A school is a place where somebody can learn good or bad, profitable or useless, edifying or destructive things. The problem lies with the students, not with the teachers. For a bad and lazy student, there is no teacher that is good. Jehovah says that he is the one who forms the spirit, inside the man (Zach.12:1)“He who fashions the hearts of them all” (Ps.33:15). The reason and the understanding are in the spirit. “But it is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding” (Job 32:8). “I listened to the reproof which insults me, and the spirit of my understanding makes me answer” (Job 20:3). Jehovah, as god, goes on forming the spirit of those who believe according to his commandments and statutes, and according to his deeds and his example.
The heart is the seat of the affections. Everyone who believes in Jehovah, have his affections born in the matrix that is Jehovah himself. Every man has been born in two areas: In the understanding, by the word and by knowledge. In the heart, the affections and the actions are born. When the spirit, that is, the understanding, is defiled, the deeds and the affections are filthy. When the understanding is pure, the deeds are edifying. The understanding of man should govern his affections and his deeds. We give the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus was meek and humble, so that we might learn meekness and humbleness (Matt.11:29). Jesus renounced everything for the love he had for the lost (2 Cor.8:9). Jesus, existing in the form of God, humbled himself and emptied himself, being obedient until death (Phil.2:5-8). Christ loved to the point of dying for those he loved (John 15:13). Jesus did only what was good and healed the oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). Jesus never sinned neither deceived anyone, as an example for us (1 Pet.2:21-22). Jesus is the perfect model, and Paul said, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor.11:1). The apostle Paul defines the school of Jesus with the following words, “Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against any one: just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Col.3:12-13). According to the teachings of Paul, Jesus Christ is being formed within the Christian, that is, in the mind and in the heart (Gal.4:19), until all our hearts reach the measure of the stature of Christ, the perfect man (Eph.4:13).
Let us analyze the school of Jehovah in the Old Testament:
1. All the worshippers of Jehovah are after silver and gold, since Jehovah is the god of silver and gold (Hag.2:8; Prov.10:22). They forget that Jesus was poor and reproved silver and gold (Matt.8:18-20; 6:19-20).
2. Jehovah taught vengeance and hatred. “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise” (Ex.21:24-25). Jesus was against this school of vengeance (Matt.5:38-45).
3. Jehovah taught unforgiveness with his example. “‘And I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion that I should not destroy them’” (Jer.13:14; Deut.29:20; Josh.24:19).
4. Jehovah, with his evil deeds, taught what was evil. “I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they are completely gone” (Jer.44:27). The evils with which Jehovah afflicted his people were the sword of the enemies that he himself brought against them (Jer.27:5-8). The hunger sent by Jehovah was such that the pious mothers roasted their own children and ate them (Lam.4:10). Jehovah prophesied this curse in the law (Deut.28:53). The plague could be the black plague, the bubonic plague, or others that Jehovah devised for his vengeances (Deut.28:6).
5. Jehovah is the God of war, and therefore is called the Lord of the Armies. Jehovah was responsible for calling Assyria against Israel. We read this in 2 Kings 17. The king of Assyria became proud with his own accomplishments, and Jehovah declared that Assyria was the axe, and that he, Jehovah, was the one who handled it. It was Jehovah who brought Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Judah (Jer.25:9-12). It was Jehovah who raised the Medes against Babylon, whom he called “the sanctified to kill, destroy, violate women, and tear children to pieces” (Is.13:3-18). It was Jehovah who taught David to war and to kill (2 Sam.22:35-43).
6. The curses of Jehovah were so many! There were close to sixty in the book of Deuteronomy alone (Deut.28). “The curse of Jehovah is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the dwelling of the righteous” (Prov.3:33). No one was spared. David learned to send curses, and cursed Joab for killing Abner. “May it fall on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house; and may there not fail from the house of Joab one who has a discharge, or who is a leper, or who takes hold of a distaff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread” (2 Sam.3:29). The great prophet Elijah followed the school of Jehovah by cursing forty-two boys, who were torn to pieces by two bears (2 Kings 2:23-24).The prophet Jeremiah uttered terrible curses against his people, because this is the sword of Jehovah.“Give their children over to famine, and deliver them up to the power of the sword; and let their wives become childless and widowed. Let their men also be smitten to death” (Jer.18:18-21).
7. Jehovah educated his servants to be merciless and pitiless. Jehovah told Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? (1 Sam.16:1). Jehovah told Jeremiah, “As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you” (Jer.7:16). A little further, Jehovah says, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people” (Jer.14:11). He was, by this, inciting Jeremiah to curse.
The prophets of Jehovah were all killers (Hos.6:5). The great leaders were killers. David was a killer (1 Sam.18:7). Samson was a great killer, Gideon, too. Elijah was not only a killer, but he anointed another to kill (1 Kings 18:40; 19:15-17). Such is the school of Jehovah: a school of destruction, of hatred, of curses, plagues and desolations.
The school of Jesus is the school of love and forgiveness. The servants of Jesus walk by the rural places, by the cities, by the fields taking the love and the forgiveness of the Father, salvation to the sinners and the lost, healing the sick and delivering the captives. Each Christian should think, ponder and choose the best school, for the authors are different; they are either like Jehovah, or like Jesus.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira