Jehovah’s Wisdom Observed in Creation
“His invisible qualities are . . . perceived by the things made.”—ROM. 1:20.
1. What effect has worldly wisdom had on many today?
THE word “wisdom” is used loosely. Some say that a person is wise if he has merely accumulated a wealth of knowledge. However, the world’s so-called intellectuals offer no trustworthy guidance for finding true meaning in life. On the contrary, those who allow themselves to be influenced by such ones end up being “tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching.”—Eph. 4:14.
2, 3. (a) Why is Jehovah “wise alone”? (b) How does godly wisdom differ from the wisdom of the world?
2 How different it is with those who acquire true wisdom, the Source of which is Jehovah God! The Bible tells us that Jehovah is “wise alone.” (Rom. 16:27) He knows all that there is to know about the universe, including its composition and its history. The physical laws of nature—upon which humans rely for their research—are all of Jehovah’s making. Thus, he is not impressed by man-made inventions, and he is not intrigued by the so-called elevated thinking of human philosophy. “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”—1 Cor. 3:19.
3 The Bible tells us that Jehovah “gives wisdom” to his servants. (Prov. 2:6) Unlike human philosophies, the wisdom that comes from God is not vague. Rather, it lays emphasis on sound judgment and is based on accurate knowledge and understanding. (Read James 3:17.) The apostle Paul marveled at Jehovah’s wisdom. He wrote: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!” (Rom. 11:33) Because Jehovah is all-wise, we are confident that his laws guide us in the best way of living. After all, Jehovah knows more than anyone else what we need in order to be happy.—Prov. 3:5, 6.
Jesus—“A Master Worker”
4. What is one way in which we can discern Jehovah’s wisdom?
4 Jehovah’s wisdom, along with his other matchless qualities, can be observed in the things he made. (Read Romans 1:20.) From the largest to the smallest, Jehovah’s works reveal aspects of his personality. No matter where we look—to the heavens above or to the soil beneath our feet—we find abundant evidence of an all-wise and loving Creator. We can learn much about him by considering the things that he has made.—Ps. 19:1; Isa. 40:26.
5, 6. (a) Besides Jehovah, who was involved in creation? (b) What will we consider, and why?
5 Jehovah was not alone when he “created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) The Bible indicates that long before physical creation began, he created a spirit person by means of whom he formed “all other things.” That spirit creature was God’s only-begotten Son—“the firstborn of all creation”—who later lived on earth as the man Jesus. (Col. 1:15-17) Like Jehovah, Jesus possesses wisdom. In fact, in Proverbs chapter 8, he is represented as wisdom personified. That Bible chapter also refers to Jesus as God’s “master worker.”—Prov. 8:12, 22-31.
6 Thus, the physical creation reveals the wisdom both of Jehovah and of his Master Worker, Jesus. It contains valuable lessons for us. Let us consider four examples of created things that are described at Proverbs 30:24-28 as “instinctively wise.” *
A Lesson in Industriousness
7, 8. What facts about the ant fascinate you?
7 When we examine their design and activities, even the things that can be called “the smallest of the earth” provide lessons for us. For example, consider the instinctive wisdom of the ant.—Read Proverbs 30:24, 25.
8 Some researchers believe that for every human there are at least 200,000 ants, all of them busily toiling on and under the earth’s surface. Ants are organized into colonies, and in most colonies three types of ants can be found: queens, males, and workers. Each group contributes in its own way to caring for the colony’s needs. One particular ant, the South American leaf-cutting ant, could be called a sophisticated gardener. This little insect fertilizes, transplants, and prunes its fungus gardens in ways that maximize yield. Researchers have found that this skillful “gardener” adjusts its efforts according to the amount of food that is needed by the colony. *
9, 10. How can we imitate the ant’s industriousness?
9 We can learn from the ants. They teach us that diligent effort is needed if we wish to produce good fruitage. The Bible tells us: “Go to the ant, you lazy one; see its ways and become wise. Although it has no commander, officer or ruler, it prepares its food even in the summer; it has gathered its food supplies even in the harvest.” (Prov. 6:6-8) Both Jehovah and his Master Worker, Jesus, are industrious. “My Father has kept working until now,” said Jesus, “and I keep working.”—John 5:17.
10 As imitators of God and of Christ, we too should be industrious. No matter what our assignment in God’s organization, all of us should have “plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58) Therefore, we do well to follow Paul’s admonition to the Christians in Rome: “Do not loiter at your business. Be aglow with the spirit. Slave for Jehovah.” (Rom. 12:11) Our efforts in doing Jehovah’s will are not in vain, for the Bible assures us: “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.”—Heb. 6:10.
Protection From Spiritual Harm
11. Describe some characteristics of the rock badger.
11 The rock badger is another comparatively small creature that can teach us important lessons. (Read Proverbs 30:26.) It somewhat resembles a large rabbit but has short, rounded ears and short legs. This little animal lives in rocky areas. The keen eyesight of the rock badger serves it well, and the holes and crevices in its craggy habitat provide a safe retreat from predators. The rock badger is designed to prosper in a close-knit community, which provides protection and helps it to keep warm in winter. *
12, 13. What lessons can we learn from the rock badger?
12 What can we learn from the rock badger? First, note that this animal does not leave itself vulnerable to attack. Rather, it takes advantage of its keen eyesight to see predators from afar, and it stays close to holes and crevices that can provide lifesaving shelter. Similarly, we need to have sharp spiritual vision so that we can perceive the dangers that lurk in Satan’s world. The apostle Peter admonished Christians: “Keep your senses, be watchful. Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.” (1 Pet. 5:8) When he was on earth, Jesus remained watchful, on guard against all attempts of Satan to break His integrity. (Matt. 4:1-11) Jesus set a good example for his followers!
13 One way we can be watchful is by taking advantage of the spiritual protection that Jehovah makes available to us. Study of God’s Word and attendance at Christian meetings should not be neglected. (Luke 4:4; Heb. 10:24, 25) Furthermore, just as the rock badger thrives in a close-knit community, we need to stay close to our fellow Christians so that we can enjoy “an interchange of encouragement” with them. (Rom. 1:12) By availing ourselves of the protection Jehovah provides, we show that we agree with the psalmist David, who wrote: “Jehovah is my crag and my stronghold and the Provider of escape for me. My God is my rock. I shall take refuge in him.”—Ps. 18:2.
Persevering Despite Opposition
14. Although a single locust may not be impressive, what can be said of a locust swarm?
14 We can also learn from the locust. A single locust, measuring only about two inches [5 cm] in length, may not inspire awe, but a swarm of locusts certainly does. (Read Proverbs 30:27.) Known for having a voracious appetite, a swarm of these relentless insects can quickly denude a field ready for harvest. The Bible compares the sound of an approaching swarm of insects, including locusts, to the rumble of chariots and to the crackling of flames consuming stubble. (Joel 2:3, 5) Men have built fires in an effort to check the advance of a locust swarm, but these are usually ineffective. Why? The bodies of the locusts that are killed extinguish the flames, after which the rest of the swarm continues on unhindered. Even without a king or a leader, a locust swarm operates like a well-organized army, overcoming virtually any obstacle. *—Joel 2:25.
15, 16. How are modern-day Kingdom proclaimers like a locust swarm?
15 The prophet Joel compared the activity of Jehovah’s servants to the actions of locusts. He wrote: “Like powerful men they run. Like men of war they go up a wall. And they go each one in his own ways, and they do not alter their paths. And one another they do not shove. As an able-bodied man in his course, they keep going; and should some fall even among the missiles, the others do not break off course.”—Joel 2:7, 8.
16 How well this prophecy describes modern-day proclaimers of God’s Kingdom! No “wall” of opposition has been able to stop their preaching. Rather, they imitate Jesus, who persisted in doing God’s will even though he was despised by many. (Isa. 53:3) True, some Christians have ‘fallen among the missiles’ by being put to death as martyrs for their faith. Still, the preaching work has continued, and the number of Kingdom proclaimers keeps growing. In fact, persecution has often served to spread the good news to people who would not otherwise have heard the Kingdom message. (Acts 8:1, 4) In your personal ministry, have you demonstrated perseverance like that of the locust—even in the face of indifference and opposition?—Heb. 10:39.
“Cling to What Is Good”
17. Why do the feet of a gecko adhere to smooth surfaces?
17 The tiny gecko lizard seems to defy gravity. (Read Proverbs 30:28.) In fact, scientists are awed by the ability of this little creature to scurry up walls and even across smooth ceilings without falling. How does the gecko do it? The secret is not in suction cups or in some type of glue. Instead, each of the gecko’s toes has a pad with ridges that contain thousands of hairlike protrusions. Each of these protrusions, in turn, has hundreds of filaments with saucer-shaped tips. The intermolecular force from all these filaments is enough to support more than the gecko’s body weight—even when it is skittering upside down across a glass surface! Intrigued by the gecko’s ability, researchers say that synthetic materials made to imitate the gecko’s feet could be used as a powerful adhesive. *
18. How can we make sure that we always “cling to what is good”?
18 What can we learn from the gecko? The Bible admonishes us: “Abhor what is wicked, cling to what is good.” (Rom. 12:9) The unwholesome influences that are prevalent in Satan’s world could cause us to lose our grip on godly principles. For instance, association with those who do not adhere to God’s laws—whether at school or at work or through some form of ungodly entertainment—might affect our determination to do what is right. Do not let that happen to you! God’s Word warns: “Do not become wise in your own eyes.” (Prov. 3:7) Instead, follow the wise counsel that Moses gave to God’s people in ancient times: “Jehovah your God you should fear. Him you should serve, and to him you should cling.” (Deut. 10:20) By clinging to Jehovah, we will be imitating Jesus, of whom it was said: “You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness.”—Heb. 1:9.
Lessons From Creation
19. (a) What qualities of Jehovah do you perceive in creation? (b) How can godly wisdom benefit us?
19 As we have seen, Jehovah’s qualities are clearly perceived in the things he made, and his creations also provide valuable lessons for us. The more we explore Jehovah’s works, the more we marvel at his wisdom. Paying attention to godly wisdom will deepen our happiness now and safeguard us in times to come. (Eccl. 7:12) Yes, we will personally experience the truthfulness of the assurance found at Proverbs 3:13, 18, which states: “Happy is the man that has found wisdom, and the man that gets discernment. It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.”
^ par. 6 Young ones in particular may enjoy looking up the footnoted references that follow and then commenting on their research when this article is discussed at the congregation Watchtower Study.
^ par. 8 For more information on the leaf-cutting ant, see the Awake! issues of March 22, 1997, page 31, and May 22, 2002, page 31.
^ par. 11 For more information on the rock badger, see the Awake! of September 8, 1990, pages 15-16.
^ par. 14 For more information on the locust, see the Awake! of October 22, 1976, page 11.
^ par. 17 For more information on the gecko, see the Awake! of April 2008, page 26.
Do You Recall?
What practical lesson do we learn from . . .
• the ant?
• the rock badger?
• the locust?
• the gecko?
[Picture on page 16]
Are you industrious like the leaf-cutting ant?
[Pictures on page 17]
The rock badger finds protection in a close-knit community. Do you do the same?
[Pictures on page 18]
Like locusts, Christian ministers show perseverance
[Picture on page 18]
Just as the gecko clings to surfaces, Christians cling to what is good