“You have your company of young men just like dewdrops.”—PS. 110:3.
SONG 39 Make a Good Name With God
1. What is true about our young brothers?
YOUNG brothers, you have a lot to offer. Many of you are strong and full of energy. (Prov. 20:29) You are a real asset to your congregation. You may look forward to the time when you are appointed as a ministerial servant. However, you may feel that others view you as being too young or too inexperienced to be entrusted with important work. Even though you may be young, there are things you can do right now to earn the trust and respect of those in your congregation.
2. What will we consider in this article?
2 In this article, we will focus on the life of King David. We will also briefly review incidents in the lives of Asa and Jehoshaphat—two kings of Judah. We will examine the types of challenges these three men faced, how they reacted, and what young brothers can learn from their examples.
LEARN FROM KING DAVID
3. What is one way that younger ones can help older ones in the congregation?
3 While young, David developed skills that others valued. He was clearly a spiritual person, and he cultivated his skill as a musician and used that talent to benefit Saul, God’s appointed king. (1 Sam. 16:16, 23) Do you young men have a skill that could benefit others in the congregation? Many of you do. For example, you may notice that some older ones appreciate being shown how to make the best use of their tablets and other electronic devices for personal study and for meetings. Your knowledge of these devices can be of great benefit to such older ones.
4. Like David, what qualities must young brothers develop? (See cover picture.)
4 In his daily life, David proved to be responsible and reliable. For example, as a young man, he diligently looked after his father’s sheep. That turned out to be a dangerous assignment. David later explained to King Saul: “Your servant became a shepherd of his father’s flock, and a lion came, also a bear, and each carried off a sheep from the flock. I went out after it and struck it down and rescued it from its mouth.” (1 Sam. 17:34, 35) David felt responsible for the welfare of the sheep, and he courageously fought for them. Young brothers can imitate David by diligently fulfilling any assignment they are given.
5. According to Psalm 25:14, what is the most important thing that young brothers can do?
5 Young David developed a close, personal relationship with Jehovah. That relationship was more important than David’s courage or his skill with a stringed instrument. Jehovah was not only David’s God but also his Friend—his close Friend. (Read Psalm 25:14.) Young brothers, the most important thing that you can do is to strengthen your relationship with your heavenly Father, and that may result in your receiving additional privileges.
6. What negative views did some have of David?
6 David had to overcome the negative views that others had of him. For example, when David volunteered to fight Goliath, King Saul tried to dissuade him, saying: “You are but a boy.” (1 Sam. 17:31-33) Earlier, David’s own brother accused him of being irresponsible. (1 Sam. 17:26-30) However, Jehovah did not view David as being either immature or irresponsible. He knew the young man. And by relying on his Friend, Jehovah, for strength, David struck down Goliath.—1 Sam. 17:45, 48-51.
7. What can you learn from one account about David?
7 What can you learn from David’s experience? We learn that we need to be patient. It may take time for those who have known you as a child to start viewing you as a young adult. You can be sure, however, that Jehovah sees beyond your outward appearance. He knows who you are and what you are capable of doing. (1 Sam. 16:7) Strengthen your relationship with God. David did that by looking closely at Jehovah’s creative works. David considered what such works reveal about the Creator. (Ps. 8:3, 4; 139:14; Rom. 1:20) Another thing you can do is to look to Jehovah for strength. For example, do some of your schoolmates make fun of you because you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? If so, pray for Jehovah to help you deal with this challenge. And apply the practical advice you find in his Word and in our Bible-based publications and videos. Each time you see Jehovah help you deal with a challenge, your confidence in him will grow. Furthermore, as others see that you rely on Jehovah, you will gain their trust.
8-9. What helped David to wait patiently until he became king, and what can young brothers learn from his example?
8 Consider another challenge that David faced. After he was anointed to be king, David had to wait many years before he was officially enthroned as king of Judah. (1 Sam. 16:13; 2 Sam. 2:3, 4) During that interval, what helped him to wait patiently? Instead of becoming paralyzed by discouragement, David focused on what he could do. For example, while living as a fugitive in Philistine territory, David seized the opportunity to fight against Israel’s enemies. In doing so, he protected the boundaries of the territory of Judah.—1 Sam. 27:1-12.
9 What can young brothers learn from David’s example? Use the opportunities open to you to serve your brothers. Consider the experience of a brother named Ricardo.* From his early teens, he dreamed of serving as a regular pioneer. But he was not ready. Instead of giving up or becoming bitter, Ricardo increased his share in the ministry. He says: “Looking back, I can see that it was good for me to make needed progress. I focused on following up on any interest I found and on having productive return visits. I even conducted my first Bible study. As I gained experience, my confidence grew.” Ricardo now serves as an effective regular pioneer and as a ministerial servant.
10. On one occasion, what did David do before he made an important decision?
10 Consider another account in David’s life. During the time when he and his men were fugitives, they had left their families to go on a mission. While the men were away, an enemy force raided their homes and took their families captive. David could have concluded that with all the experience he had as a warrior, he could surely devise an effective strategy for rescuing the captives. Instead, David looked to Jehovah for guidance. With the help of a priest named Abiathar, David inquired of Jehovah: “Should I chase after this marauder band?” Jehovah indicated that David should do so and assured him that he would be successful. (1 Sam. 30:7-10) What can you learn from this incident?
11. What can you do before making decisions?
11 Seek advice before you make decisions. Consult your parents. You can also get good advice by talking to experienced elders. Jehovah trusts these appointed men, and you can too. Jehovah views them as “gifts” to the congregation. (Eph. 4:8) You will benefit by imitating their faith and by listening to the wise suggestions they give. Now let us consider what we can learn from King Asa.
LEARN FROM KING ASA
12. What qualities did King Asa have when he began to rule?
12 As a young man, King Asa was humble and courageous. For example, when he succeeded his father, Abijah, he launched a campaign against idolatry. He also “told Judah to search for Jehovah the God of their forefathers and to observe the Law and the commandment.” (2 Chron. 14:1-7) And when Zerah the Ethiopian invaded Judah with 1,000,000 soldiers, Asa wisely turned to Jehovah for help, saying: “O Jehovah, it does not matter to you whether those you help are many or have no power. Help us, O Jehovah our God, for we are relying on you.” This beautiful expression shows how much confidence Asa had in Jehovah’s ability to save him and his people. Asa trusted in his heavenly Father, and “Jehovah defeated the Ethiopians.”—2 Chron. 14:8-12.
13. What later happened to Asa, and why?
13 You would no doubt agree that facing an army of 1,000,000 soldiers was a huge challenge, and it was one that Asa met successfully. Sadly, however, when a less daunting challenge presented itself, Asa did not consult Jehovah. On being threatened by wicked King Baasha of Israel, Asa turned to the king of Syria for help. That decision led to disaster! Through his prophet Hanani, Jehovah told Asa: “Because you relied on the king of Syria and did not rely on Jehovah your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped out of your hand.” In fact, from then on, Asa was constantly at war. (2 Chron. 16:7, 9; 1 Ki. 15:32) What is the lesson?
14. How can you rely on Jehovah, and according to 1 Timothy 4:12, what will you become if you do so?
14 Remain humble and continue to rely on Jehovah. When you got baptized, you showed great faith and trust in Jehovah. And Jehovah happily entrusted you with the privilege of becoming a member of his family. The key now is to continue to rely on Jehovah. It may seem that it is easy to rely on Jehovah when you must make life-altering decisions, but what about at other times? How important it is that you trust in Jehovah when making decisions, including those regarding entertainment, secular work, and life goals! Do not rely on your own wisdom. Instead, look for Bible principles that apply to your circumstances, and then act in harmony with that direction. (Prov. 3:5, 6) If you do so, you will make Jehovah happy and you will earn the respect of those in your congregation.—Read 1 Timothy 4:12.
LEARN FROM KING JEHOSHAPHAT
15 Of course, like all of us, you are imperfect, and at times you will make mistakes. However, this should not prevent you from doing all you can in Jehovah’s service. Consider the example of King Jehoshaphat. He had many fine qualities. As a young man, “he searched for the God of his father and followed his commandment.” Furthermore, he sent princes to travel throughout the cities of Judah to teach the people about Jehovah. (2 Chron. 17:4, 7) As sincere as he was, though, Jehoshaphat sometimes made bad decisions. As a result of one such decision, Jehoshaphat was censured by one of Jehovah’s representatives. (Read 2 Chronicles 18:1-3; 19:2.) What lesson can you learn from that account?
16. What can you learn from Rajeev’s experience?
16 Accept and apply counsel. Perhaps, like many young men, you struggle to set proper priorities for yourself. Do not be discouraged. Note the experience of a young brother named Rajeev. Referring to his teenage years, he says: “I sometimes felt lost during those years. Like many other young ones, I was more interested in sports and having fun than in going to the meetings or out in the ministry.” What helped Rajeev? A concerned elder gave him some counsel. Rajeev relates: “He helped me to reason on the principle found at 1 Timothy 4:8.” Rajeev responded humbly to the counsel and reevaluated his priorities in life. He says: “I decided to make spiritual goals a priority.” The result? “A few years after receiving that counsel,” explains Rajeev, “I qualified to serve as a ministerial servant.”
MAKE YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER PROUD OF YOU
17. How do older ones feel about the young men who serve Jehovah?
17 Older ones deeply appreciate you young men who serve Jehovah “shoulder to shoulder” with them! (Zeph. 3:9) They love your zealous spirit and the energetic, enthusiastic way you do the work you are given. You have found favor in their eyes.—1 John 2:14.
18. As indicated at Proverbs 27:11, how does Jehovah feel about the young men who serve him?
18 Young brothers, never forget that Jehovah loves and trusts you. He foretold that during the last days, there would be an army of young men who would offer themselves willingly. (Ps. 110:1-3) He knows that you love him and want to serve him to the best of your ability. So be patient with others, and be patient with yourself. When you make mistakes, accept the training and discipline that you receive, viewing it as coming from Jehovah. (Heb. 12:6) Diligently care for any assignments you are given. And above all, in everything you do, make your heavenly Father proud of you.—Read Proverbs 27:11.
SONG 135 Jehovah’s Warm Appeal: “Be Wise, My Son”
As young brothers mature spiritually, they want to serve Jehovah in additional ways. To qualify as ministerial servants, they need to earn and maintain the respect of those in their congregation. What steps can young brothers take?
Some names have been changed.