How Beneficial to Recount What Jehovah Has Done!
1 The inspired writer of Psalm 48 urged those in Israel to ‘march around Zion, count its towers, inspect its dwelling towers, in order that they might recount it to the future generation.’ Moved by love for Jehovah, they would be keenly interested in every detail of that earthly center of theocratic rule. How precious these details would be because this was the city upon which Jehovah had placed his own name! They would talk about it, and especially were they to be sure that their offspring heard about all the things they had treasured up in their own hearts.—Ps. 48:12, 13.
2 We now live in the time when the theocratic rule of Jehovah’s Messiah is centered no longer in earthly Zion but in heavenly Jerusalem. (Heb. 12:22) Jehovah’s Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ has been ruling since 1914. (Rev. 12:10) Its activity is of the greatest interest to us. We are also keenly interested in the way in which Jehovah has led his servants on earth so that they might accomplish his will as visible representatives of that Kingdom. Fascinating details concerning this are set out in our new book Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom. How delighted we were to receive it at our recent “Divine Teaching” District Convention!
3 By September 1, the book had already been released in 20 languages, and translation and publication were under way to fill the needs of those speaking 13 other tongues. Has your household obtained a copy? Are you reading it? Are you talking about the things you learn from it?
4 After looking at the pictures and reading the captions, as suggested at the convention, many brothers and sisters quickly got into the meat of the material. What have been their comments? Here are just a few.
5 A sister wrote: “It is the only book that I have ever received that I can’t wait to finish so I can read it again. I am on chapter 25 now. The more I read, the more the tears come and my heart is filled with love for Jehovah. The book is so encouraging and faith strengthening.”
6 A brother who has been serving Jehovah for over 40 years said: “Little did I realize how absorbing this book would be. I stayed up late and rose early and completed the reading in two weeks. It truly is one of the most moving books I have ever read. It is a masterpiece of research but also a masterpiece of encouragement.”
7 A Regular Program of Reading: Some who quickly read the entire book have determined to read it again but this time at a slower pace.
8 If there is more than one member of your household in the truth, you may want to use portions of the book in your family study. Some families started to do that within a few days after they received a copy at the convention. This does not mean that other things, such as preparation for the Watchtower Study, should be set aside. But you may find it very beneficial to use another 15 or 20 minutes for reading and discussing material from the Proclaimers book.
9 Other families are reading two or three pages—perhaps a subheading or two—each evening before leaving the supper table. Individually they may already have read most of the book, but they are benefiting from a slower coverage along with the opportunity to discuss the material. Some who are doing this have been serving Jehovah for many years. As they read, many fond memories are stirred up. It warms their hearts as they discuss together their own share in the events about which they read.
10 Because of circumstances in your home, you may find that you do your reading alone. One sister who wrote to the Society said: “I have been reading this book a little at a time each night before going to bed. This book is building in me a deeper appreciation and love for the truth, and I feel closer to Jehovah and so thankful that I am a part of his organization. I am truly savoring each page I read.”
11 Although the book is large, the individual sections are not. The opening section is a fast but fascinating coverage of events from the days of Abel down through the year 1992—in just 108 pages. Other sections range from 13 to 150 pages. Each of these sections is divided into a number of chapters. Instead of rushing through them, take one section, one chapter, or one subheading at a time; enjoy it; and get the good from it.
12 Take Time to Think About What You Read: What is going to be your objective as you read? Merely covering pages—completing the book—should not be your aim. The Proclaimers book contains a record of your spiritual heritage. You ought to know it well. Take time to think about the implications of what you read. As you review the activity of ancient witnesses of Jehovah, consider how you can imitate their faith. (Heb. 12:1, 2) When you read about the development of the great apostasy, take special note of the pitfalls that ensnared those who turned away, with a view to safeguarding your own spirituality. And as you review our modern-day history, observe the spiritual qualities of those who were used by God, how they demonstrated that the doing of God’s will was the most important thing in their lives, and how they reacted to situations—some of them very difficult—that God permitted.—Heb. 13:7.
13 You will find it faith strengthening to explore details showing how Jehovah has led his people to the clear understanding of Bible truth that we now enjoy. Your appreciation of the visible arrangement that Jehovah is using will grow as you become better acquainted with the development of the organization. You will surely feel excitement as you read how, in fulfillment of prophecy, the good news has reached the most distant part of the earth. Your heart will be warmed by the experiences of faithful ones in all parts of the world who have worked zealously to proclaim the Kingdom. You will be fortified to deal with personal trials as you read what faithful brothers and sisters have already endured because of their love for Jehovah.
14 After you have read a portion of material, take time to discuss together its value and to review the details. If you have young children, get them involved in explaining the pictures and telling you what they know about the people shown. Even if you are reading alone, endeavor to share with others what you are learning. As appropriate, use the material on return visits and when conducting home Bible studies. Your repeating it will impress it on your own mind and heart, and it will benefit others too.
15 Take an Interest in the Details: The periods that you devote to reading the Proclaimers book should be both enjoyable and profitable.
16 Would you like your family to visit the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Pages 208-9 show the facilities used by the Society a century ago in the Pittsburgh area. Pages 216-17 acquaint you with buildings used later in Brooklyn. The pictures on pages 352-6 can help you to visualize the world headquarters today. Chapters 26 and 27 fill in details about the work done at Bethel, and pages 295-8 give further information about Bethel life.
17 Most of us are not able to visit many of the Society’s branches. Pages 357-401 of the Proclaimers book take you on a world tour. There is no need to rush through it. Spend a little time in each land and enjoy it. Use the world map on pages 415-17 to locate each place. Read the comments that accompany each branch picture. Through the index you can also find other fascinating information about each country. Use this opportunity to get to know members of your spiritual family in other lands.
18 When people get together socially, they sometimes play games that involve knowledge of secular facts. Would it not be far more beneficial to get to know the noteworthy dates and events in the modern-day history of Jehovah’s people? You will find many such facts listed on pages 718-23 in the Proclaimers book. That list provides a basic framework; you can add to it from the details found in the rest of the book. Use these as a basis for review. Young ones in the family will probably memorize them quickly. Some of us older ones may be a bit slower. But these are details of theocratic history that we can all benefit from knowing. After you learn the dates and basic facts, build on that foundation. See how many details you can recall concerning each event. Then talk about the part that each event had in the accomplishing of God’s will. Next, discuss how it has affected your own life and how you fit into what Jehovah is doing.
19 See the Opportunities Open to You: As you read and discuss Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, you will find unfolding to your view the grand fulfillment of Isaiah 60:22. The book states on page 519: “Fulfillment of the promise that ‘the little one would become a thousand’ has surely come to pass, and abundantly so! In each of more than 50 lands where there was not even a ‘little one’—where there were none of Jehovah’s Witnesses back in 1919, where they had done no preaching at all—there are today more than a thousand praisers of Jehovah. In some of these lands, there are now tens of thousands, yes, even more than a hundred thousand, of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are zealous proclaimers of the Kingdom of God! Worldwide, Jehovah’s Witnesses have become ‘a mighty nation’—more in number as a united global congregation than the individual population of any one of at least 80 self-governing nations of the world.”
20 That work of Kingdom increase has by no means ended. On the contrary, Jehovah has speeded it up to an unprecedented degree. To what extent will you share in it? Are you really aware of all the opportunities that are open to you? As you learn what others are doing, may your own heart be moved to make yourself available to share to the full in the grand work that our loving God is directing by means of Jesus Christ in our day.