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“I will incline mine car 'to a parable: I will open my
sayings upon the harp.”—Psalm 49:4.
HE harp is a musical instrument invented many
upon it yields sweet music, making glad the heart. The first mention of the harp made in the Bible is in Genesis 4:21, and the inventor's name was Jubal. He was therefore called "the father of all such as handle the harp and organ”.
2It was 1812 years before the coming of Jesus in the flesh that God organized the twelve tribes of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, into a nation, which nation thereafter was known as the nation of Israel. It was the only nation with which God made a covenant, and he did not recognize any other nation in the same way. (Amos 3:2) The nation of Israel was used to make living pictures or types, foreshadowing better things to come; and those who study the Scriptural account of Israel's experiences are able to approximate closely future events which will be good for mankind.—1 Corinthians 10:113; Hebrews 10:1.
With the nation of Israel the harp was an instrument consecrated to joy and exaltation. David, who for forty years was king of Israel, was an expert player on the harp, and it will be noted that in the Psalms often the harp is used to symbolize or teach some great truth. The Jews used this instrument on occasions of joy, such as jubilees and festivals. *Josephus, a writer of Jewish history, is authority for
the statement that the harp usually had ten strings, but that at times it was smaller and had only eight strings. The number ten is used in the Scriptures to symbolize that which is complete or perfect as pertaining to man. We would understand, then, that the harp with ten strings pictures the great fundamental truths concerning the divine plan. When two of these strings were absent, there being only eight, the indication is apparently given that there would be a time when two important features of the divine plan would not be seen by men. God promised that greater light should come upon his Word at the end of the age, or end of the world, which means the social order of things. Since we have reached that time, we confidently look for more light and thus we find it.
5The Book of Revelation is written largely in symbols. In Revelation 14:2,3 and 15:2,3 we find a brief description of a class of glorious beings who are playing upon their harps, and these are described as the harps of God'. The harp here is used as a sign or symbol of some great truth, or feature of the divine program; in fact, a great deal of the Bible is written in symbolic phrase. The Lord uses objects which we know to illustrate great unseen things which we do not know, and the harp is so used.
WHO IS GOD? Before we can know God and understand his great plan it is first necessary for us to believe that he exists and that he rewards all who diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) But how can we believe?. We must first have some knowledge. But how can we know that there is a great God? Let us look at some of the simpler things about us and reason upon the matter.
'Look at the flowers in your garden. Out from the
varieties of different hues and colors. Likewise from the same soil spring the divers kinds of trees, bringing forth different fruits at different seasons of the year. Some wisdom superior to man's must have arranged these things. Observe the broad fields, the lofty mountains, the mighty rivers, and then behold the ocean, exhibiting unlimited power, upon the waves of which majestically ride the great ships. Are we not compelled to conclude that there was a wise One, who created these things, greater than anything we see?
8Now gaze into the silent heavens above you, and there number, if you can, the stars and planets which are noiselessly moving through space. Many of these are far greater than the earth, and yet each one hangs in its place and moves noiselessly about in its orbit. Surely they could not have come there by chance, but the reasonable mind must say that a Creator greater than the planets put them there. When King David looked at these wonders of creation he was so impressed with the greatness of their Creator that he wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” –Psalm 19:1-4.
o Consider man. What a wonderful piece of mechanism is his body! The framework is there; the muscles that hold each part in place; the nerves, like a great electrical system by which messages are conveyed from the brain to all parts of the body. He has power to reason and to plan and carry out these plans. Truly no machine can be compared to man for intricacy of construction and harmony of action. Who, then, is the Creator of this wonderful thing? We must conclude
that there was a great First Cause who made and put into action all things visible in the universe, as well as things to us invisible. And who is he? Jehovah is his name; the great God of the universe.—Psalm 83: 18; Genesis 17:1; Exodus 6:3; 20:2-5.
10 The name Jehovah means self-existing one. He was without beginning and without end, and of him Moses wrote: “From everlasting to everlasting thou art God”. (Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 26:4) He is the great Almighty Jehovah God and there is none other besides him, and his honor and dignity none other possesses. (Isaiah 42:8) He is the great all-wise Creator of all things that are made. (Isaiah 40:28; Genesis 1:1) The four great and eternal attributes of Jehovah are justice, power, love, and wisdom. (Ezekiel 1:5, 6) These attributes work together in exact harmony at all times; and in various times and ways he makes manifest these attributes. At certain times he has specially manifested such attributes.
11 His justice was made manifest by inflicting punishment for the violation of his law. Power was particularly manifested in the great flood that destroyed all things on the earth. His love was especially exhibited in the sacrifice of the dearest treasure of his heart, his beloved Son, that mankind might have an opportunity for life. His wisdom is particularly manifested in his great plan, which he gradually unfolds and permits man to see. His attributes have no limitations. He is so wise that he knew the end from the beginning and outlined all of his great plan to the very minutest detail.–Acts 15:18.
HIS REVELATION 12It is conceded by all that man is the very highest type of all living creatures on the earth. His intelligence
is far superior to that of any other earthly being. Truly man is fearfully and wonderfully made. Is it not reasonable for him to expect that the Almighty God would reveal to man something of the divine greatness and plans and purposes? Yes, and such revelation is found in that wonderful book, the holy Bible.
13Who wrote the Bible? What is known as the Old Testament was written by holy men of old who were moved upon by the invisible power of Jehovah to write it. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Samuel 23:2; Luke 1: 70) The New Testament consists of the spoken words of Jesus, the Son of God, who spake as never man spake, and whose words were recorded by those who heard him and witnessed his acts; and in addition thereto, the written testimony of his disciples, who wrote under inspiration from God.
14 The holy spirit means the invisible power or influence of Jehovah-holy because he is holy. This power of Jehovah operated upon the minds of honest men who loved and who were devoted to righteousness, directing them in the writing of the Bible. The spirit of God, i.e., his invisible power and influence, moved upon the waters and thereby he created. (Genesis 1:2) In like manner his invisible power and influence operated upon the minds of men and directed them what to write. Thus did Moses write the first five books of the Bible. The invisible power or influence of God, which is the holy spirit, operating upon Moses' mind enabled him to make a record of the chief events that had occurred and to write the law of God, as given to his people through Moses. In no other way could the true history of creation have been written. These facts and truths were, therefore, written by inspiration of God. (2 Timothy 3:16; Job 32:8) There are twenty-four prophetic writers of the Old Testament, who foretold