Friday, September 25th, 2009
"It does not belong to man . . . to direct his step." (Jeremiah 10:23)
When the king and the people of Israel submitted to Jehovah’s sovereignty, they enjoyed His protection and blessing. The reign of Solomon was in particular a time of peace and prosperity beyond compare, providing a prophetic glimpse of the rule of God’s Kingdom when Satan’s influence will be completely removed and Jehovah’s sovereignty vindicated. (1 Kings 4:20, 25) Sadly, most of the kings in the Davidic line failed to measure up to Jehovah’s requirements, and the people fell into idolatry and immorality. Finally, Jehovah allowed the kingdom to be destroyed by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E. The overthrow of the Davidic kingdom—and the earlier overthrow of the northern kingdom of Israel—furnished proof, not of any deficiency or failure of Jehovah’s sovereignty, but of the sorry consequences of Satan’s influence and man’s independence from God.—Proverbs 16:25.
(Watchtower issue: 12/1/07, 1:16, 17)
*I heard such an awesome illustration in a talk by Br Goldstone (from the Malawi Bethel Branch) called "Why take refuge in Jehovah?" which demonstrated why it's so important to allow God to guide us and 'direct our steps' in life, instead of being a 'know-it-all' and presuming that we can act independently from God without consequences.
He said that in some prisons (especially in Africa), inmates who've been serving life sentences will be told that they can 'escape to freedom' IF they can 'find their way out' of the prison ... They will place them in a large corridor of hallways (set up like a maze or labyrinth) with an exit door at the end. Well what typically happens, is the prisoner is under so much anxiety and mental stress (because they keep running and running but just can't seem to find their way out, or get to the exit door),...that they will actually suffer a heart attack and die!
Forensic scientists who've studied this, have tried to understand it by creating the same type of scenario/experiment with mice...and the same thing happens...the mice eventually collapse and die from the stress of it.
The solution is to place a guard on a raised watchtower, who can see the prisoner in the maze, and can tell him which direction he needs to go and which way to turn, so he can successfully navigate through the labyrinth of corridors and escape to freedom.
Can you see where this illustration is going??? =)
That's exactly what Jehovah does by providing us with such beneficial counsel and guidance that will 'direct our steps' in life. But here's the rub...many times we don't want to listen to that advice, the same way that the literal prisoner in the maze will get frustrated and won't want to listen to the directions coming from the guard on the watchtower. -Because from his limited vantage point, it seems that he's going around in circles, and not being given accurate advice. He'll start to rely on himself to find his way out (big mistake). So the man on the watchtower has to keep reassuring the prisoner that he can see the entire maze of corridors from where he's at, and knows exactly which way the man needs to go,...which is why he just needs to trust him and follow his directions.
Isn't that the perfect way to illustrate why we need to 'trust' and lean on Jehovah to help guide us and our decisions in life, since he always sees the 'bigger picture'? Instead of relying on our own limited wisdom and vantage point?