Friday, February 19
Come . . . into an isolated place and rest up a little. —Mark 6:31.
Jesus knew that at times he and the apostles needed some rest. However, many people back then and many today can be likened to the rich man in Jesus’ illustration. That man convinced himself: “Take it easy, eat, drink, enjoy yourself.” (Luke 12:19; 2 Tim. 3:4) He set his heart on rest and pleasures. In contrast, Jesus and the apostles did not center their lives on pleasing themselves. Today, we try to imitate Jesus by using the time we have off from work not only to rest but also to do good by witnessing to others and attending Christian meetings. In fact, to us, disciple-making and meeting attendance are so important that we make every effort to engage regularly in those sacred activities. (Heb. 10:24, 25) Even when we are on vacation, we keep to our regular spiritual routine of attending meetings wherever we are, and we look for opportunities to have conversations with those whom we meet. —2 Tim. 4:2. w19.12 7 ¶16-17
These are strange days. Reality seems to be elusive— even something to be avoided. It has now been a full year since the pandemic began to bite. Even before the state-mandated closures began the Watchtower was quick to close everything down— suspending the public ministry, conventions and shuttering every kingdom hall around the world.
Considering the day’s text, though, if it is too risky and foolhardy for Jehovah’s Witnesses to stand on a street corner or meet in a kingdom hall, ought anyone be going on vacation? Strange days, indeed!
In spite of the fact that the Watchtower is one of the largest publishing companies in the world— employing a permanent staff of researchers, writers, and illustrators, and with the extensive reach in the virtual world of JW dot org and the capacity to publish information instantaneously, the vaunted watchman seems to be woefully out of touch with reality.
It is especially odd given the heavenly mandate to supply food at the proper time for it, that after a year of no meetings or field service the “faithful slave” serves up a cold dish of leftover hash. Should not these extraordinarily difficult times call for a more spiritually fortifying diet? Sure, the daily text snippets are based upon previously written Watchtower articles. I get that. And large corporations have cultures and policies that are hard to change or redirect. I get that too. But it is not just the daily text. Take for example the latest Watchtower, April 2021, and the article entitled Now I love the Ministry! which extolls the joy of pioneering. Except now Vanessa and millions of other pioneers and publishers are not allowed to engage in the ministry as before.
Given the new reality, why not publish more relevant articles, perhaps highlighting how Jehovah’s Witnesses love sitting at home writing letters and making unsolicited phone calls on strangers?
It is not as though the Governing Body is totally out of touch. They publish monthly video updates on the pandemic— even updating the mounting death toll among Jehovah’s Witnesses, evidently to amplify the terror and justify the continued lockdown.
Since the leadership is obviously very much attuned to the pandemic panic, why, after an entire year of lockdown, is the Governing Body still pretending JWs are going about the all-important, lifesaving ministry and meeting together as formerly? Could it be that the Watchtower is actually trying to make itself vain and irrelevant? Why promote an unreality and serve up worthless counsel?
How true the scripture: “They trust in unreality and speak what is worthless. They conceive trouble and give birth to what is harmful.” — Isaiah 59:4a
Is it such a trivial thing for the Governing Body to renounce the public ministry and prevent Christians from fully carrying out their obligations before Christ, all the while putting up a pretense of saving lives by avoiding all human contact? Has the Heavenly Communicator secretly notified Bethel; or rather, is it not the case that the Governing Body has taken the lead in denying Jehovah? No, not denying His existence— rather, His authority! Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led into open revolt against Jehovah. At this critical time, Jehovah’s Witnesses are in hiding? Who hatched this evil scheme under the guise of saving lives? It is Isaiah says: “They hatch the eggs of a poisonous snake, and they weave the cobweb of a spider. Anyone who eats their eggs would die, and the egg that is crushed hatches a viper.” (59:5)
27 centuries ago Isaiah gave a voice to Christians who in the near future will find themselves under lockdown. No, not the phony pandemic lockdown theater, but the total trampling that will be imposed by the eighth king as punishment from God: “We grope for the wall like blind men; like those without eyes we keep groping. We stumble at high noon as in evening darkness; among the strong we are just like the dead. We all keep growling like bears and cooing mournfully like doves. We hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far away from us. For our revolts are many before you; each of our sins testifies against us. For our revolts are with us; we well know our errors. We have transgressed and denied Jehovah; we have turned our backs on our God. We have spoken of oppression and revolt; we have conceived lies and muttered false words from the heart. Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands far off; for truth has stumbled in the public square, and what is upright is unable to enter. Truth has vanished, and anyone who turns away from bad is plundered. Jehovah saw this and was displeased, for there was no justice.” — Isaiah 59:10-15