Are You Known by Jehovah?
“Jehovah knows those who belong to him.”—2 TIMOTHY 2:19.
1, 2. (a) What did Jesus care about? (b) What questions should we think about?
ONE day a Pharisee asked Jesus: “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” (Matthew 22:35-37) Jesus had great love for Jehovah. The way he lived showed that he really cared about what Jehovah thought of him. That is why Jesus, just before he died, could talk about his faithful obedience to God, saying: “I have observed the commandments of the Father and remain in his love.”—John 15:10.
2 Many people today say that they love God. Of course, we say that too. But there are some important questions that we need to think about: What does Jehovah think of me? Can I say that Jehovah “knows” me or that I have Jehovah’s approval? Does Jehovah think of me as someone who belongs to him? (2 Timothy 2:19) It is wonderful to think that we can have such a close friendship with the most important person in the universe!
3. Why is it hard for some to believe that they can belong to Jehovah? What can help them change this way of thinking?
3 But it is hard even for some who love Jehovah to think that they can be friends with God. Some believe that they are not worth anything. Because of that, they think that they cannot belong to Jehovah. It is so good to know that Jehovah sees us in a different way. (1 Samuel 16:7) Think about this: Why are you reading this magazine? Why are you trying hard to serve Jehovah with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength? If you dedicated your life to Jehovah and got baptized, why did you do it? The Bible says that Jehovah knows hearts and that he finds the people who are “desirable” to him. He then “draws” them, or invites them, to be his friends. (Read Haggai 2:7; John 6:44.) So you can be sure that you are serving Jehovah because he wants you to. He will never leave those he invited to be his friends if they continue to be faithful to him. They are precious to God, and he loves them very much.—Psalm 94:14.
4. Why should we always think about how precious our friendship with Jehovah is?
4 Now that Jehovah has drawn us, we need to keep ourselves in the love of God. (Read Jude 20, 21.) Remember, the Bible shows that it is possible to drift away or draw away from God and no longer be his friend. (Hebrews 2:1; 3:12, 13) For example, just before the words at 2 Timothy 2:19, the apostle Paul talked about Hymenaeus and Philetus. It seems that these two men served Jehovah at one time, but they later left the truth. (2 Timothy 2:16-18) Some in the congregations in Galatia also left the truth. They did not stay in the truth. (Galatians 4:9) We should always remember how precious our friendship with Jehovah is.
5. (a) To be known by God, what qualities do we need? (b) What examples will we now talk about?
5 There are some qualities we need if we want to be known by Jehovah. (Psalm 15:1-5; 1 Peter 3:4) Two of them are faith and humility. We will talk about the examples of two men who were loved by Jehovah because they showed these qualities. We will also look at a man who was proud and because of that was rejected by God. We can learn important lessons from these examples.
THE FATHER OF THOSE HAVING FAITH
6. (a) Because he had faith in Jehovah’s promises, what did Abraham do? (b) In what way did Jehovah really know Abraham?
6 Abraham was a man who “put faith in Jehovah.” He is called “the father of all those having faith.” (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:11) Because he had faith, Abraham was willing to leave his home, his friends, his work, and things he owned to go to a distant land. (Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrews 11:8-10) Abraham kept his faith strong. One proof of that was that many years later he was ready to obey Jehovah’s command and offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to Jehovah. (Hebrews 11:17-19) Abraham showed faith in Jehovah’s promises, and that made him special to God. Jehovah really knew Abraham. (Read Genesis 18:19.) This means that Jehovah not only knew that Abraham existed but also loved him as a friend.—James 2:22, 23.
7. What did Abraham know about Jehovah’s promises? How did he show his faith?
7 Jehovah promised Abraham that his descendants would “take possession of the gate” of their enemies and become “like the grains of sand that are on the seashore.” (Genesis 22:17, 18) Even though these promises did not come true during Abraham’s life, he continued to have strong faith in Jehovah. He knew that God’s promises always come true, and he showed this faith in the way he lived his life. (Read Hebrews 11:13.) Does Jehovah know us as people who have faith like Abraham’s?
SHOW YOUR FAITH BY WAITING FOR JEHOVAH TO ACT
8. What are some things that most people want very much?
8 There may be things that we want very much, such as getting married, having children, and having good health. There is nothing wrong with wanting these things. But many of us may not get what we want. If there is something that we want very much but that we cannot have now, what will we do? The way we act in this situation may show how strong our faith is.
9, 10. (a) What have some done to get what they want? (b) What do you think about Jehovah’s promises coming true in your life?
9 It would be foolish to go against God’s guidance to try to get what we want. This could damage our friendship with Jehovah. For example, some have chosen forms of health care that go against Bible principles. Others have accepted work that leaves them no time for their families or for congregation meetings. Some start a romantic relationship with someone who does not serve Jehovah. If a Christian does that, is he really trying to be known by Jehovah? Imagine if Abraham had become impatient about God’s promises. How would Jehovah have felt? What if Abraham had done things his own way and had tried to have a very comfortable life? What if he had decided to make a famous name for himself instead of waiting for Jehovah to act? (Compare Genesis 11:4.) Would Jehovah have continued to think of him as his friend?
10 What are the things that you want very much? Do you have enough faith to wait for Jehovah to give them to you? He promises to satisfy “the desire of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16) Some of Jehovah’s promises may not come true as soon as we would like. But if we continue to live in a way that shows that we have faith like Abraham’s, Jehovah will not forget about us. He will reward us.—Hebrews 11:6.
ONE EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY AND ONE EXAMPLE OF PRIDE
11. What had Korah done for many years?
11 We will look at the examples of two men who acted in opposite ways, Moses and Korah. What they did helps us understand that what Jehovah thinks of us depends on how much respect we show for his decisions and way of doing things. Korah was a Kohathite Levite. Probably he had the opportunity to see what Jehovah had done to free the Israelites through the Red Sea. He may also have had a part in Jehovah’s judgment against disobedient Israelites at Mount Sinai, and he may have helped to carry the ark of the covenant. (Exodus 32:26-29; Numbers 3:30, 31) It seems that he had been loyal to Jehovah for many years, and because of that, many in Israel respected him.
12. What happened to Korah’s friendship with God because of his pride?
12 But on the way to the Promised Land, Korah thought that there was something wrong with the way Jehovah was leading the nation. He wanted to make changes. Then 250 other men in the nation joined Korah. They were sure that Jehovah knew them and that they had his approval. They told Moses: “That is enough of you, because the whole assembly are all of them holy and Jehovah is in their midst.” (Numbers 16:1-3) This was a very proud way of thinking and acting. They trusted too much in their own way of doing things. Moses told them: “Jehovah will make known who belongs to him.” (Read Numbers 16:5.) By the end of the next day, Korah and all those who had joined him were dead.—Numbers 16:31-35.
13, 14. In what ways did Moses show that he was humble?
13 Moses was the opposite of Korah. He was “by far the meekest of all the men who were upon the surface of the ground.” (Numbers 12:3) He showed that he was meek and humble by doing exactly what Jehovah had commanded him. (Exodus 7:6; 40:16) We do not read in the Bible that Moses was always disagreeing with Jehovah’s way of doing things or that he got angry because he had to follow instructions from Jehovah. For example, Jehovah gave very specific instructions about how to build the tabernacle. These instructions included the color of the thread and the number of loops the Israelites should use to make the tent cloths. (Exodus 26:1-6) If an overseer in God’s organization gives you very specific instructions about things, you may sometimes feel discouraged. But Jehovah is a perfect overseer. He gives his servants work to do, and he trusts that they will do it well. When he gives many details, there is a good reason for it. Moses did not get angry with Jehovah or think that Jehovah was not showing him respect because he gave him many detailed instructions. Moses did not think that Jehovah was taking away his freedom. Moses told the workers to do exactly as Jehovah had commanded them. (Exodus 39:32) This was a humble way of thinking and acting. Moses knew that it was Jehovah’s work and that Jehovah was simply using him to do it.
14 Moses showed that he was humble even when he had reasons to be disappointed. For example, when the people complained that they had no water, Moses got very angry with them and did not give glory to Jehovah. Because of that, Jehovah told Moses that he would not be allowed to lead the people into the Promised Land. (Numbers 20:2-12) Moses and Aaron had suffered for many years, listening to the Israelites complaining. And now, because of that one mistake, Moses was not going to get what he had expected for so long! What did Moses do? He was of course disappointed. But he was humble and accepted Jehovah’s decision. He knew that Jehovah is a righteous God “with whom there is no injustice.” (Deuteronomy 3:25-27; 32:4) Today, when we think of Moses, we think of someone who was known by Jehovah.—Read Exodus 33:12, 13.
OBEDIENCE TO JEHOVAH REQUIRES HUMILITY
15. What can we learn from what proud Korah did?
15 We can have Jehovah’s approval only if we accept adjustments that are made. And we need to show respect for those Jehovah uses to lead the congregation. What do we do when these men make decisions or change the way we do things in the congregation? Because they trusted their own way of doing things, Korah and his followers could no longer be God’s friends. They were proud and showed little faith. Korah thought that Moses was just an old man making his own decisions, but he forgot that it was really Jehovah who was guiding the nation. As a result, Korah did not show loyalty to those God was using. Korah should have waited for Jehovah to act. Jehovah could have helped him understand why things were the way they were or could have changed things if needed. Because Korah acted like that, today we never think of Korah’s years of loyal service to Jehovah. We usually think of him as someone who disobeyed Jehovah because of his pride.
16. How can Moses’ humble example help us?
16 What happened to Korah is a warning for elders and others in the congregation. To wait for Jehovah to act and to obey those Jehovah uses to lead the congregation, we must be humble. Do we show that we are as humble and meek as Moses was? Do we understand and accept that Jehovah uses those who lead the congregation? Do we obey their instructions? Do we control our feelings when we get disappointed? If we do these things, we will have Jehovah’s approval. If we are humble and obedient, we will be precious to him.
JEHOVAH KNOWS THOSE WHO BELONG TO HIM
17, 18. What can help us to continue to have Jehovah’s approval?
17 It is good for us to think about the examples of those whom Jehovah loved and invited to be his friends. Abraham and Moses were imperfect and had problems, just like us. But Jehovah thought of them as friends, as people who belonged to him. The opposite is what happened to Korah. His example shows how it could be possible for us to draw away from Jehovah and no longer be his friends. Each of us should think about questions like: What does Jehovah think of me? What can I learn from these Bible examples?
18 Jehovah thinks of his faithful servants as people who belong to him. This is a great comfort to us. So continue to make an effort to show such qualities as faith and humility. They will make you even more precious to our wonderful God. It is an honor to be known by Jehovah. Those who have his approval have a happy life now and will have wonderful blessings in the future.—Psalm 37:18.
SOME WORDS EXPLAINED
▪ Kohathite Levite: Levite who served at the tabernacle. The Kohathites had the responsibility of carrying the ark of the covenant
▪ Meek: A meek person is gentle and patient. He accepts instructions and waits for Jehovah to act. He does not get angry easily
▪ Being known by Jehovah: Having Jehovah’s approval
▪ Tabernacle: The tent used for worship in Israel. It was taken from place to place when the nation moved
DO YOU REMEMBER?
▪ What does it mean to be known by Jehovah?
▪ How can you imitate the faith of Abraham?
▪ What lessons can we learn from Korah and Moses?
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We need faith and humility to be friends of God
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If we wait for Jehovah to act, he will reward us
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Like Moses, we should humbly accept instructions
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Like Abraham, do we have faith that Jehovah’s promises always come true?
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Korah was not humble and willing to follow directions
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Are you known by Jehovah as someone who is humble and obedient?