Thursday, February 18

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 Chron. 16:9.

Before becoming a Witness, one brother enjoyed the immoral atmosphere of the dance parties he frequented. But after learning the truth, he has completely avoided dancing even at Witness gatherings for fear of awakening improper desires or thoughts from his past. Of course, Christians are not required to abstain totally from alcohol, dancing, or other things that are not wrong in themselves. We are all expected, however, to take decisive and thorough action to protect ourselves from spiritual dangers. The privilege of bearing God’s name comes with responsibility. We must “renounce unrighteousness” and “turn away from what is bad.”  True, doing so is not always easy. But how comforting it is to know that Jehovah will always love “those who belong to him” and who adhere to his righteous ways.

COMMENTARY

Having a complete heart is the challenge. God requires that we love him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Satan attempts to seduce us into half-hearted devotion. It is not necessary for the Devil to turn us away from God completely. Just a little is all that is necessary.

One insidious way Satan seeks to dilute our whole-hearted devotion to God is by the very institution that Jehovah’s Witnesses look to for spiritual guidance —the Watchtower. By holding up the Watchtower as the Provider of all truth and inducing men to constantly lavish praise upon the Governing Body and the faithful slave, who are all to pleased to receive it, the Devil has promoted a very subtle form of idolatry.

mercy-seat-524x330Although the deleterious effect of this form of idolatry may not be obvious to Jehovah’s Witnesses, it certainly is to Jehovah. God, of course, foresaw this development long before the Watchtower even existed. And he pre-announced his method to remedy the organizational idolatry, without simply wiping out the idolaters. God’s intention is to discredit the idol. How might that be accomplished? Jehovah explains: “I told you long ago. Before it  came about, I caused you to hear it, so that you could not say, ‘My idol did this; my carved image and my metal image commanded this.’ You have heard and seen all of this. Will you not declare it? From now on I am announcing new things to you, guarded secrets that you have not known. Only now are they being created, and not long ago, things that you never heard before today, so that you cannot say, ‘Look! I already know them.’ No, you have not heard, you have not known, and in the past your ears were not opened. For I know that you are very treacherous, and you have been called a transgressor from birth. But for the sake of my name I will hold back my anger; for my own praise I will restrain myself toward you, and I will not do away with you. Look! I have refined you, but not in the form of silver. I have tested you in the smelting furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake I will act, for how could I let myself be profaned? I give my glory to no one else.”

Among God’s “guarded secrets” is the reality of the desolation of the earthly organization and the future, visible presence of Christ. Jehovah has caused these things to be announced through his watchman beforehand so that the organization idol cannot boast of having foreseen the things to come.

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