Jehovah God is a wonderful provider. He has given humankind everything they need. From the very beginning when he created Adam and Eve and placed them in Eden he provided them with a beautiful home in a paradise. He did more than that. God did not make his first earthly intelligent creations hunt for food to keep them alive. No, that was all provided for too. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.” (Gen. 1:29, A.S.V.) With all these provisions, they should have had sufficient. But even after the first pair sinned by eating the fruit of the only forbidden tree, which fruit was forbidden them in order to test their obedience, the Lord provided them with clothing. “And Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them.”—Genesis 3:21, A.S.V.
Since that time nearly six thousand years ago, man has needed these three things—shelter, food and clothing—in order to carry on his normal existence in life. With these he should be content. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Tim. 6:7, 8) David, a man after God’s own heart, expresses how generously Jehovah provides for every one of his creatures; not only for man, by supplying him with all his needs, but for every living thing: the birds, fish and beasts of the field. The Almighty God looks after and cares for what he creates. “The eyes of all wait for thee; and thou givest them their food in due season. Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.”—Psalm 145:15, 16, A.S.V.
In providing all these necessary things in abundance God was not making man an idler so that he would be able to say, “I don’t have anything to do.” No, God kept man busy from the time of his creation, when He put him in the garden “to dress it and to keep it”. (Gen. 2:15) So it will be with man in the new world. But when man went contrary to God’s law He declared, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” (Gen. 3:17, A.S.V.) While God made man a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor, it was Jehovah who gave him the assignment to look after things upon the earth. He put all things under man’s feet: “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing.” (Gen. 1:26) Man has used beasts of burden in his toil to plant, cultivate, water, and eventually bring forth food. But still Jehovah is the original Provider of all our needs and our thanks must go to him for all things. We are dependent on him for the rain, sun, air, soil, fertile seed, for everything; and he gives it to us. When God made man ruler over these animals and charged him to keep the fields and forests in all their majesty, he never decreed that man was to be a tyrant over man. Man’s sovereign Ruler and everlasting Provider must be Jehovah. Man’s life is dependent on the only true God!
Man should know that all creation, including man himself, was made to set forth the splendor and the glory of Jehovah, the Supreme One of the universe. Man should feel his need of relying on God; for when one comes into the world he has nothing but the gift of life God gave him, and he can take nothing along when he leaves it. When one knows this, why should he crave to domineer over and control the lives and destinies of other human creatures? Why be greedy and have that selfish condition of heart? If, as we know, God supplies all things to sustain our life, why try to take away the substance that God has given other men for their existence? In this commercialized world most persons have very little and the giants of commerce do not want them to have more. Those who substitute communistic co-operatives do not succeed in overcoming that condition and the people continue to suffer from lack of the necessities of life. Under one system or another that men set up, selfishness and lust for control rise to dominate. It would be better to give our substance to the poor than to covet what little they have. What is our gain if we do rob the poor? We certainly can’t take it with us!
The Lord has always been interested in and helpful to the poor. Christians should be too. David knew that the favor of God did not go with the oppressor of the poor, for he said, “All my bones will say, ‘O LORD, who is like thee, saving the poor from him that is too strong for him, the poor and the needy from him that would rob him?’” (Ps. 35:10, An Amer. Trans.) David’s whole body, his very bones, cried out in an expression of praise to his Creator because of God’s loving interest in the poor. To know that Jehovah will protect the poor against the oppressor, the strong, the rich and the mighty is surely a comfort. Good men will help the poor. “He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.” (Prov. 14:31) The poor love life the same as all other folks. Why make them suffer and rob them of what they have?
Man was made to be free and to be allowed to use the many things God created for his welfare. If a man likes something another man has he should not covet it. There is enough of everything in the world for everyone to have sufficient. The accumulation of earthly wealth and possessions is not the big thing in life. “You must not covet your neighbor’s home; you must not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything at all that is your neighbor’s.” (Ex. 20:17, An Amer. Trans.) It is not wrong to have a home, wife, servants, or animals; but it is wrong to covet that which someone else has. One should not use his power or his wealth or influence to take away from another that person’s own beloved possessions. That is the spirit of the old world, the spirit that the Devil has implanted in the minds of men. This selfishness has grown up in the hearts of human creatures, and they have a strong desire to control other people and to make man dependent upon man rather than dependent upon Jehovah God, who is the supplier of all things. If God has so abundantly supplied food, clothes and things needful for living, then why rob the poor? Why not seek the greater thing—life everlasting?
The spirit of this world is selfishness and it says, “We do not need God!” Whether they be commercial, political or religious, these combines covet that which others have. Religion tries to control politics; so does commerce. Riches have a big influence on religion. Politics curtsies and tips the hat for the smile of religion. Take the greatest religious organization in the world today, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. Look at it. Note the evils it has done in the name of religion: how it has corrupted nations; how it has managed to hold its members in illiteracy; how it has controlled education in many countries and kept the poor people in ignorance; how it has hid the Bible and had its Bible-burnings so that the Book of freedom would never become the peoples’ Textbook of life. Yes, look at the world it influences! Its wars! Its torture chambers! Its bloodshedding! Its oppression of the poor! Why have they not given the people the Bible, so that they could learn of the true God, his Son and the way of life eternal?
Now turn to the political organizations of the world. None is satisfied with its own territory or sphere of influence. The desire of each is to gain control of people through a system of government. They often claim to have a government with rulers of divine right. The whole purpose of governments of the world is to control the people by making them dependent upon the state rather than upon God. They want all people to believe that that which they have comes to them through the good graces of a dictator, a prime minister, a president or a political party. All this propaganda is merely a scheme of government to regiment the people and make them wholly dependent upon a man-made way of life rather than on Jehovah God, who says He will provide them with all the necessities of life: shelter, food, and clothing. The state tells the farmer how much wheat to plant, how many pigs to slaughter and bury in the ground, how much coffee to burn when the stock piles are too great to please commerce or politicians. They dump the potatoes into the sea or destroy them by other means when the prices are “too low”. The increase that God has given to the land and to the animals, to the fruit and the herbs, man destroys to please the state and commerce. The poor and needy they will take care of in their way if they do not die first. Man, in his covetous desire to control and take away from the people, has said, “This is mine.” He never reflects for a moment to think that God, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that therein is, provided these things for all men, not for a few to control.
Then there is the third part of this oppressive, great, devilish organization: commerce. We see the great combines and cartels feverishly working against one another. We see management and labor vying for control of industry. We see small business men struggling to eke out an existence in a competitive world. The big things are money, power, wealth, getting ahead, doing better than the other fellow, getting on top, beating competitors out of the world, state or city markets. The spirit of helping the poor has been lost. The spirit of helpfulness is nearly forgotten and, as for doing a day’s work, man’s motto is, “Do as little as you can and watch the clock.” When the earth yields its increase there are no thanks to God for it, but commerce grabs the controls and either boosts or lowers prices according to its own interest. It is a fearful thing to be entwined in this great commercial organization which has no heart and to get the feel of its selfish, grasping, possessive atmosphere. It is better to ask the Lord to ‘give us this day our daily bread’ than to do as the rich of the religious, political and commercial world do. They are laying up “treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal”.—Matt. 6:19.
How much better it is for one to trust in the Lord and believe his Word! “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.” (Lev. 26:3-5) That was the promise that God gave to His chosen people, and it was a sure promise, but it meant that the individuals must follow the commandments of the Lord and walk in them. As far as the provisions of life are concerned, God guarantees these the year round to those who walk in his statutes. In the very beginning of creation, Jehovah provided all the necessary things for man, and in their abundance the food and provisions were for all. These things are just as sure today for those who love Jehovah.
But how different are all the nations today who seek to control all production and say what portion of the God-given provisions men shall have! By getting control of the world’s necessities one nation can force its rule on another. How true the saying, ‘Every man’s hand is against his neighbor.’ (Zech. 14:13) The rulers of a nation boast that ‘we are massing this wealth and power so that you, the people, may have security’. Has the United Nations organization, with all its potential accumulated power, brought security. The more things nations control in the world, whether they be the atomic bomb, airplanes, steamships, food supplies, raw materials, or anything else, the more they want and the greater become their influence and power, while the poor suffer. There is no safety in the accumulating of all these riches for the last days. Having coveted and collected wealth, influence and political and religious power, what will these men do in the day of judgment when Jehovah God brings his wrath against the oppressor of the poor, the wicked organization, and destroys it?
The Lord’s Word prophesies just how these men will feel in that time: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” (Jas. 5:1-3) There is no material wealth that will save governments or men from the destruction that will be meted out to them, because of their evil doings, at the battle of Armageddon. Momentarily the material wealth of a nation makes it feel strong, but Jehovah said he would deliver “the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him”. (Ps. 35:10) How the nations of the earth have spoiled the people, especially through the first and second world wars! Even in between these wars and to this very day there is no peace, but the peoples of the nations are still being spoiled. And for what? “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.” (Ezek. 7:19) How foolish then it is for men to hoard their wealth just to satisfy their own selfish desires! It will profit them nothing. They cannot take it with them. The wise man wrote in Proverbs: “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.”—Proverbs 11:4.