“[Jehovah] well knows how we are formed, remembering that we are dust.”—PS. 103:14.
1, 2. (a) In contrast with powerful humans, how does Jehovah treat people? (b) What will we consider in this article?
POWERFUL and influential people often “lord it over” others, even dominating them. (Matt. 20:25; Eccl. 8:9) What a contrast with Jehovah! Even though he is the Almighty, he is most considerate of imperfect humans. He is kind and thoughtful. He shows regard for our feelings and is attentive to our needs. “Remembering that we are dust,” he never asks more of us than we can give.—Ps. 103:13, 14.
2 The Bible provides many examples of the considerate way in which Jehovah deals with his servants. Let us focus on three. First, the thoughtful way that God helped young Samuel to deliver a judgment message to High Priest Eli; second, the patient manner in which Jehovah handled Moses’ objections to serving as leader of the Israelites; and third, the considerate way that God led the Israelites out of Egypt. As we reflect on these examples, let us note what they teach us about Jehovah and see lessons we can apply.
FATHERLY CONSIDERATION FOR A BOY
3. What unusual thing happened to young Samuel one night, and what question does this raise? (See opening picture.)
3 Samuel began “ministering to Jehovah” at the tabernacle at a very early age. (1 Sam. 3:1) One night after Samuel had retired, something most unusual happened. * (Read 1 Samuel 3:2-10.) He heard a voice call him by name. Thinking that it was the voice of the aged High Priest Eli, Samuel obediently ran to him and said: “Here I am, for you called me.” Eli denied doing so. When the same thing happened two more times, Eli realized that it was God who was calling Samuel. So he told the boy how to respond, and Samuel obeyed. Why did Jehovah, by means of his angel, not reveal himself to Samuel on the first occasion? The Bible does not say, but the way events unfolded suggests that consideration for young Samuel was an important factor. How so?
4, 5. (a) How did Samuel respond to the assignment God gave him, and how did things work out the following morning? (b) What does the account teach us about Jehovah?
4 Read 1 Samuel 3:11-18. Jehovah’s Law commanded children to respect the aged, especially a chieftain. (Ex. 22:28; Lev. 19:32) Can you imagine Samuel going up to Eli in the morning and boldly telling him God’s stinging judgment message? Of course not! Indeed, the account tells us that Samuel “was afraid to tell Eli of the vision.” However, God made clear to Eli that He was calling Samuel. As a result, Eli took charge of the situation and told Samuel to speak. “[Do not] hide from me a single word of all that he said to you,” Eli commanded. Samuel obediently “told him everything.”
5 Samuel’s message would not have been a complete surprise to Eli. It harmonized with that of an unnamed “man of God” who had earlier spoken to the high priest. (1 Sam. 2:27-36) The account involving Samuel and Eli shows us how considerate and wise Jehovah is.
6. What lessons can we learn from the way God helped young Samuel?
6 Are you a young person? If so, the account about young Samuel shows that Jehovah understands the challenges you face and how you feel. Perhaps you are shy and find it hard to share the Kingdom message with adults or to stand out as different among your peers. Be assured that Jehovah wants to help you. So pour out your heart to him in prayer. (Ps. 62:8) Reflect on Bible examples of such young ones as Samuel. And talk with fellow Christians—young or old—who may have overcome challenges like those you are facing. Indeed, they may tell you about times when Jehovah came to their aid, perhaps in ways that they had not expected.
CONSIDERATION FOR MOSES
7, 8. How did Jehovah show extraordinary consideration for Moses?
7 When Moses was 80 years old, Jehovah gave him a daunting assignment. Moses was to deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt. (Ex. 3:10) Having served as a shepherd in Midian for 40 years, he was evidently shocked to receive this call. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” he said. God reassured Moses: “I will prove to be with you.” (Ex. 3:11, 12) He also promised: The elders of Israel “will certainly listen to your voice.” Even so, Moses replied: “Suppose they . . . do not listen?” (Ex. 3:18; 4:1) In effect, Moses contradicted God! But Jehovah remained patient. In fact, he went even further. He empowered Moses to perform miracles, making him the first human on record to have such power.—Ex. 4:2-9, 21.
8 Moses still tried to excuse himself, claiming to be a poor speaker. In response, God said: “I will be with you as you speak, and I will teach you what you should say.” Was Moses at last won over? Evidently not, for he meekly asked God to send someone else. At that, Jehovah rightly became angry. But he was not unyielding. Rather, as yet another gesture of consideration for Moses’ feelings, God appointed Aaron as spokesman for Moses.—Ex. 4:10-16.
9. How did Jehovah’s patience and considerate manner help Moses in his assignment?
9 What does this account teach us about Jehovah? As Almighty God, he could have frightened Moses into speedy submission. Instead, Jehovah was patient and kind, making an effort to reassure his modest and humble servant. Did this considerate approach work? Absolutely! Moses became an outstanding leader who tried to deal with others in the same mild and considerate way that Jehovah dealt with him.—Num. 12:3.
10. When we imitate Jehovah’s considerate manner, how do we benefit?
10 Lessons we can apply: Are you a husband, a parent, or a congregation elder? If so, you have a measure of authority. How important, then, that you imitate Jehovah by being considerate, kind, and patient when dealing with those under your care! (Col. 3:19-21; 1 Pet. 5:1-3) When you strive to imitate Jehovah and the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, you will be both approachable and refreshing to others. (Matt. 11:28, 29) You will also set an example worthy of imitation.—Heb. 13:7.
A FEAR-INSPIRING BUT CONSIDERATE SAVIOR
11, 12. As Jehovah led the Israelites out of Egypt, how did he make them feel safe and secure?
11 When the Israelites left Egypt in 1513 B.C.E., they may have numbered more than three million. Spanning three or even four generations, there were children, elderly ones, and no doubt some who were infirm or disabled. To lead such a vast crowd out of Egypt certainly called for an understanding and thoughtful Leader. Jehovah, by means of Moses, proved to be such. As a result, the Israelites felt safe as they left the only home they had ever known.—Ps. 78:52, 53.
12 How did Jehovah make his people feel safe and secure? For one thing, he led them out of Egypt in well-organized “battle formation.” (Ex. 13:18) Such organization surely reassured the Israelites that their God was in control. Also, Jehovah made his presence visibly manifest by means of “a cloud by day and . . . the light of a fire” at night. (Ps. 78:14) In effect, Jehovah was saying: “Do not be afraid. I am with you to guide and protect you.” Indeed, such reassurance was soon needed!
13, 14. (a) What considerate things did Jehovah do for the Israelites at the Red Sea? (b) How did Jehovah show his power over the Egyptians?
13 Read Exodus 14:19-22. Picture yourself there, trapped between Pharaoh’s forces and the Red Sea. Then God acts. The pillar of cloud moves to the rear of the camp, blocking the Egyptians and keeping them in darkness. Your vast camp, however, is bathed in miraculous light! Then you see Moses stretch out his hand over the sea, and a strong east wind opens a wide path to the other side. In an orderly manner, you, your family, and your domestic animals walk out onto the seabed with the rest of the people. Immediately, you notice something odd. The seabed is not miry or frozen; it is dry and quite firm, making it easy to walk. As a result, even the slowest ones cross safely to the other side.
14 Read Exodus 14:23, 26-30. In the meantime, proud and foolish Pharaoh rushes out onto the seabed in hot pursuit. Again, Moses stretches out his hand over the sea. This time, the two congealed walls of water collapse. The sea rushes in from both sides, like two tsunamis on a collision course. Pharaoh and his hordes do not stand a chance!—Ex. 15:8-10.
15. What does this account teach you about Jehovah?
15 We see from this account that Jehovah is a God of order—a quality that helps us to feel safe and secure. (1 Cor. 14:33) Jehovah also shows himself to be a loving shepherd who cares for his people in practical ways. He tenderly embraces them, protecting them from their enemies. How reassuring these truths are to us as we face the end of the present system of things!—Prov. 1:33.
16. How can we benefit from reviewing the way that Jehovah delivered the Israelites?
16 Today, too, Jehovah cares for his people as a group—spiritually and physically. He will continue to do so during the fast-approaching great tribulation. (Rev. 7:9, 10) Hence, whether young or old, sound in body or disabled, God’s people will not panic or cower in fear during the tribulation. * In fact, they will do the very opposite! They will bear in mind these words of Jesus Christ: “Stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28) They will maintain that confidence even in the face of the attack by Gog—a coalition of nations that will wield far more power than did ancient Pharaoh. (Ezek. 38:2, 14-16) Why will God’s people remain confident? They know that Jehovah does not change. He will again prove to be a caring and considerate Savior.—Isa. 26:3, 20.
17. (a) How can we benefit from Bible accounts about the way that Jehovah cares for his people? (b) What will we consider in the next article?
17 The examples in this article are just some of many that illustrate the kind and thoughtful way that Jehovah cares for, directs, and delivers his people. As you meditate on such accounts, take note of details that reveal even subtle aspects of Jehovah’s qualities. Doing so will impress those beautiful qualities more deeply on your mind and heart, strengthening your love for God and your faith in him. The next article will look at ways that we can imitate Jehovah in showing consideration for others. We will focus on the family, the Christian congregation, and the field ministry.
^ par. 3 Jewish historian Josephus says that Samuel was 12 years old at the time.
^ par. 16 It is reasonable to conclude that some Armageddon survivors will be disabled. When on earth, Jesus cured people with “every sort of infirmity,” thus giving us a preview of what he will do, not for resurrected ones, but for Armageddon survivors. (Matt. 9:35) Resurrected ones will no doubt have whole, sound bodies.