In the previous lecture we saw that the true God was not hindered by the wars among men — fratricide and unjust wars, moved by power and ambition (Acts 14:15-16). Jehovah taught his servants to war. David said: “He teaches my hands to war, so that my arms bend a bow of brass” (2 Sam. 22:35). “You have enlarged my steps under me. My feet have not slipped. I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them. I didn’t turn again until they were consumed. I have consumed them, and struck them through, so that they can’t arise. Yes, they have fallen under my feet. For you have armed me with strength for the battle. You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me, that I might cut off those who hate me. They looked, but there was none to save; even to Jehovah, but he didn’t answer them. Then I beat them as small as the dust of the earth. I crushed them as the mire of the streets, and spread them abroad” (2 Sam. 22:37-43).
Paul, filled with the Holly Spirit, teaches, saying: “If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18). And he said more: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). The work of Jehovah was always to kill, enslave, and destroy nations and men — his people included — if they sinned (Deut. 28:59-63). The work of Jesus is to save all sinners (John 3:17; 1 Tim. 1:15).
Jehovah, in order to make wars that destroy souls, used all his knowledge, all his means, and all his fury and wrath. He said: “I have given you a king in my anger, and have taken him away in my wrath” (Hos. 13:11). In order to destroy his very people he uttered the infernal sentence, saying: “For a fire is kindled in my anger, Burns to the lowest Sheol, Devours the earth with its increase, and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire. I will heap evils on them. I will spend my arrows on them. [They shall be] wasted with hunger, and devoured with burning heat and bitter destruction. I will send the teeth of animals on them, with the poison of crawling things of the dust. Outside the sword shall bereave, and in the rooms, terror; on both young man and virgin, the nursing infant with the gray-haired man” (Deut. 32:22-25). What great love and mercy! What intention to save!
Jehovah used his words and his prophets to kill and destroy. Hosea says: “Therefore I have cut them to pieces with the prophets; I killed them with the words of my mouth. Your judgments are like a flash of lightning” (Hos. 6:5). He administered his plagues as it had happened in Egypt. And Jehovah made rain to fall over Israel, plagues that he defines as extraordinary plagues (Deut. 28:59-60). Jehovah used them to kill and destroy his most intimate servants. He used Noah to destroy humanity (Gen. 6:7; Heb. 11:7). David, the beloved of Jehovah (Ps. 4:3), was the greatest warrior and killer (1 Sam. 18:7). David’s wars, though, were promoted by Jehovah (1 Sam. 25:28). Jehovah used heathen and perverse men to kill, enslave, and control the world, for it delivered all the nations under the feet of the unmerciful Nebuchadnezzar, calling him servant (Jer. 27:5-8,11-13; 25:9; 43:10). Another conqueror and bloody king was Cyrus, the Persian, to whom Jehovah delivered all the kingdoms of the world, after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (Ezra 1:1-2). Jehovah called him servant and shepherd by the mouth of Isaiah (Is. 44:26-28), and calls him anointed Messiah (Is. 45:1-3). Well, Cyrus, the bloody, was beheaded by a woman, and placed in a bowl full of blood. The woman said: “Drink blood, o you who were so thirsty for blood.” Jehovah used hornets to kill (Deut. 7:20; Josh. 24:12). Jehovah used as armies the swarming locust, the creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust (Joel 2:25). The sword of Jehovah was pestilence. Habakkuk reveals this: “Plague went before him, and pestilence followed his feet” (Hab. 3:5). Jehovah sent the prophet Gath to say to David after he had numbered the people by the command of Jehovah himself: “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah, “I offer you three things. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.” So Gad came to David, and said to him, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Take your choice: either three years of famine; or three months to be consumed before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days the sword of JEHOVAH, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of Jehovah destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me’” (1 Chr. 21:10-12). David, who considered Jehovah to be merciful, said: “Let me fall, I pray, into the hand of Jehovah; for his mercies are very great. Let me not fall into the hand of man” (v.13). Then Jehovah dealt his sword, and the pestilence killed 70,000 men (v. 14). David, afraid and disillusioned, called out to Jehovah: “Isn’t it I who commanded the people to be numbered? It is even I who have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Jehovah my God, be against me, and against my father’s house; but not against your people” (v.17).
Jehovah declares: “For my sword has drunk its fill in the sky. Behold, it will come down on Edom, and on the people of my curse, for judgment. Jehovah ‘s sword is filled with blood. It is covered with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams; for Jehovah has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom” (Is. 34:5-6). The translation of Bozrah is “sheepfold”, therefore it refers to the sheep of Jehovah that were reared for the slaughter: “Yes, for your sake we are killed all day long. We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter” (Ps. 44:22). And the sword of Jehovah is not partial to men or women, to old men or children, to righteous or unrighteous, for he is thirsty for blood. Let us read what the prophet Ezekiel says: “The word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop [your word] toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel; and tell the land of Israel, Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: and all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, have drawn forth my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more“ (Ezek. 21:1-5). Can you imagine what is this sword of Jehovah? It is the sword of Nebuchadnezzar, servant of Jehovah: “Also, you son of man, appoint two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come” (Ezek. 21:19). “You shall appoint a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and to Judah in Jerusalem the fortified” (v.20).
Jehovah used the weapon of deceit for his wars. Jehoshaphat, the good king of Judah, went down to Ahab, a bad king of Israel, who suggested that they should gather their powers to go up against the king of Syria and take Ramoth of Gilead (1 Kings 22:1-3). Jehoshaphat insisted that they first consulted Jehovah (vs. 4-5). They were 400 prophets who said when asked: “Go up; for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king” (v.6). But the prophets were wrong, because Jehovah led them to the lie, for he wished to kill Ahab, king of Israel. The text says: “Now therefore, behold, Jehovah has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and Jehovah has spoken evil concerning you” (v.23). And there was war, and Ahab was killed.
What feats, what plots, what injustices of a god soiled with mud in the middle of hating, perverse, and murderous men. And the righteous, nursing babies, and innocent women, were all being killed in this mud.
Paul well said that God, the Father, revealed by Jesus Christ, left all peoples to walk in their own ways.
But Jesus came down to this pit and gave his life to save these same men whom Jehovah would kill.
The next lesson will present more feats of the god of this world.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira