“Write in a book all the words that I speak to you.”—JER. 30:2.
SONG 96 God’s Own Book—A Treasure
1. Why are you grateful for the Bible?
HOW grateful we are to Jehovah God for the Bible! Through its pages, he provides us with wise counsel that can help us to cope successfully with the problems we face today. He also gives us a wonderful hope for the future. More important, Jehovah has used the Bible to reveal many aspects of his personality. As we meditate on his beautiful qualities, our hearts are deeply touched and we are moved to draw close to our God by developing a warm friendship with him.—Ps. 25:14.
2. In what different ways has Jehovah revealed himself to humans?
2 Jehovah wants people to know him. In the past, he revealed himself by such means as dreams, visions, and even angels. (Num. 12:6; Acts 10:3, 4) But how could these dreams, visions, or messages from angels be studied unless they were written down? For good reason, Jehovah had men “write in a book” what he wanted us to know. (Jer. 30:2) Because “the way of the true God is perfect,” we can be confident that this method of communicating with us is excellent and beneficial.—Ps. 18:30.
3. How did Jehovah see to it that the Bible was preserved? (Isaiah 40:8)
3 Read Isaiah 40:8. God’s Word has provided sound guidance to faithful men and women for thousands of years. How has that been possible? After all, the Scriptures were recorded long ago on perishable material, so none of the original documents are known to exist today. But Jehovah saw to it that copies were made of the sacred text. Although the copyists were imperfect, they were extremely careful. Regarding the Hebrew Scriptures, for example, one scholar wrote: “It may be safely said that no other work of antiquity has been so accurately transmitted.” So despite the passage of time, the perishable materials used, and the imperfections of the copyists, we can be confident that the words we read in our Bible today convey the thoughts of its Author, Jehovah.
4. What will we discuss in this article?
4 Jehovah is the Source of “every good gift and every perfect present.” (Jas. 1:17) The Bible is one of the best gifts that Jehovah has given us. A gift tells us something about the giver—how well he knows us and our needs. The same is true about the Giver of the Bible. When we examine this gift, we learn much about Jehovah. We learn how well he knows us and what we need. In this article, we will discuss how the Bible reflects three of Jehovah’s attributes: his wisdom, his justice, and his love. Let us first consider ways in which the Bible reflects God’s wisdom.
THE BIBLE REFLECTS GOD’S WISDOM
5. What is one way that the Bible reflects God’s wisdom?
5 Jehovah knows that we need his wise counsel. And his gift, the Bible, is filled with his wisdom. The Bible’s counsel has a positive effect on people. The Bible changes lives. When the first books of the Bible were composed, Moses told God’s people, the Israelites: “This is no empty word for you, but it means your life.” (Deut. 32:47) Those who obeyed the Scriptures could enjoy a successful and happy life. (Ps. 1:2, 3) Time has not drained God’s Word of its power to improve people’s lives. For example, on jw.org, in the series “The Bible Changes Lives,” you will find over 50 real-life examples that reveal how the Bible has been powerfully “at work in [its] believers” today.—1 Thess. 2:13.
6. Why can we say that the Bible is like no other book?
6 No other book is like God’s Word. Why is that so? Because the Author of that book, Jehovah God, is almighty, is eternal, and has unparalleled wisdom. Many other books outlast their authors, but the advice those books contain does not always stand the test of time. On the other hand, the wise principles found in the Bible are everlasting; they have proved to be beneficial to people living in every time period. As we read that sacred book and meditate on what we learn, the Author uses his powerful holy spirit to help us see how we can apply the Bible’s counsel in our life. (Ps. 119:27; Mal. 3:16; Heb. 4:12) Yes, the Bible’s living Author is eager to help you. What an incentive to read the Bible regularly!
7. How did the Bible unite God’s people in the past?
7 Another outstanding way in which the Bible reflects divine wisdom is by the unifying effect it has on God’s people. When the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they settled over a wide area. Some became fishermen, others raised cattle, and still others farmed the land. Israelites living in one area could easily have lost interest in the welfare of fellow Israelites living in other parts of the country. But Jehovah arranged for the Israelites to gather together on various occasions to hear his written Word read and explained. (Deut. 31:10-13; Neh. 8:2, 8, 18) Imagine how a faithful Israelite must have felt as he arrived in Jerusalem and saw perhaps millions of his fellow worshippers from every part of the country! Jehovah thereby helped his people to remain united. Later, when the Christian congregation was formed, it was made up of men and women who spoke many languages and who were from many social and economic backgrounds. But because of their love of the Scriptures, they were united in worship of the true God. Those who became believers could understand God’s Word only with the aid of fellow worshippers and by meeting together with them.—Acts 2:42; 8:30, 31.
8. How does the Bible unite Jehovah’s people today?
8 Our wise God continues to inform and unite his people by means of the Bible. It is the source of the spiritual food that we enjoy so much. We regularly gather together at our congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions to hear the Scriptures read, explained, and discussed. The Bible thus plays a vital role in Jehovah’s purpose to have his worshippers “serve him shoulder to shoulder.”—Zeph. 3:9.
9. What quality is essential to understand the Bible’s message? (Luke 10:21)
9 Consider another evidence of Jehovah’s wisdom. He had many parts of the Scriptures written in such a way that they would be understood only by humble readers. (Read Luke 10:21.) People everywhere read the Bible. As one scholar noted, the Bible “has been not only the most widely read, but also the most carefully read, book of all.” But only the humble truly understand and apply what it says.—2 Cor. 3:15, 16.
10. What is another way that the Bible reflects Jehovah’s wisdom?
10 We discern Jehovah’s wisdom in the Bible in yet another way. Jehovah uses the Scriptures not only to teach us as a group but also to instruct and comfort us as individuals. All of us can sense Jehovah’s personal interest in us as we read his Word. (Isa. 30:21) When facing a problem, how often have you turned to the Scriptures and read a verse that seemed written just for you? Yet, the Bible appeals to millions of people. How can it contain such up-to-date information that is tailored to your personal needs? This is possible only because the Bible is the work of a uniquely wise Author.—2 Tim. 3:16, 17.
THE BIBLE REFLECTS GOD’S JUSTICE
11. How did God show impartiality when the Bible was being written?
11 Justice is another attribute of Jehovah. (Deut. 32:4) Justice is closely linked with impartiality, and Jehovah is impartial. (Acts 10:34, 35; Rom. 2:11) His impartiality is reflected in the languages that were used to write the Bible. The first 39 Bible books were written mostly in Hebrew, which was easily understood by God’s people at that time. However, by the first century C.E., the Greek language was widely used, so the last 27 books of the Bible were composed mainly in that language. Jehovah did not restrict his Word to any one language. Today, the nearly eight billion people on earth speak many languages. How can so many people come to learn about Jehovah?
12. What is one way in which Daniel 12:4 has been fulfilled in these last days?
12 Through the prophet Daniel, Jehovah promised that in the time of the end, “the true knowledge” found in the Bible would “become abundant.” Many would understand it. (Read Daniel 12:4.) One way that such knowledge has become abundant is through the translating, publishing, and distributing of Bibles and Bible literature. The Bible has become the most widely translated and distributed book in the world. Bible translations produced by commercial enterprises are sometimes very expensive. Jehovah’s people have so far translated God’s Word, in whole or in part, into over 240 languages, and anyone can obtain a copy without charge. As a result, people of all nations are responding to the “good news of the Kingdom” before the end comes. (Matt. 24:14) Our God of justice wants to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get to know him by reading his Word. That is because he loves us all very much.
THE BIBLE REFLECTS GOD’S LOVE
13. Why can we say that the Bible reflects Jehovah’s love? (John 21:25)
13 The Bible gives evidence of its Author’s greatest quality—love. (1 John 4:8) Consider what Jehovah included in the Bible and what he left out. He provided just what we need in order to have a relationship with him, to lead a happy life now, and to gain everlasting life. However, because Jehovah loves us, he did not overwhelm us with more details than we can handle.—Read John 21:25.
14. How else is God’s love evident in what the Bible contains?
14 Jehovah also showed love by communicating with us in a style that dignifies us. In the Bible, he does not give us an endless list of rules, micromanaging every aspect of our life. Rather, he appeals to our thinking ability through real-life stories, stirring prophecies, and practical counsel. In these ways, God’s Word moves us to love and obey him from our heart.
15. (a) How has Jehovah shown his interest in those who read his Word? (b) In the picture, which Bible characters are the little girl, the young brother, and the elderly sister meditating on? (Gen. 39:1, 10-12; 2 Ki. 5:1-3; Luke 2:25-38)
15 The Bible reveals that Jehovah is keenly interested in us. How so? His Word is filled with accounts that express human emotion. We can relate to Bible characters because they were people “with feelings like ours.” (Jas. 5:17) More important, by observing how he dealt with people like us, we are able to understand more clearly that “Jehovah is very tender in affection and merciful.”—Jas. 5:11.
16. What do we learn about Jehovah when we read in the Bible of individuals who made mistakes? (Isaiah 55:7)
16 The Bible reveals Jehovah’s love for us in another way. The Scriptures assure us that our God will not abandon us when we make mistakes. The Israelites sinned against Jehovah again and again; yet, when they sincerely repented, God forgave them. (Read Isaiah 55:7.) First-century Christians were also made aware of God’s love. Under inspiration, the apostle Paul urged fellow believers to “forgive and comfort” a man who had pursued a course of serious sin but who had repented. (2 Cor. 2:6, 7; 1 Cor. 5:1-5) How remarkable that Jehovah did not reject his worshippers just because they had erred! Rather, he lovingly reached out to them, corrected them, and invited them back into his arms. He promises to do the same for all repentant sinners today.—Jas. 4:8-10.
TREASURE THE “GOOD GIFT” OF GOD’S WORD
17. Why is the Bible such a remarkable gift?
17 Jehovah has given us a beautiful gift. Why is his Word so remarkable? As we have learned, the Bible reveals God’s wisdom, his justice, and his love. This book proves that Jehovah wants us to come to know him. He wants us to become his friends.
18. How can we show that we are grateful for Jehovah’s “good gift” of the Bible?
18 We do not want to take for granted the “good gift” of God’s Word. (Jas. 1:17) Let us therefore continue to show gratitude for it. We can do so by prayerfully reading its sacred words and meditating on them. As we do, we can be certain that its grand Author will bless our efforts and that we “will find the knowledge of God.”—Prov. 2:5.
SONG 98 The Scriptures—Inspired of God
a The Bible helps us to draw close to Jehovah. What can we learn from that sacred book about God’s wisdom, his justice, and his love? What we learn can help us to deepen our appreciation for God’s Word and to see the Bible as it really is—a gift from our heavenly Father.