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Our Meetings All In One (AIO) ‒ Week Starting may 26

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ss14 pp. 1-4 Theocratic Ministry School Schedule for 2014

May 26 Bible reading: Exodus 34-37
No. 1: Exodus 34:1-16
No. 2: Why Moral Restraint Was Not Removed When the Ten Commandments Came to an End (rs p. 349 ¶1-2)
No. 3: Abraham—Abundant Blessings Should Not Make a Man of God Proud (it-1 p. 31 ¶6–p. 32 ¶1)
w14 3/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

MAY 26, 2014–JUNE 1, 2014
Providing Care for the Elderly
PAGE 25 • SONGS: 134, 29
ws14 3/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

MAY 26, 2014–JUNE 1, 2014
Providing Care for the Elderly
PAGE 21 • SONGS: 134, 29


Our Meetings All In One (AIO)

All References Week Starting may 26


Theocratic Ministry School


No. 1: Exodus 34:1-16


No. 2: Why Moral Restraint Was Not Removed When the Ten Commandments Came to an End (rs p. 349 ¶1-2)

rs p. 349 ¶1-2 Sabbath
Not at all; many of the moral standards set out in the Ten Commandments were restated in the inspired books of the Christian Greek Scriptures. (There was, however, no restating of the sabbath law.) But no matter how good a law is, as long as sinful inclinations dominate a person’s desires, there will be lawlessness. However, regarding the new covenant, which has replaced the Law covenant, Hebrews 8:10 states: “‘For this is the covenant that I shall covenant with the house of Israel after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their mind, and in their hearts I shall write them. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.’” How much more effective such laws are than those engraved on stone tablets!
Rom. 6:15-17: “Shall we commit a sin because we are not under law but under undeserved kindness? Never may that happen! Do you not know that if you keep presenting yourselves to anyone as slaves to obey him, you are slaves of him because you obey him, either of sin with death in view or of obedience with righteousness in view? But thanks to God that you were the slaves of sin but you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were handed over.” (See also Galatians 5:18-24.)

No. 3: Abraham—Abundant Blessings Should Not Make a Man of God Proud (it-1 p. 31 ¶6–p. 32 ¶1)

it-1 p. 31 ¶6–p. 32 ¶1 Abraham
Patriarchal Head and Prophet. Abraham was a very wealthy man with great flocks and herds, much silver and gold, and a very large household numbering many hundreds of servants. (Ge 12:5, 16; 13:2, 6, 7; 17:23, 27; 20:14; 24:35) For this reason the kings of Canaan considered him a powerful “chieftain” and one with whom covenants of peace should be made. (Ge 23:6; 14:13; 21:22, 23) Yet at no time did Abraham allow materialism to blind his vision of Jehovah and His promises or cause him to become proud, high-minded, or selfish.—Ge 13:9; 14:21-23.
The first occurrence of the word “prophet” in the Hebrew Scriptures refers to Abraham, though others like Enoch prophesied before him. (Ge 20:7; Jude 14) The first identified in the Scriptures as a “Hebrew” is Abraham. (Ge 14:13) Abraham, like Abel, Enoch, and Noah, was a man of faith. (Heb 11:4-9) But the first occurrence of the expression “put faith in Jehovah” is in reference to Abraham.—Ge 15:6.
Indeed, this man of unusual faith walked with God, received communications from him by means of visions and dreams, and entertained his angelic messengers. (Ge 12:1-3, 7; 15:1-8, 12-21; 18:1-15; 22:11, 12, 15-18) He was well acquainted with the name of God even though Jehovah had not at that time revealed the full significance of His name. (Ex 6:2, 3) Time after time Abraham built altars and offered up sacrifices in the name of and to the praise and glory of his God Jehovah.—Ge 12:8; 13:4, 18; 21:33; 24:40; 48:15.
As patriarchal head, Abraham allowed no idolatry or ungodliness in his household but constantly taught all his sons and servants to “keep Jehovah’s way to do righteousness and judgment.” (Ge 18:19) Every male member of Abraham’s household was bound by Jehovah’s law to submit to circumcision. The Egyptian slave girl Hagar called on Jehovah’s name in prayer. And Abraham’s oldest servant in a very heart-touching prayer to Jehovah demonstrated his own faith in Abraham’s God. Isaac too, in his early manhood, proved his faith and his obedience to Jehovah by allowing himself to be bound hand and foot and placed atop the altar for sacrifice.—Ge 17:10-14, 23-27; 16:13; 24:2-56.

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Highlights of the Bible

Highlights From the Book of Exodus 34-37


Ex 34:5 - *** it-2 pp. 466-467 Name ***
(Exodus 34:5) 5 Then Jehovah came down in the cloud and stationed himself with him there and declared the name of Jehovah.
What is included in knowing the name of God?
The material creation testifies to God’s existence, but it does not reveal God’s name. (Ps 19:1; Ro 1:20) For an individual to know God’s name signifies more than a mere acquaintance with the word. (2Ch 6:33) It means actually knowing the Person—his purposes, activities, and qualities as revealed in his Word. (Compare 1Ki 8:41-43; 9:3, 7; Ne 9:10.) This is illustrated in the case of Moses, a man whom Jehovah ‘knew by name,’ that is, knew intimately. (Ex 33:12) Moses was privileged to see a manifestation of Jehovah’s glory and also to ‘hear the name of Jehovah declared.’ (Ex 34:5) That declaration was not simply the repetition of the name Jehovah but was a statement about God’s attributes and activities. “Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, preserving loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin, but by no means will he give exemption from punishment, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons and upon grandsons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation.” (Ex 34:6, 7) Similarly, the song of Moses, containing the words “for I shall declare the name of Jehovah,” recounts God’s dealings with Israel and describes his personality.—De 32:3-44.

Ex 34:6 - *** g 7/11 pp. 6-7 Does God Care? ***
God is “merciful and gracious . . . and abundant in loving-kindness.” (Exodus 34:6) The word “mercy,” as used in the Bible, conveys the warm sympathy and pity that move one person to help another. The root of the Hebrew word translated “gracious” is defined as “a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to one who has a need.” According to the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, the word translated “loving-kindness” includes “intervention on behalf of someone suffering misfortune or distress.”

Ex 34:7 - *** w09 5/1 p. 18 When Jehovah Described Himself ***
Another great truth that Jehovah wants us to know about himself is that he pardons “error and transgression and sin.” (Verse 7) He is “ready to forgive” repentant sinners. (Psalm 86:5) At the same time, Jehovah never condones badness. He explains that “by no means will he give exemption from punishment.” (Verse 7) The holy and just God will not leave willful sinners unpunished. Sooner or later the consequences of their sinful behavior will catch up with them.

Ex 34:12 - *** it-1 p. 240 Babylon the Great ***
(Exodus 34:12) 12 Be careful that you do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you are going, or it may prove to be a snare among you.
The symbol of a harlot or a fornicatrix is used frequently in the Hebrew Scriptures. The nation of Israel was warned against entering into covenant relations with the nations of Canaan because this would lead them to commit “immoral intercourse [“play the harlot,” RS] with their gods.” (Ex 34:12-16) Both Israel and Judah apostatized from the true worship of Jehovah God and were condemned by him as having engaged in harlotry, prostituting themselves to the political nations and their gods. (Isa 1:21; Jer 3:6-10, 13; Eze 16:15-17, 28, 29, 38; Ho 6:10; 7:11; 8:9, 10) It may be noted here that God was not viewing Israel or Judah as mere political entities entering into relations with other political governments. Instead God reprimanded them on the basis of their being in a sacred covenant with him, hence responsible to be a holy people devoted to him and his pure worship.—Jer 2:1-3, 17-21.

Ex 34:14 - *** w02 10/15 p. 28 Should Christians Be Jealous? ***
(Exodus 34:14) 14 You must not bow down to another god, for Jehovah is known for requiring exclusive devotion. Yes, he is a God who requires exclusive devotion.
JEALOUSY—is it a quality that Christians should cultivate? As Christians, we are encouraged to “pursue love,” and we are told that “love is not jealous.” (1 Corinthians 13:4; 14:1) On the other hand, we are also told that “Jehovah . . . is a jealous God” and are commanded to “become imitators of God.” (Exodus 34:14; Ephesians 5:1) Why the seeming contradiction?
It is because the Hebrew and Greek words translated “jealousy” in the Bible carry a wide range of meanings. They can have either a positive or a negative connotation, depending on how the words are used. For instance, the Hebrew word translated “jealousy” can mean “insistence on exclusive devotion; toleration of no rivalry; zeal; ardor; jealousy [righteous or sinful]; envying.” The corresponding Greek word has a similar meaning. These words can refer to a warped, distorted emotion toward a suspected rival or one believed to be enjoying an advantage. (Proverbs 14:30) They can also refer to a positive expression of a God-given quality—wanting to protect a loved one from harm.—2 Corinthians 11:2.

Ex 34:24 - *** w98 9/1 p. 20 Be Sure to Put First Things First! ***
Three times a year every male Israelite and proselyte in the land was commanded to appear before Jehovah. Realizing that the entire family would benefit spiritually from such occasions, many family heads arranged for their wife and children to accompany them. But who would protect their homes and their fields from enemy attack while the family was away? Jehovah promised: “Nobody will desire your land while you are going up to see the face of Jehovah your God three times in the year.” (Exodus 34:24) It took faith for the Israelites to believe that if they put spiritual interests first, they would not lose out materially. Did Jehovah prove true to his word? He certainly did!
Ex 34:26 - *** w04 3/15 p. 27 par. 2 Highlights From the Book of Exodus ***
(Exodus 34:26) 26 “The best of the first ripe fruits of your soil you are to bring to the house of Jehovah your God. “You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
23:19; 34:26—What was the significance of the command not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk? Boiling a kid (the young of a goat or other animal) in its mother’s milk reportedly was a pagan ritual thought to produce rain. Moreover, since the mother’s milk is for nourishing her young, boiling her offspring in it would be an act of cruelty. This law helped to show God’s people that they should be compassionate.

Ex 34:27 - *** w12 6/15 p. 26 par. 5 “They Were Borne Along by Holy Spirit” ***
Jehovah also used dictation when precise wording was crucial. At Exodus 34:27, for example, we read: “Jehovah went on to say to Moses: ‘Write down for yourself these words, because it is in accordance with these words that I do conclude a covenant with you and Israel.’” Likewise, Jehovah told the prophet Jeremiah: “Write for yourself in a book all the words that I will speak to you.”—Jer. 30:2.

Ex 34:28 - *** it-1 p. 1228 Israel ***
(Exodus 34:28) 28 And he remained there with Jehovah 40 days and 40 nights. He ate no bread and drank no water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Within three months after Israel left Egypt it became an independent nation under the Law covenant inaugurated at Mount Sinai. (Heb 9:19, 20) The Ten Words, or Ten Commandments, written “by God’s finger” formed the framework of that national code, to which some 600 other laws, statutes, regulations, and judicial decisions were added. This made it the most comprehensive set of laws possessed by any ancient nation, spelling out as it did in great detail the relationship between man and God, as well as between man and his fellowmen.—Ex 31:18; 34:27, 28.

Ex 34:29 - *** w90 3/15 p. 7 Moses With Horns—An Artistic Curio ***
(Exodus 34:29, 30) 29 Moses then came down from Mount Si′nai, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. When he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face was emitting rays because he had been speaking with God. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, they noticed that the skin of his face emitted rays and they were afraid to go near him.
The Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible tells us that following his conversation with God on Mount Sinai, Moses’ face was “horned.” (Exodus 34:29, 30, 35; compare Douay Version.) The Vulgate enjoyed great popularity in much of Christendom and thus influenced the way scriptures were understood.
However, the Hebrew word translated “horned” also has the meaning ‘send forth rays’ or ‘shine.’ (See footnote of the Douay Version at Exodus 34:29.) According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the word “denotes the form of a horn(s) rather than the substance.” And viewed pictorially, rays of light do actually resemble horns.
The fact that Moses’ face emitted rays is explainable, as Jehovah’s glory had just passed by. (Exodus 33:22; 34:6, 7) Paul confirms this to be the accurate understanding, writing about “the glory” of Moses’ face, not of his “horns.”—2 Corinthians 3:7.

Ex 35:21 - *** w00 11/1 pp. 28-29 Riches of Generosity Bring Joy ***
(Exodus 35:21) 21 Then everyone whose heart impelled him and everyone whose spirit incited him came and brought their contribution for Jehovah to be used for the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.
The apostle Paul may have had in mind an earlier example of generous giving, one that took place in the wilderness more than 15 centuries before his time. The 12 tribes of Israel had been freed from slavery in Egypt. They were now at the foot of Mount Sinai, and Jehovah commanded them to build a tabernacle for worship and equip it with implements of worship. This would take many resources, and the nation was invited to contribute.
How did those Israelites respond? “They came, everyone whose heart impelled him, and they brought, everyone whose spirit incited him, Jehovah’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting.” (Exodus 35:21) Did the nation make a generous offering? Very much so! The following report was given to Moses: “The people are bringing much more than what the service needs for the work that Jehovah has commanded to be done.”—Exodus 36:5.
What was the financial condition of the Israelites back then? Not long before, they had been miserable slaves, ‘oppressed in burden-bearing,’ leading a ‘bitter life,’ a life of “affliction.” (Exodus 1:11, 14; 3:7; 5:10-18) It is unlikely, then, that they were materially prosperous. True, the Israelites left the land of their slavery with flocks and herds. (Exodus 12:32) But those may not have amounted to much, since soon after leaving Egypt, they complained that they had neither meat nor bread to eat.—Exodus 16:3.
Where, then, did the Israelites get the valuables that they contributed to the building of the tabernacle? From their former masters, the Egyptians. The Bible says: “The sons of Israel . . . went asking from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold and mantles. . . . [The Egyptians] granted them what was asked.” These generous acts on the part of the Egyptians were a blessing from Jehovah, not from Pharaoh. The divine record says: “Jehovah gave the people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that these granted them what was asked.”—Exodus 12:35, 36.
Imagine, then, how the Israelites felt. Generations had suffered through bitter slavery and deprivation. Now they were free and had rich material possessions. How would they feel about parting with some of those possessions? They might have felt that they had earned them and had a right to keep them. However, when called upon to contribute financially to support pure worship, they did so—and not reluctantly or stingily! They did not forget that Jehovah had made it possible for them to have those material things. Thus, they gave abundantly of their silver and gold and livestock. They were “willing-hearted.” Their ‘hearts impelled them.’ ‘Their spirit incited them.’ It truly was “a voluntary offering to Jehovah.”—Exodus 25:1-9; 35:4-9, 20-29; 36:3-7.

Ex 37:7 - *** it-1 p. 432 Cherub ***
(Exodus 37:7) 7 He then made two cherubs of hammered gold on both ends of the cover.
Representative figures of cherubs were included in the furnishings of the tabernacle set up in the wilderness. Rising above each end of the Ark’s cover were two cherubs of hammered gold. They were facing each other and bowing toward the cover in an attitude of worship. Each had two wings that spread upward and screened over the cover in a guarding and protecting manner. (Ex 25:10-21; 37:7-9) Also, the inner covering of tent cloths for the tabernacle and the curtain dividing the Holy from the Most Holy had embroidered cherub figures.—Ex 26:1, 31; 36:8, 35.
These were not grotesque figures fashioned after the monstrous winged images worshiped by pagan nations round about, as some contend. According to the unanimous testimony of ancient Jewish tradition (the Bible is silent on this matter), these cherubs had human form. They were finest works of art, representing angelic creatures of glorious beauty, and were made in every detail “according to . . . the pattern” Moses received from Jehovah himself. (Ex 25:9) The apostle Paul describes them as “glorious cherubs overshadowing the propitiatory cover.” (Heb 9:5) These cherubs were associated with the presence of Jehovah: “And I will present myself to you there and speak with you from above the cover, from between the two cherubs that are upon the ark of the testimony.” (Ex 25:22; Nu 7:89) Hence, Jehovah was said to be “sitting upon [or, between] the cherubs.” (1Sa 4:4; 2Sa 6:2; 2Ki 19:15; 1Ch 13:6; Ps 80:1; 99:1; Isa 37:16) In symbol, the cherubs served as “the representation of the chariot” of Jehovah upon which he rode (1Ch 28:18), and the wings of the cherubs offered both guarding protection and swiftness in travel. So David, in poetic song, described the speed with which Jehovah came to his aid, like one who “came riding upon a cherub and came flying” even “upon the wings of a spirit.”—2Sa 22:11; Ps 18:10.

Ex 37:25 - *** it-1 p. 82 Altar ***
(Exodus 37:25) 25 He now made the altar of incense out of acacia wood. It was square, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high. Its horns were one piece with it.
Altar of incense. The altar of incense (also called “the altar of gold” [Ex 39:38]) was likewise made of acacia wood, the top and sides being overlaid with gold. A border of gold ran around the top. The altar measured 44.5 cm (17.5 in.) square and 89 cm (2.9 ft) high, and also had “horns” extending out from the four top corners. Two gold rings were made for the insertion of the carrying poles made of acacia overlaid with gold, and these rings were placed underneath the gold border on opposite sides of the altar. (Ex 30:1-5; 37:25-28)

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Service Meeting


Song 32
10 min: Start a Bible Study on the First Saturday. Discussion. Invite audience to relate experiences they had starting a Bible study on the first Saturday of the month. Demonstrate how a study may be started on the first Saturday in June, using the sample presentation on page 4. Encourage all to have a share.
10 min: Enduring Persecution Leads to a Fine Witness. (Luke 21:12, 13) Discussion based on the 2013 Yearbook, page 124, paragraph 1; andpage 128, paragraphs 1-2. Invite audience to comment on the lessons learned.
10 min: Question Box. Discussion by an elder. Invite adults to comment on how they benefited from being taught deeper Bible truths by their parents.
Song 88 and Prayer

10 min: Start a Bible Study on the First Saturday.

Discussion. Invite audience to relate experiences they had starting a Bible study on the first Saturday of the month. Demonstrate how a study may be started on the first Saturday in June, using the sample presentation on page 4. Encourage all to have a share.

SAMPLE PRESENTATIONS

To start Bible studies on the first Saturday in June
“We are making brief visits to discuss this intriguing question.” [Show the first question on the back of the June 1 Watchtower.] What’s your opinion?” Allow for response. Consider together the material under the first question and at least one of the cited scriptures. Offer the magazines, and arrange to discuss the next question.

The Watchtower June 1

“Smoking kills about 6,000,000 people a year. Do you think anything can be done to slow down this epidemic? [Allow for response.] Many people have been helped to quit or to avoid smoking altogether by considering God’s view of the matter. For example, this Bible verse has caused some to think about how smoking affects others. [Read 1 Corinthians 10:24.] This magazine explains how considering God’s view of smoking can motivate a person to quit.”

Awake! June

“Social networks have made it possible for people to have more so-called friends than ever before. What would you say is the most important quality of a true friend? [Allow for response.] Here’s an example of the practical advice on friendship that is found in the Bible. [Read James 1:19.] This magazine outlines four guiding principles that can help us be the kind of person others would want to have as a friend.”
^ (1 Cor. 10:24) Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.
^ (Jas. 1:19) Know this, my beloved brothers: Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger,

10 min: Enduring Persecution Leads to a Fine Witness.

(Luke 21:12, 13) Discussion based on the 2013 Yearbook, page 124, paragraph 1; andpage 128, paragraphs 1-2. Invite audience to comment on the lessons learned.
^ (Luke 21:12, 13) “But before all these things happen, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors for the sake of my name. 13 It will result in your giving a witness.

^ ***yb13 p. 124 Myanmar (Burma)***

Later, in Mongpaw, a small village near the China border, an enraged mob of Baptists burned down a Kingdom Hall. When their vile act failed to intimidate the local Witnesses, the mob burned down the home of a special pioneer and began terrorizing brothers and sisters in their homes. The brothers appealed to the area ruler, but he backed the Baptists. Finally, however, the government intervened and granted the brothers permission to build a new Kingdom Hall—not on the original site at the edge of the village, but right in the center of the village!

^ ***yb13 p. 128 Myanmar (Burma)***

When 23 Witness children in Khampat, a town on the Burma-India border, refused to bow to the national flag, the local headmistress expelled them from school. She then summoned two elders to appear before a large group of officials, including the town magistrate and the military commander. “As we explained the Scriptural reasons for our position, some of the officials were clearly hostile,” says Paul Khai Khan Thang, one of the elders. “Then we showed them a copy of a government decree stating that Jehovah’s Witnesses are permitted to ‘stand quietly and respectfully during flag ceremonies.’ The officials were stunned. When they recovered, the military commander ordered the headmistress to reinstate the expelled students. The headmistress also distributed copies of the decree to each school department.”
Today, officials at the highest levels of the Myanmar government are familiar with the political neutrality of Jehovah’s Witnesses. By standing firm for Bible principles, Jehovah’s servants have given a fine witness, just as Jesus Christ foretold.—Luke 21:13.

10 min: Question Box.

Discussion by an elder. Invite adults to comment on how they benefited from being taught deeper Bible truths by their parents.

QUESTION BOX

▪ What must children learn in order to grow to spiritual maturity?

Christian parents do much to bring their children up “in the discipline and instruction of Jehovah.” (Eph. 6:4; ftn.) For example, parents have found it beneficial to consider the daily text with their children each morning. During family worship and on other occasions, families may watch and discuss a video together, talk about specific material from Young People Ask articles, reenact a Bible account, or have practice sessions. However, in order for children to “press on to maturity,” they must also be taught deeper Bible truths.—Heb. 6:1.
Consider what we teach those we meet in our territory. On the initial call or on a subsequent visit, we generally endeavor to start a Bible study using What Does the Bible Really Teach? After completing that publication, we use “Keep Yourselves in God’s Love.” Why? The Bible Teach book gives students a basic knowledge of the Scriptures. The“God’s Love” book teaches them how to apply Bible principles in everyday life. Consideration of both publications helps new ones to become “rooted” in Christ and “stabilized in the faith.” (Col. 2:6, 7) Would this material not also benefit our children? They too need to be taught about the ransom, the Kingdom, and the condition of the dead. Children also need to know why God permits suffering and how to identify the last days of this system of things. They must be convinced that Jehovah’s Witnesses have the truth. Young ones also need to understand Bible principles and how to train “their powers of discernment.” (Heb. 5:14) Of course, parents must consider the age and comprehension level of their children. However, many children have the ability to begin learning deeper Bible truths even when they are quite young.—Luke 2:42, 46, 47.
To help parents, study guides that are based on the Bible Teachbook will appear on jw.org. Families can find these on our Web site by looking under BIBLE TEACHINGS > TEENAGERS. In the future, additional study guides will be prepared based on the“God’s Love” book. Of course, the printed version of these books can also be used. Parents can determine whether they will use this material during a portion of their Family Worship evening, when conducting a separate study with one of their children, or when training a child to do his own personal study.

^ (Eph. 6:4) And fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and admonition of Jehovah.
^ (Heb. 6:1) Therefore, now that we have moved beyond the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works and faith in God,
^ (Col. 2:6, 7) Therefore, just as you have accepted Christ Jesus the Lord, go on walking in union with him, 7 being rooted and built up in him and being stabilized in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.
^ (Heb. 5:14) But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.
^ (Luke 2:42) And when he was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival.
^ (Luke 2:46, 47) Well, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and asking them questions. 47 But all those listening to him were in constant amazement at his understanding and his answers.

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Congregation Bible Study


Draw Close to Jehovah
Chapter 7 . Protective Power—“God Is for Us a Refuge”
References and biblical texts

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Psalm 65:2 Hearer of prayer, to you people of all sorts will come.
Philippians 4:6, 7 not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.
James 1:5, 6 if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him. 6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about.
Luke 11:13 if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”
2 Corinthians 4:7 we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not from us.
- 20 -
1 Peter 2:17 men of all sorts, have love for the whole association of brothers, be in fear of God, honor the king.
John 6:44 man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him, and I will resurrect him on the last day.
Galatians 5:22, 23 the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- 21 -
Matthew 24:45 really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time?
- 22 -
Psalm 18:30 way of the true God is perfect;The saying of Jehovah is refined. He is a shield to all those taking refuge in him.
2 Corinthians 4:17 though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing greatness and is everlasting;

Questions for Meditation


Psalm 23:1-6 As the Great Shepherd, how does Jehovah protect and care for his sheeplike people?
Psalm 23:1-6 Jehovah is my Shepherd. I will lack nothing. 2 In grassy pastures he makes me lie down;He leads me to well-watered resting-places. 3 He refreshes me. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name. 4 Though I walk in the valley of deep shadow,I fear no harm,For you are with me;Your rod and your staff reassure me. 5 You prepare a table for me before my enemies. You refresh my head with oil;My cup is well-filled. 6 Surely goodness and loyal love will pursue me all the days of my life,And I will dwell in the house of Jehovah for all my days.

Psalm 91:1-16 How does Jehovah protect us from spiritual calamity, and what must we do to come under his protection?
Psalm 91:1-16 Anyone dwelling in the secret place of the Most HighWill lodge under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to Jehovah: “You are my refuge and my stronghold,My God in whom I trust.” 3 For he will rescue you from the trap of the birdcatcher,From the destructive pestilence. 4 With his pinions he will cover you,And under his wings you will take refuge. His faithfulness will be a large shield and a protective wall. 5 You will not fear the terrors of the night,Nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor the pestilence that stalks in the gloom,Nor the destruction that ravages at midday. 7 A thousand will fall at your sideAnd ten thousand at your right hand,But to you it will not come near. 8 You will only see it with your eyesAs you witness the punishment of the wicked. 9 Because you said: “Jehovah is my refuge,” You have made the Most High your dwelling;10 No disaster will befall you,And no plague will come near your tent. 11 For he will give his angels a command concerning you,To guard you in all your ways. 12 They will carry you on their hands,So that you may not strike your foot against a stone. 13 On the young lion and the cobra you will tread;You will trample underfoot the maned lion and the big snake. 14 God said: “Because he has affection for me, I will rescue him. I will protect him because he knows my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in distress. I will rescue him and glorify him. 16 I will satisfy him with long life,And I will cause him to see my acts of salvation.”

Daniel 6:16-22, 25-27 How did Jehovah teach an ancient king about His protective power, and what can we learn from this example?
Daniel 6:16-22 the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the pit of lions. The king said to Daniel: “Your God whom you are continually serving will rescue you.” 17 Then a stone was brought and placed over the entrance of the pit, and the king sealed it with his signet ring and with the signet ring of his nobles, so that nothing could be changed with regard to Daniel. 18 The king then went to his palace. He passed the night fasting and refused any entertainment, and he could not sleep. 19 Finally at the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ pit. 20 As he got near the pit, he called out to Daniel with a sad voice. The king asked Daniel: “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you are continually serving been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel immediately said to the king: “O king, may you live on forever. 22 My God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions, and they have not harmed me, for I was found innocent before him; nor have I done any wrong to you, O king.”
Daniel 6:25-27 King Da•ri′us wrote to all the peoples, nations, and language groups dwelling throughout the earth: “May you have abundant peace! 26 I am issuing an order that in every domain of my kingdom, people are to tremble in fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rulership is eternal. 27 He rescues, saves, and performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for he rescued Daniel from the paw of the lions.”

Matthew 10:16-22, 28-31 What opposition can we expect, but why should we not fear opposers?
Matthew 10:16-22 I am sending you out as sheep among wolves; so prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard against men, for they will hand you over to local courts and they will scourge you in their synagogues. 18 And you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations. 19 However, when they hand you over, do not become anxious about how or what you are to speak, for what you are to speak will be given you in that hour; 20 for the ones speaking are not just you, but it is the spirit of your Father that speaks by you. 21 Further, brother will hand brother over to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and will have them put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all people on account of my name, but the one who has endured to the end will be saved.
Matthew 10:28-31 do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Ge•hen′na. 29 Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.

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“Watchtower” Study


The Watchtower (Study Edition) March 2014

Providing Care for the Elderly

“Little children, we should love, not in word or with the tongue, but in deed and truth.”—1 JOHN 3:18.

HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER?
• How can parents and their adult children prepare for “the days of distress”?
• What situations might indicate that your parents’ needs have changed?
• In practical terms, what can you do to assist when someone is caring for an elderly parent?

References and biblical texts


(Job 14:1) 14 “Man, born of woman, Is short-lived and filled with trouble.
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(Ecclesiastes 12:1-7) 12 Remember, then, your Grand Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of distress come and the years arrive when you will say: “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the downpour; 3 in the day when the guards of the house become shaky, and the strong men stoop over, and the women quit grinding because they have become few, and the ladies looking out the windows find it dark; 4 when the doors to the street have been closed, when the sound of the grinding mill becomes low, when one gets up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song grow faint. 5 Also, one is afraid of heights, and there are terrors in the street. And the almond tree blossoms, and the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caper berry bursts, because man is walking to his lasting house and the mourners walk about in the street; 6 before the silver cord is removed, and the golden bowl is crushed, and the jar at the spring is broken, and the waterwheel for the cistern is crushed. 7 Then the dust returns to the earth, just as it was, and the spirit returns to the true God who gave it.
(Proverbs 24:6) By skillful direction you will wage your war, And through many advisers there is victory.
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(Proverbs 1:5) A wise person listens and takes in more instruction; A man of understanding acquires skillful direction
(Psalm 55:22) Throw your burden on Jehovah, And he will sustain you. Never will he allow the righteous one to fall.
(Proverbs 24:10) If you become discouraged in the day of distress, Your strength will be meager.
(Philippians 4:6, 7) Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.
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(Psalm 90:10) The span of our life is 70 years, Or 80 if one is especially strong. But they are filled with trouble and sorrow; They quickly pass by, and away we fly.
(Proverbs 20:18) By consultation, plans will succeed, And by skillful direction wage your war.
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(Ephesians 6:2-4) “Honor your father and your mother” is the first command with a promise: 3 “That it may go well with you and you may remain a long time on the earth.” 4 And fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and admonition of Jehovah.
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(Proverbs 15:22) Plans fail when there is no consultation, But there is accomplishment through many advisers.
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(Proverbs 3:27) Do not withhold good from those to whom you should give it If it is within your power to help.
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(Proverbs 21:5) The plans of the diligent surely lead to success, But all who are hasty surely head for poverty.
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(Proverbs 23:24, 25) The father of a righteous one will surely be joyful; Whoever fathers a wise son will rejoice in him. 25 Your father and your mother will rejoice, And she who gave birth to you will be joyful.
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(Proverbs 11:14) When there is no skillful direction, the people fall, But there is success through many advisers.
(Exodus 20:12) “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that Jehovah your God is giving you.
(Proverbs 23:22) Listen to your father who caused your birth, And do not despise your mother just because she has grown old.
(Ecclesiastes 7:12) For wisdom is a protection just as money is a protection, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner.
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(Ecclesiastes 4:6) Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work and chasing after the wind.
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(1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
(Philippians 4:7) and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.

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References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013

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