Congregation Bible Study | Study information for the book: Draw Close to Jehovah
cl chap. 28 ¶10-17 (30 min.)
“You Alone Are Loyal”
10. How does Jehovah demonstrate loyalty regarding his standards?
10 In addition, Jehovah demonstrates loyalty to his servants by remaining true to his standards. Unlike some erratic humans, who are guided by mere whim and sentiment, Jehovah does not vacillate in his view of what is right and what is wrong. Throughout the millenniums, his view of such things as spiritism, idolatry, and murder has remained unchanged. “Even to one’s old age I am the same One,” he stated through his prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 46:4) Hence, we can have confidence that we will benefit by following the clear moral direction found in God’s Word.—Isaiah 48:17-19.
Isaiah 46:4 4 Until you grow old I will be the same;Until your hair is gray I will keep bearing you. As I have done, I will carry you and bear you and rescue you.
Isaiah 48:17-19 This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: “I, Jehovah, am your God,The One teaching you to benefit yourself,The One guiding you in the way you should walk. 18 If only you would pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a riverAnd your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19 Your offspring would be as many as the sandAnd your descendants as its grains. Their name would never be cut off or annihilated from before me.”
11. Give examples to show that Jehovah is faithful to his word of promise.
11 Jehovah also shows loyalty by remaining faithful to his word of promise. When he foretells something, it comes to pass. Jehovah thus stated: “My word that goes forth from my mouth . . . will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) By remaining faithful to his word, Jehovah shows loyalty to his people. He does not keep them anxiously awaiting something that he does not intend to bring about. Jehovah’s reputation is so impeccable in this regard that his servant Joshua was able to say: “Not a promise failed out of all the good promise that Jehovah had made to the house of Israel; it all came true.” (Joshua 21:45) We can be confident, then, that we will never be led to disappointment because of some failure on Jehovah’s part to live up to his promises.—Isaiah 49:23; Romans 5:5.
Isaiah 55:11 So my word that goes out of my mouth will be. It will not return to me without results,But it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight,And it will have sure success in what I send it to do.
Joshua 21:45 Not a promise failed out of all the good promises that Jehovah had made to the house of Israel; all of them came true.
Isaiah 49:23 Kings will become caretakers for you,And their princesses will be your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the groundAnd lick the dust of your feet,And you will have to know that I am Jehovah;Those hoping in me will not be put to shame.”
Romans 5:5 and the hope does not lead to disappointment; because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, which was given to us.
12, 13. In what ways is Jehovah’s loving-kindness “to time indefinite”?
12 As noted earlier, the Bible tells us that Jehovah’s loving-kindness “is to time indefinite.” (Psalm 136:1) How is this so? For one thing, Jehovah’s forgiveness of sins is permanent. As discussed in Chapter 26, Jehovah does not bring up errors of the past for which a person has been pardoned. Since “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” each of us should be grateful that Jehovah’s loving-kindness is to time indefinite.—Romans 3:23.
Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to Jehovah, for he is good;His loyal love endures forever.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
13 But Jehovah’s loving-kindness is to time indefinite in another sense as well. His Word says that the righteous one “will certainly become like a tree planted by streams of water, that gives its own fruit in its season and the foliage of which does not wither, and everything he does will succeed.” (Psalm 1:3) Imagine a luxuriant tree whose foliage never withers! So, too, if we take genuine delight in God’s Word, our lives will be long, peaceful, and fruitful. The blessings that Jehovah loyally extends to his faithful servants are everlasting. Truly, in the righteous new world that Jehovah will bring, obedient mankind will experience his loving-kindness to time indefinite.—Revelation 21:3, 4.
Psalm 1:3 3 He will be like a tree planted by streams of water,A tree that produces fruit in its season,The foliage of which does not wither. And everything he does will succeed.
Revelation 21:3, 4 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
Jehovah “Will Not Leave His Loyal Ones”
14. How does Jehovah show appreciation for the loyalty of his servants?
14 Jehovah has time and again demonstrated his loyalty. Since Jehovah is perfectly consistent, the loyalty he shows toward his faithful servants never wanes. The psalmist wrote: “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread. For Jehovah is a lover of justice, and he will not leave his loyal ones.” (Psalm 37:25, 28) True, as the Creator, Jehovah deserves our worship. (Revelation 4:11) Still, because he is loyal, Jehovah treasures our faithful acts.—Malachi 3:16, 17.
Psalm 37:25 I was once young and now I am old,But I have not seen anyone righteous abandoned,Nor his children looking for bread.
Psalm 37:28 For Jehovah loves justice,And he will not abandon his loyal ones. ע [Ayin] They will always be guarded;But the descendants of the wicked will be done away with.
Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created.”
Malachi 3:16, 17 At that time those who fear Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance was written before him for those fearing Jehovah and for those meditating on his name. 17 “And they will be mine,” says Jehovah of armies, “in the day when I produce a special property. I will show them compassion, just as a man shows compassion to his son who serves him.
15. Explain how Jehovah’s dealings with Israel highlight His loyalty.
15 In his loving-kindness, Jehovah repeatedly comes to the aid of his people when they are in distress. The psalmist tells us: “He is guarding the souls of his loyal ones; out of the hand of the wicked ones he delivers them.” (Psalm 97:10) Consider his dealings with the nation of Israel. After their miraculous deliverance through the Red Sea, the Israelites proclaimed in song to Jehovah: “You in your loving-kindness [or, “loyal love,” footnote] have led the people whom you have recovered.” (Exodus 15:13) The deliverance at the Red Sea certainly was an act of loyal love on Jehovah’s part. Moses therefore told the Israelites: “It was not because of your being the most populous of all the peoples that Jehovah showed affection for you so that he chose you, for you were the least of all the peoples. But it was because of Jehovah’s loving you, and because of his keeping the sworn statement that he had sworn to your forefathers, that Jehovah brought you out with a strong hand, that he might redeem you from the house of slaves, from the hand of Pharaoh the king of Egypt.”—Deuteronomy 7:7, 8.
Psalm 97:10 O you who love Jehovah, hate what is bad. He is guarding the lives of his loyal ones;He rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Exodus 15:13 In your loyal love you have led the people whom you have redeemed;In your strength you will guide them to your holy place of dwelling.
Deuteronomy 7:7, 8 “It was not because you were the most numerous of all the peoples that Jehovah showed affection for you and chose you, for you were the smallest of all the peoples. 8 Rather, it was because of Jehovah’s love for you and because he kept the oath that he had sworn to your forefathers that Jehovah brought you out with a mighty hand, to redeem you from the house of slavery, from the power of Pharʹaoh king of Egypt.
16, 17. (a) What shocking lack of appreciation did the Israelites display, yet how did Jehovah show compassion toward them? (b) How did most Israelites show that “there was no healing” for them, and what warning example does this provide for us?
16 Of course, as a nation the Israelites failed to demonstrate appreciation for Jehovah’s loving-kindness, for after their deliverance “they kept sinning still more against [Jehovah] by rebelling against the Most High.” (Psalm 78:17) Over the centuries, they rebelled again and again, leaving Jehovah and turning to false gods and pagan practices that brought nothing but defilement. Still, Jehovah did not break his covenant. Instead, through the prophet Jeremiah, Jehovah implored his people: “Do return, O renegade Israel . . . I shall not have my face drop angrily upon you people, for I am loyal.” (Jeremiah 3:12) As noted in Chapter 25, however, most of the Israelites were not moved. Indeed, “they were continually making jest at the messengers of the true God and despising his words and mocking at his prophets.” With what result? Finally, “the rage of Jehovah came up against his people, until there was no healing.”—2 Chronicles 36:15, 16.
Psalm 78:17 But they continued to sin against himBy rebelling against the Most High in the desert;
Jeremiah 3:12 Go and proclaim these words to the north: “‘“Return, O renegade Israel,” declares Jehovah.’ ‘“I will not look down angrily on you, for I am loyal,” declares Jehovah.’ ‘“I will not stay resentful forever.
2 Chronicles 36:15, 16 Jehovah the God of their forefathers kept warning them by means of his messengers, warning them again and again, because he felt compassion for his people and for his dwelling place. 16 But they kept ridiculing the messengers of the true God, and they despised his words and mocked his prophets, until the rage of Jehovah came up against his people, until they were beyond healing.
17 What do we learn from this? That Jehovah’s loyalty is neither blind nor gullible. True, Jehovah is “abundant in loving-kindness,” and he delights to show mercy when there is a basis for it. But what happens when a wrongdoer proves to be incorrigibly wicked? In such a case, Jehovah adheres to his own righteous standards and renders adverse judgment. As Moses was told, “by no means will [Jehovah] give exemption from punishment.”—Exodus 34:6, 7.
Exodus 34:6, 7 Jehovah was passing before him and declaring: “Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and abundant in loyal love and truth, 7 showing loyal love to thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin, but he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons and upon grandsons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation.”
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