2 Kings, chapters 23-25

“Do not be afraid of being servants to the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.”
~2 Kings, 25:24

These words were spoken by Gedaliah, the newly appointed governor of Judah, soon after Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon (2 Ki. 25:22).

Gedaliah was accepting Jehovah’s will for the people of Judah.

The nation as a whole had sinned time and again for hundreds of years, showing no respect toward the covenant into which their forefathers had entered into with God (Ex. 24:3-8; 34:6,7,12-16).

Jehovah had sent his people prophet after prophet to warn them of the direction in which they were headed (2 Chron. 36:15,16).

Among these prophets was Jeremiah, who told the remnants of Judah to accept God’s punishment and submit to the king of Babylon (Jer. 27:12).

Some of the people did not like the message, including a man by the name of Ishmael.

Ishmael conspired against Gedaliah and murdered him (2 Ki. 25:25).

As true Christians who preach Christ’s kingdom, we too carry an unpopular message.

Some Christians in the past have given their life for the message they proclaimed, and even today, some Jehovah’s Witnesses risk their lives to take the good news into new cultures.

For example, some of the brothers and sisters whom we had the privilege of serving with in Michoacán, Mexico, were tasked with preaching the good news in Purepecha Villages where the Catholic church would summon all the townspeople, much like a mob forms, and the Witnesses would be incarcerated.

Others, as can be noted in some of our Yearbooks, have lost their lives.

The risks God’s servants are willing to take to proclaim God’s message are worth noting.

2 Samuel, chapters 16-18

The watchman said: “I can see that the first man runs like Ahimaaz the son of Zadok,” so the king said: “He is a good man, and he comes with good news.”
~2 Samuel 18:27

The priest Ahimaaz out ran the Cushite messenger commissioned to tell King David that his enemy had fallen (2 Sam. 18:24-32).

This news was not what David wanted to hear, for his enemy was his own son, Absalom (2 Sam. 18:33).

Still, Ahimaaz was determined to deliver the message to David before the Cushite envoy (2 Sam. 18:23).

Ahimaaz’s delivery style emphasized the good news but tactfully left out the bad news, which was then delivered by the second messenger.

Thus David received the news of his son’s death in steps, instead of receiving all the information in one blow.

When Jehovah’s Witnesses approach doors, what are people’s reactions?

Are our neighbors happy to see us because they know we are ‘good people’ who come with “good news?”

Or do they roll their eyes and refuse to open their doors because they do not like our message?

As “ambassadors” of the good news of Christ’s kingdom, we should make a sincere effort to keep our message positive and deliver it in an enthusiastic tone (Eph. 6:19,20).

It helps to be tactful about what Bible passages we choose to share with our neighbors.

Like Ahimaaz, we should be eager to deliver the good news God has entrusted us with, even when we know our audience will dislike some aspects of it.