“Those knowing your name will trust in you; you will never abandon those seeking you, O Jehovah.”—PS. 9:10.
SONG 34 Living Up to Our Name
1-2. As illustrated by Angelito’s experience, what must each of us do?
ARE you being raised by parents who are Jehovah’s Witnesses? If so, bear in mind that you cannot inherit a personal relationship with Jehovah from them. Whether our parents serve God or not, each of us must build his own friendship with Jehovah.
2 Consider the experience of a brother named Angelito. He was raised in a Witness family. However, when he was younger, he did not feel particularly close to God. He admits, “I was serving Jehovah simply because I wanted to do what my family was doing.” However, Angelito decided to invest time in reading God’s Word and meditating on it, and he began praying to Jehovah more frequently. The result? Angelito says, “I learned that the only way to be close to my dear Father, Jehovah, is to get to know him myself.” Angelito’s experience raises some important questions: What is the difference between being acquainted with Jehovah and knowing him well? And how do we come to know Jehovah?
3. What is the difference between knowing about Jehovah and knowing him well?
3 We can say that a person knows about Jehovah if he is aware of God’s name or is familiar with some of the things that He has said or done. But to know Jehovah well involves more. We need to spend time learning about Jehovah and his wonderful qualities. Only then can we begin to understand what motivates him to speak and to act. That will help us to discern whether he approves of our opinions, decisions, and actions. Once we have discerned Jehovah’s will for us, we need to act on what we have learned.
4. How will considering examples in the Bible help us?
4 Some people may ridicule us for wanting to serve Jehovah, and they may oppose us even more when we start to associate with his people. Yet, if we trust in Jehovah, he will never let us down. We will be laying a foundation for friendship with God that will last a lifetime. Can we really know Jehovah that well? Yes, we can! The examples set by imperfect men, such as Moses and King David, prove that it is possible. As we consider their actions, we will answer two questions: How did they come to know Jehovah? And what lessons can we learn from their examples?
MOSES SAW “THE ONE WHO IS INVISIBLE”
5. What did Moses choose to do?
5 Moses acted on what he learned. When he was about 40 years old, Moses chose to associate with God’s people, the Hebrews, rather than to be known as “the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” (Heb. 11:24) Moses gave up a prominent position. By siding with the Hebrews, who were slaves in Egypt, he risked the wrath of Pharaoh, a powerful ruler who was viewed as a god. What an outstanding act of faith! Moses trusted in Jehovah. Such trust is a foundation stone of a lasting relationship.—Prov. 3:5.
6. What can we learn from Moses’ example?
6 What is the lesson for us? Like Moses, all of us have a decision to make: Will we choose to serve God and associate with his people? We may have to make sacrifices to serve God, and we risk being opposed by those who do not know Jehovah. But if we trust in our heavenly Father, we can count on his support!
7-8. What did Moses continue to learn?
7 Moses continued to learn about Jehovah’s qualities and to do His will. For example, when Moses was asked to lead the nation of Israel out of captivity, he lacked confidence and repeatedly told Jehovah that he felt unqualified. God responded with real compassion, providing help for Moses. (Ex. 4:10-16) As a result, Moses was able to deliver powerful judgment messages to Pharaoh. Moses then saw Jehovah use His power as He saved the Israelites but destroyed Pharaoh and his forces in the Red Sea.—Ex. 14:26-31; Ps. 136:15.
8 After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they constantly found things to complain about. Even so, Moses observed Jehovah’s great patience in dealing with the people He had freed from slavery. (Ps. 78:40-43) Moses also saw Jehovah show remarkable humility when He changed His mind after Moses asked Him to do so.—Ex. 32:9-14.
9. According to Hebrews 11:27, how close was Moses’ relationship with Jehovah?
9 After the Exodus, Moses’ relationship with Jehovah became so close that it was as if he could see his heavenly Father. (Read Hebrews 11:27.) Indicating how intimate that relationship was, the Bible says: “Jehovah spoke to Moses face-to-face, just as one man would speak to another man.”—Ex. 33:11.
10. To know Jehovah well, what do we have to do?
10 What is the lesson for us? To know Jehovah well, we not only have to learn about his qualities but also have to do his will. Jehovah’s will today is that “all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3, 4) One way we do God’s will is by teaching others about Jehovah.
11. As we teach others about Jehovah, how do we come to know him better?
11 It is often when we are teaching others about Jehovah that we ourselves come to know him better. For example, we see direct evidence of Jehovah’s compassion when he guides us to those who have the right heart condition. (John 6:44; Acts 13:48) We see the power of God’s Word at work as we watch those with whom we study break free from bad habits and begin to put on the new personality. (Col. 3:9, 10) And we see proof of God’s patience as he gives many in our territory numerous opportunities to learn about him and be saved.—Rom. 10:13-15.
12. As shown at Exodus 33:13, what did Moses ask for, and why?
12 Moses did not take his relationship with Jehovah for granted. Even after performing powerful works in God’s name, Moses respectfully asked that he be allowed to know Jehovah better. (Read Exodus 33:13.) Moses was in his 80’s when he made that request, but he knew that he still had much to learn about his loving heavenly Father.
13. What is one way we can prove that we value our friendship with God?
13 What is the lesson for us? No matter how long we have been serving Jehovah, we should never take our relationship with him for granted. One of the most obvious ways we can prove that we value our friendship with God is by talking to him in prayer.
14. Why is prayer a key to learning more about God?
14 Good communication is the lifeblood of a strong relationship. So draw close to God by praying often, never being afraid to express your innermost thoughts to him. (Eph. 6:18) Krista, who lives in Turkey, says: “My love for Jehovah and my trust in him grow each time I express my thoughts to him in prayer and then see him help me. Seeing how Jehovah answers my prayers has helped me to view Jehovah as a Father and Friend.”
A MAN AGREEABLE TO JEHOVAH’S HEART
15. How did Jehovah describe King David?
15 King David was born into a nation that was dedicated to Jehovah God. But David did more than just follow his family’s religious traditions. He built his own relationship with God, and Jehovah had special affection for him. Jehovah himself described David as “a man agreeable to [His] heart.” (Acts 13:22) How did David come to be so close to Jehovah?
16. What did David learn about Jehovah by looking at creation?
16 David learned about Jehovah from creation. When David was young, he spent many hours outdoors, caring for his father’s sheep. Perhaps it was then that he began to meditate on the things Jehovah had made. For example, as David gazed up at night, not only would he have seen a canopy of stars but he would also have discerned the qualities of the One who made them. David was moved to write: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; the skies above proclaim the work of his hands.” (Ps. 19:1, 2) When David reflected on the way humans were made, he saw Jehovah’s wonderful wisdom at work. (Ps. 139:14) As David tried to comprehend Jehovah’s works, he felt humbled.—Ps. 139:6.
17. What can we learn if we meditate on creation?
17 What is the lesson for us? Be interested in creation. Do more than just exist in this beautiful world that Jehovah has created; be amazed by it! In your daily life, meditate on what the creation around you—the plants, animals, and people—teaches you about Jehovah. Then each new day will be full of lessons about your loving Father. (Rom. 1:20) And each day you will see your love for him grow more intense.
18. As shown in Psalm 18, what did David acknowledge?
18 David recognized that Jehovah was helping him. For example, when David defended his father’s sheep from a lion and from a bear, he recognized that it was Jehovah who was helping him overcome those powerful predators. When he defeated the giant warrior Goliath, David saw clearly that it was Jehovah who was guiding him. (1 Sam. 17:37) And when he escaped from jealous King Saul, David acknowledged that it was Jehovah who had saved him. (Ps. 18, superscription) A proud man might have taken credit for those accomplishments. But David was humble, so he was able to recognize Jehovah’s hand in his life.—Ps. 138:6.
19. What can we learn from David’s example?
19 What is the lesson for us? We need to do more than just ask for Jehovah’s help. We must also try to recognize when and how he gives us help. If we humbly acknowledge our limitations, we will clearly see that Jehovah makes up for what we lack. And each time we see Jehovah help us, our relationship with him will grow stronger. Isaac, a brother in Fiji who has served Jehovah for many years, found this to be true. He says: “Looking back on my life, I can see how Jehovah has helped me from the time I began to study the Bible until today. As a result, Jehovah is very real to me.”
20. What can we learn from David’s relationship with God?
20 David imitated Jehovah’s qualities. Jehovah created us with the ability to imitate his qualities. (Gen. 1:26) The more we learn about the qualities that make up Jehovah’s personality, the better we will be able to imitate him. David came to know his heavenly Father well, so he was able to imitate Him when dealing with others. Consider just one example. David sinned against Jehovah when he committed adultery with Bath-sheba and then had her husband killed. (2 Sam. 11:1-4, 15) But Jehovah chose to show mercy to David, a man who had shown mercy to others. Because David had such a good relationship with Jehovah, he became one of Israel’s most beloved kings and the standard by which Jehovah measured other kings of Israel.—1 Ki. 15:11; 2 Ki. 14:1-3.
21. In line with Ephesians 4:24 and 5:1, what are the results of our being “imitators of God”?
21 What is the lesson for us? We need to be “imitators of God.” Doing so not only benefits us but also helps us to get to know him. When we model our personality after his, we prove that we are his children.—Read Ephesians 4:24; 5:1.
SEEKING TO KNOW JEHOVAH BETTER
22-23. What will happen if we apply what we learn about Jehovah?
22 As we have seen, Jehovah reveals himself to us through creation and through his Word, the Bible. That unique book is full of examples of faithful servants of God whom we can imitate, such as Moses and David. Jehovah has done his part. It is up to us to keep our eyes, ears, and heart open to him.
23 We will never stop learning about Jehovah. (Eccl. 3:11) The important thing is, not how much we know about him, but what we do with what we know. If we apply what we learn and try to imitate our loving Father, he will continue to draw close to us. (Jas. 4:8) Through his Word, he assures us that he will never abandon those seeking him.
SONG 1 Jehovah’s Attributes
^ par. 5 Many people believe that God exists, but they do not really know him. What does it mean to know Jehovah, and what can we learn from Moses and King David about how to build a strong relationship with Him? This article will answer those questions.