“It is Jehovah of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Is. 8:13-14). Does God set traps and snares to catch men… traps of God to catch his people? The text of Isaiah continues: “And many will stumble over them, then they will fall and be broken; they will even be snared and caught” (Is. 8:15). If he set the trap, he schemed the fall of his people. This is unbelievable, but it is written. How does one set a snare? The snare is a trap. One puts food in the trap. A hungry animal goes to eat it and falls into the trap and gets caught. Does God puts out a bait to catch the sinner? Is not this job exclusive of Satan? The prophet Ezekiel speaks of king Jehoiachin, of Judah, who reigned only one hundred days, the following words: “I shall also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I shall bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans” (Ezek. 12:13). Solomon reveals that the net is evil, in Eccl. 9:12. Why is it evil? Because evil came upon Judah by the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. Let us read the lament of the captives: “The Lord has done what he purposed; He has accomplished His word which He commanded from days of old. He has thrown down without sparing, and He has caused the enemy to rejoice…” (Lam. 2:17). “ Our fathers sinned, and are no more; it is we who have borne their iniquities. Slaves rule over us; there is no one to deliver us from their hand. We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the wilderness. Our skin has become as hot as an oven, because of the burning heat of famine. They ravished the women in Zion, the virgins in the cities of Judah. Princes were hung by their hands; elders were not respected. Young men worked at the grinding mill; and youths stumbled under loads of wood. Elders are gone from the gate, young men from their music. The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned into mourning. The crown has fallen from our head; Woe to us, for we have sinned!” (Lam. 5:7-16).
As we have said in the beginning, the bait is placed by the snare to catch the unawares. Jehovah and Satan got together to spread a net to capture the most faithful man in the times of Job. Jehovah said about Job: “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil” (Job 1:1). The talk about catching Job is in the chapters one and two of Job. Let us read job’s lament: “Know then that God has wronged me, and has closed His net around me” (Job 19:6). It is important to notice that Job does not say that Satan spread the net, but he said that Jehovah did.
The wise Solomon reveals: “The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; He who is cursed of Jehovah will fall into it” (Prov. 22:14). “And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her” (Eccles. 7:26). Who was Solomon? He was the son that Jehovah had promised to David: “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom” (2 Sam. 7:12,13). Adopted as son by Jehovah: “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me” (2 Sam. 7:14). Loved by Jehovah: “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now Jehovah loved him” (2 Sam. 12:24). This name “Solomon” was chosen by Jehovah himself: “Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon” (1 Chr. 22:9). It is amazing. Jehovah gave him seven hundred women, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and all of them were wicked. He gave them to him before David had ever fallen into sin, and while he had all the wisdom of God (1 Kings 11:3; 3:12).
According to what Solomon declared in Prov. 22:14 and Eccles. 7:26, only the damned or cursed of Jehovah were subject to this kind of curse, which is the wicked woman. It seems that Solomon fell into the worst net under the heaven. A net such that not even all the wisdom Jehovah had given him could deliver him from it. “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away” (1 Kings 11:3). Apparently Jehovah wanted to divide the kingdom because of the sin of David with Bathsheba. “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hitite to be your wife” (2 Sam. 12:10).
In the best season of David’s reign, he sang a song unto Jehovah for the victories won and the blessings received (2 Sam. 22:1-51). Following that the last words of David are registered, for he was old and at the end of his life (2 Sam. 23:1-7). Then came the names and the prodigious feats of David’s thirty valiant men (2 Sam. 23:8-39). In this atmosphere of festive victory, the wrath of Jehovah burns against Israel again, and he incites David against them, saying, “Go, and number Israel and Judah.” David, always faithful and obedient, told Joab to number the people. Joab tried to dissuade him, but the word of the king prevailed, and the census was taken. As punishment, Jehovah sent his destroying angel that killed seventy thousand Israelites and was about to destroy Jerusalem (2 Sam. 24:1-16) when David, revolted, called on Jehovah, taking the guilt upon himself, and acquitting the people. Jehovah was the one guilty, though. He was the one inciting David (2 Sam. 24:1). The real truth is that, since there was no reason for Jehovah’s fury, being the political situation of the kingdom in one of its best periods, this bloody god got up in a bad humor (as the Ps. 7:11 says, that he has indignation every day), and moved David, thus spreading a net in order to have reason to kill the people. David obediently fell into the net, and the people were killed. This act of Jehovah was so cruel and senseless, that the book of Chronicles of Israel registers the fact having Satan as the author of this instigation of David (1 Chr. 21:1). The snares of Jehovah are of satanic nature. Poor king David, at the end of his life, did not die in peace, but was horrified with the infernal vision of the angel of Jehovah: “But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of Jehovah” (1 Chr. 21:30).
The New Testament reveals that God is love, and his peace goes beyond all our understanding and keeps our hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira