God, in the Old Testament, has many names: El Elion, rendered God Almighty, that is to say, no one is above him; Adonai, meaning, Lord of Lords; Jehovah, whose name does not have a translation, can only be known by the works he does. He declared: “Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know my hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is Jehovah” (Jer. 16:21). The fourth name is El Shaddai, rendered God Almighty, in other words, God can all things.
Jehovah does good and also does evil (Lam. 3:38). That is why the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the tree of Jehovah (Gen. 2:9). Jehovah does not accept that someone may be equal to him. Eve, tempted by the serpent, ate of the forbidden tree of Jehovah (ETZ DAAT). He died, therefore, and all of his offspring. Jehovah said: “Jehovah God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” Therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken” (Gen. 3:22-23). As El Shaddai, Jehovah declares: “See now that I, even I, am he, there is no god with me. I kill, and I make alive. I wound, and I heal. There is no one who can deliver out of my hand” (Deut. 32:39). Hannah, in his song, said: “For Jehovah is a God of knowledge. By him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken. Those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread. Those who were hungry have ceased [to hunger]. Yes, the barren has borne seven. She who has many children languishes. Jehovah kills, and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol, and brings up. Jehovah makes poor, and makes rich. He brings low, he also lifts up. He raises up the poor out of the dust. He lifts up the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with princes, and inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are Jehovah ‘s. He has set the world on them” (1 Sam. 2:3-8). Jeremiah registers the voice of Jehovah, saying: “You shall tell him, Thus says Jehovah: Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up; and this in the whole land” (Jer. 45:4). And the almighty El Shaddai further says: “House of Israel, can’t I do with you as this potter? says Jehovah. Behold, as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel” (Jer. 18:6). Jehovah sends destroying fire from heaven (2 Kings 1:9-12). Jehovah withholds rain (Amos 4:7). Jehovah blesses and curses (Prov. 3:33). Jehovah devastates sinners until he destroys them (Is. 13:9). Jehovah changes the hearts of men for evil (Ps. 105:23-25). Jehovah establishes kings and overthrows them (Dan. 4:17). When angry and filled with fury, Jehovah curses the blessings that he opened up (Mal. 2:1-3). He also cancels a promise made under oath and changes it to a new promise made with a curse (Deut. 1:34-35). Finally Jehovah is also El Shaddai, the Almighty. If he could not change a blessing with promise he had given for a posterior promise laden with curses, he would not be the Almighty.
Therefore we read in Psalms 135:6: “Whatever Jehovah pleased, that he has done”: When he made promises to Abraham: the covenant to be a father of a multitude of nations and kings, the promise of the possession of Canaan forever, the covenant of circumcision, and the promise that Sarah would have a son. He appeared to Abraham when he was 99 years old, and said to him as surety: “Yes, since the day was I am he; and there is no one who can deliver out of my hand. I will work, and who can hinder it?” (Is. 43:13). Let us see his power:
- In order to punish Israel’s rebellion, with his invisible power he brought Salmanazar, king of Assyria, to destroy Israel (2 Kings 18:9-12; 17:20-21; Is. 8:7).
- On hundred years later he brought Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon to destroy the city of Jerusalem with fire and destroy the temple of his glory (Jer. 27:5-8). These are the words of Jehovah: “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there’” (2 Kings 23:27).
- Jehovah, the potter, changes the heartstrings of the hearts of men. Before Moses returned to Egypt, Jehovah told him that he was going to harden the heart of Pharaoh (Ex. 4:21). He did it many times (Ex. 7:3; 8:19; 10:1,20,27; 14:4, etc.). In the days of Joseph, Jehovah changed the heart of another Pharaoh to do evil (Ps. 105:23-25).
- Jehovah makes dumb, deaf, and blind men (Ex. 4:11). He makes the godless for the day of evil (Prov. 16:4). And Jehovah proudly proclaims: “I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create calamity. I am Jehovah, who does all these things” (Is. 45:7).
THE BIBLE, THEREFORE, REGISTERS THOSE THINGS THAT JEHOVAH DESIRED TO DO BUT DID NOT DO. Let us see them:
- Jehovah did not plan for Adam and Eve to sin (Gen. 2:16-17). The prophet Malachi proves this: “Did he not make you one, although he had the residue of the Spirit? Why one? He sought a godly seed (Mal. 2:15).
- Jehovah wished that his people were holy (Lev. 19:2; 20:26). Jehovah said: “I am Jehovah who sanctifies you” (Ex. 31:13). In the times of David, Jehovah looked down from heaven to see whether there were any holy men, but they were all unclean (Ps. 14:1-3). Jehovah did not succeed!
- Jehovah created Israel for his glory (Is. 43:7; Jer. 13:11). But the people of Israel profaned the name of Jehovah in the place where he went (Ezek. 36:20-23). Jehovah declares that he is going to restore his people in the future, and they will live for his glory (Ezek. 11:16-20; 36:24-28). Solomon says: “That which is crooked can’t be made straight; and that which is lacking can’t be counted” (Eccl. 1:15). “That which is has been long ago, and that which is to be has been long ago” (Eccl. 3:15).
- Jehovah’s vineyard is the house of Israel. And Jehovah confesses that he expected good grapes but gathered bad grapes (Is. 5:4; Jer. 2:21).
- Jehovah desired that Israel were a blessing among the nations, but it was a curse (Zech. 8:13). But Solomon says the opposite (Eccl. 1:15; 3:15).
- Jehovah found a man whose heart was like his own: David (Acts 13:22). But David was adulterous and murderous (2 Sam. 11:1-17). Jehovah himself points out David’s sins in 2 Sam. 12:7-14.
This proves that what Jehovah wanted to do, he could not do; but all that Satan wanted to do, he did.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira