Are You Known by Jehovah?
“Jehovah knows those who belong to him.”—2 TIM. 2:19.
1, 2. (a) What was Jesus concerned about? (b) What questions should we consider?
ONE day a Pharisee approached Jesus and asked: “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus responded: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” (Matt. 22:35-37) Jesus had great love for his heavenly Father and truly lived by those words. Jesus was also concerned about his standing with Jehovah, demonstrating this by his faithful life course. Therefore, shortly before his death, he could state that God knew him as one who faithfully obeyed His commandments. Jesus thus remained in Jehovah’s love.—John 15:10.
2 Many today claim to love God. We no doubt include ourselves in that number. However, serious aspects to consider are: ‘Am I known by God? How does Jehovah view me? Am I known as belonging to him?’ (2 Tim. 2:19) What a privilege it is to contemplate such a close relationship with the Sovereign of the universe!
3. Why do some question whether they can belong to Jehovah, and what will help to counteract such thinking?
3 Yet, some who have much love for Jehovah find it challenging to believe that God can know them in a positive way. Some have feelings of worthlessness, so they question the idea of belonging to Jehovah. How glad we can be, though, that God can see us from a different perspective! (1 Sam. 16:7) The apostle Paul told his fellow Christians: “If anyone loves God, this one is known by him.” (1 Cor. 8:3) Your love for God is an important prerequisite for being known by him. Consider: Why are you reading this journal? Why are you striving to serve Jehovah with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength? If you are dedicated to God and baptized, what led you to take those steps? The Bible explains that Jehovah, who examines hearts, draws desirable ones. (Read Haggai 2:7; John 6:44.) Therefore, you can conclude that you are serving Jehovah because he drew you. He will never leave the ones whom he has drawn if they remain faithful. God views them as very precious, and he loves them dearly.—Ps. 94:14.
4. Why should we continue to reflect on our being known by God?
4 Once Jehovah has drawn us, we should be concerned with remaining in his love. (Read Jude 20, 21.) Remember, the Bible shows that it is possible to drift away or draw away from God. (Heb. 2:1; 3:12, 13) For example, just prior to the statement found at 2 Timothy 2:19, the apostle Paul mentioned Hymenaeus and Philetus. Those two men had evidently belonged to Jehovah at one point, but they later deviated from the truth. (2 Tim. 2:16-18) Recall, too, that in the Galatian congregations, some who had been known by God did not remain in the spiritual light they once enjoyed. (Gal. 4:9) May we never take for granted our precious standing with God.
5. (a) What are some qualities that God values? (b) What examples will we consider?
5 There are some qualities that Jehovah especially values. (Ps. 15:1-5; 1 Pet. 3:4) Faith and humility distinguished some who were known by God. Let us examine the examples of two men to see how these qualities endeared them to Jehovah. We will also look at a man who thought he was known by God but who took a prideful course and found out that Jehovah had rejected him. We can learn valuable lessons from these examples.
The Father of Those Having Faith
6. (a) Abraham demonstrated what faith in Jehovah’s promises? (b) How was Abraham known by Jehovah?
6 Abraham was a man who “put faith in Jehovah.” In fact, he is called “the father of all those having faith.” (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:11) In faith, Abraham left his home, his friends, and his possessions to go to a distant land. (Gen. 12:1-4; Heb. 11:8-10) Abraham’s faith was still strong many years later. This was evident when he “as good as offered up Isaac” his son in obedience to Jehovah’s command. (Heb. 11:17-19) Abraham demonstrated faith in Jehovah’s promises, so God viewed him as special; he really knew Abraham. (Read Genesis 18:19.) Jehovah was not merely aware of Abraham’s existence; he cherished Abraham as a friend.—Jas. 2:22, 23.
7. What is noteworthy about the fulfillment of Jehovah’s promises, and how did this affect Abraham?
7 It is noteworthy that Abraham did not during his lifetime receive the inheritance of the land promised to him. He also did not see his seed become “like the grains of sand that are on the seashore.” (Gen. 22:17, 18) Though these promises went unfulfilled during Abraham’s lifetime, he maintained strong faith in Jehovah. He knew that if God gave his word, it was as good as done. Yes, Abraham lived his life in harmony with that faith. (Read Hebrews 11:13.) Are we known by Jehovah as having faith similar to Abraham’s?
Waiting on Jehovah Is a Mark of Faith
8. What appropriate desires do some long to see fulfilled?
8 We may have desires that we long to see fulfilled. Marriage, having children, and good health are all natural and appropriate desires. For many, though, one or more of those desires may go unfulfilled. If that is so in our case, how we deal with the situation may be a measure of our faith.
9, 10. (a) How have some sought to fulfill their desires? (b) How do you feel about the fulfillment of God’s promises?
9 How unwise it would be to seek to fulfill these desires in a way contrary to godly wisdom. That would be to one’s spiritual detriment. Some, for instance, have chosen forms of health care that conflict with Jehovah’s counsel. Others have taken on employment that keeps them away from their families or congregation meetings. Or what of developing a romantic relationship with an unbeliever? If a Christian follows such a course, is he truly seeking to be known by Jehovah? How would Jehovah have felt if Abraham had become impatient about the fulfillment of God’s promises to him? What if Abraham had taken matters into his own hands to settle down again and make a celebrated name for himself rather than wait on Jehovah? (Compare Genesis 11:4.) Would he have continued to be favorably known by Jehovah?
10 What desires do you long to see fulfilled? Is your faith strong enough for you to wait on Jehovah, who promises to satisfy your proper yearnings? (Ps. 145:16) As was true with Abraham, the fulfillment of some divine promises may not come as soon as we would like. Still, Jehovah values our developing faith like Abraham’s and our acting in harmony with it. Doing so is surely to our ultimate benefit.—Heb. 11:6.
A Contrast Between Humility and Pride
11. Korah may have enjoyed what privileges, evidently indicating what about his attitude toward God?
11 Moses and Korah stand in sharp contrast when it comes to demonstrating respect for Jehovah’s arrangement and his decisions. Their reactions had a bearing on how Jehovah viewed them. Korah was a Kohathite Levite, and he enjoyed many privileges, which likely included seeing the deliverance of the nation through the Red Sea, supporting Jehovah’s judgment against disobedient Israelites at Mount Sinai, and having a role in transporting the ark of the covenant. (Ex. 32:26-29; Num. 3:30, 31) He had evidently been loyal to Jehovah for years and was subsequently looked up to by many in the camp of Israel.
12. As depicted on page 28, how did pride affect Korah’s being known by God?
12 Nevertheless, while the nation of Israel was en route to the Promised Land, Korah perceived what he imagined to be problems in God’s arrangement. Then 250 other leading men in the nation sided with Korah in trying to make changes. Korah and the others must have felt secure about their relationship with Jehovah. They told Moses: “That is enough of you, because the whole assembly are all of them holy and Jehovah is in their midst.” (Num. 16:1-3) What an overconfident and prideful attitude! Moses told them: “Jehovah will make known who belongs to him.” (Read Numbers 16:5.) By the end of the next day, Korah and all those who had sided with him in rebellion were dead.—Num. 16:31-35.
13, 14. In what ways did Moses demonstrate his humility?
13 In contrast, Moses was “by far the meekest of all the men who were upon the surface of the ground.” (Num. 12:3) He manifested his meekness and humility by his determination to follow Jehovah’s direction. (Ex. 7:6; 40:16) There is no indication that Moses often questioned Jehovah’s way of doing things or got annoyed at having to follow procedures that Jehovah set out. For example, Jehovah gave commands regarding the tabernacle construction down to the smallest detail, such as the color of the thread and the number of loops to be used in making the tent cloths. (Ex. 26:1-6) If a human overseer in God’s organization provides you with instructions that seem extremely detailed, you might at times feel frustrated. Jehovah, however, is a perfect overseer, who delegates generously and trusts his servants. When he gives many details, he does so for good reason. Take note, though, that Moses did not become irritated with Jehovah for giving that level of detail, as if Jehovah were demeaning him or stifling his creativity or freedom. Rather, Moses made sure that the workers “did just so” in following God’s directions. (Ex. 39:32) What a humble course! Moses recognized that it was Jehovah’s work and that he was just a tool being used to get that work done.
14 Moses’ humility was also evident when he faced negative circumstances that affected him personally. On one occasion, Moses lost self-control and failed to sanctify God when dealing with the complaining people. As a result, Jehovah told Moses that he would not take the people into the Promised Land. (Num. 20:2-12) He and his brother, Aaron, had endured the grumbling of the Israelites for years. Then, because Moses erred on that one occasion, he would not get to experience what he had been expecting for so long! How did Moses react? While understandably disappointed, Moses humbly accepted Jehovah’s decision. He knew that Jehovah is a righteous God, with whom there is no injustice. (Deut. 3:25-27; 32:4) When you think of Moses, do you not see him as one known by Jehovah?—Read Exodus 33:12, 13.
Submitting to Jehovah Requires Humility
15. What can we learn from Korah’s prideful course?
15 How we react to adjustments in the worldwide Christian congregation and decisions made by those taking the lead in it has a bearing on our being known by Jehovah. Korah and his associates alienated themselves from God by their overconfidence, pride, and lack of faith. Although in Korah’s eyes it was aged Moses who was making day-to-day decisions, it was really Jehovah who was directing the nation. Korah lost sight of that fact and consequently failed to show loyalty to those whom God was using. How much wiser it would have been for Korah to wait on Jehovah for a clearer understanding or for adjustments if those were really needed. So in the end, Korah destroyed his record of faithful service by his prideful actions!
16. How can following Moses’ example of humility affect our being known by Jehovah?
16 That account provides a serious warning for elders and others in the congregation today. Waiting on Jehovah and following directions from those appointed to take the lead requires humility. Do we show that we are as humble and mild-tempered as Moses was? Can we acknowledge the position of those taking the lead among us and submit to directions we receive? Are we able to rise above our personal feelings when faced with disappointments? If so, we too will be known favorably by Jehovah. Our humility and submission will endear us to him.
Jehovah Knows Those Who Belong to Him
17, 18. What can help us to continue to be known as belonging to Jehovah?
17 It is beneficial to reflect on those whom Jehovah drew and knew favorably. Abraham and Moses were imperfect and had flaws, as we do. Yet, they were known by Jehovah as ones belonging to him. Korah’s example, however, illustrates that it would be possible for us to draw away from Jehovah and thus no longer be known by him with approval. Each of us does well to ask himself: ‘How does Jehovah see me? What can I learn from these Bible examples?’
18 You can take great comfort in knowing that Jehovah views as belonging to him faithful ones whom he has drawn. Continue to develop faith, humility, and other qualities that further endear you to our God. Being known by Jehovah is undeniably a precious privilege that brings satisfaction to our life now, and it holds out wonderful blessings for the future.—Ps. 37:18.
Do You Recall?
• What precious standing can you enjoy with Jehovah?
• How can you imitate the faith of Abraham?
• What lessons can we learn from Korah and Moses?
[Picture on page 26]
Like Abraham, do we have faith that Jehovah will completely fulfill his promises?
[Picture on page 28]
Korah was not willing to submit humbly to direction
[Picture on page 29]
Are you known by Jehovah as one who humbly submits to directions?