“The eyes of Jehovah are everywhere, watching both the bad and the good.”
1, 2. How is the way Jehovah watches us different from the way traffic cameras do?
IN MANY countries, the authorities have put up cameras to check the traffic and make recordings of accidents. They also record drivers who hit people walking on the road and who try to escape instead of helping the victims. The recordings help the authorities to find and arrest these ones. Because of all these cameras, it is becoming more difficult for criminals to get away with doing wrong.
2 The Bible says that Jehovah’s eyes “are everywhere.” (Proverbs 15:3) Does this mean that he constantly watches us only to see if we break his laws? Is he just waiting to punish us as soon as we make mistakes? Not at all! (Jeremiah 16:17; Hebrews 4:13) Jehovah watches us because he loves us and wants us to be safe and happy.
3. In what five ways does Jehovah look after us?
3 How can we get a deeper understanding of God’s love for us? We will discuss five ways in which Jehovah looks after us. (1) He warns us before we do what is bad. (2) He corrects us when we go the wrong way. (3) He guides us with Bible principles. (4) He helps us when we face trials. (5) He rewards us for doing what is right.
JEHOVAH WARNS US
4. Why did God give Cain a warning before he sinned?
4 First, we will discuss the ways that Jehovah warns us before we do something bad. (1 Chronicles 28:9) For example, Cain “grew hot with anger” when Jehovah did not approve of him. (Read Genesis 4:3-7.) Jehovah warned Cain that if he did not “turn to doing good,” he was going to sin. It was as if sin were “crouching at the door,” waiting to catch him. Jehovah asked him: “Will you get the mastery over it?” Jehovah wanted Cain to “be restored to favor.” If Cain listened to the warning, he would continue to have a good relationship with God.
5. In what ways does Jehovah warn us?
5 The same is true with us today. Jehovah is able to see who we truly are on the inside. He knows our thoughts and desires, and we cannot hide anything from him. He loves us and wants us to do what is right, but he does not force us. So if he sees something bad in us, he warns us. How? When we read the Bible regularly, when we read our publications, and when we attend meetings, we are able to hear God’s warnings. Have you ever read or heard something that helped you overcome a problem that only Jehovah knew about? These warnings from Jehovah come exactly when we need them.
All the warnings in the Bible really show that Jehovah loves each one of us
6, 7. (a) What proof do we have that Jehovah cares for each one of his servants? (b) How can you benefit from Jehovah’s personal attention?
6 All the warnings in the Bible really show that Jehovah loves each one of us. It is true that the Bible, our publications, and our meetings benefit millions of people. But Jehovah asks you to pay attention to his warnings in the Bible so that you can do what is right. This shows that he cares for you personally.
7 How do we benefit from God’s warnings? We must first believe that he really cares about us and then apply his Word to ourselves. So if we have any thought that displeases God, we must crush it immediately. (Read Isaiah 55:6, 7.) If we are quick to listen, we will avoid a lot of heartache. But what if we do not listen? Does Jehovah still care for us?
OUR LOVING FATHER CORRECTS US
8, 9. When someone gives us counsel from the Bible, how does this prove that Jehovah cares for us? Give an example.
8 When Jehovah corrects us, we know that he cares for us. (Read Hebrews 12:5, 6.) It is true that we do not enjoy receiving counsel, discipline, or correction. (Hebrews 12:11) But when someone gives us counsel from the Bible, it is very important to understand why he does this. He does not do so because he wants to hurt our feelings but because he sees that our relationship with Jehovah is in danger. He is willing to take the time and to make the effort to show us from the Bible how we can return to Jehovah. We respect this counsel because its Source is Jehovah.
We respect counsel from the Bible because the Source is Jehovah
9 For example, one brother was addicted to pornography before he came into the truth. When he learned the truth, he broke the habit. Later, he bought a new cell phone, and he went back to his old habit and started to watch pornography on Internet sites. (James 1:14, 15) It became evident that the old desire for pornography was still burning within him, like the coals of a fire. One day, he lent his phone to an elder, and the pornographic sites appeared on the phone. The elder immediately counseled the brother. The brother listened to the counsel and eventually overcame this bad habit. Jehovah sees our hidden sins and can correct us before we damage our relationship with him. We are grateful that Jehovah cares for us.
Jehovah always cares for our needs
HOW BIBLE PRINCIPLES GUIDE US
10, 11. (a) How do we “take notice of” God’s guidance? (b) Tell the experience of a family who wisely followed Jehovah’s guidance.
10 The psalmist sang to Jehovah: “You guide me with your advice.” (Psalm 73:24) We can “take notice of” Jehovah’s advice by searching his Word. In this way, we can find out how he thinks, follow his guidance, and continue to have a good relationship with him. Jehovah’s advice also helps us to provide for ourselves and our family.
We can find out how Jehovah thinks, follow his guidance, and have a good relationship with him
11 For example, a farmer, his wife, and their large family lived on a rented farm in the Philippines. Both he and his wife were regular pioneers. Then suddenly, the owner of the farm sent them a note telling them that they could no longer live there. They were shocked and later found out that someone had falsely accused them of dishonesty. The brother was worried about where they would live. But he had confidence in Jehovah and said: “Jehovah will provide. He always cares for our needs, no matter what happens.” The family followed Bible principles, and they were respectful and peaceful despite the accusations. A few days later, the owner of the farm told them that they could stay. The owner was so impressed with the way they reacted to the accusations that he changed his mind and even gave them more land to cultivate. (Read 1 Peter 2:12.) It is clear that if we follow Bible principles, Jehovah will guide us through difficult times.
A FRIEND WHO HELPS US ENDURE TRIALS
12, 13. When might it be difficult to believe that God cares about us?
12 As servants of Jehovah, we face many trials, and some of them may seem to last for a long time, such as illness, persecution, or opposition from family members. One of the most difficult things to endure is a serious disagreement with someone in the congregation because of personality differences.
13 For example, what a brother says may really hurt you. You might think: ‘This should not happen in God’s organization!’ Yet the brother who hurt you is given more responsibilities in the congregation, and others think that he is wonderful. You might ask: ‘How can this be? Does Jehovah not see? Will he not act?’
14. Why might Jehovah allow our brothers to give us strong counsel?
14 Jehovah sees much more than we see, and he may allow a situation for important reasons. For example, someone may give us counsel that we do not feel we deserve, and our feelings are hurt. But God may see the situation differently. Is it possible that we did deserve the counsel after all? In his life story, Brother Karl Klein said that Brother Rutherford once gave him strong counsel. Some time later, when Brother Rutherford greeted him cheerfully, Brother Klein barely responded. Brother Rutherford saw that Brother Klein was still hurting from the counsel. Brother Rutherford warned Brother Klein: “Just watch out. The Devil’s after you.” This advice really helped Brother Klein. When he later became a member of the Governing Body, he said that he had learned that our brothers have the right to counsel us and that if we hate them for this, the Devil will catch us. *
It is important that we learn to be patient
15. What must we keep in mind when we face trials?
15 We want trials to end quickly. But it is important that we learn to be patient. Trials can be compared to being stuck in traffic when you are driving on a busy road. You could patiently stay on the road until the traffic starts to move. Instead, you become impatient and decide to find another road. But then you get lost and arrive late at your destination. If you had been patient and had stuck to your original route, you probably would have arrived on time. It is similar when we face trials. If we are patient and follow Bible principles, Jehovah will help us endure.
16. Why might Jehovah allow us to suffer trials?
16 Jehovah may allow trials because he wants us to be trained by them. (Read 1 Peter 5:6-10.) We must never think that God causes our trials. (James 1:13) It is “your adversary, the Devil,” who causes most of the suffering. However, it is important to know that Jehovah sees our suffering and that he loves us. He will make sure that our trials do not last forever. They will continue for only “a little while.” Be confident that Jehovah cares for you and will provide you with the strength to endure to the end.
THE REWARD FROM JEHOVAH
17. Why does Jehovah search the hearts of all people?
17 Jehovah searches the hearts of all people to see who really loves him. The prophet Hanani told King Asa: “The eyes of Jehovah are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) Jehovah will “show his strength” toward you, which means that he will protect and reward you.
Jehovah sees every good deed we have done
18. Why should we be confident that Jehovah will reward us if we do what is good? (See opening picture.)
18 Jehovah wants to “show favor” to us, that is, he wants to reward us. If we want his blessing, we need to “search for what is good,” “love what is good,” and “do what is good.” (Amos 5:14, 15; 1 Peter 3:11, 12) Jehovah rewards the righteous ones, even if nobody else sees their good deeds. (Psalm 34:15) We can see this from the example of two Israelite midwives, Shiphrah and Puah. Pharaoh ordered them to kill all the Israelite baby boys at birth. These women obeyed God rather than Pharaoh, and they saved the babies. Jehovah saw Shiphrah and Puah’s good deeds and rewarded them with children of their own. (Exodus 1:15-17, 20, 21) Sometimes we may feel that no one sees the good that we do, but Jehovah sees every good deed we have done. He will reward us.
19. What experience did one sister have?
19 We may at times feel that Jehovah does not notice our efforts in the preaching work, but he does. A Hungarian sister in Austria received the address of a woman who spoke Hungarian. The sister immediately went to that address, but no one was at home. She went back again and again for a year and a half and left literature, letters, and her telephone number. Sometimes she felt that someone was at home, but no one opened the door. One day when she went to the house, a friendly woman opened the door and said: “Please come in. I read everything you brought and have been waiting for you.” This woman had been receiving chemotherapy treatments and had not felt like talking to people. She accepted a Bible study. The sister felt that Jehovah had noticed and rewarded her efforts.
20. How do you feel about Jehovah’s personal interest in you?
20 As we learned in this article, Jehovah sees whatever we do and searches the hearts of everyone. We do not feel that he is trying to find fault with us or to record our every mistake. Rather, we are drawn to Jehovah because we know that he cares for us and that he really wants to help and reward us for the good we do.
^ par. 14 Brother Klein’s life story was published in the October 1, 1984, issue of The Watchtower.