WHAT can we do to make God happy? Can we give him anything?— Jehovah says: “To me belongs every wild animal of the forest.” He also says: “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine.” (Psalm 24:1; 50:10; Haggai 2:8) Yet, there is something we can give to God. What is it?—
Jehovah allows us to choose whether we will serve him or not. He does not force us to do what he wants us to do. Let’s try to figure out why God made us so that we can choose whether we will serve him or not.
You may know what a robot is. It is a machine that is made so that it will do whatever its maker wants it to do. So the robot has no choice. Jehovah could have made us all to be like robots. He could have made us so that we could do only what he wanted us to do. But God didn’t do that. Do you know why?— Well, some toys are robots. When a button is pressed, they do just what the maker of the toy designed them to do. Have you ever seen a toy like that?— Often people get tired of playing with a toy that does only what it has been made, or programmed, to do. God doesn’t want us to obey him because we are robots that are programmed to serve him. Jehovah wants us to serve him because we love him and because we want to obey him.
How do you think our heavenly Father feels when we obey him because we want to?— Well, tell me, how does the way you behave affect your parents?— The Bible says that a wise son “makes [his] father rejoice” but that a foolish son “is the grief of his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1) Have you noticed that when you do what your mother and father ask you to do, it makes them happy?— But how do they feel when you disobey them?—
Now let’s think of our heavenly Father, Jehovah. He tells us how we can make him happy. Why not get your Bible and open it to Proverbs 27:11. There God is speaking to us: “Be wise, my son [or, we might also say, my daughter], and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me.” Do you know what it means to taunt someone?— Well, a person may taunt you by laughing at you and saying that you are not able to do what you said you could do. How does Satan taunt Jehovah?— Let’s see.
Remember, we learned in Chapter 8 of this book that Satan wants to be Number One and that he wants everyone to obey him. Satan says that people worship Jehovah only because Jehovah will give them everlasting life if they do. After Satan got Adam and Eve to disobey Jehovah, Satan challenged God. He told God: ‘People serve you only for what they get from you. Just give me the chance, and I can turn anybody away from you.’
Now it’s true, those exact words are not found in the Bible. But when we read about the man Job, it becomes clear that Satan said something like that to God. It really did matter, both to Satan and to Jehovah, whether Job was faithful to God or not. Let’s open our Bibles to Job chapters 1 and 2 to see what happened.
Notice in Job chapter 1 that Satan is right there in heaven when the angels come to see Jehovah. So Jehovah asks Satan: “Where do you come from?” Satan answers that he has been looking around the earth. So Jehovah asks: ‘Have you noticed Job, that he serves me and does nothing bad?’
Right away Satan makes excuses. ‘Job only worships you because he doesn’t have any troubles. If you take your protection and blessing away from him, he will curse you to your face.’ So Jehovah answers: ‘All right, Satan, you can do anything you want to him, but don’t hurt Job himself.’
What does Satan do?— He has people steal Job’s cattle and donkeys and kill those taking care of them. Then lightning strikes, destroying the sheep and their caretakers. Later, people come and steal the camels and kill those looking after them. Finally, Satan causes a windstorm that knocks down the house where Job’s ten children are, and all of them are killed. Despite all of this, Job still serves Jehovah.
When Jehovah sees Satan again, Jehovah points out that Job is still faithful. Satan makes excuses, saying: ‘If you just let me hurt his body, he will curse you to your face.’ So Jehovah lets Satan hurt Job’s body but warns him not to kill Job.
Satan strikes Job so that his whole body breaks out with sores. These smell so bad that nobody wants to be near him. Even Job’s wife tells him: “Curse God and die!” Those who pretend to be Job’s friends come to visit and make him feel worse by saying that he must have done terrible things to have all this trouble. Despite all the trouble and pain Satan causes Job, however, Job keeps on serving Jehovah faithfully.
How do you think Job’s faithfulness made Jehovah feel?— It made him happy because Jehovah could tell Satan: ‘Look at Job! He serves me because he wants to.’ Will you be like Job, a person Jehovah can point to as an example that proves Satan a liar?— Really, it is a privilege to provide an answer to Satan’s claim that he can turn anyone away from serving Jehovah. Jesus certainly considered it a privilege.
The Great Teacher never allowed Satan to get Him to do anything wrong. Just think how his example made his Father happy! Jehovah could point to Jesus and reply to Satan: ‘Look at my Son! He has kept perfect faithfulness to me because he loves me!’ Think, too, what joy Jesus has in making his Father’s heart glad. Because of that joy, Jesus even endured death on a torture stake.
Do you want to be like our Great Teacher and make Jehovah happy?— Then keep on learning about what Jehovah wants you to do, and make him happy by doing it!