Praise Jehovah for His Great Deeds!
“My soul magnifies Jehovah . . . because the powerful One has done great deeds for me.”—LUKE 1:46-49.
1. For what great deeds do we rightly praise Jehovah?
JEHOVAH deserves to be praised for his great deeds. When the prophet Moses recounted Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, he declared: “Your eyes were the ones seeing all the great deeds of Jehovah.” (Deuteronomy 11:1-7) Similarly, when the angel Gabriel announced the coming birth of Jesus to the virgin girl Mary, she said: “My soul magnifies Jehovah . . . because the powerful One has done great deeds for me.” (Luke 1:46-49) As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we laud him for such great deeds as the freeing of Israel from Egyptian bondage and the miraculous conception of his dear Son.
2. (a) What does God’s “eternal purpose” mean for obedient mankind? (b) What did John experience on the isle of Patmos?
2 Many of Jehovah’s great deeds have been associated with his “eternal purpose” to bless obedient mankind by means of the Messiah and his Kingdom rule. (Ephesians 3:8-13) That purpose was developing progressively when the aged apostle John was allowed to peer through a visionary opened door in heaven. He heard a trumpetlike voice say: “Come on up here, and I shall show you the things that must take place.” (Revelation 4:1) While banished by the Roman government to the isle of Patmos “for speaking about God and bearing witness to Jesus,” John received “a revelation by Jesus Christ.” What the apostle saw and heard revealed much about God’s eternal purpose, thus providing spiritual enlightenment and timely encouragement for all true Christians.—Revelation 1:1, 9, 10.
3. Who are represented by the 24 elders seen by John in vision?
3 Through that opened door in heaven, John saw 24 elders, enthroned and crowned like kings. They fell down before God and said: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) Those elders represent all the resurrected anointed Christians in the exalted position God promised them. They are moved to praise Jehovah because of his great deeds associated with creation. We too marvel at the evidence of Jehovah’s “eternal power and Godship.” (Romans 1:20) And the more we learn about Jehovah, the more reason we have to laud him for his great deeds.
Declare Jehovah’s Praiseworthy Deeds!
4, 5. Give examples of how David praised Jehovah.
4 The psalmist David praised God for His great deeds. For example, David sang: “Make melody, you people, to Jehovah, who is dwelling in Zion; tell among the peoples his deeds. Show me favor, O Jehovah; see my affliction by those hating me, O you who are lifting me up from the gates of death, in order that I may declare all your praiseworthy deeds in the gates of the daughter of Zion.” (Psalm 9:11, 13, 14) After giving his son Solomon the architectural plan for the temple, David blessed and praised God, saying: “Yours, O Jehovah, are the greatness and the mightiness and the beauty and the excellency and the dignity . . . Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, the One also lifting yourself up as head over all. . . . And now, O our God, we are thanking you and praising your beauteous name.”—1 Chronicles 29:10-13.
5 The Scriptures repeatedly invite—yes, urge—us to praise God, as David did. The book of Psalms contains many expressions of praise to God, and about half of these songs are attributed to David. He constantly praised and thanked Jehovah. (Psalm 69:30) Moreover, since early times, divinely inspired compositions of David and others have been used to praise Jehovah.
6. How do the inspired Psalms prove useful to us?
6 How useful the Psalms are to Jehovah’s worshipers! When we want to thank God for all his great deeds in our behalf, our minds may well turn to beautiful words found in the Psalms. Upon awakening to a new day, for instance, we may be moved to make expressions similar to these: “It is good to give thanks to Jehovah and to make melody to your name, O Most High; to tell in the morning about your loving-kindness and about your faithfulness during the nights, . . . for you have made me rejoice, O Jehovah, because of your activity; because of the works of your hands I cry out joyfully.” (Psalm 92:1-4) When we overcome an obstacle to our spiritual progress, we may be inclined to express joy and gratitude in prayer, even as the psalmist did when he sang: “O come let us cry out joyfully to Jehovah! Let us shout in triumph to our Rock of salvation. Let us come before his person with thanksgiving; let us with melodies shout in triumph to him.”—Psalm 95:1, 2.
7. (a) What is noteworthy about many songs sung by Christians? (b) What is one reason to arrive early at meetings and remain to the end?
7 We often raise our voices in songs of praise to Jehovah at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions. It is noteworthy that many of these songs are based on inspired thoughts from the book of Psalms. How happy we are to have a modern-day collection of heartwarming songs of praise to Jehovah! Singing praises to God is one very good reason to arrive early at our meetings and to be present to the end, thus sharing with fellow worshipers in praising Jehovah with song and prayer.
“Praise Jah, You People!”
8. What is implicit in the word “Hallelujah,” and how is it usually rendered?
8 Praising Jehovah is implicit in the word “Hallelujah,” a transliteration of a Hebrew expression almost always rendered “Praise Jah, you people.” For example, at Psalm 135:1-3, we find this warm, emphatic invitation: “Praise Jah, you people! Praise the name of Jehovah, offer praise, O servants of Jehovah, you who are standing in the house of Jehovah, in the courtyards of the house of our God. Praise Jah, for Jehovah is good. Make melody to his name, for it is pleasant.”
9. What motivates us to praise Jehovah?
9 As we contemplate God’s marvelous works of creation and all his deeds in our behalf, heartfelt appreciation moves us to praise him. When we reflect on the miraculous things Jehovah did for his people in times past, our hearts motivate us to laud him. And as we meditate on the promises of great things Jehovah will yet do, we search for ways to express praise and gratitude.
10, 11. How does our very existence give us reason to praise God?
10 Our very existence gives us just cause to praise Jah. David sang: “I shall laud you [Jehovah] because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.” (Psalm 139:14) Yes, we are “wonderfully made” and have such precious gifts as sight, hearing, and thinking ability. Should we not, therefore, direct our life in such a way as to praise our Maker? Paul said as much when he wrote: “Whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God’s glory.”—1 Corinthians 10:31.
11 We will do all things for Jehovah’s glory if we truly love him. Jesus said that the first commandment is: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.” (Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 6:5) We certainly should love Jehovah and praise him as our Maker and the Giver of “every good gift and every perfect present.” (James 1:17; Isaiah 51:13; Acts 17:28) After all, our reasoning faculties, our spiritual capacity, and our physical strength—all our attributes and abilities—come from Jehovah. As our Creator, he is worthy of our love and praise.
12. How do you feel about Jehovah’s great deeds and the words of Psalm 40:5?
12 The great deeds of Jehovah give us innumerable reasons to love and praise him! “Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us,” sang David. “There is none to be compared to you. Were I inclined to tell and speak of them, they have become more numerous than I can recount.” (Psalm 40:5) David could not recount all of Jehovah’s wonderful works, and neither can we. But let us always praise God when any of his great deeds are brought to our attention.
Deeds Linked With God’s Eternal Purpose
13. How is our hope bound up with God’s great deeds?
13 Our hope for the future is bound up with the great and praiseworthy deeds associated with God’s eternal purpose. After the rebellion in Eden, Jehovah gave the hope-filled first prophecy. Pronouncing sentence upon the serpent, God said: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Genesis 3:15) Hope in the promised Seed of the woman lived on in the hearts of faithful humans after Jehovah performed a great deed by preserving Noah and his family through the global Deluge that wiped out a wicked world. (2 Peter 2:5) Prophetic promises to such men of faith as Abraham and David gave further insight into what Jehovah would accomplish through that Seed.—Genesis 22:15-18; 2 Samuel 7:12.
14. What is the superlative example of Jehovah’s great deeds in behalf of mankind?
14 The superlative manifestation of Jehovah as the one performing great deeds in behalf of mankind took place when he gave his only-begotten Son—the promised Seed, Jesus Christ—as a ransom sacrifice. (John 3:16; Acts 2:29-36) The ransom provided the basis for reconciliation with God. (Matthew 20:28; Romans 5:11) Jehovah brought the first reconciled ones together in the Christian congregation, established at Pentecost 33 C.E. With the help of the holy spirit, they preached the good news far and wide, showing how Jesus’ death and resurrection opens the way for obedient mankind to experience eternal blessings under the rule of God’s heavenly Kingdom.
15. How has Jehovah acted in a wonderful way in our day?
15 In our day, Jehovah has acted in a wonderful way to gather the last anointed Christians. The winds of destruction have been held back to allow for the sealing of the remaining ones of the 144,000, who will rule with Christ in heaven. (Revelation 7:1-4; 20:6) God has seen to it that anointed Christians were delivered from spiritual bondage to “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion. (Revelation 17:1-5) That deliverance in 1919 and the divine protection they experienced since then have allowed the anointed remnant to do what? To shine forth in giving a final witness before Jehovah brings an end to Satan’s wicked system of things in the rapidly approaching “great tribulation.”—Matthew 24:21; Daniel 12:3; Revelation 7:14.
16. What is taking place as a result of the present-day worldwide Kingdom-preaching work?
16 Jehovah’s anointed Witnesses have zealously spearheaded a worldwide Kingdom-preaching work. As a result, an increasing number of “other sheep” are now becoming worshipers of Jehovah. (John 10:16) We rejoice that the opportunity is still open for meek ones of the earth to join us in praising Jehovah. Those who respond to the invitation to “come” are in line for preservation through the great tribulation, with the prospect of praising Jehovah throughout eternity.—Revelation 22:17.
Thousands Thronging to True Worship
17. (a) How is Jehovah performing great deeds in connection with our preaching activity? (b) How is Zechariah 8:23 being fulfilled?
17 Jehovah is now performing great and praiseworthy deeds in connection with our preaching activity. (Mark 13:10) In recent years, he has ‘opened large doors leading to activity.’ (1 Corinthians 16:9) This has made it possible for the good news to be proclaimed throughout vast territories where enemies of the truth formerly stood in the way. Many who once lived in spiritual darkness are now responding to the invitation to worship Jehovah. They are fulfilling these prophetic words: “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘It will be in those days that ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will actually take hold of the skirt of a man who is a Jew, saying: “We will go with you people, for we have heard that God is with you people.”’” (Zechariah 8:23) These “people” are spiritual Jews, the present-day remnant of anointed Christians. Since ten can represent completeness of an earthly kind, the “ten men” stand for the “great crowd,” brought into association with “the Israel of God,” with whom they form “one flock.” (Revelation 7:9, 10; Galatians 6:16) What a joy it is to see so many now rendering sacred service together as worshipers of Jehovah God!
18, 19. What evidence is there that Jehovah is blessing the preaching work?
18 We are thrilled that tens of thousands—indeed, hundreds of thousands—are embracing true worship in lands once so dominated by false religion that it seemed as though the people would never accept the good news. Consult the current Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and note the lands now reporting from 100,000 to nearly 1,000,000 Kingdom publishers. This is powerful proof that the Kingdom-preaching work is being blessed by Jehovah.—Proverbs 10:22.
19 As Jehovah’s people, we praise and thank our heavenly Father for giving us real purpose in life, rewarding work in his service, and a bright outlook for the future. We live in eager expectation of the fulfillment of all divine promises and are determined to ‘keep ourselves in God’s love, with everlasting life in view.’ (Jude 20, 21) How delighted we are to see that the great crowd praising God now numbers some 6,000,000! With Jehovah’s evident blessing, the anointed remnant together with their other sheep companions are organized into some 91,000 congregations in 235 lands. All of us are well-fed spiritually through the tireless efforts of “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45) A progressive theocratic organization with loving oversight is administering Kingdom activity through 110 branch offices of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are thankful that Jehovah has moved the hearts of his people to ‘honor him with their valuable things.’ (Proverbs 3:9, 10) Consequently, our worldwide preaching work continues, with printing facilities, Bethel and missionary homes, Kingdom Halls, and Assembly Halls being built as needed.
20. How should reflecting on Jehovah’s great and praiseworthy deeds affect us?
20 It is impossible for us to mention all the great and praiseworthy deeds of our heavenly Father. But can anyone of upright heart refrain from joining the throng of Jehovah’s praisers? Of course not! Therefore, let all lovers of God joyfully cry out: “Praise Jah, you people! Praise Jehovah from the heavens, praise him in the heights. Praise him, all you his angels . . . , you young men and also you virgins, you old men together with boys. Let them praise the name of Jehovah, for his name alone is unreachably high. His dignity is above earth and heaven.” (Psalm 148:1, 2, 12, 13) Yes, now and forever, let us praise Jehovah for his great deeds!
How Would You Answer?
• What are some of Jehovah’s praiseworthy deeds?
• Why do you feel impelled to praise Jehovah?
• How is our hope linked with God’s great deeds?
• How is Jehovah performing praiseworthy deeds in connection with the Kingdom-preaching work?
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Do you wholeheartedly join in songs of praise to Jehovah?
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We rejoice that the opportunity is still open for meek ones to join us in praising Jehovah