OUR CHRISTIAN MINISTRY, MAY 16 through 22. BIBLE READING FOR THIS WEEK: 2 SAMUEL 1 through 3



Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:1 through 3:39 After Saul’s death, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David stayed at Ziklag for two days. 2 On the third day, a man came from the camp of Saul with his garments ripped apart and dirt on his head. When he approached David, he fell down to the ground and prostrated himself. 3 David asked him: “Where are you coming from?” He replied: “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4 David asked him: “How did things turn out? Please tell me.” To this he said: “The people have fled from the battle and many have fallen and died. Even Saul and his son Jonathan have died.” 5 Then David asked the young man who brought him the news: “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6 The young man replied: “By chance I was on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul supporting himself on his spear, and the chariots and horsemen had caught up with him. 7 When he turned around and saw me, he called me, and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 8 He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I replied, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9 Then he said, ‘Please stand over me and put me to death, for I am in great agony, but I am still alive.’ 10 So I stood over him and put him to death, for I knew that he could not survive after he had fallen down wounded. Then I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and I brought them here to my lord.” 11 At this David took hold of his garments and ripped them apart, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they wailed and wept and fasted until evening for Saul, for his son Jonathan, for the people of Jehovah, and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13 David asked the young man who brought him the news: “Where are you from?” He said: “I am the son of a foreign resident, an Amalekite.” 14 Then David said to him: “Why did you not fear to lift your hand to do away with the anointed of Jehovah?” 15 With that David called one of the young men and said: “Step forward and strike him.” So he struck him down, and he died. 16 David said to him: “Your blood is on your own head, because your own mouth testified against you by saying, ‘I myself put the anointed of Jehovah to death.’” 17 Then David chanted this dirge over Saul and his son Jonathan 18 and said that the people of Judah should be taught the dirge called “The Bow,” which is written in the book of Jashar: 19 “The beauty, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places. How the mighty have fallen! 20 Do not tell it in Gath; Do not announce it in the streets of Ashkelon, Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, Or the daughters of the uncircumcised men will exult. 21 You mountains of Gilboa, May there be no dew or rain upon you, Nor fields producing holy contributions, Because there the shield of mighty ones was defiled, The shield of Saul is no longer anointed with oil. 22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of mighty ones, The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, And the sword of Saul would not return without success. 23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and cherished during their life, And in death they were not separated. Swifter than the eagles they were, Mightier than the lions. 24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you in scarlet and finery, Who put gold ornaments upon your clothing. 25 How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places! 26 I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan; You were very dear to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love of women. 27 How the mighty have fallen And the weapons of war have perished!”

2 Afterward David inquired of Jehovah, saying: “Should I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” Jehovah said to him: “Go up.” David then asked: “Where should I go?” He replied: “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 David also brought the men who were with him, each with his household, and they settled in the cities around Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David as king over the house of Judah. They told David: “The men of Jabesh-gilead were the ones who buried Saul.” 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them: “May you be blessed by Jehovah, because you showed loyal love to your lord Saul by burying him. 6 May Jehovah show loyal love and faithfulness to you. I will also show you kindness because you have done this. 7 Now let your hands be strong and be courageous men, for your lord Saul is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me as king over them.” 8 But Abner the son of Ner, the chief of Saul’s army, had taken Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and brought him across to Mahanaim 9 and made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was 40 years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned for two years. The house of Judah, however, supported David. 11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 12 In time Abner the son of Ner and the servants of Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David also went out and encountered them at the pool of Gibeon; and one group sat on this side of the pool, and the other group on that side of the pool. 14 Finally Abner said to Joab: “Let the young men get up and engage in combat before us.” To this Joab said: “Let them get up.” 15 So they got up and crossed over by number, 12 for Benjamin and Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and 12 from the servants of David. 16 They grabbed one another by the head and each of them thrust his sword into the side of his opponent, and they all fell down together. So that place, which is in Gibeon, was called Helkath-hazzurim. 17 The fighting that ensued was extremely fierce that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were finally defeated before the servants of David. 18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there—Joab, Abishai, and Asahel; and Asahel was as swift on his feet as a gazelle in the open field. 19 Asahel chased after Abner, and he would not veer to the right or to the left in his pursuit of Abner. 20 When Abner looked behind, he asked, “Is that you, Asahel?” to which he replied, “Yes, it is.” 21 Then Abner said to him: “Veer to your right or to your left and capture one of the young men, and take whatever you strip off him for yourself.” But Asahel did not want to stop chasing him. 22 So Abner said to Asahel once again: “Stop chasing me. Why should I strike you down? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?” 23 But he kept refusing to stop, so Abner struck him in the abdomen with the butt end of the spear, and the spear came out from his back; and he fell there and died on the spot. Everyone who came to the place where Asahel fell and died would stop and pause there. 24 Then Joab and Abishai went in pursuit of Abner. As the sun was setting, they came to the hill of Ammah, which faces Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 There the Benjaminites gathered together behind Abner, and they formed one company and made a stand on the top of a certain hill. 26 Then Abner called out to Joab: “Is the sword going to devour endlessly? Do you not know that the outcome will only be bitterness? How long, then, will it be before you tell the people to turn back from pursuing their brothers?” 27 At that Joab said: “As surely as the true God is living, if you had not spoken, then only by the morning would the people have stopped pursuing their brothers.” 28 Joab now blew the horn, and his men stopped chasing after Israel, and the fighting ceased. 29 Abner and his men then marched through the Arabah all that night and crossed the Jordan and marched through the entire ravine and finally came to Mahanaim. 30 After Joab turned back from pursuing Abner, he gathered all the people together. Of David’s servants, 19 were missing, in addition to Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had defeated the Benjaminites and the men of Abner, and 360 of their men had died. 32 They took Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb, which is at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night long, and they reached Hebron at daybreak.

3 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David dragged on; and David kept getting stronger, and the house of Saul grew steadily weaker. 2 Meanwhile, sons were born to David in Hebron. His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam of Jezreel. 3 His second was Chileab by Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third was Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur. 4 The fourth was Adonijah the son of Haggith, and the fifth was Shephatiah the son of Abital. 5 The sixth was Ithream by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron. 6 While the war between the house of Saul and the house of David continued, Abner kept strengthening his position in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had had a concubine whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. Ish-bosheth later said to Abner: “Why did you have relations with the concubine of my father?” 8 Abner grew very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said: “Am I a dog’s head from Judah? Until this very day, I have shown loyal love toward the house of your father Saul and to his brothers and his friends, and I have not betrayed you into the hand of David; yet today you call me to account for an error concerning a woman. 9 May God do so to Abner and add to it if I do not do for David just as Jehovah swore to him: 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and to establish the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba.” 11 He was not able to say one more word in reply to Abner, for he was afraid of him. 12 Abner immediately sent messengers to David, saying: “To whom does the land belong?” He added: “Make a covenant with me, and I will do whatever I can to turn all Israel to your side.” 13 To this he replied: “Good! I will make a covenant with you. The only thing I ask of you is that you do not try to see my face unless first you bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see me.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying: “Give me my wife Michal, to whom I became engaged for 100 foreskins of the Philistines.” 15 So Ish-bosheth sent to take her from her husband, Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 But her husband kept walking with her, weeping as he followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner said to him: “Go, return!” At that he returned. 17 Meanwhile, Abner sent word to the elders of Israel, saying: “For some time you wanted to have David as king over you. 18 Now act, for Jehovah said to David: ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’” 19 Then Abner spoke to the people of Benjaminutes Abner also went to speak privately to David at Hebron to tell him what Israel and the whole house of Benjamin had agreed upon. 20 When Abner came to David at Hebron with 20 men, David held a feast for Abner and for the men with him. 21 Then Abner said to David: “Let me go and gather all Israel together to my lord the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and you will become king over all that you desire.” So David sent Abner off, and he went his way in peace. 22 Just then, David’s servants and Joab returned from a raid, bringing a great quantity of spoil back with them. Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, for he had sent him on his way in peace. 23 When Joab and all the army that was with him arrived, Joab was told: “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he sent him off, and he went his way in peace.” 24 So Joab went in to the king and said: “What have you done? Here Abner came to you. Why did you send him off so that he successfully got away? 25 You know Abner the son of Ner! He came here to fool you and to get to know your every move and to find out everything that you are doing.” 26 So Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah; but David did not know anything about it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside inside the gate to speak with him privately. However, there he stabbed him in the abdomen, and he died; this was for killing his brother Asahel. 28 When David heard about it later, he said: “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before Jehovah of the bloodguilt for Abner the son of Ner. 29 May it turn back on the head of Joab and on the entire house of his father. May Joab’s house never be without a man suffering from a discharge or a leper or a man working at the spindle or one falling by the sword or one in need of food!” 30 So Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because he had put Asahel their brother to death in the battle at Gibeon. 31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him: “Rip your garments apart and tie on sackcloth and wail over Abner.” King David himself was walking behind the funeral bier. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron; and the king wept loudly at Abner’s tomb, and all the people gave way to weeping. 33 The king chanted over Abner and said: “Should Abner die the death of a senseless person? 34 Your hands had not been bound, And your feet were not in fetters. You fell like one falling before criminals.” At that all the people wept over him again. 35 Later all the people came to give David bread for consolation while it was still daytime, but David swore: “May God do so to me and add to it if before the sun sets I taste bread or anything at all!” 36 All the people took notice, and it pleased them. Like everything that the king did, it pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel knew on that day that the king was not responsible for having Abner the son of Ner put to death. 38 Then the king said to his servants: “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 Today I am weak, although anointed as king, and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too brutal for me. May Jehovah repay the evildoer according to his own evil.”Perhaps referring to a crippled man required to do women’s work. End quotation.


SONG 103, SHEPHERDS​—GIFTS IN MEN, BASED ON EPHESIANS 4:8


1. Help in our lives, Jehovah provides,

Shepherds to tend his flock.

By their example they serve as guides,

Showing us how to walk.

CHORUS

God gives us men who have earned our trust,

Men who are loyal and true.

They show concern for his precious sheep;

Love them for all that they do.

2. Shepherds who love us care how we feel;

Gently they guide the way.

When we are hurt, they help us to heal,

Kind in the words they say.

CHORUS

God gives us men who have earned our trust,

Men who are loyal and true.

They show concern for his precious sheep;

Love them for all that they do.

3. Godly advice and counsel they give,

That we may never stray.

Thus they assist us, God’s way to live,

Serving him ev’ry day.

CHORUS

God gives us men who have earned our trust,

Men who are loyal and true.

They show concern for his precious sheep;

Love them for all that they do.

Opening Comments 1 minutes


TREASURES FROM GOD’S WORD


“What Do We Learn From ‘The Bow’?”: 10 minutes

David weeping and chanting a dirge. He is wearing a torn garment.

[Play the video Introduction to 2 Samuel.]


Treasure 1:

Show respect for those in authority
Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:17, 18 Then David chanted this dirge over Saul and his son Jonathan 18 and said that the people of Judah should be taught the dirge called “The Bow,” which is written in the book of Jashar: End quotation.

Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:23, 24 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and cherished during their life, And in death they were not separated. Swifter than the eagles they were, Mightier than the lions. 24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you in scarlet and finery, Who put gold ornaments upon your clothing. End quotation.
Watchtower 2000 6/15 13 paragraph 9


9. - PART "A" - HOW DID DAVID FEEL WHILE BEING MISTREATED BY SAUL? - PART B - HOW CAN WE TELL THAT DAVID’S RESPECT FOR SAUL WAS GENUINE?


9 Was David distressed while he was being mistreated? “There are . . . tyrants that do seek my soul,” David cried out to Jehovah.
Quotation: Psalm 54:3 For strangers rise up against me, And ruthless men seek my life. They have no regard for God. (Selah End quotation.
He poured out his heart to Jehovah: “Deliver me from my enemies, O my God . . . Strong ones make an attack upon me, for no revolt on my part, nor any sin on my part, O Jehovah. Though there is no error, they run and get themselves ready. Do rouse yourself at my calling and see.”
Quotation: Psalm 59:1 through 4 Rescue me from my enemies, O my God; Protect me from those rising up against me.  2 Rescue me from those who act wickedly, And save me from violent men.  3 Look! They wait to ambush me; Strong men attack me But not because I have revolted or sinned, O Jehovah.  4 Though I did no wrong, they run and prepare to attack. Do arise at my calling and see. End quotation.
Have you ever felt the same way​—that you had done no wrong to a person in authority, yet he kept giving you a hard time? David did not fail to show respect to Saul. Upon Saul’s death, instead of exulting in joy, David composed a dirge: “Saul and Jonathan, the lovable ones and the pleasant ones during their life . . . Swifter than the eagles they were, mightier than the lions they were. You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul.”
Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:23, 24 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and cherished during their life, And in death they were not separated. Swifter than the eagles they were, Mightier than the lions. 24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you in scarlet and finery, Who put gold ornaments upon your clothing. End quotation.
What a fine example of genuine respect for the anointed of Jehovah, even though David had been wronged by Saul!


Treasure 2:

Show loyalty to friends
Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:25, 26 How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places! 26 I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan; You were very dear to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love of women. End quotation.
Watchtower 2012 4/15 10 paragraph 8

IMITATE THOSE WHO PROVED LOYAL


8, 9. - PART "A" - WHY DID JONATHAN PLEDGE HIS LOYALTY TO DAVID? - PART B - HOW CAN WE IMITATE JONATHAN?


8 The Bible also describes many loyal individuals. Let us consider two of these and see what we can learn from them, starting with a man who proved his loyalty to David. Jonathan, King Saul’s eldest son, would likely have been the heir to the throne of Israel​—except for one thing. Jehovah chose David to be Israel’s next king. Jonathan respected God’s decision. He did not jealously view David as a rival. Rather, Jonathan’s “soul became bound up with the soul of David” as he pledged his loyalty to him. He even gave David his garments, sword, bow, and belt, thus bestowing royal honors on him.
Quotation: 1 Samuel 18:1 through 4 As soon as David had finished speaking to Saul, Jonathan and David became bound together in close friendship, and Jonathan began to love him as himself. 2 From that day, Saul kept David with him, and he did not allow him to return to his father’s house. 3 And Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the sleeveless coat that he wore and gave it to David, along with his gear, his sword, his bow, and his belt. End quotation.
Jonathan did all he could to ‘strengthen David’s hand,’ even to the point of risking his own life to stand up for David in front of Saul. Jonathan loyally told David: “You yourself will be king over Israel, and I myself shall become second to you.”
Quotation: 1 Samuel 20:30 through 34 Then Saul became enraged with Jonathan, and he said to him: “You son of a rebellious woman, do you think I do not know that you are choosing to side with the son of Jesse, to your own shame and to the shame of your mother? 31 As long as the son of Jesse is alive on the earth, you and your kingship will not be firmly established. So now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die.” 32 However, Jonathan said to Saul his father: “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 At that Saul hurled the spear at him to strike him, so Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. 34 Jonathan immediately rose up from the table in the heat of anger, and he did not eat any food on the second day after the new moon, for he was upset over David and his own father had humiliated him. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Samuel 23:16, 17 Jonathan the son of Saul now went out to David at Horesh, and he helped him find strength in Jehovah. 17 He said to him: “Do not be afraid, for my father Saul will not find you; you will be king over Israel, and I will become second to you; and my father Saul also knows that.” End quotation.
It is no wonder that after Jonathan’s death, David expressed his sorrow and his love for him in a mournful song.​—
Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:17 Then David chanted this dirge over Saul and his son Jonathan End quotation.

Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan; You were very dear to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love of women. End quotation.

ASK YOURSELF: ‘How can I show respect for the congregation elders? How can I show loyalty to fellow Christians?’


SPIRITUAL GEMS: 10 MINUTES



Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan; You were very dear to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love of women. End quotation.
​—Why could David call Jonathan “my brother”? . Insight Volume 1 369 paragraph 2

“Brother” is also applied to those united in a general cause and having similar aims and purposes. For example, King Hiram of Tyre called King Solomon his brother, not simply because he was an equal in rank and position but also perhaps because of mutual interests in supplying timbers and other things for the temple.
Quotation: 1 Kings 9:13 He said: “What sort of cities are these that you have given me, my brother?” So they came to be called the Land of Cabul down to this day. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Kings 5:1 through 12 When Hiram the king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed as king in place of his father, he sent his servants to Solomon, for Hiram had always been a friend of David’s. 2 In turn Solomon sent word to Hiram: 3 “You well know that David my father was not able to build a house for the name of Jehovah his God because of the wars waged against him from every side until Jehovah put his enemies under the soles of his feet. 4 But now Jehovah my God has given me rest on all sides. There is no one opposing me and nothing bad happening. 5 So I intend to build a house for the name of Jehovah my God, just as Jehovah promised to David my father, saying: ‘Your son whom I will put on your throne in your place, he is the one who will build the house for my name.’ 6 Now command your people to cut cedars of Lebanon for me. My servants will work with your servants, and I will pay the wages of your servants according to the rate you set, for you are aware that not one of us knows how to cut trees like the Sidonians.” 7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s words, he rejoiced greatly and said: “May Jehovah be praised today, for he has given David a wise son over this great people!” 8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon: “I have heard the message you sent to me. I will do all you desire in providing the cedar and juniper timbers. 9 My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into log rafts to go by sea to the place that you designate to me. I will have them broken up there, and you can carry them away. In exchange, you will provide the food that I request for my household.” 10 So Hiram supplied all the timbers of cedar and juniper that Solomon desired. 11 And Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 cor measures of wheat as food supplies for his household and 20 cor measures of very fine olive oil. That was what Solomon gave Hiram year after year. 12 And Jehovah gave Solomon wisdom, just as He had promised him. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty. End quotation.
“Look! How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” David wrote, implying that it is not blood relations alone that make for peace and unity between fleshly brothers.
Quotation: Psalm 133:1 Look! How good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! End quotation.
In fact, mutual affection and interest, not common parentage, prompted David to call Jonathan his brother.
Quotation: 2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan; You were very dear to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love of women. End quotation.
Companions having similar natures and dispositions, even when such are bad, are properly called brothers.​—
Quotation: Proverbs 18:9 Whoever is lazy in his work Is a brother to the one who causes ruin. End quotation.

What spiritual gems from this week’s Bible reading would you like to share regarding Jehovah, the field ministry, or something else?

BIBLE READING: 4 MINUTES. WORKING ON THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 5, ACCURATE READING.



Quotation: 2 Samuel 3:1 through 16 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David dragged on; and David kept getting stronger, and the house of Saul grew steadily weaker. 2 Meanwhile, sons were born to David in Hebron. His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam of Jezreel. 3 His second was Chileab by Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third was Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur. 4 The fourth was Adonijah the son of Haggith, and the fifth was Shephatiah the son of Abital. 5 The sixth was Ithream by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron. 6 While the war between the house of Saul and the house of David continued, Abner kept strengthening his position in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had had a concubine whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. Ish-bosheth later said to Abner: “Why did you have relations with the concubine of my father?” 8 Abner grew very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said: “Am I a dog’s head from Judah? Until this very day, I have shown loyal love toward the house of your father Saul and to his brothers and his friends, and I have not betrayed you into the hand of David; yet today you call me to account for an error concerning a woman. 9 May God do so to Abner and add to it if I do not do for David just as Jehovah swore to him: 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and to establish the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba.” 11 He was not able to say one more word in reply to Abner, for he was afraid of him. 12 Abner immediately sent messengers to David, saying: “To whom does the land belong?” He added: “Make a covenant with me, and I will do whatever I can to turn all Israel to your side.” 13 To this he replied: “Good! I will make a covenant with you. The only thing I ask of you is that you do not try to see my face unless first you bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see me.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying: “Give me my wife Michal, to whom I became engaged for 100 foreskins of the Philistines.” 15 So Ish-bosheth sent to take her from her husband, Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 But her husband kept walking with her, weeping as he followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner said to him: “Go, return!” At that he returned. End quotation.

THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 5, ACCURATE READING


Quotation: 1 Timothy 4:13 Until I come, continue applying yourself to public reading, to exhortation, to teaching. End quotation.

SUMMARY: Read aloud exactly what is on the page.

HOW TO DO IT:

Prepare well. Determine why the passage was written. Practice reading word groupings, not just individual words. Beware of inserting, skipping over, or substituting words. Observe all punctuation marks.

Ask a friend to monitor your reading and to point out any words that you read inaccurately.

Pronounce each word correctly. If you do not know how to pronounce a word, look it up in a dictionary, listen to an audio recording of the publication, or ask a good reader for help.

Speak clearly. Enunciate carefully, holding your head high and opening your mouth wide. Make an effort to pronounce each syllable.

Do not enunciate so precisely that your reading becomes unnatural.


APPLY YOURSELF TO THE FIELD MINISTRY


ASSIGNMENT 1. INITIAL CALL: 3 MINUTES. WORKING ON THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 3, USE OF QUESTIONS.


Begin with the sample conversation. Overcome a common objection.

Initial Call

Question: How do we know that our suffering is not punishment from God?

Scripture:
Quotation: James 1:13 When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.- End quotation.

Link: Why do we suffer?

End Sample Presentation


THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 3, USE OF QUESTIONS


Quotation: Matthew 16:13 through 16 When he had come into the region of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples: “Who are men saying the Son of man is?” 14 They said: “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them: “You, though, who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” End quotation.

SUMMARY: Ask tactful questions to arouse and maintain interest, to reason with your listeners, and to emphasize important points.

HOW TO DO IT:

Arouse and maintain interest. Ask rhetorical questions that stimulate a mental response or curiosity.

Reason on a subject. Help your listeners to follow the logic of an argument by posing a series of questions that lead to a reasonable conclusion.

Emphasize important points. Ask an intriguing question to introduce a key thought. Use review questions after discussing an important point or when concluding your presentation.

After reading a scripture, use questions to emphasize the key idea of the verses you just read.

IN THE MINISTRY

Ask your listener to express his viewpoint on a topic. Listen attentively to his response. Use discernment to determine when and how to ask tactful questions.

ASSIGNMENT 2. RETURN VISIT: 4 MINUTES. WORKING ON THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 20, EFFECTIVE CONCLUSION.


Begin with the sample conversation. Explain our free Bible course, and give the person a jw.org contact card.

Return Visit

Question: Why do we suffer?

Scripture:
Quotation: 1 John 5:19 We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.- End quotation.

Link: How does God feel about our suffering?

End Sample Presentation


THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 20, EFFECTIVE CONCLUSION


Quotation: Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole obligation of man. 14 For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad. End quotation.

SUMMARY: In your final remarks, appeal to your listeners to accept and apply what they have learned.

HOW TO DO IT:

Connect your conclusion to your overall topic. Restate or rephrase your main points and theme.

Motivate your listeners. Show your listeners what to do, and give sound reasons for doing so. Speak earnestly and with conviction.

Keep your conclusion simple and brief. Do not introduce new main points. Using as few words as are needed, make a final appeal for action.

Do not rush your conclusion, and do not let your voice simply fade away. Deliver the last few sentences with a note of finality.

IN THE MINISTRY

As you conclude the discussion, repeat the main point you want your listener to remember. If a conversation ends abruptly, conclude the conversation on a positive note. Even if a person is rude, respond in a way that may motivate him to listen next time.

ASSIGNMENT 3. BIBLE STUDY: 5 MINUTES. WORKING ON THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 19, EFFORT TO REACH THE HEART.


. Enjoy Life Forever Book lesson 04 point 5 and Some People Say

5. Jehovah wants you to get closer to him

A woman from Cambodia named Soten said that learning God’s name helped her to enjoy “the best feeling on earth.” Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.

VIDEO: My Search for the True God 8:18

In the video, how did learning God’s name affect Soten?

Before you become someone’s friend, you usually learn his or her name. Read
Quotation: James 4:8 Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones. End quotation.
, and then discuss these questions:

What does Jehovah invite you to do?

How might knowing and using God’s name help you to feel closer to him?

SOME PEOPLE SAY: “There’s only one God, so it doesn’t matter what you call him.”

Do you believe that Jehovah is God’s name?

How would you explain that God wants us to use his name?

THEOCRATIC MINISTRY POINT 19, EFFORT TO REACH THE HEART


Quotation: Proverbs 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, And may your heart observe my commandments, End quotation.

SUMMARY: Help your listeners to appreciate what they learn and to act on it.

HOW TO DO IT:

Help your listeners to make a self-examination. Ask rhetorical questions to help people in your audience examine their own feelings.

Appeal to good motives. Urge your listeners to analyze why they perform good works. Help them to build the finest motives​—love for Jehovah, for fellow humans, and for Bible teachings. Reason with your listeners; do not lecture them. Rather than shaming them, leave them encouraged at the end of your presentation, motivated to do their best.

Direct attention to Jehovah. Highlight how Bible teachings, principles, and commands reflect God’s qualities and his love for us. Cultivate in your listeners a desire to consider Jehovah’s feelings and to please him.

Remember that Jehovah draws people. Use his Word to motivate your listeners.

IN THE MINISTRY

When possible, use questions to find out what your listener really believes. Observe his facial expression and tone of voice for signs of his true feelings. However, be patient. You will likely have to build trust before your listener will reveal his inmost feelings.


SONG 107, THE DIVINE PATTERN OF LOVE, BASED ON 1 JOHN 4:19


1. The pattern of love, we learn from Jehovah

Shows the way, guides our way.

In all he has done, his dealings have shown us

How to display his loving way.

He gave us his Son, his dearest possession

To cover our sin, forgiving transgression.

What proof of his love​—its greatest expression!

His way is love, Yes, God’s way is love.

2. When we walk his way, our love for each other

Will be true, warm and true,

Will move us to care for all of our brothers,

Old ones and new, not just a few.

True love for our God and love for our brother,

We can’t have the one and not have the other.

The faults of our friends, we readily cover,

Proving our love, Our brotherly love.

3. The pattern of love, the bond that unites us

Lets us be family.

Our Father above now warmly invites us:

“Come taste and see real unity.”

Come share in the love and joy that define us;

God’s spirit and Word, he gives to refine us.

Our brothers and friends are here to remind us,

God’s way is love. Jehovah is love.


LIVING AS CHRISTIANS PART 1.


“Love . . . Does Not Rejoice Over Unrighteousness”: 7 minutes Discussion. Play the video Remember How Love Behaves​—Does Not Rejoice Over Unrighteousness.

In all their activity, true Christians strive to be guided by love. Love “does not rejoice over unrighteousness.”
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 13:6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. End quotation.
Therefore, we shun entertainment that glorifies such things as immorality and violence. Also, we do not rejoice when bad things happen to others, even to those who have hurt us.​—
Quotation: Proverbs 17:5 Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker, And whoever rejoices over another’s disaster will not go unpunished. End quotation.

WATCH THE VIDEO REMEMBER HOW LOVE BEHAVES​—DOES NOT REJOICE OVER UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THEN ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

How did David react when he learned that Saul and Jonathan had died?

What dirge did David compose for Saul and Jonathan?

Why did David not rejoice over the death of Saul?

PART 2. “Love . . . Hopes All Things”: 8 minutes Discussion. Play the video Remember How Love Behaves​—Hopes All Things.

Motivated by unselfish love, we hope the best for our brothers.
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 13:7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. End quotation.
For example, if a brother commits a sin and receives discipline, we hope that he will respond to efforts to readjust him. We are patient with those who are weak in faith, and we try to help them.
Quotation: Romans 15:1 We, though, who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those not strong, and not to be pleasing ourselves. End quotation.
If someone leaves the congregation, we do not give up hope that he will someday return.​—
Quotation: Luke 15:17, 18 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, while I am dying here from hunger! 18 I will get up and travel to my father and say to him: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. End quotation.

WATCH THE VIDEO REMEMBER HOW LOVE BEHAVES​—HOPES ALL THINGS, AND THEN ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

How did Abner’s loyalties change?

How did David and Joab each respond to Abner’s request?

Why should we hope the best for our brothers?


CONGREGATION BIBLE STUDY: 30 MINUTES . ENJOY LIFE FOREVER BOOK LESSON 04


Lesson 4. A telescopic view of the night sky with brilliant stars and galaxies.

LESSON 04

Who Is God?

Nearly as long as humans have existed, they have worshipped many gods and goddesses. Yet, the Bible refers to one God who “is greater than all the other gods.”
Quotation: 2 Chronicles 2:5 The house that I am building will be great, for our God is greater than all the other gods. End quotation.
Who is that? And what makes him greater than all the other gods that people worship? In this lesson, learn how this God introduces himself to you.

1. What is God’s name, and how can we be sure that he wants us to know it?

In the Bible, God introduces himself to us. He says: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” Read
Quotation: Isaiah 42:5 This is what the true God, Jehovah, says, The Creator of the heavens and the Grand One who stretched them out, The One who spread out the earth and its produce, The One who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk on it: End quotation.

Quotation: Isaiah 42:8 I am Jehovah. That is my name; I give my glory to no one else, Nor my praise to graven images. End quotation.
“Jehovah” is the translation of a Hebrew name that evidently means “He Causes to Become.” Jehovah wants us to know his name.
Quotation: Exodus 3:15 Then God said once more to Moses: “This is what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation. End quotation.
How can we be sure of that? In the Bible he included his name over 7,000 times!
Footnote reads: For more information about the meaning of God’s name and why some Bible translations have removed it, End Footnote.
The name Jehovah belongs to “the true God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.”​—
Quotation: Deuteronomy 4:39 Know, therefore, on this day, and take it to heart that Jehovah is the true God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. There is no other. End quotation.

2. What does the Bible reveal about Jehovah?

The Bible says that among all the gods worshipped by humans, Jehovah is the only true God. Why? There are several reasons. Jehovah has supreme authority, and he alone is “the Most High over all the earth.” Read
Quotation: Psalm 83:18 May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth. End quotation.
He is “the Almighty,” which means he has the power to do whatever he chooses to do. He “created all things”​—the universe and all life on earth.
Quotation: Revelation 4:8 As for the four living creatures, each one of them had six wings; they were full of eyes all around and underneath. And continuously, day and night, they say: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming.” End quotation.

Quotation: Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created.” End quotation.
Unlike anyone else, Jehovah has always existed, and he will exist forever.​—
Quotation: Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were born Or you brought forth the earth and the productive land, From everlasting to everlasting, you are God. End quotation.

DIG DEEPER

A man gazing into the night sky. The name Jehovah is superimposed on the sky.

Examine the difference between God’s titles and his unique name. Then learn how and why he revealed his name to you.

3. God has many titles, but one name

To see the difference between a person’s title and his name, play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.

VIDEO: Many Titles, but One Name 0:41

What is the difference between a title, such as “Lord,” and a name?

The Bible acknowledges that people worship many gods and lords. Read
Quotation: Psalm 136:1 through 3 Give thanks to Jehovah, for he is good; His loyal love endures forever.  2 Give thanks to the God of gods, For his loyal love endures forever.  3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For his loyal love endures forever. End quotation.
, and then discuss this question:

Who is “the God of gods” and “the Lord of lords”?

4. Jehovah wants you to know and use his name

What shows that Jehovah wants you to know his name? Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the questions that follow.

VIDEO: Does God Have a Name?​—Excerpt 3:11

Do you think Jehovah wants his name to be known? Why?

Jehovah wants people to use his name. Read
Quotation: Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” End quotation.
, and then discuss these questions:

How important is it to use God’s name, Jehovah?

How do you feel when someone remembers your name and uses it?

How do you think Jehovah feels when you use his name?

5. Jehovah wants you to get closer to him

A woman from Cambodia named Soten said that learning God’s name helped her to enjoy “the best feeling on earth.” Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.

VIDEO: My Search for the True God 8:18

In the video, how did learning God’s name affect Soten?

Before you become someone’s friend, you usually learn his or her name. Read
Quotation: James 4:8 Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you... End quotation.
, and then discuss these questions:

What does Jehovah invite you to do?

How might knowing and using God’s name help you to feel closer to him?

SOME PEOPLE SAY: “There’s only one God, so it doesn’t matter what you call him.”

Do you believe that Jehovah is God’s name?

How would you explain that God wants us to use his name?

SUMMARY

Jehovah is the name of the only true God. He wants us to know and use that name so that we can draw close to him.

Review

How is Jehovah different from all the other gods that people worship?

Why should we use God’s name?

What shows that Jehovah wants you to draw close to him?

Lesson completed on:

Goal

When talking about God, use his name, Jehovah.

Other:

EXPLORE

Examine five compelling lines of reasoning that give proof God exists.

“Does God Exist?” Web article

Consider why believing that God has always existed makes sense.

“Who Made God?” The Watchtower, August 1, 2014

Learn why we should use God’s name, even if its ancient pronunciation is unknown.

“Who Is Jehovah?” Web article

Does it matter what we call God? See why we can say that he has just one personal name.

“How Many Names Does God Have?” Web article

Concluding Comments 3 minutes


SONG 2, JEHOVAH IS YOUR NAME, BASED ON PSALM 83:18


1. The living and true God—

The God of all creation

In ev’ry generation—

Jehovah is your name.

We’re honored and we’re proud

To be your congregation.

In ev’ry tribe and nation,

Your glory we proclaim.

CHORUS

Jehovah, Jehovah,

There is no God like you.

There’s no other in the heavens

Or on the earth below.

You alone are God Almighty,

And this all men must know.

Jehovah, Jehovah,

We have no other God but you.

2. You cause us to become

Whatever you desire,

To do as you require—

Jehovah is your name.

And Witnesses for you

Is what you’ve kindly named us.

We’re honored you have claimed us—

A people for your name.

CHORUS

Jehovah, Jehovah,

There is no God like you.

There’s no other in the heavens

Or on the earth below.

You alone are God Almighty,

And this all men must know.

Jehovah, Jehovah,

We have no other God but you.


PRAYER. END OUR CHRISTIAN MINISTRY