“Jehovah is righteous in all his ways, and gracious in all his works” (Ps. 145:17). Jehovah has many ways. One of them is the desert: “He pours contempt on princes, and causes them to wander in a trackless waste” (Ps. 107:40). Why is there no way in the desert? The reason is that the wind moves the sand and covers the footprints, and a way is a path that connects two places. Without a path it is impossible to get anywhere. Then why did Jehovah take the people away to the desert? We read in this same psalm: “They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way. They found no city to live in” (Ps. 107:4). Job adds to the subject: “He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way” (Job 12:24). The people of Israel erred and strayed for forty years, but Jehovah was guiding them: “They took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. Jehovah went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them on their way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night: the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, didn’t depart from before the people” (Ex. 13:20-22). Can you imagine Jehovah killing between eighty and hundred people in the desert? He was responsible for condemning them to death these forty years (Num. 14:27-35). This was the way of Jehovah in the desert: the way of death.
The second way of Jehovah is the sea: He said: “Your way was through the sea; your paths through the great waters. Your footsteps were not known. You led your people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Ps. 77:19,20). It is obvious that the way that Jehovah speaks of here is the passage through the Red Sea: when the sea parted and Israel went through on dry feet. And when the armies of Pharaoh followed them the waters returned and destroyed the chariots of Pharaoh, killing the horses and their horsemen (Ex. 14:27-31). The apostle Paul refers to this dramatic event in the following words: “Now I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor. 10:1-2). Baptism, in the Greek language, is translated as “immersion.” The Egyptians were baptized in the cloud and in the sea, for they were immersed in the waters of the Red Sea, and they all died. Jehovah saved them in his baptism to kill them in the desert for forty years. In the epistle of Jude, we read: “Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who didn’t believe” (Jude 5). The baptism of Jehovah is the way of death and condemnation (Is. 43:16-17).
The third way of Jehovah is the way of reproof: “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light. Reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Pv. 6:23). But it is written that the rod is for the back of the fool (Pv. 26:3; 10:13), in other words, the rod is not the solution. Jehovah declared the following: “‘I also have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city. One place was rained on, and the piece where it didn’t rain withered. So two or three cities staggered to one city to drink water, and were not satisfied: yet you haven’t returned to me,’ says Jehovah. ‘I struck you with blight and mildew many times in your gardens and your vineyards; and your fig trees and your olive trees have the swarming locust devoured: yet you haven’t returned to me, says Jehovah. I sent plagues among you like I did Egypt. I have slain your young men with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camp, yet you haven’t returned to me,’ says Jehovah. ‘I have overthrown some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a burning stick plucked out of the fire; yet you haven’t returned to me,’ says Jehovah” (Amos 4:7-11). A little ahead Jehovah vociferates: “Amos, what do you see? I said, ‘A basket of summer fruit.’ Then Jehovah said to me, ‘The end has come on my people Israel. I will not again pass by them any more’” (Amos 8:2). This proves that reproof and the rod do not work. A dog that is beaten becomes a cur.
Jehovah has his way in the tempest: “Jehovah avenges and is full of wrath” (Nah. 1:2). Let us look at what the storms of Jehovah do: “Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one. Like a storm of hail, a destroying storm, and like a storm of mighty waters overflowing, he will cast them down to the earth with his hand. The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trodden under foot” (Is. 28:2-3). “Behold, the storm of Jehovah, [even his] wrath, is gone forth, yes, a whirling storm: it shall burst on the head of the wicked. The anger of Jehovah shall not return, until he has executed, and until he have performed the intents of his heart” (Jer. 23:19-20). “A noise shall come even to the end of the earth; for Jehovah has a controversy with the nations; he will enter into judgment with all flesh: as for the wicked, he will give them to the sword, says Jehovah. Thus says Jehovah of Armies, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great storm shall be raised up from the uttermost parts of the earth. The slain of Jehovah shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground” (Jer. 25:31-33). It is difficult to believe that Jehovah is a refuge against the storm (Is. 25:4). And Jehovah has other paths, but they all lead to death.
David, the innocent, declared that the way of Jehovah is perfect (Ps. 18:30). Thunders, earthquakes, windstorms, storms, hail, blazes of consuming fire were never a perfect way (Is. 29:6).
God, the Father, established a perfect way that unites heavens and earth, which calms the storms and tempests (Matt. 8:23-27). Jesus does not have a way in this world: Jesus is the way. He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira