“[Jehovah] well knows how we are formed, remembering that we are dust.”—PSALM 103:14.
1, 2. (a) How is the way Jehovah treats people different from the way powerful humans treat them? (b) What will we discuss in this article?
POWERFUL people often dominate others or even oppress them. (Matthew 20:25; Ecclesiastes 8:9) Jehovah never does that! Even though he is the Almighty, the most powerful Person in the universe, he is very considerate of imperfect humans. He is kind and cares about our feelings and our needs. He remembers that we are imperfect and knows our limitations, so he never asks us to do more than we are able to do.—Psalm 103:13, 14.
2 In the Bible, we learn how considerate Jehovah is of his people. Let us discuss three examples: First, how Jehovah kindly helped young Samuel to deliver a judgment message to High Priest Eli. Second, how Jehovah was patient with Moses when Moses felt that he could not lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt. And third, how Jehovah was considerate of the Israelites as they left Egypt. What do we learn about Jehovah from these examples, and how can we imitate him?
CONSIDERATE OF A BOY
3. What unusual thing happened to young Samuel one night, and what question might we ask? (See opening picture.)
3 Samuel started to serve at the tabernacle when he was very young. (1 Samuel 3:1) One night, after he went to sleep, something very unusual happened.* (See footnote.) (Read 1 Samuel 3:2-10.) He heard someone calling his name. Samuel thought that it was the aged High Priest Eli. So he obediently got up and ran to Eli and said: “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli told him: “I did not call.” After the same thing happened two more times, Eli realized that it was God who was calling Samuel. So Eli told Samuel what to say the next time, and Samuel obeyed. Why did Jehovah not tell Samuel from the beginning that He was the one calling him? The Bible does not say. But it is possible that Jehovah did things that way because he cared about Samuel’s feelings.
4, 5. (a) What did Samuel do when Jehovah gave him a message to deliver to Eli? (b) What does this account teach us about Jehovah?
4 Read 1 Samuel 3:11-18. Jehovah’s Law commanded children to respect older people, especially those who had authority. (Exodus 22:28; Leviticus 19:32) So it is hard to imagine that a young boy like Samuel would go to Eli in the morning and boldly tell him God’s strong judgment message. The Bible tells us that Samuel “was afraid to tell Eli of the vision.” However, God made it clear to Eli that He was calling Samuel. As a result, Eli asked Samuel not to hide anything that God had said. Samuel obeyed Eli and “told him everything.”
Jehovah made it easier for Samuel to remain obedient and respectful
5 This message was not completely unexpected. Earlier “a man of God” had given Eli a similar message. (1 Samuel 2:27-36) This account teaches us how considerate and wise Jehovah is.
6. What lessons can we learn from the way God helped young Samuel?
6 Are you a young person? If so, the account about young Samuel shows that Jehovah understands your problems and your feelings. Maybe you are shy and find it hard to preach to adults or to be different from people your age. You can be sure that Jehovah wants to help you. So pray to him and tell him exactly how you feel. (Psalm 62:8) Think deeply about examples in the Bible of young ones like Samuel. And talk to brothers and sisters your age or older who may have overcome problems similar to yours. They may tell you about times when Jehovah helped them, perhaps in ways they did not expect.
CONSIDERATE OF MOSES
7, 8. How did Jehovah show that he cared very much about Moses’ feelings?
7 When Moses was 80 years old, Jehovah gave him a very difficult assignment: to free the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 3:10) This assignment was probably a shock for Moses, because he had been a shepherd in Midian for 40 years. Moses said: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Jehovah reassured Moses: “I will prove to be with you.” (Exodus 3:11, 12) Jehovah also promised him that the elders of Israel would “certainly listen” to him. Still, Moses asked: “Suppose they do not believe me and do not listen?” (Exodus 3:18; 4:1) Moses was actually saying that Jehovah could be wrong! But Jehovah was patient with Moses. He even gave him the power to perform miracles. In fact, Moses was the first human mentioned in the Bible to have this power.—Exodus 4:2-9, 21.
8 Even after all of that, Moses had another excuse. He said that he could not speak well. So God told him: “I will be with you as you speak, and I will teach you what you should say.” Was Moses finally convinced? No, he asked God to send someone else! Then Jehovah became angry. But he still cared about Moses’ feelings, so he sent Aaron to speak for Moses.—Exodus 4:10-16.
9. How did Jehovah’s patience and kindness help Moses to be a good leader?
9 What does this account teach us about Jehovah? Because Jehovah is the Almighty, he could have used his power to frighten Moses and make him obey. Instead, Jehovah was patient and kind, and he assured his modest and humble servant that he would be with him. Did that method work? Yes, it did! Moses became a great leader of God’s people. He tried to be mild and considerate toward others, just as Jehovah was toward him.—Numbers 12:3.
10. How do we benefit when we are considerate to others as Jehovah is?
10 What are the lessons for us today? If you are a husband, a parent, or an elder, you have some authority over others. For this reason, it is very important that you imitate Jehovah by being considerate, kind, and patient with your wife, your children, and those in the congregation. (Colossians 3:19-21; 1 Peter 5:1-3) If you imitate Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, the Greater Moses, you will make it easy for others to come and talk to you, and you will be encouraging to them. (Matthew 11:28, 29) You will also be a good example for them.—Hebrews 13:7.
A POWERFUL BUT CONSIDERATE SAVIOR
11, 12. How did Jehovah make the Israelites feel safe and secure when he led them out of Egypt?
11 There may have been more than three million Israelites who left Egypt in the year 1513 before Christ. In that group were children, older ones, and probably some who were sick or disabled. Such a huge group of people needed a caring and understanding Leader. And that is exactly what Jehovah was by means of Moses. As a result, the Israelites felt safe as they left the only home they had ever known.—Psalm 78:52, 53.
12 How did Jehovah make his people feel safe and secure? He organized the nation of Israel into “battle formation” when they left Egypt. (Exodus 13:18) Because they were organized in this way, they could clearly see that their God was in control of the situation. Jehovah also gave them “a cloud by day” and “the light of a fire” at night to remind them that he was with them, guiding them and protecting them. (Psalm 78:14) And the nation of Israel needed that reassurance because of what happened next.
13, 14. (a) How did Jehovah care for the Israelites at the Red Sea? (b) How did Jehovah show that he was much more powerful than the Egyptians?
13 Read Exodus 14:19-22. Imagine that you are there with the Israelites. You are trapped. The Egyptian army is behind you, and the Red Sea is in front of you. Then God acts. The pillar of cloud that used to be in front of you moves to the back of the camp, between you and the Egyptians. Now they are in the dark, but your camp is full of miraculous light! Then you see Moses stretch out his hand over the sea, and a strong east wind comes, opening a wide path to the other side. So you, your family, and your animals all walk onto the seabed in an organized way with the rest of the people. You are amazed that the ground is not muddy and slippery. It is dry and quite firm, so it is easy to walk on. As a result, even the slowest ones are able to arrive safely at the other side.
14 Read Exodus 14:23, 26-30. While all of this is happening, Pharaoh, who is proud and foolish, starts chasing you and your fellow Israelites. Then Moses stretches out his hand over the sea again, and the two walls of water collapse. The water crashes onto Pharaoh and his army. None of them survive!—Exodus 15:8-10.
15. What does this account teach you about Jehovah?
15 This account teaches us something else about Jehovah. He is a God of order, and this quality helps us to feel safe and secure. (1 Corinthians 14:33) Like a shepherd who loves and looks after his sheep, Jehovah cares for his people in practical ways. He keeps them safe and protects them from their enemies. This reassures and comforts us very much as we get closer to the end of this system.—Proverbs 1:33.
16. How can we benefit from reviewing the way Jehovah saved the Israelites?
16 Today, Jehovah still cares for his people as a group. He helps them to keep their good relationship with him and protects them from their enemies. And he will keep doing so during the great tribulation that is coming very soon. (Revelation 7:9, 10) So whether they are young or old, healthy or disabled, God’s people will not panic or be terrified during the great tribulation.* (See footnote.) In fact, they will do the complete opposite! They will remember Jesus’ words: “Stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28) Even when they are attacked by Gog, a group of nations that is much more powerful than Pharaoh, God’s people will be confident that Jehovah will protect them. (Ezekiel 38:2, 14-16) Why? Because they know that Jehovah does not change. He will again prove that he is a loving and caring Savior of his people.—Isaiah 26:3, 20.
17. (a) How can we benefit when we study Bible accounts about the way Jehovah cares for his people? (b) What will we discuss in the next article?
17 In this article, we have seen some examples of how Jehovah is considerate and kind when he cares for, directs, and saves his people. As you meditate on such accounts, try to learn something new about Jehovah by looking for details you may not have noticed before. As you learn more about Jehovah’s beautiful qualities, your love for him and your faith in him will become stronger. In the next article, we will learn about ways we can imitate Jehovah by being considerate of those in our family, in the congregation, and in the ministry.
Jewish historian Josephus says that Samuel was 12 years old at the time.
It is reasonable to assume that some people who survive Armageddon will be disabled. When Jesus was on the earth, he cured people who had “every sort of infirmity,” or all kinds of disabilities. What he did then shows us what he will do for those who survive Armageddon. (Matthew 9:35) Those who are resurrected will have healthy bodies.