“Jehovah is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness” (Ps. 103:8). “Jehovah is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. Jehovah is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works” (Ps. 145:8,9).
What does merciful mean? Kind, benevolent, favorable, gentle, not dangerous.
And the opposite of merciful is: ill natured, malicious, pernicious, malevolent, wicked, etc.
The two texts above affirm that Jehovah is merciful and benign. Mercy is compassion, pity, and forgiveness. Benevolence is a quality of the soul that is always ready to forgive and feel pity for.
Jehovah, however, never forgets the sin of anyone, and does not want to forget. He is not, therefore, merciful. “‘Although you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your iniquity is before Me,’ declares Jehovah” (Jer. 2:22). Jehovah does not forgive, either: “‘So as I live,’ declares Jehovah Lord, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye shall have no pity and I will not spare’” (Ezek. 5:11). We therefore can say that Jehovah is not merciful. Jehovah has no pity, either: “Therefore, I indeed shall deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor shall I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I shall not listen to them” (Ezek. 8:18). If Jehovah is not ready to listen to the cry of the people, he is not merciful. He did not accept the prayer of the prophet Jeremiah when he prayed for the people: “As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you” (Jer. 7:16). Jehovah declares to the prophet that he will not pardon, but that he will kill the parents and the children, too. “‘And I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,’ declares Jehovah. ‘I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion that I should not destroy them’” (Jer. 13:14).
Whoever is ready to kill and dash with fury is not merciful. If Jehovah is furious and ready to tear to pieces, if he is not ready to forgive and does not even want to have compassion, he is not Jesus, nor the Father, for the Father was so anxious to save men, that he did not spare his only Son (Rom. 8:31-32). And the Father wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3,4). Jehovah was not fashioning salvation. “Therefore thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am going to set My face against you for woe, even to cut off all Judah’” (Jer. 44:11). “So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you”’” (Jer. 18:11,12). Whoever devises evil plans is not merciful. Jehovah could never be thinking up the plan of salvation. His only plan was to kill and to destroy “Then Jehovah said to me, ‘Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go! And it shall be that when they say to you, “Where should we go?” then you are to tell them, “Thus says Jehovah: ‘Those destined for death, to death; and those destined for the sword, to the sword; and those destined for captivity, to captivity’” (Jer. 15:1-3).
If anyone has heard or read in the Bible that Jehovah is merciful, his works prove the contrary.
Jehovah takes vengeance on his adversaries, full of anger, and retains his wrath against his enemies: He is, therefore, malevolent, not merciful (Nah. 1:2,6). Jehovah tormented his people with evil sicknesses: “Jehovah will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils, from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head” (Deut. 28:35). “Jehovah will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed” (Deut 28:27). The God who does such things is not merciful, but evil, for when he smites with evil sicknesses he makes himself like Satan, who is also evil (Luke 13:10-16). Jehovah keeps creating plagues and sicknesses that are not written in the law (Deut. 28:61). Now, whoever busies himself with creating plagues and evil sicknesses is evil. And more, these sicknesses and these plagues did not have the purpose of correcting, but of destroying “Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, Jehovah will bring on you until you are destroyed” (Deut. 28:61). Whoever finds pleasure in destroying his very people is evil (Deut. 28:63).
Anyone who puts an evil spirit on someone who displeases him is not merciful. “Now the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah terrorized him” (1 Sam. 16:14). Whoever is merciful does not torment anyone. Jehovah, though, did this. “I, in turn, will do this to you. I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away” (Lev. 26:16).
The merciful does not throw fiery darts against men. “If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts” (Ps. 7:12,13). Paul the Apostle reveals to us that those fiery darts are of the evil one. “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). Jehovah touched David with his fiery darts: “O Jehovah, rebuke me not in Thy wrath; and chasten me not in Thy burning anger, for Thine arrows have sunk deep into me” (Ps. 38:1,2). And Job, also: “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; their poison my spirit drinks” (Job 6:4).
The ones whom Jesus saved can overcome the evil one (1 John 2:14). Obviously, the evil one is not the devil, for the devil flees from Christians “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Everyone who is begotten by God cannot be touched by the devil “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). And Jesus watches over us so that we may not be touched “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess. 3:3).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira