Draw Close to Jehovah: Study with biblical texts | Week Starting July 13

Congregation Bible Study | Study information for the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

cl chap. 27 ¶10-18 (30 min.)

10, 11. How do the senses demonstrate God’s goodness?

10 In his infinite goodness, Jehovah has given us a body that is “wonderfully made,” with senses designed to help us perceive his works and delight in them. (Psalm 139:14) Think again of those scenes described at the outset of this chapter. What sights bring joy to such moments? The flushed cheeks of a delighted child. The curtains of rain descending on the fields. The reds, golds, and violets of a sunset. The human eye is designed to detect over 300,000 different colors! And our sense of hearing catches the nuances of tone in a well-loved voice, the whisper of the wind through the trees, the toddler’s ecstatic laugh. Why are we able to enjoy such sights and sounds? The Bible says: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye—Jehovah himself has made even both of them.” (Proverbs 20:12) But those are only two of the senses.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful,I know this very well.
Proverbs 20:12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye—Jehovah has made both of them.

11 The sense of smell is another evidence of Jehovah’s goodness. The human nose can distinguish some 10,000 different odors. Think of just a few: your favorite food cooking, flowers, fallen leaves, the hint of smoke from a cozy fire. And your sense of touch enables you to feel the caress of the breeze on your face, the reassuring embrace of a loved one, the satisfying smoothness of a piece of fruit in your hand. When you take a bite, your sense of taste comes into play. A symphony of flavor greets you as your taste buds detect subtleties created by the fruit’s complex chemical makeup. Yes, we have every reason to exclaim regarding Jehovah: “How abundant your goodness is, which you have treasured up for those fearing you!” (Psalm 31:19) How, though, has Jehovah “treasured up” goodness for those who have godly fear?
Psalm 31:19 How abundant your goodness is! You have stored it up for those who fear you,And you have shown it before all men, in behalf of those taking refuge in you.

Goodness With Everlasting Benefits

12. What provisions from Jehovah are the most important, and why?

12 Jesus said: “It is written, ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.’” (Matthew 4:4) Indeed, Jehovah’s spiritual provisions can do us even more good than can the physical kind, for they lead to everlasting life. In Chapter 8 of this book, we noted that Jehovah has used his restorative power during these last days to bring into being a spiritual paradise. A key feature of that paradise is the abundance of spiritual food.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.’”

13, 14. (a) What did the prophet Ezekiel see in vision, with what meaning for us today? (b) What life-giving spiritual provisions does Jehovah make for his faithful servants?

13 In one of the Bible’s great restoration prophecies, the prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of a restored and glorified temple. From that temple flowed a stream of water, widening and deepening as it went until it became a “double-size torrent.” Wherever it flowed, that river brought blessings. On its banks flourished a crop of trees that provided food and healing. And the river even brought life and productivity to the salty, lifeless Dead Sea! (Ezekiel 47:1-12) But what did all of that mean?
Ezekiel 47:1-12 Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and there I saw water flowing eastward from under the threshold of the temple, for the front of the temple was facing east. The water was flowing down from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then led me out by way of the north gate and took me outside and around to the outer gate that is facing east, and I saw water trickling from the right side. 3 When the man went out toward the east with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off 1,000 cubits and had me pass through the water; the water was ankle deep. 4 Then he measured off another 1,000 and had me pass through the water, and it was up to the knees. He measured off another 1,000 and had me pass through, and the water was up to the hips. 5 When he measured off another 1,000, it was a torrent that I was unable to walk across, for the water was so deep that one had to swim, a torrent of water that could not be crossed on foot. 6 He asked me: “Have you seen this, son of man?” Then he had me walk and return to the bank of the stream. 7 When I returned, I saw that on the bank of the stream were very many trees on both sides. 8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region and continues down through the Arʹa•bah and enters the sea. When it enters the sea, the water there will be healed. 9 Swarms of living creatures will be able to live wherever the waters flow. There will be an abundance of fish, because this water will flow there. The seawater will be healed, and everything will live wherever the stream goes. 10 “Fishermen will stand beside it from En-gedʹi clear to En-egʹla•im, where there will be a drying yard for dragnets. There will be an abundance of many kinds of fish, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11 “It will have swampy places and marshy places, and these will not be healed. They will be abandoned to salt. 12 “All sorts of trees for food will grow on both banks of the stream. Their leaves will not wither; nor will their fruitage fail. Each month they will bear new fruit, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruitage will serve as food and their leaves for healing.”

14 The vision meant that Jehovah would restore his arrangement for pure worship, as pictured by the temple Ezekiel saw. Like that visionary river, God’s provisions for life would flow out to his people in ever-greater abundance. Since the restoration of pure worship in 1919, Jehovah has blessed his people with life-giving provisions. How? Well, Bibles, Bible literature, meetings, and conventions have all served to bring vital truths to millions. By such means Jehovah has taught people about the most important of his provisions for life—Christ’s ransom sacrifice, which brings a clean standing before Jehovah and the hope of everlasting life to all those who truly love and fear God. Hence, throughout these last days, while the world has suffered a spiritual famine, Jehovah’s people have enjoyed a spiritual feast.—Isaiah 65:13.
Isaiah 65:13 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Look! My servants will eat, but you will go hungry. Look! My servants will drink, but you will go thirsty. Look! My servants will rejoice, but you will suffer shame.

15. In what sense will Jehovah’s goodness flow to faithful mankind during Christ’s Millennial Reign?

15 But Ezekiel’s visionary river does not stop flowing when this old system of things meets its end. On the contrary, it will flow even more abundantly during Christ’s Millennial Reign. Then, by means of the Messianic Kingdom, Jehovah will apply the full value of Jesus’ sacrifice, gradually lifting faithful mankind to perfection. How we will then exult over Jehovah’s goodness!

Additional Facets of Jehovah’s Goodness

16. How does the Bible show that Jehovah’s goodness embraces other qualities, and what are some of these?

16 Jehovah’s goodness involves more than generosity. God told Moses: “I myself shall cause all my goodness to pass before your face, and I will declare the name of Jehovah before you.” Later the account says: “Jehovah went passing by before his face and declaring: ‘Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.’” (Exodus 33:19; 34:6) So Jehovah’s goodness embraces a number of fine qualities. Let us consider just two of these.
Exodus 33:19 But he said: “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will declare before you the name of Jehovah; and I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show mercy.”
Exodus 34:6 Jehovah was passing before him and declaring: “Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and abundant in loyal love and truth,

17. What is graciousness, and how has Jehovah displayed it to mere imperfect humans?

17 “Gracious.” This quality tells us much about Jehovah’s manner of dealing with his creatures. Instead of being brusque, cold, or tyrannical, as is often true of the powerful, Jehovah is gentle and kind. For example, Jehovah said to Abram: “Raise your eyes, please, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward.” (Genesis 13:14) Many translations omit the word “please.” But Bible scholars note that the wording in the original Hebrew includes a word particle that changes the statement from a command to a polite request. There are other, similar instances. (Genesis 31:12; Ezekiel 8:5) Imagine, the Sovereign of the universe says “please” to mere humans! In a world where harshness, pushiness, and rudeness are so common, is it not refreshing to contemplate the graciousness of our God, Jehovah?
Genesis 13:14 Jehovah said to Aʹbram, after Lot had separated from him: “Raise your eyes, please, and look from the place where you are, to the north and south, east and west,
Genesis 31:12 And he continued, ‘Raise your eyes, please, and see that all the he-goats mating with the flock are striped, speckled, and spotty, for I have seen all that Laʹban is doing to you.
Ezekiel 8:5 He then said to me: “Son of man, please raise your eyes toward the north.” So I raised my eyes toward the north, and there, north of the gate of the altar, was this symbol of jealousy in the entryway.

18. In what sense is Jehovah “abundant . . . in truth,” and why are those words reassuring?

18 “Abundant in . . . truth.” Dishonesty has become the way of the world today. But the Bible reminds us: “God is not a man that he should tell lies.” (Numbers 23:19) In fact, Titus 1:2 says that “God . . . cannot lie.” He is far too good for that. Thus, Jehovah’s promises are completely reliable; his words, always sure of fulfillment. Jehovah is even called “the God of truth.” (Psalm 31:5) Not only does he refrain from telling falsehoods but he dispenses an abundance of truth. He is not closed, guarded, or secretive; rather, he generously enlightens his faithful servants from his boundless store of wisdom. He even teaches them how to live by the truths he dispenses so that they may “go on walking in the truth.” (3 John 3) In general, how should Jehovah’s goodness affect us individually?
Numbers 23:19 God is not a mere man who tells lies,Nor a son of man who changes his mind. When he says something, will he not do it? When he speaks, will he not carry it out?
Titus 1:2 and is based on a hope of the everlasting life that God, who cannot lie, promised long ago;
Psalm 31:5 5 Into your hand I entrust my spirit. You have redeemed me, O Jehovah, the God of truth.
3 John 3 For I rejoiced very much when brothers came and bore witness about the truth you hold, as you go on walking in the truth.

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