“How many things you have done, O Jehovah my God, your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us.”– Psalm 40:5
[Study 21 from ws 05/20 p.20 July 20 – July 26, 2020]
“How many things you have done, O Jehovah my God, Your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us. None can compare to you; If I were to try to tell and speak of them, they would be too numerous to recount!”- PS 40:5
This article discusses three gifts that Jehovah has given us. The earth, our brain, and his Word the Bible. Paragraph 1 says that he has granted us the ability to think and communicate and has answered the most important questions in life.
Of course, the Psalmist says that Jehovah’s wondrous works are too many to recount. It is therefore of interest for us to consider why the Watchtower article focuses on these three.
OUR UNIQUE PLANET
“God’s wisdom is clearly seen in the way he constructed our home, the earth.”
Paragraph 4 -7 are the writers’ attempts to build an appreciation for the way Jehovah has created the earth. The writer outlines a few facts about the sustainable way in which the earth designed.
The writer of the article makes very basic statements in this section of the article. Not a lot of detail is given to the scientific composition and benefit of oxygen for example. Scriptures such as Romans 1:20, Hebrews 3:4, Jon 36:27,28 are cited but no deeper explanation of the significance of those scriptures is provided.
OUR UNIQUE BRAIN
This section of the article aims to highlight the marvel that is our brain. The writer provides interesting information regarding our ability to speak. Again, the information is a bit light in terms of facts and scientific references, with a few sighted scriptures such as Exodus 4:11. In paragraph 10 the scriptural application of how we can use our tongue is highlighted as follows: “One way we can show that we appreciate our gift of speech is by explaining our belief in God to those who wonder why we do not accept the teaching of evolution.” This is a good application. 1 Peter 3:15 says “But sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone who demands of you a reason for the hope you have, but doing so with a mild temper and deep respect.”
Why do we need to make a defense with mildness and deep respect? One reason is so that we do not bring reproach on our Christian faith by unduly offending others who may not believe in what we do. Another reason is that often matters of faith can be contentious. When we reason with someone in a calm and measured manner, we may be able to win them over. However, if we engage in a heated argument, we are unlikely to convince others that there are valid reasons for our faith.
Also notice that the scripture says: “before everyone who demands of you a reason for the hope you have.” Not everyone is interested in our belief or Christ irrespective of any argument we may put forth. The reality is that even Jesus himself was not able to convince everyone that he was the Son of God. “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.” – John 12:37 New International Version. This is something that the Organization has always struggled with. At times even going to great lengths and unduly encouraging brothers to risk their lives under the idea of standing firm and “giving a witness”. Perhaps this is caused by the belief that Witnesses are in the “Truth”. But could anyone have more truth than Jesus? (John 14:6)
Paragraph 13 has some nice thoughts regarding how we can use the gift of memory.
- choosing to remember all the times that Jehovah has helped and comforted us in the past This will build our confidence that he will also help us in the future.
- remembering the good things that other people do for us and being grateful for what they do.
- We do well to imitate Jehovah regarding the things he chooses to forget. For example, Jehovah has a perfect memory, but if we are repentant, he chooses to forgive and forget the mistakes we make.
THE BIBLE—A UNIQUE GIFT
Paragraph 15 states that the Bible is a loving gift from Jehovah because by means of the Bible we get “answers the most important questions”. This is true. However, if we reflect truthfully on this matter we realize that the Bible is silent on many aspects of life that are important. Why is that so? For starters think about scriptures such as John 21:25 which says “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” New International Version
The reality is that there are just too many questions about life and our existence to be answered in books. Some things will always remain beyond human comprehension (See Job 11:7). Even so, the Bible is even more of a gift to us than just for answers to life’s important questions. Why? It allows us to reflect on Jehovah’s way of thinking. Gives us insight into how imperfect men were able to serve Jehovah successfully. It provides a basis for which we can reflect on the model of our Faith; Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:4)
We don’t have to have answers to everything when we have faith. Jesus himself knew that some things were known only by Jehovah. (Matthew 24:36). Accepting and acknowledging this would save the Organisation much embarrassment, particularly considering the previous two articles on the King of the North and the King of the South.
The article attempts to build an appreciation for God’s gift of the earth, our brains, and the Bible. Some paragraphs provide good thoughts on the topics, but the writer fails to elaborate and provide in-depth Bible application apart from a few cited scriptures. The writer also provides very little interesting scientific information or references to support his viewpoints.