(427) – THE JUDGE

Abraham acclaimed Jehovah as the judge of all the earth. This is how it happened: “Abraham drew near, and said, ‘Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? Be it far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?’ Jehovah said, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake’” (Gen. 18:23-26).

Jephtah, too, when he was invited to lead the army against the sons of Ammon by the elders of Gilead, tried to hold a discussion about the issue, but he was not heard. He then said: “I therefore have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to war against me. Jehovah, the Judge, be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon” (Judges 11:27).

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was a good king. And he was Asa’s son, an excellent king (2 Chr. 16:13-14; 17:1). And Jehoshaphat established judges in all the cities, saying to the judges: “He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, ‘Consider what you do: for you don’t judge for man, but for Jehovah; and [he is] with you in the judgment’” (2 Chr. 19:5-6). “But God is the judge. He puts down one, and lifts up another” (Ps. 75:7). “Jehovah, you God to whom vengeance belongs, you God to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth. Rise up, you judge of the earth. Pay back the proud what they deserve” (Ps. 94:1-2). “Seek Jehovah and his strength. Seek his face forever more. Remember his marvelous works that he has done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth, you seed of Abraham, his servant, you children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is Jehovah, our God. His judgments are in all the earth” (Ps. 105:4-7). And Isaiah concludes, saying: “For Jehovah is our judge. Jehovah is our lawgiver. Jehovah is our king. He will save us” (Is. 33:22). Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, in tribulation, said: “But, Jehovah of Armies, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, I shall see your vengeance on them; for to you have I revealed my cause” (Jer. 11:20).

If Jehovah was god, he ought to be righteous, as Abraham declared: (Gen. 18:23-26). The prophet Ezekiel, nevertheless, speaks on the part of Jehovah, saying: “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop [your word] toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel; and tell the land of Israel, Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: and all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, have drawn forth my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more” (Ezek. 21:2-5). How can this be? Jehovah, the judge of all the earth, declared to Abraham that, if there were ten righteous men in Sodom, he would spare thousands for the love of these ten righteous men. And how can he now kill all the righteous men in Jerusalem, together with the wicked men? How can a god change so much? Moreover after declaring that he is always the same and does not change. He declared the following: “For I, Jehovah, don’t change; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6). How can Christians believe in a god who affirms something to his servants and, in another occasion, acts differently, and declares that he is unchanging? This god must be part of the evil power that has submitted all creation to vanity and slavery to corruption, of which Paul spoke in Rom. 8:19-23, which suffered a violent intervention with the coming down of Jesus Christ to this world, but will only end with the return of Jesus to gather up the saints.

If all creation was subjected to vanity, not by his will, but because of the one who subjected it, and the permanent state of the creatures is the slavery to corruption, how can Jehovah be the judge of this system who is not under the direction of God, but under the evil power that dethroned God?

If Jehovah is the supreme and infallible God, as the doctors and preachers affirm, how did he allow a dark power, however lesser, to submit all of creation? The very Jehovah is the one who affirms that there is no god who would rise against him, and no one escapes his powerful hands (Deut. 32:39). And Jehovah says more: “This is the plan that is determined for the whole earth. This is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For Jehovah of Armies has planned, and who can stop it? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (Is. 14:26-27). But the recommendation determined by Jehovah was not respected, and even though he had his hand raised, the dark power took the command of all creation, imposing the slavery of corruption until the return of Jesus.

God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is love (I John 4:8). And love does not do evil (Rom. 13:10). And Paul counsels, saying: “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7). God, who is love, does not make war against his creatures. Jehovah makes war against all his people, using evil as the main weapon: “For I have set my face on this city for evil, and not for good, says Jehovah: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire” (Jer. 21:10).

The Father, who does only good things does not judge anyone, but he gave to his son all the judgment (John 5:22). And as he only does what is good for the love of the world, and loving it so, “he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him” (John 3:16-17).

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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