian named Gertrud experience as a young person, and what did she say about the failings of fellow believers?
10 We have no reason to complain of treachery within God’s organization today. Neither Jehovah nor his angels nor the spiritual shepherds tolerate the presence of treacherous, wicked ones in the Christian congregation. Nevertheless, all of us are confronted with human imperfection—our own and that of other servants of God.
11 When Gertrud, a longtime worshipper of Jehovah, was a young woman, she was falsely accused of being a fraud and not a full-time Kingdom proclaimer. How did she react? Did Gertrud murmur about such treatment? No. Shortly before her death in 2003 at the age of 91, she looked back on her life and explained: “These and later experiences taught me that despite mistakes made by individuals, Jehovah directs his great work, in which he uses us imperfect humans.” When confronted with the imperfections of other servants of God, Gertrud turned to Jehovah in heartfelt prayer.
12. (a) What poor example did some first-century Christians set? (b) On what should we fix our thoughts?
12 Since even the most loyal and devoted Christians are imperfect, when an appointed servant makes a mistake, let us continue to do “all things free from murmurings.” (Philippians 2:14) How sad it would be if we were to follow the poor example of a few in the first-century Christian congregation! According to the disciple Jude, false teachers of that day were “disregarding lordship and speaking abusively of glorious ones.” Moreover, those wrongdoers were “murmurers, complainers about their lot in life.” (Jude 8, 16) May we reject the path followed by murmuring complainers and fix our thoughts on the fine things that come to us through the ‘faithful slave.’ Let us appreciate the goodness of Jehovah’s organization and “keep doing all things free from murmurings.”
“This Speech Is Shocking”
13. How did some react to certain teachings of Jesus Christ?
13 Whereas some in the first century murmured against appointed servants, others were murmurers against Jesus’ teachings. As recorded at John 6:48-69, Jesus stated: “He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life.” Upon hearing these words, “many of his disciples . . . said: ‘This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?’” Jesus was aware that “his disciples were murmuring about this.” Moreover, “owing to this many of [them] went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him.” But not every disciple murmured. Note what happened when Jesus asked the 12 apostles: “You do not want to go also, do you?” The apostle Peter answered: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
14, 15. (a) Why do a few become disgruntled with some aspect of Christian teachings? (b) What can we learn from the case of a man named Emanuel?
14 In modern times, a very small number among God’s people have become disgruntled with some aspect of Christian teaching and have murmured against the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization. Why does this happen? Such murmuring is often caused by a lack of understanding of God’s way of doing things. The Creator progressively reveals the truth to his people. Hence, our understanding of the Scriptures is bound to be refined from time to time. The vast majority of Jehovah’s people rejoice over such refinements. A few become “righteous overmuch” and resent the changes. (Ecclesiastes 7:16) Pride may play a role, and some fall into the trap of independent thinking. Whatever the reason, such murmuring is hazardous, since it can draw us back into the world and its ways.
15 Emanuel, for instance, was a Witness who found fault with some things he read in publications of “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45) He stopped reading our Christian literature and eventually told the elders of the local congregation that he no longer wished to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Within a short time, however, Emanuel came to realize that the teachings of Jehovah’s organization were correct after all. He contacted the Witnesses, admitted his mistake, and was reinstated as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a result, he again became a happy man.
16. What can help us to overcome doubts about certain Christian teachings?
16 What if we are tempted to murmur because of having doubts about certain teachings that Jehovah’s people hold in common? Then let us not be impatient. The ‘faithful slave’ may eventually publish something that answers our questions and clears up our doubts. It is wise to seek the help of Christian elders. (Jude 22, 23) Prayer, personal study, and association with spiritually-minded fellow believers can also help to remove doubts and can deepen our appreciation for the faith-strengthening Bible truths we have learned through Jehovah’s channel of communication.
Maintain a Positive Spirit
17, 18. Instead of murmuring, what attitude should we have, and why?
17 Admittedly, imperfect humans have an inherent tendency to sin, and some may have a strong inclination to voice unwarranted complaints. (Genesis 8:21; Romans 5:12) But if we were to become habitual murmurers, we would be putting at risk our relationship with Jehovah God. Hence, we need to control any possible inclination to murmur.
18 Instead of murmuring about things in the congregation, we do well to maintain a positive attitude and follow a routine that keeps us busy, joyful, reverent, balanced, and healthy in faith. (1 Corinthians 15:58; Titus 2:1-5) Jehovah is in control of everything within his organization, and Jesus is aware of developments in each congregation, just as he was in the first century. (Revelation 1:10, 11) Patiently wait on God and Christ, the Head of the congregation. Responsible shepherds may be used to correct matters that may need to be readjusted.—Psalm 43:5; Colossians 1:18; Titus 1:5.
19. Until the Kingdom is in full control of mankind’s affairs, on what should we focus our attention?
19 Soon this wicked system of things will end, and the Messianic Kingdom will take full control of mankind’s affairs. Until then, how important it is that each of us maintain a positive spirit! This will help us to recognize the virtues of our fellow believers, instead of focusing on their faults. Focusing on the good aspects of their personality will make us happy. Rather than being emotionally drained by murmuring, we will thus be encouraged and built up spiritually.
20. A positive attitude will enable us to enjoy what blessings?
20 A positive spirit will also enable us to bear in mind the many blessings we enjoy because of being associated with the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization. This is the only organization in the world that is loyal to the Sovereign of the universe. How do you feel about that reality and the privilege of engaging in the worship of the only true God, Jehovah? May your attitude be like that of David, who sang: “O Hearer of prayer, even to you people of all flesh will come. Happy is the one you choose and cause to approach, that he may reside in your courtyards. We will certainly be satisfied with the goodness of your house.”—Psalm 65:2, 4.
Do You Recall?
• Why should we be grateful for those taking the lead in the congregation?
• What should be our reaction when responsible brothers make mistakes?
• How should we view refinements in the understanding of the Scriptures?
• What can help a Christian to overcome doubts?
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David gave Solomon the temple plans and wholeheartedly supported true worship
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Christian elders gladly provide spiritual assistance