[From ws17/7 p. 17 – September 11-17]
“Praise Jah! . . . How pleasant and fitting it is to praise him!” – Ps 147:1
(Occurrences: Jehovah=53; Jesus=0)
This is a study that reviews the 147th Psalm and provides us with encouragement about how Jehovah supports and sustains his servants. One thing we should note from the start is that the 147th Psalm was written about the time when Jehovah restored the Israelites to Jerusalem, freeing them from exile in Babylon. As such, it is a message for ancient Jews. While the words of the Psalm that refer to Jehovah continue to be true today, the article comes up short by not keeping pace with Jehovah’s advancing purpose. Virtually every Scripture in the study is taken from the pre-Christian Scriptures. We have advanced past the Jews. We have the Christ. So why does the article ignore that? Why does it use Jehovah’s name 53 times, but never mention Jesus even once?
Why does the Governing Body commission an article that completely cuts our Lord Jesus out of the equation? Consider, for example, this excerpt:
Think about how you benefit from reading the Bible, examining the publications of “the faithful and discreet slave,” watching JW Broadcasting, visiting jw.org, talking with the elders, and associating with fellow Christians. – par. 16
There is no mention about benefiting from the teachings of Jesus. However, they do mention the publications of the Governing Body (AKA “the faithful and discreet slave”). They also mention JW broadcasting. Even a visit to the JW.org website benefits us. But Jesus is completely set aside.
Finally, paragraph 18 says “today, we are blessed to be the only ones on earth called by God’s name.” That implies that the calling is from God, but in reality, Witnesses have chosen to be called by God’s name. There are many churches that call themselves by Jesus’ name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for instance. Taking upon yourself the name of another does not mean that person endorses you.
Jehovah told us to bear witness to his Son. He never told us to call ourselves by his name nor to bear witness about Him. (See Re 1:9; 12:17; 19:10) Would He be happy with someone who disregarded His direction and chose to bear witness about Him in lieu of his appointed King?
If you think we are making too much of this, try this little experiment the next time you’re out in the field service in a car group. Every time you would have used Jehovah’s name in conversation, use Jesus instead. How does it make you feel? How do those in the car group react? Let us know the results.