As we saw in the first article, Jehovah revealed himself through his mediator Moses, first as god, and afterwards as king (Ex. 3:1-8; 1 Sam. 8:7). In the New Testament, Jesus, the mediator between God and men, first reveals the Father, and after that God the Father. When he resurrected, Mary Magdalene turned up and said to him: “Don’t hold me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (John 20:17). Let us continue to consider the differences between the king and the Father:
The king has armies: Jacob lived for 20 years with Laban and married his two daughters: Leah and Rachel. When he returned home he met the angels of Jehovah on the way, and said: This is the army of god. And he called that place Mahanaim (Two armies or bands) (Gen. 32:1-2). About 1,226 years later, the kingdom of Israel was divided in two for 86 years, due to the corruption of Solomon. Israel was the kingdom of the north, and Judah was the kingdom of the south. Ahab, king of the kingdom of the north, made alliance with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. Jehovah, the king of kings, wished to kill Ahab. Micah, the prophet, saw the courtroom in a vision, and said: “I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the army of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. Jehovah said, ‘Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One said one thing; and another said another. Jehovah said to him, ‘How?’ He said, ‘I will go out and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ He said, ‘You will entice him, and will also prevail. Go out and do so’” (1 Kings 22:19-22). The king takes advantage of everything to implement his political projects, even lying spirits.
The Father has a family, and not armies, Paul declares: “For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” (Eph. 3:14-15). The Father of the family does not even cast away the tares so as not to damage the wheat (Matt. 13:27-30). The Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to gather children among men. Paul says: “For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). And the Father does not treat his children with violence. Jesus declares this: “Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11; Num. 21:4-9).
The king has a people: “You established for yourself your people Israel to be a people to you forever; and you, Jehovah, became their God” (2 Sam. 7:24).
The Father has children to give them an eternal inheritance. Paul says: “And if [we are] children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom. 8:17). What is the inheritance? The apostle Paul answers, saying: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that doesn’t fade away, reserved in Heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).
It is fitting to remember that the king of Israel also has an eternal inheritance, which was promised to Abraham: “I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land where you are traveling, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. I will be their God” (Gen. 17:8). Jehovah repeats the promise to Jacob (Gen. 48:4). And he repeats it in Ex. 32:13. And do you know what is this inheritance? It is wars, deaths, plagues, pestilences, and vengeances of Jehovah. The capital of Jerusalem was transformed in a furnace by the very king Jehovah (Is. 31:9).
The king charges taxes and is demanding. He himself says: “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with the curse; for you rob me, even this whole nation” (Mal. 3:8-9). There is not once in the Bible where we read that the king Jehovah watched for good, but he does watch for evil (Jer. 44:27; Dan. 9:14). The Father is different. He gives us our bread for the day, and just that, for he is the God of the poor, and not of the rich. In the universal epistle of Saint James, we read: “Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn’t God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him?” (James 2:5).
The wealth of the kingdom of heaven is not measured by the gold and the silver of this world, but by the works of charity. Let us listen to the apostle Paul: “Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life” (1 Tim. 6:17-19).
As in the kingdom of God the wealth is measured by the works of charity, the thief is the one who gives ten per cent. For this reason the tithe does not exist in the New Testament. Whoever loves, gives everything. And there is much to do with respect to charity (Matt. 25:41-45). God, the Father, is love, and has an only son; therefore Jesus is called only begotten Son. Well, God the Father gave everything he had to save us (John 3:16). And when we give to the Son, we give everything we have, for Jesus is the heir of everything, and he is going to give to the ones he saves (Heb. 1:1-3; Rom. 8:15-17).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira