[From ws3/17 p. 23 May 22-28]
“These things . . . were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have come.”—1Co 10:11
Ask yourself, as you read the theme text for this study and the first “Read” text of Romans 15:4 from paragraph 2, to whom are these referring? When Paul wrote, “…written for a warning to us…” and “…written for our instruction…”, whom did he have in mind?
The purpose for all this history was to instruct and warn those whom Jehovah has chosen to become the kings and priests in the Kingdom of the Heavens. He did not do it for some alleged secondary group who would still need an additional thousand years to get it right. He had it recorded for those who would have to get it right in this life.
From paragraphs 3 through 6, the article discusses Asa’s failure to rely on Jehovah and instead sought to solve his problem with King Ben-hadad of Syria through bribery. The application made to Jehovah’s Witnesses is to avoid taking a job that restricts one’s attendance at meetings.
Paragraphs 7 through 10 discuss Jehoshaphat who formed a marriage alliance with wicked King Ahab and later partnered with Ahab’s son, wicked King Ahaziah. The application made for Jehovah’s Witnesses is to avoid marrying a non-Witness.
Paragraph 9 warns that “our having unnecessary association with those who do not serve Jehovah involves risks.”
The Governing Body has set a very poor example for Witnesses to follow in this regard. While they’ve never given the reasons for their 10-year “association with those who do not serve Jehovah” (see letter confirming Watchtower UN membership) it is widely believed that they did so to bolster their legal position when submitting their cases before the UN Court of Human Rights. In other words, instead of relying on Jehovah, they formed an alliance with the world.
Paragraphs 11 through 14 discuss haughtiness using the case of Hezekiah. It quotes 2 Chronicles 32:31 where we learn that Jehovah left Hezekiah “alone to put him to the test, to get to know all that was in his heart.”
When you ask a Jehovah’s Witness how he knows that the Governing Body has been appointed by Jesus as the “faithful and discreet slave” of Matthew 24:45, he will not provide scriptural proof, but will point to what he sees as God’s blessing upon the organization. Whether his perception of reality is accurate or imaginary is really beside the point in this context. What counts is that Witnesses are exceedingly proud of the Organization; believe they alone are the blessed of God; and that Jehovah will never abandon them. There is reason to believe that Jehovah blesses sincere Christians wherever they may be found, so it would be unfair for us to be cynical and think that he has not blessed the Organization to some degree through its members just as he has done with other Christian groups. However, like Hezekiah, Witnesses might mistake the apparent state of peace they have with God as proof of his blessing when in fact he may be doing what he did with Hezekiah—leaving JW.org alone to see what is in the heart of its followers. There’s a lesson in the fact that unjustified pride didn’t serve Hezekiah well.
Finally, paragraphs 15 through 17 use King Josiah’s poor judgment in attacking Pharaoh Necho to demonstrate the need for us to be reasonable in our decision-making process. It uses the example of the wife of an unbelieving husband who is asked to spend time with him instead of going out in the field service. It is an excellent example of balanced reasoning. Again, JW leadership fails to live up to its own standard of reasonableness. You may recall a midweek meeting video not long ago praising the example of a brother who went without work for months, imposing hardship on his family, simply because he would have had to miss some meetings in his own congregation. He could have attended meetings at another congregation in the same hall, but no, they had to be his own congregation’s meetings.
So again we have another Watchtower with a lot of good counsel in it. We do well to apply it, and we do well not to follow the example of those who say, but do not do.