(400) – RESPECT OF PERSONS 2

Moses declared on the part of Jehovah: “For Jehovah your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the awesome, who doesn’t respect persons, nor takes reward” (Deut. 10:17). Respect is preference or distinction. For example: all adulterers were stoned to death: “The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 20:10). But David, the beloved of Jehovah, committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, and they were not stoned to death like the other adulterers. Why? The only answer is: Respect of persons. Instead of David, the innocent newborn son died; and instead of Bathsheba, the faithful and honorable husband died.

We tell another story: “We have heard with our ears, God; our fathers have told us, what work you did in their days, in the days of old. You drove out the nations with your hand, but you planted them. You afflicted the peoples, but you spread them abroad” (Ps. 44:1-2). Jehovah respected persons, for it is written: “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). If all have sinned and all fall short, Jehovah could not cast one away, and bring another in, without respecting persons. Another text that proves that Jehovah is a respecter of persons, says: “He subdues nations under us, and peoples under our feet” (Ps. 47:3). “Under the feet is a proslavery system; it is to place an incapable to govern over the capable.

Let us focus a scandalous case of respect of persons by Jehovah, protecting his people against other peoples: “As for your male and your female slaves, whom you may have; of the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover of the children of the aliens who live among you, of them you may buy, and of their families who are with you, which they have conceived in your land; and they will be your property. You may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession; of them may you take your slaves forever: but over your brothers the children of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness” (Lev. 25:44-46). Jehovah despises all the peoples in relation to Israel.

We will make mention of another case foreseen in the law of Jehovah that places him as a god who is a respecter of persons: “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it. It shall be, if it makes you answer of peace, and opens to you, then it shall be, that all the people who are found therein shall become tributary to you, and shall serve you” (Deut. 20:10-11). In order to have peace with Israel, according to the political ethics of Jehovah, one had to be a weakling. This is the height of the respect of persons and tyranny. That is not all, though. The holy scriptures say: “If it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it: and when Jehovah your God delivers it into your hand, you shall strike every male of it with the edge of the sword: but the women, and the little ones, and the livestock, and all that is in the city, even all its spoil, you shall take for a prey to yourself; and you shall eat the spoil of your enemies, which Jehovah your God has given you” (Deut. 20:12-14). Let me illustrate it: A man comes to his neighbor and says: Do you want to make peace with me? His neighbor answers, I want. Then you will have to serve me till the end of your days, and you will have to pay tributes all your life. If you do not wish to have peace with me, Jehovah will deliver you to me, and I will kill you; your wife and your sons will be mine, and your goods, too, ok? And does this god say that he is no respecter of persons?

The Bible has plenty of cases in which Jehovah is a respecter of persons. Jehovah declared to Moses that he makes the dumb, the deaf, the seeing, and the blind (Ex. 4:11). When he made the blind, made him inferior to the one who sees, and so he made a distinction. If this is not the case, then he likes to torture.

Jehovah, in the Ten Commandments, forbids coveting the neighbor’s wife: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex. 20:17). This is what the tenth commandment says. However, if the woman is not the neighbor’s wife, Jehovah gives permission to covet and coerce. The sacred text says: “When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and Jehovah your God delivers them into your hands, and you carry them away captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have a desire to her, and would take her to you as wife; then you shall bring her home to your house… It shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she will…” (Deut. 21:10-14). The Israelite woman, in Jehovah’s eyes, is more precious than the foreign woman, because Jehovah is a respecter of persons.

There is a text that says: “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, Why did you make me like this? Or hasn’t the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction, and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory” (Rom. 9:20-23). If he is really a god who makes one man for perdition and another for glory, man has the right to the opinion that this god makes distinctions between men. In this case, he added the sin of respect of persons to the lie and also to the lack of mercy.

However, God the Father sent his only-begotten Son to save the vessels for dishonor, the sinners, and even the thieves (Luke 19:10; 23:39-43; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2 Tim. 1:20-21). And God, the Father, is compassionate towards the wretched, because he is not a respecter of persons. Glory be to God, the Father, and glory be to Jesus Christ!

 

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

 

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