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Draw Close to Jehovah: Study with biblical texts | Week Starting July 6

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Study information for the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

cl chap. 27 ¶1-9 (30 min.)


CHAPTER 27

“O HOW GREAT HIS GOODNESS IS!”


1, 2. How far-reaching is the goodness of God, and what emphasis does the Bible place on this quality?


BATHED in the warm light of sunset, a few longtime friends enjoy an outdoor meal together, laughing and talking as they admire the view. Far away, a farmer looks out at his fields and smiles in satisfaction because dark clouds have gathered and the first drops of rain are falling on thirsty crops. Elsewhere, a husband and wife are delighted to see their child take his first wobbly steps.
2 Whether they know it or not, such people are all benefiting from the same thing—the goodness of Jehovah God. Religious people often repeat the phrase “God is good.” The Bible is far more emphatic. It says: “O how great his goodness is!” (Zechariah 9:17) But it seems that few today really know what those words mean. What does the goodness of Jehovah God actually involve, and how does this quality of God affect each one of us?
Zechariah 9:17 For how great his goodness is,And how great his handsomeness is! Grain will make the young men thrive,And new wine the virgins.”

An Outstanding Facet of Divine Love


3, 4. What is goodness, and why might Jehovah’s goodness best be described as an expression of divine love?
3 In many modern languages, “goodness” is a somewhat bland word. As revealed in the Bible, though, goodness is far from bland. Primarily, it refers to virtue and moral excellence. In a sense, then, we might say that goodness permeates Jehovah. All his attributes—including his power, his justice, and his wisdom—are good through and through. Still, goodness might best be described as an expression of Jehovah’s love. Why?
4 Goodness is an active, outgoing quality. The apostle Paul indicated that in humans it is even more appealing than righteousness. (Romans 5:7) The righteous man can be counted on to adhere faithfully to the requirements of the law, but a good man does more. He takes the initiative, actively seeking ways to benefit others. As we shall see, Jehovah is certainly good in that sense. Clearly, such goodness springs from Jehovah’s boundless love.
Romans 5:7 For hardly would anyone die for a righteous man; though perhaps for a good man someone may dare to die.

5-7. Why did Jesus refuse to be called “Good Teacher,” and what profound truth did he thereby affirm?


5 Jehovah is also unique in his goodness. Not long before Jesus died, a man approached him to ask a question, addressing him with the words “Good Teacher.” Jesus replied: “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God.” (Mark 10:17, 18) Now, that response may strike you as puzzling. Why would Jesus correct the man? Was not Jesus, in fact, a “Good Teacher”?
Mark 10:17, 18 As he was going on his way, a man ran up and fell on his knees before him and put the question to him: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” 18 Jesus said to him: “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except one, God.

6 Evidently, the man was using the words “Good Teacher” as a flattering title. Jesus modestly directed such glory to his heavenly Father, who is good in the supreme sense. (Proverbs 11:2) But Jesus was also affirming a profound truth. Jehovah alone is the standard for what is good. Only he has the sovereign right to determine what is good and what is bad. Adam and Eve, by rebelliously partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, sought to assume that right themselves. Unlike them, Jesus humbly leaves the setting of standards to his Father.
Proverbs 11:2 2 When presumptuousness comes, dishonor will follow,But wisdom is with the modest ones.

7 Moreover, Jesus knew that Jehovah is the source of all that is truly good. He is the Giver of “every good gift and every perfect present.” (James 1:17) Let us examine how Jehovah’s goodness is evident in his generosity.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, coming down from the Father of the celestial lights, who does not vary or change like the shifting shadows.

Evidence of Jehovah’s Abundant Goodness


8. How has Jehovah shown goodness toward all mankind?


8 Everyone who has ever lived has benefited from Jehovah’s goodness. Psalm 145:9 says: “Jehovah is good to all.” What are some examples of his all-embracing goodness? The Bible says: “He did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts to the full with food and good cheer.” (Acts 14:17) Have you ever felt your spirits lift when enjoying a delightful meal? Were it not for Jehovah’s goodness in designing this earth with its ever-recycling fresh water supply and “fruitful seasons” to produce an abundance of food, there would be no meals. Jehovah has directed such goodness not just to those who love him but to everyone. Jesus said: “He makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.”—Matthew 5:45.
Psalm 145:9 9 Jehovah is good to all,And his mercy is evident in all his works.
Acts 14:17 although he did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying you with food and filling your hearts with gladness.”
Matthew 5:45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.

Jehovah is “giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons”

9. How does the apple illustrate Jehovah’s goodness?


9 Many take for granted the sheer generosity that is heaped upon mankind because of the continued action of the sun, the rain, and the fruitful seasons. For example, consider the apple. Throughout the temperate regions of the earth, it is a common fruit. Yet, it is beautiful, delicious to eat, and full of refreshing water and vital nutrients. Did you know that worldwide there are some 7,500 different varieties of apples, ranging in color from red to gold to yellow to green and in size from slightly larger than a cherry to the size of a grapefruit? If you hold a tiny apple seed in your hand, it looks insignificant. But from it grows one of the loveliest of trees. (Song of Solomon 2:3) Every spring the apple tree is crowned with a glorious halo of blossoms; every autumn it produces fruit. Each year—for up to 75 years—the average apple tree will yield enough fruit to fill 20 cartons to a weight of 42 pounds (19 kg) each!
Song of Solomon 2:3 3 “Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,So is my dear one among the sons. I passionately desire to sit in his shade,And his fruit is sweet to my taste.


From this tiny seed grows a tree that can feed and delight people for decades

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