Job 38-42

“After Job had prayed for his companions, Jehovah removed Job’s tribulation and restored his prosperity.”
~Job 42:10

Job had to forgive those who had misjudged him before he could receive God’s blessing.
God Himself had been quick to forgive Job for some of the things he had said in error (Job 42:6).
God’s willingness to forgive Job promptly gives testament to how He constantly searches out the good in people instead of concentrating on our negative traits.
“For the eyes of Jehovah are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him,” (2 Chron. 16:9).
When we make a genuine effort to forgive, forget and have a positive attitude, we can then trust God will treat us with that same compassion (Matt. 6:12; Col. 3:13).

1 Chronicles, chapters 1-4

“O that you would bless me and enlarge my territory and let your hand be with me and preserve me from calamity, so that it may bring no harm to me!”
~1 Chronicles 4:10

Jabez is a lesser known Bible personality.
This is the only passage in the Scriptures that makes reference to him.
Upon beginning to read Chronicles, it may seem like a restatement of genealogies and some passages appear to be copied straight out of other books.
However, the writer Ezra, who was both scribe and priest, referenced some seventeen to twenty scrolls of his day that are not currently in existence.
That is why the book of Chronicles provides details essential to developing a fuller faith in Jehovah God and the Bible as a whole (“Chronicles, The Books of.” Watchtower Online Library, Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, June 2015. Web 12 Oct. 2015).
Returning to the story of Jabez, Jehovah heard his prayer and “brought about what he had asked for.”
From this, we gather that to be outstanding in God’s eyes, we do not need to go out and perform great deeds that change the course of history.
Jabez put his faith in Jehovah, not so much in himself, and that distinguished him enough for God to include his account in the Holy Scriptures.

2 Samuel, chapters 4-8

And now, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, you are the true God, and your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
~2 Samuel 7:28

King David had asked for the prophet, Nathan’s, blessing in constructing a temple (2 Sam. 7:2,3).

When Jehovah told David through Nathan that it wouldn’t be him, but his son, who would undertake and accomplish that great task, David opted to see the glass half full (2 Sam. 7:12,13,18,19).

He fully trusted God’s promises 100% (2 Sam. 7:21,27).

He knew that, even after his own death, his kingdom would persist because God had spoken it (2 Sam. 7:16).

We, too, need to keep a positive attitude when we fail to accomplish personal goals.

If we cannot serve God in the way we had envisioned ourselves doing so due to health, financial or family circumstances, or even due to personal shortcomings, we can still demonstrate our faith that Jehovah will bless us and our families in the future.

Like David, we can also pray:
“So may it please you to bless the house of your servant, and may it continue forever before you; for you, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, have promised, and with your blessing may the house of your servant be blessed forever,” (2 Sam. 7:29).

Joshua, chapters 16-20

Thus they finished dividing the land for inheritance by its territories. Then the Israelites gave Joshua the son of Nun an inheritance in their midst.
~Joshua 19:49

Joshua had to put the nation’s interests before his own.

He selflessly waited until the tribes had received their land assignments before proceeding to accept his family’s inheritance.

This reminds me of the self-sacrifice Christian elders demonstrate in the congregation and the patience that is expected of them and their families.

Today’s elders may never see physical blessings until God’s paradise fills the earth, yet they continue to selflessly put the congregation’s interests first, tirelessly concentrating on serving those commended to their care (Isa. 65:21,22; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).

Deuteronomy, chapters 14-18

You may then convert [the offering] into money, and with your money in hand, travel to the place that Jehovah your God will choose.

~Deuteronomy 14:25

God’s commandments are not so burdensome that they are practically impossible to carry out (1 John 5:3).

His main purpose behind having the Israelites congregate was that he wanted them to rejoice and show hospitality toward others (De. 14:26,27).

Even though the semi-annual trips to the assembly place carried expenses, physical effort, travel time, and business losses, God personally promised “Jehovah your God will bless you,” (De. 14:24).

Today we have many ways of contributing to the fulfillment of God’s will.

Although regular monetary contributions are useful, many of God’s commandments imply personal sacrifices in both time and effort.

We cannot exchange these acts of obedience for something more convenient, but God’s blessing will rejoice each one of his servants on a personal level.

Numbers, chapters 22-25

But God said to Baʹlaam: “You must not go with them. You must not curse the people, for they are blessed,”
~Numbers 22:12

Balaam, to an extent, had knowledge of the true God, at one point calling Jehovah  ‘his God,’ (Nu. 22:18).

Still, he persisted in collaborating with the Midianites and the Moabites in their endeavor to curse Israel.

These people had a pagan form of worship involving sexual promiscuity in the sacrifices they offered to Ba’al of Pe’or (Nu. 25:1-3).

The chieftains had promised Balaam riches in exchange for a curse, for they acknowledged that ‘the one whom he blessed was blessed and the one whom he cursed was cursed,’ (Nu. 22:6).

What they did not take into account is that Jehovah cannot be bought out nor does he follow the orders of man.

In their practices of divination, these people implored favor of their gods without making personal sacrifices in the way of kindness, repentance or moral conduct.

Because of this and God’s promises to the patriarchs, he would never favor them over Israel.

Today, it would be wrong of us to pray for or persist in pursuing something that goes against God’s expressed will.

This is especially true if we are motivated by purely selfish reasons as in the case of Balaam, whose greed led him to lose all of God’s favor and be executed (Nu. 31:8).