Jehovah declared to Moses: “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite” (Ex. 3:7-8). Whoever reads this pronouncement concludes that Jehovah is a compassionate and merciful god, and one who seeks the welfare of the needy and afflicted. The reality, however, is disappointing. Jehovah used Moses by giving him power to perform signs and bring on plagues, wonders never yet seen by men, with the only purpose of becoming famous. The psalmist reveals it to us: “Our fathers didn’t understand your wonders in Egypt. They didn’t remember the multitude of your loving kindnesses, but were rebellious at the sea, even at the Red Sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power known” (Ps. 106:7-8).
Jehovah did not save Israel because he loved them, but for the love of his own name, which was going to become famous. It is easy to prove that Jehovah was after fame: “In that day I swore to them, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. I said to them, Cast away every man the abominations of his eyes, and don’t defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God. But they rebelled against me, and would not listen to me; they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, among which they were, in whose sight I made myself known to them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt” (Ezek. 20:6-9). And he repeats it soon after, in Ezek. 20:14. The nations are the audience, and the stage, carefully prepared by Jehovah over 400 years, was Egypt, powerful nation, rich and famous (Gen. 15:13-14).
What mattered to Jehovah was his great name: Israel could suffer in the advertising captivities. The more Jehovah oppressed Israel, and for the reason of their disobedience to his laws, the more nations trembled before that name. Therefore the psalmist says: “Jehovah reigns! Let the peoples tremble. He sits enthroned among the cherubim. Let the earth be moved” (Ps. 99:1).
Moses knew that Jehovah was after fame. When the twelve spies, returning, defamed the land (Num. 14:31-33), Jehovah was filled with fury and decided to send pestilence to destroy them all. Moses, then, said to Jehovah: “Then the Egyptians will hear it; for you brought up this people in your might from among them; and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you Jehovah are in the midst of this people; for you Jehovah are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them, and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if you killed this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of you will speak, saying, Because Jehovah was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore to them, therefore he has slain them in the wilderness” (Num. 14:11-16). Jehovah, then, forgave them; not that he loved them, but in order that his famous glory would not be dishonored. But he killed them all in the desert, proving that he did not love his people and was concerned exclusively with himself and the repute of his name (Num. 14:19-23, 34-35).
What holiness can we see in this homicide and deceitful god?
Israel is the footstool of Jehovah’s feet. In the book of Lamentations, we read: “How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, And hasn’t remembered his footstool in the day of his anger. The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied” (Lam. 2:1-2; Ps. 99:5). Footstool is a low stool used by monarchs for resting their feet. Israel is the footstool, for it is the base of the project of glorification of Jehovah. For this reason Isaiah, the prophet, wrote in the name of Jehovah, saying: “Don’t be afraid; for I am with you. I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west. I will tell the north, ‘Give them up!’ and tell the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!’ Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth–everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, yes, whom I have made. Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears” (Is. 43:5-8). Israel is the doormat where Jehovah wipes his feet. This same Jehovah wrote the following: “It shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles” (Is. 66:18-19).
It is thus proven that the holy one of Israel has never been interested in the salvation of Israel, but in becoming famous and obtaining glory, in being worshipped and praised: therefore he dwells in the midst of the praises, not only of Israel, but of all the nations (Ps. 22:3).
Jehovah has never considered the possibility of saving men from this infernal world, either, for he hated the gentiles, that is to say, all the non-Jewish peoples (Ps. 10:16). The holy one of Israel has always been anxious about personal glory and fame, and whoever seeks fame and glory is not holy! Jesus declared: “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but He who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (John 7:18; 8:50).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira