Jehovah—A God Worth Knowing
COULD it be that you are missing out on something important in life? If you know little about God, then most certainly you are. Why? Because, as millions of people have discovered, getting to know the God of the Bible brings major benefits in life. These benefits start immediately and last into the future.
Jehovah God, the Author of the Bible, wants us to get to know him. The psalmist wrote: “That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” He recognizes that it is in our own best interests for us to know him. “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself.” How do we benefit from knowing Jehovah God, the Most High?—Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 48:17.
One real benefit is that we get guidance in the face of everyday problems, a firm hope for the future, and peace of mind. Furthermore, being well-acquainted with Jehovah moves us to develop a different attitude on the most vital issues that face people all over the world today. What are those issues?
Does Your Life Have Purpose?
Despite mankind’s astounding technological progress, individuals today still ask the same fundamental questions: ‘Why am I here? Where am I going? What is life all about?’ If a person does not get satisfactory answers, his life will lack true purpose. Do many people sense this shortfall? A study carried out in Germany in the late 1990’s revealed that half the respondents often or sometimes felt that life seems to have no purpose. Perhaps a similar situation exists where you live.
Without a purpose in life, an individual has little bedrock upon which to build personal goals. Many try to compensate for this deficiency by pursuing a successful career or by accumulating wealth. Still, the emptiness can be haunting. Having no purpose in life even disturbs some to the point that they no longer wish to live. Such was the experience of a beautiful young woman who, according to the International Herald Tribune, was raised “amid stunning wealth and unlimited privilege.” Although she lived in luxury, she was lonely and felt that her life was aimless. She took sleeping pills and was found dead. You may know of other lonely ones whose lives ended tragically.
Have you, though, heard people claim that science can tell us all about life? German weekly Die Woche points out: “As true as science is, it is spiritually weak. Evolution seems crude, and even quantum physics, with all its unpredictable fluctuations, offers anything but comfort and security.” Scientific discoveries have done much to describe life in its various forms and to explain natural cycles and processes that maintain life. Yet, science cannot tell us why we are here and where we are going. If we depend solely on science, our questions about the purpose of life go unanswered. The result is, as the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, “a widespread need for guidance.”
Who is in a better position to give such guidance than the Creator? Since he put humans on the earth in the first place, he must know why they are here. The Bible explains that Jehovah created humans so that they could populate the earth and care for it, being its stewards. In all their activities, humans were to reflect his qualities, such as justice, wisdom, and love. Once we understand the reason why Jehovah created us, we know why we are here.—Genesis 1:26-28.
What Can You Do?
What if you in the past have found no satisfactory answers to the questions: ‘Why am I here? Where am I going? What is life all about?’ The Bible recommends that you get to know Jehovah closely. In fact, Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” You are also encouraged to develop godly qualities, particularly love, and to make it your personal goal to live under God’s incoming Messianic Kingdom. You will then have a purpose in life and a wonderful, secure hope for the future. The fundamental questions that hitherto bothered you will likely be answered.—John 17:3; Ecclesiastes 12:13.
How much of a difference can that make? Hans is a man who should know. * Years ago he had a vague belief in God, but Hans’ faith had no influence on his life. Hans enjoyed drugs, loose women, petty crime, and motorbikes. “But life was empty, not really satisfying,” he explains. When in his mid-20’s, Hans decided to get to know God personally by carefully reading the Bible. Once he got to know Jehovah closely and understood what life is all about, Hans changed his life-style and got baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He has been in the full-time ministry for the last ten years. He says frankly: “Serving Jehovah is the best way of life. Nothing else bears comparison. Knowing Jehovah has given me a purpose in life.”
Of course, the purpose of life is not the only issue that is of concern to many. As conditions in the world deteriorate, more and more people are troubled by yet another vital issue.
Why Did It Happen?
When adversity strikes, the mind of the victim often focuses on one question: Why did it happen? The ability to cope emotionally with adversity hinges to a large degree upon getting a proper answer to that question. If no satisfactory answer is available, the suffering persists and the victim may become embittered. Take, for example, the experience of Bruni.
“Some years ago my baby girl died,” explains Bruni, now a middle-aged mother. “I believed in God, so I sought comfort from the local priest. He told me that God had taken Susanne to heaven, where she was now an angel. Not only did the world around me collapse because of her death but I hated God for having taken her.” Bruni’s pain and suffering continued for several years. “Then one of Jehovah’s Witnesses showed me from the Bible that I had no reason to hate God. Jehovah did not take Susanne to heaven, and she is not an angel. Her illness was the result of human imperfection. Susanne is sleeping in death, waiting for Jehovah to resurrect her. I also learned that he made humans to live forever on a paradise earth, and this will soon be realized. Once I began to understand what sort of person Jehovah really is, I drew closer to him, and my pain began to subside.”—Psalm 37:29; Acts 24:15; Romans 5:12.
Millions of people are affected by adversity in one form or another: personal tragedy, war, famine, or natural disaster. Bruni experienced relief once she saw from the Bible that Jehovah is not to blame for adversity, that he never purposed for mankind to suffer, and that he will soon put an end to evil. The very fact that wickedness is on the increase is a sign that we are currently living in “the last days” of this system of things. The dramatic change for the better that we all long for is near at hand.—2 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 24:7, 8.
Getting to Know God
Hans and Bruni used to have a general idea about God. They believed in him without knowing much about him. When they took the time to get to know Jehovah accurately, their efforts paid off. They got suitable answers to the most important questions of our day. This gave them peace of mind and a secure hope for the future. Millions of servants of Jehovah have had a similar experience.
Getting to know Jehovah starts by taking a careful look at the Bible, which tells us about him and about what he requires of us. That is what was done by some in the first century. The historian and physician Luke reports that members of the Jewish congregation in Beroea, Greece, “received the word [from Paul and Silas] with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.”—Acts 17:10, 11.
First-century Christians also gathered together in congregations. (Acts 2:41, 42, 46; 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2; Galatians 1:1, 2; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) The same is true today. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses come together for meetings that are specially designed to help individuals to draw closer to Jehovah and to have joy in serving him. Associating with local Witnesses has a further benefit. Since humans gradually become more and more like the God they worship, Jehovah’s Witnesses display qualities—albeit in a limited sense—that Jehovah himself manifests. So gathering with Witnesses helps us get to know Jehovah still better.—Hebrews 10:24, 25.
Does that sound like a lot of effort simply to get to know one Person? Effort is certainly required. But is that not true of many things in life that you want to achieve? Think of the effort a top athlete puts into training. For example, France’s Olympic skiing gold medalist Jean-Claude Killy says this about what it takes to be a successful international sports competitor: “You have to start 10 years ahead of time and plan it for years and years and think about it every day . . . It’s a 365-days-a-year job, mentally and physically.” All that time and effort just to compete in a race that might last ten minutes! How much more—and more lasting—is what is at stake in getting to know Jehovah.
A Relationship That Grows Ever Closer
Who wants to miss out on something important in life? No one. Hence, if you sense that your life lacks true purpose or if you long for an explanation as to why adversity strikes, then be firmly resolved to get to know Jehovah, the God of the Bible. Learning about him can well change your life for the better, lastingly.
Will we ever stop learning about Jehovah? Those who have been serving him for decades still marvel at what they have learned about him and at the new things they continue to learn about him. Learning such things makes us happy and brings us ever closer to him. May we echo the thoughts of the apostle Paul, who wrote: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are! For ‘who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his counselor?’”—Romans 11:33, 34.
^ par. 12 Names have been changed.
[Blurb on page 5]
Individuals still ask the same fundamental questions: ‘Why am I here? Where am I going? What is life all about?’
[Blurb on page 6]
“Once I began to understand what sort of person Jehovah really is, I drew closer to him”
[Blurb on page 7]
“Serving Jehovah is the best way of life. Nothing else bears comparison. Knowing Jehovah has given me a purpose in life”