Can God be overcome? God is the Almighty, the creator and sustainer of all things. All things exist and are upheld by his divine provision. The Scriptures lay it clear between the lines that God, the Father, was overcome. Luke tells us in his Gospel the story of a bad son who demanded his portion of the inheritance from the father, and having received it all, took off to a distant land where he spent everything on a licentious life. He became poor and looked for a job. The only job that he could get was that of taking care of pigs. In this extreme poverty he decided to return to his father’s house and confess his sins. The father, who had never stopped loving his son, spent days and nights in prayer in the hopes of seeing his dear son again. How many nights without sleep! How afflicted he was. A certain day, as he watched the road one afternoon, he noticed someone approaching. It was a person very different from the son who had left, now with signs of suffering, ragged clothes, bent as he walked. The heart of the father guessed, and there he rushed off to the road to meet the boy, overcome by love. He threw his arms around his son in a demonstration of joy and tenderness. He took his son to his home and ordered that his servants prepare a great feast (Luke 15:11-24).
This story, or better, the parable that Jesus told, which is registered in the gospel of Luke, is but as a drop in the face of the ocean of the love of God the Father.
Well, whoever really loves will always be overcome by love, but whoever does not love will always be overcome by wrath and by destructive fury.
Jehovah calls himself the god of wrath, since he gets angry every day, an anger that does not cease (Ps. 7:11). Jehovah calls himself the god of the war, that is, he is always ready for battle (Ex. 15:3; 1 Sam. 17:47). Jehovah calls himself the god of wrath and vengeance: “A jealous and avenging God is Jehovah; Jehovah is avenging and wrathful. Jehovah takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies” (Nah. 1:2). Jehovah admits that his anger burns to the depths of hell (Deut. 32:22). Jehovah was disgusted with his people Israel, that is, he hated them with a murderous wrath (Ps. 78:59; 1 John 3:15). It is not love that goes before Jehovah, but the pestilence (Hab. 3:5). It seems as if love does not find place in the character of the god of curses (Deut. 28:15-68). These attributes of Jehovah did not captivate his people. The frequent manifestations of fury and violence of Jehovah against his people prepared them to accept any god, since none could be worse than he was. One of Jehovah’s vengeances was to kill the children for the sins of the parents (Is. 14:21). This unjust form of punishment of the parents by killing the innocent children led the people to spread a proverb that offended Jehovah to the core: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Jer. 31:29; Ezek. 18:2,3). What caused the greatest revolt in the people was that Jehovah delighted in destroying them with plagues and pestilences (Deut 28:61-63). The one who loves does not delight in destroying the one he loves. Whoever resorts to evil to oppose evil has been overcome by evil. Jehovah complained and accused his people of evil: “Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned Jehovah, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him (Is. 1:4). Which method Jehovah used to try and correct and educate his people? “And Jehovah of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah” (Jer. 11:17). Jehovah literally declares in this text that the cure for evil is evil, contrary to what the New Testament says: “NEVER PAY BACK EVIL FOR EVIL TO ANYONE” (Rom. 12:17). How can a god do what he condemns in the creatures he made? He is being incoherent! Jehovah confessed that he did not plan any good for his people: “‘For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good,” declares Jehovah” (Jer. 21:10). Jehovah spent his days in the celestial regions and on his divine throne planning evil: “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. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way”’” (Jer. 18:11). If Jehovah had promised any good to his people, and his people did evil, Jehovah declares that he would repent from the good he had promised, in order to do evil (Jer. 18:10). Jehovah watched over the people for harm, so that it may be executed in detail: “Behold, I am watching over them for harm and not for good” (Jer. 44:27). The prophet Daniel said: “Therefore, Jehovah has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us” (Dan. 9:14). There is more: Jehovah claims the authorship of all the evil done under the heavens, leaving nothing to Satan: “IF A CALAMITY OCCURS IN A CITY HAS NOT JEHOVAH DONE IT?” (Amos 3:6). “…for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved” (2 Pet. 2:19).
The real truth is that Jehovah is a god overcome by evil and not by love. The greater is overcome by the evil of the lesser. God is measuring himself by men. Men do not have any solution for the existing crime, so they build prisons. Jehovah has created hell. If anyone can be provoked by someone inferior, it has become inferior himself. It means to walk with the ones who have opposing views, and to be overcome by them (Lev. 26:40-41). To use evil as a weapon to curb evil, is multiplying evil.
Paul gives us the formula to win over evil: “DO NOT BE OVERCOME BY EVIL, BUT OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD” (Rom. 12:21). Evil can only be overcome by good, and God the Father applied this medicine: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira