“You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things.”
1, 2. What does each of us need to be sure of? (See opening picture.)
AS WE discussed in the previous article, the Devil claims that Jehovah does not deserve to rule mankind. He says that Jehovah does not rule fairly and that humans would be happier if they ruled themselves. Is Satan right? Imagine if humans could rule themselves and live forever. Would they be happier than if they were ruled by God? Would you be happier if you could live forever and be completely independent from God?
2 No one can answer these questions for you. Each one of us needs to think about them carefully. Then it should become clear that Jehovah’s way of ruling is the best and that he deserves our wholehearted support. We can be sure of that because of what we read in the Bible. Let us see what the Bible says about Jehovah’s right to rule the universe.
JEHOVAH HAS THE RIGHT TO RULE
3. Why does Jehovah have the right to be the Sovereign?
3 Jehovah is the only Sovereign of the universe because he is the almighty God and Creator. (1 Chronicles 29:11; Acts 4:24) In a heavenly vision, Christ’s 144,000 fellow kings said: “You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) Jehovah created all things, so he has the right to rule over everyone, whether on earth or in heaven.
4. Why does free will not give us the right to rebel against God?
4 Satan has not created anything. So he does not have any right to rule the universe. Both Satan and the first human couple were defiant when they rebelled against Jehovah’s sovereignty. (Jeremiah 10:23) Did their free will give them the right to reject Jehovah’s rulership? No. Free will gives someone the right to make choices and decisions but not the right to rebel against the Creator, Jehovah. Clearly, rebelling against God is a misuse of free will. As humans, we need Jehovah’s rule and guidance.
Every law, principle, and decision that comes from Jehovah is right and good
5. Why are God’s decisions always just?
5 Think about another reason why Jehovah has the right to rule. He uses his authority in a perfectly just way. He tells us: “I am Jehovah, the One showing loyal love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I take delight.” (Jeremiah 9:24) Jehovah does not need human laws to help him decide what is right. Instead, he sets the standard for what is right. And based on his own perfect justice, Jehovah gave laws to humans. The psalmist said: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.” So every law, principle, and decision that comes from Jehovah is right. (Psalm 89:14; 119:128) Satan claims that Jehovah is not a fair Ruler. Yet, Satan himself cannot bring justice to the world.
6. What is one reason why Jehovah has the right to rule?
6 Another reason why Jehovah has the right to rule is that he has the knowledge and wisdom to take care of the universe. We see this in the way he gave his Son the ability to heal diseases that no doctor could cure. (Matthew 4:23, 24; Mark 5:25-29) Although these are miracles to us, they were not miracles to Jehovah. He understands how the body works and can heal any damage to it. He can also bring the dead back to life and stop natural disasters from happening.
7. How is Jehovah wiser than anyone in Satan’s world?
7 The world ruled by Satan cannot bring peace, whether within a country or between countries. Only Jehovah has the wisdom to bring world peace. (Isaiah 2:3, 4; 54:13) We feel as the apostle Paul did when he said: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and beyond tracing out his ways are!”
JEHOVAH’S RULERSHIP IS BEST
8. How do you feel about Jehovah’s way of ruling?
8 As we have seen, the Bible clearly shows that Jehovah has the right to rule. It also shows why he is the best Ruler. One reason is that he rules with love. We feel close to him when we think of how he is “merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and abundant in loyal love and truth.” (Exodus 34:6) God treats us with dignity and respect. He cares for us better than we can care for ourselves. The Devil says that Jehovah holds back good things from His servants, but this is a lie. God even gave his precious Son so that we could have the hope of living forever.
Jehovah cares for us better than we can care for ourselves
9. How do we know that God cares about us as individuals?
9 Jehovah loves all of his people as a group. But he is also very interested in each person. Think of what happened in ancient times. For about three hundred years, Jehovah used judges to guide his nation and give them victory over their enemies. Yet during all this time, Jehovah still paid attention to individuals. One of these was a woman named Ruth. She was not an Israelite, and she had given up many things in order to become a worshipper of Jehovah. He rewarded her with a husband and a son. But more than that, Ruth’s son became part of the family line that led to the Messiah. Jehovah also had Ruth’s life story written down in the Bible, in a book that is named after her. How do you imagine Ruth will feel when she comes back to life and learns about these things?
10. Why can we say that Jehovah’s rulership is not harsh?
10 Jehovah’s rulership is not harsh. Rather, those who obey him feel free and joyful. (2 Corinthians 3:17) David said of Jehovah: “In his presence are majesty and splendor; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.” (1 Chronicles 16:7, 27) The psalmist Ethan wrote: “Happy are the people who know the joyful shouting. O Jehovah, they walk in the light of your face. They rejoice in your name all day long, and in your righteousness they are exalted.”
11. How can we become even more convinced that Jehovah’s sovereignty is best?
11 The more we meditate on Jehovah’s goodness, the more convinced we become that his rule is best. We feel like the psalmist who said to God: “A day in your courtyards is better than a thousand anywhere else!” (Psalm 84:10) Jehovah designed and created us, so he knows exactly what will make us happy. He generously gives us far more than we need. Anything Jehovah asks us to do is for our own good. Even if we have to make sacrifices, we will always be happy if we obey Jehovah.
12. What is the main reason we support Jehovah’s sovereignty?
12 We learn in the Bible that after the Thousand Year Reign of Christ, some will rebel against Jehovah’s sovereignty. (Revelation 20:7, 8) What will cause them to do that? At that time, the Devil will try to make people behave in a selfish way. He has always done that. He may try to convince people that they can live forever without obeying Jehovah. This could never be true. But we should ask ourselves, ‘Would I believe a lie like that?’ If we really love Jehovah and are convinced that he is good and that he has the right to rule the universe, then a lie like that will be disgusting to us. We will want to live only under the sovereignty of Jehovah, who rules with love.
LOYALLY SUPPORT GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
13. How do we support God’s sovereignty when we imitate him?
13 As we have seen, Jehovah has the right to rule, and his way of ruling is the best. His sovereignty deserves our full support. We support it when we are loyal to Jehovah and imitate him. When we do our best to act the way Jehovah would, we show that we love and support his way of ruling.
14. How can elders and family heads imitate Jehovah?
14 We learn from the Bible that Jehovah always uses his power in a loving way. Family heads and elders who love Jehovah’s sovereignty will imitate him and not be harsh or controlling. The apostle Paul tried hard to imitate God and his Son. (1 Corinthians 11:1) He did not embarrass others or force them to do what was right. Instead, he kindly motivated them to do what was right. (Romans 12:1; Ephesians 4:1; Philemon 8-10) In doing this, Paul imitated Jehovah. When we treat others with love, we support Jehovah’s sovereignty.
15. How do we support Jehovah’s rulership by respecting those who have authority?
15 We also support Jehovah’s rulership by respecting and cooperating with those to whom he has given authority. Even if we do not fully understand or agree with a decision they make, we still support them. This is not what the world does, but it is what we do when we accept Jehovah as our Ruler. (Ephesians 5:22, 23; 6:1-3; Hebrews 13:17) And then we are happy, because God wants what is best for us.
16. How can the decisions we make show we support God’s sovereignty?
16 We can also support God’s sovereignty by the decisions we make. Jehovah does not give us a specific command for each situation in life. Instead, he tells us how he thinks. This helps us to understand what we should do. For example, Jehovah does not give Christians a list of what they should or should not wear. Instead, he explains that we should look modest and dignified as his Witnesses. (1 Timothy 2:9, 10) He wants us to think about how our decisions affect others. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33) When we make decisions based on how Jehovah thinks, we show that we love and support his way of ruling.
17, 18. How can married couples show that they support Jehovah’s sovereignty?
17 Consider one way that married Christians can support Jehovah’s sovereignty. A couple’s marriage may not be what they thought it would be. They may even be having serious problems. If so, they could benefit from thinking about how Jehovah treated the ancient nation of Israel. Jehovah described himself as being like a husband to his people. (Isaiah 54:5; 62:4) The nation disappointed Jehovah many times. That relationship was like a difficult marriage. But Jehovah was not quick to give up on Israel. Instead, he forgave them over and over again and kept his promises to them.
18 Married Christians who love Jehovah try to imitate him. Even if there are problems in their marriage, they do not look for an unscriptural way to end it. They know that Jehovah views marriage vows as serious and wants a husband and wife to “stick” to each other. Sexual immorality is the only Scriptural reason why someone could divorce and be free to remarry. (Matthew 19:5, 6, 9) When Christians do all they can to make their marriage a success, they support Jehovah’s sovereignty.
19. What should we do when we make mistakes?
19 All of us are imperfect, and at times we do things that disappoint Jehovah. He knows this, and that is why he has provided Christ’s ransom. So when we make a mistake, we should ask Jehovah to forgive us. (1 John 2:1, 2) Instead of just feeling bad about our mistake, we can try to learn from it. We want to stay close to Jehovah, who will forgive us and help us to heal and to continue to serve him.
20. Why should we support Jehovah’s sovereignty now?
20 In the new world, everyone will be ruled by Jehovah and will learn his righteous ways. (Isaiah 11:9) But even now we can learn much about how he thinks and how he wants us to handle things. Soon, no one will question God’s right to rule. So let us do all we can now to support Jehovah’s sovereignty by obeying him, serving him faithfully, and trying our best to imitate him in all we do.