|Topical Bible Study||February 1961|
The Creator Series—Lesson VIII
God Hears and Cares
GOD’S loving interest in his people, and his care for them, are brought feelingly to our attention by the Bible’s many references to his ability to “hear” when we cry to him for help, and that he bears us up in his everlasting “arms.” (Ps. 34:15-19; 20:6; Deut. 33:27) To make his love more understandable, and more intimate, the Scriptures represent God as inclining his ear toward his people to make sure that he hears their prayers.—Ps. 116:1,2; 40:1
The Lord has not promised to hear favorably the prayers of his people if their requests are not in harmony with his will.* (I John 5:14,15) God is abundantly able to grant us all the blessings for which we pray, and will do so if our requests are in keeping with the principles of his plan and laws. The Scriptures tell us that God has a “mighty arm,” and a “strong hand,” and that these will be used in keeping with justice, mercy, and truth.—Ps. 89:13,14
* “The New Creation,” page 679 to and including paragraph 1, page 680.
During the present Gospel Age the Lord is dealing only with those whom he is preparing to live and reign with Christ in his thousand-year kingdom. When that kingdom is fully established, and the knowledge of the Lord is filling the earth, “all flesh” will be lifting up their hearts in prayer to God, and he will “hear.” (Ps. 65:2; Isa. 65:24) How the people will then rejoice that they have learned to know, to love, and to serve the true and living God, the loving Creator of the universe!—Isa. 25:9
Meanwhile, the Lord has not been indifferent to the sufferings of fallen mankind. The Scriptures represent him as looking down from heaven and seeing conditions on the earth, and hearing the groanings of the people, who are as prisoners of death. It is indicated that the Lord has pity for these prisoners, and will release them. (Ps. 102:19,20) The releasing of the prisoners of death is the great work of Christ during the thousand years of his kingdom. It is a work that was planned by God’s wisdom, having been motivated by his love.
This loving future work of God, through Christ, is spoken of in the Scriptures as the opening of his hand to satisfy the desires of “every living thing” When, in the kingdom of Christ, this promise is being fulfilled, the people will find that the Lord is very near to them. Those who truly fear or reverence him will be saved, or rescued completely from death, and will live forever.—Ps. 145:16-19
This blessed kingdom work of the future is prophesied as being accomplished by the “arm” of the Lord, Jesus. (Isa. 52:10; Ps. 98:1) This arm, the prophecy states, is to be “made bare,” so that all can see it. No longer will the people wonder about God’s love, for it will be revealed to them that the blessings of that day are the result of the gift of his own dear Son to be their Redeemer and Savior.
Up to now this “arm” of the Lord has been revealed only to a few, comparatively speaking. He was despised and rejected of men. Few indeed at Jesus’ first advent recognized that he had come as the gift of God’s love to save the people from their sin; so they persecuted him, and put him to death.—Isa. 53:1-5
But we can rejoice that during Christ’s second visit to earth the situation will be vastly different. Then the people from all the ends of the earth will recognize him, and will rejoice in the salvation which he has provided for them.
These questions are answered in this short article, “God Hears and Cares.” Do you know the answers to them?
What lessons do we derive from the Bible’s references to God’s “ears” and “arms”?
Upon what condition does God answer the prayers of his people?
When will the people of all the world—“all flesh”—have their prayers answered?
Does the seeming long delay in the fulfillment of God’s promises to bless all the families of the earth imply that he has been indifferent to human needs? When will God satisfy the desire of “every living thing”?
Who is the “arm” of the Lord that will, in God’s due time, be made “bare” for all the world to see?
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
God assures his people of his loving watchfulness over their interests, and of his ability to care for them.
In the present Gospel Age God is caring specially only for those whom he has called to joint-heirship in Christ’s kingdom. In the kingdom age his care will be manifested toward all the willing and obedient of mankind.