[This week’s Midweek Meeting Comments is little more than a place holder for forum membership commenting. I hope that others will be able to contribute where I have not. It is a heavy week for me, what with the launch of the discussion forum, a particularly target-rich Watchtower article, and the belated release of the third and final installment on the disfellowshipping issue (due Tuesday).]
Congregation Book Study:
Chapter 4, par. 1-9
All about Jehovah’s power. The fact that he used a bull to symbolize it at a time when the most powerful creature known to his people was the auroch or wild bull is noteworthy. Now we can see moving images of the sun throwing off solar flares that dwarf the earth, but back then they had no such things.
Theocratic Ministry School
Bible Reading: Genesis 40-42
Two points about this fascinating account of Joseph.
The first is that Joseph asked, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Gen 40:8) We engage in interpretations all the time, both scriptural and otherwise. Jesus recognized that his audience could interpret weather signs to foretell what was to come. Obviously, the interpretations that belong to God are prophetic in nature. God’s interpretations are always true. When we have tried to take codified Bible prophecy and interpret it ourselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses we often (or always) failed. That should cause us to treat with extreme caution any outstanding symbolic interpretations we have pending.
The second point is the fact that Jehovah left Joseph languishing in prison an additional two years after giving him the interpretation of the dreams of the baker and cupbearer. All in all, Joseph spent many years as a slave and then a prisoner. Jehovah never left him during all this time, but he did not free him either. Moses also had to wait an additional 40 years before he was ready to be used.
Apparently, this time led Joseph to become what he needed to be. He had carelessly bragged to his brothers about how they would all bow down to him. No such vanity is evident when he confronts the Pharaoh. He speaks with faith and courage, but self-effacingly declares, “I need not be considered! God will speak concerning Pharaoh’s welfare.” (Gen. 41:16)
We tend to think in the short term, because our lifespan is so finite. We can forget that our life in this system of things is not the real life. (1 Tim. 6:19) Jehovah is preparing the remaining ones of the seed to serve with his Son in the heavens, so that through them the salvation of mankind can be effected during the 1,000 year reign of Christ. It may appear that we have wasted much of our life believing and teaching falsehoods, supporting an organization that is falling short of the righteous standard it claims to uphold. But if by this period of time we have been refined, have learned humility, and have built up a knowledge upon which to build further and more deeply, then we are where we need to be.
The same can be said of anyone in any Christian sect who realizes there is more and seeks it and finds it.
15 min: Family Worship that Refreshes
The key point is that the kind of ‘worship that refreshes’ is based not on the bible, but on studying the publications of the organization.
15 min: “Improving Our Skills in the ministry—Responding to Potential Conversation Stoppers”
Considering the amount of time we spend on this and related “sales techniques”, one has to wonder about the complete lack of similar instruction from God’s word. Can we really imagine Jesus instructing the 70 on how to overcome objections?