David conquered the earthly Jerusalem from the hands of the Jebusites (2 Sam. 5:6-7). As it left the hands of the Jebusites it became a holy city, after it become the city of Jehovah of the Armies (Is. 48:2). Jerusalem, as the city of god, then, went on to be, in his holy mountain, Mount Zion, the joy of all the earth, the city of the great king (Ps. 48:1-2). The city of Jerusalem will be confirmed forever (Ps. 48:8).
“Glorious things are spoken about you, city of God” (Ps. 87:3). The scribe Ezra declared that Jehovah dwelled in Jerusalem (Ezra 2:68). The king David sang a Psalm, saying: “Why do you look in envy, you rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign? Yes, Jehovah will dwell there forever” (Ps. 68:16).
Why does Jehovah dwell in the city of Jerusalem? Because it was the capital of the kingdom of Israel, and Jehovah lived in the middle of his people, of which he said, when they were wandering in the desert: “You shall not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell: for I, Jehovah, dwell in the midst of the children of Israel” (Num. 35:34). The security of the city of Jerusalem was the presence of Jehovah of the Armies, the almighty El Shaddai; therefore they said among the people: “Look at Zion, the city of our appointed festivals. Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, a tent that won’t be removed. Its stakes will never be plucked up, nor will any of its cords be broken” (Is. 33:20).
But the city of Jerusalem, the dwelling place of the Jehovah god, had some problems. It was full of strange gods, and the houses on its terraces burnt incense to all the host of heaven. Jeremiah is the one who says that: “And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, which are defiled, shall be as the place of Topheth, even all the houses on whose roofs they have burned incense to all the army of the sky, and have poured out drink offerings to other gods” (Jer. 19:13). Idolatry was the gravest sin in Israel and the sin that Jehovah fought against the most, who, tired of prohibiting, said: “As for you, house of Israel, thus says the Lord Jehovah: Go, serve everyone his idols, and hereafter also, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts, and with your idols” (Ezek. 20:39). But Jerusalem was the city of the idols, as Jeremiah says: “Therefore thus says Jehovah, Behold, I will bring evil on them, which they shall not be able to escape; and they shall cry to me, but I will not listen to them. Then shall the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry to the gods to which they offer incense: but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of your cities are your gods, Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have you set up altars to the shameful thing, even altars to burn incense to Baal” (Jer. 11:11-13).
Then Jehovah commands Jeremiah, saying: “Therefore don’t pray for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry to me because of their trouble” (Jer. 11:14). “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, [and] with the point of a diamond: it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars” (Jer. 17:1).
Besides idolatry there were scandalous young men in Jerusalem, in other words, the same homosexuals who were there since the times of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who ruled after the death of Solomon (1 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 23:7).
Isaiah says: “How the faithful city has become a prostitute! She was full of justice; righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers” (Is. 1:21; Ezek. 16:33-35). The kingdom of Israel was destroyed in the year 720 BC by the Assyrians under the command of Shalmaneser, king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:20-23). The kingdom of Judah, the city of Jerusalem, the temple of Jehovah and the sanctuary were destroyed and burnt with fire in the year 587 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Chr. 36:17-20).
The questions are the following:
- Jehovah, the Almighty El Shaddai, did not have the power to keep Jerusalem, the place of his eternal dwelling, which would never be destroyed according to the words of Isaiah? (Is. 33:20).
- How could he, being a holy god, dwell in the middle of the idolatry for a thousand years? Where is his omnipotence? How could he dwell in the middle of prostitution, corruption and idolatry for a thousand years? How could he tolerate the sorcery, immolations of children to Moloch, and sacrifices made to the devils? (Deut. 32:17).
- How could Jehovah deceive Christians with a future promise of something he was not able to perform in the past? And does he promise to change their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, and give them a new spirit to allow them to walk in his judgments and statutes forever? (Ezek. 11:19-20). But Jesus abolished the law of Jehovah, and the statutes and judgments of Jehovah are gone. Paul says: “For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4). And he says more: “And by him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira