170 – THE BEAUTY OF JEHOVAH
“Ascribe to Jehovah the glory due his name; worship Jehovah in the splendor of his holiness” NIV (Ps. 29:2).David wanted to admire the beauty of Jehovah: “One thing I have asked from Jehovah, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Jehovah” (Ps. 27:4).The beauty of Jehovah is perfect: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth” (Ps. 50:1-2).
What kind of beauty God has—physical or spiritual? It is obvious that he has spiritual beauty, for God is spirit. What is spiritual beauty? Peter answers: “And let not your adornment be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, and putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:3-4). God values the interior beauty, loves it and considers it precious. So, the beauty of God is meekness, humbleness, patience, charity, mercy, purity, kindness, love, forgiveness, grace, etc., etc. As the texts that speak of the beauty of Jehovah are many—“Ps. 27:4; 29:2; 50:2; 96:9-10; 1 Chr. 16:29, let us learn the peculiarity of this beauty through the Holy Scriptures.
The wrath of Jehovah is one of the facets of his beauty. And so that no one might miss this pearl of the divine character, he feels angry every day (Ps. 7:11). Jehovah did not give kings to Israel through love, but through wrath, which is more becoming. “I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath” (Hos. 13:11). Moses said that Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and full of kindness(Ex. 34:6). If Jehovah is slow to anger, and gets angry every day, how would it be if he were quick to anger? When the wrath of Jehovah is kindled against anyone, he fumes and does not forgive; he sends every curse on that person, and erases that person’s name from under the heaven (Deut. 29:20). In this picture of beauty, the wrath of Jehovah kindles a fire that burns to the deepest parts of hell, consuming the earth (Deut. 32:22). Every Christian who thinks that wrath is beautiful, and who gets easily angry, also, is enraptured at the beauty of the wrath of Jehovah.
Another facet of the beauty of Jehovah is vengeance. A righteous judge punishes the transgressor in the measure according to the gravity of the crime. It is different with Jehovah. He is eager to execute vengeance, and maintains his anger against his enemies “A jealous and avenging God is Jehovah; Jehovah is avenging and wrathful. Jehovah takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies” (Nah. 1:2). When there is hatred against a person (which does not become a god), Jehovah is not satisfied with taking vengeance against the disgraced one by sending pestilences and plagues, and killing afterwards. To quench his thirst for vengeance, he goes on killing his children. This was the case with Saul. Jehovah was filled with such fury against this king, that he killed him and three of his children(1 Sam. 28:19; 31:6). The death of Saul, Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchi-shua did not quench his thirst for vengeance. Thirty days after the death of Saul, Jehovah demanded the death of seven more of his sons, which were hung. The text ends up by saying that, after the death of these seven innocent young men, Jehovah made peace with the earth. To every Christian who also takes vengeance on his offenders, and considers it beautiful, and thinks, “I belong to Jehovah, and he will take vengeance against my adversaries”, how charming!
If anyone appreciates wrath, fury, and vengeance, attributes that comprise the glory of Jehovah, and wishes to contest that Jehovah did not ask for the seven sons of Saul, since Jehovah does not accept human sacrifices, as was the practice of Moloch, it will be enough for him to read chapter twenty-five of the book of Numbers, when Jehovah told Moses: “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before Jehovah, so that the fierce anger of Jehovah may turn away from Israel” (Num. 25:4).
The third facet of the beauty of Jehovah is to throw his shafts at people for various reasons. Jehovah forces people to have faith. No one can choose or opt. Religion is imposed by force. David, in his Psalm 7says, “If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts” (Ps. 7:12-13). If there is any beauty in sending fiery shafts, then Satan is also beautiful, for Paul says, “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). It appears that Jehovah and Satan have the same kind of beauty, for both of them are angry and furious most of the time; they are vengeful and send fiery shafts.
David confesses that the shafts of Jehovah sunk deep into him (Ps. 38:2). There are many verses about the shafts of Jehovah: Psalm 21:12-13. Jeremiah says: “He bent His bow and set me as a target for the arrow. He made the arrows of His quiver to enter into my inward parts” (Lam. 3:12-13; Ezek. 5:16). “I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them” (Deut. 32:23). “I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh” (Deut. 32:42). The poor Job said, “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; their poison my spirit drinks; the terrors of God are arrayed against me” (Job 6:4). God, the Father, does not have any poison, but love. The serpent has poison, and El Shaddai, the Almighty, also does. This is one of the greatest facets of beauty that Jehovah manifests, and the ones that imitate him delight themselves in this dark beauty that is shed upon a faithful, sincere, righteous and pure man, according to the words of the same Jehovah (Job. 1:8).
Jehovah is a teasing god. He says, “Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit upon you; I will make my words known to you. Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel, and did not want my reproof; I will even laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm, and your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come on you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me” (Prov. 1:23-28).
“Why are the nations in an uproar, and the people devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against Jehovah and against His Anointed: let us tear their fetters apart, and cast away their cords from us! He who sits in the heavens laughs, Jehovah scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury” (Ps. 2:1-5). Scoffers think well of the teasing and disdain of Jehovah, and imagine that they are pleasing God when they laugh and despise those who do not think likewise.
Jesus, on the other hand, unmatched in his beauty, which is the beauty of the love of the Father, renounced to his eternal glory, becoming like men, so that, by his death on the cross, might save the accursed of Jehovah. He tried to hide his beauty under a plain physical appearance, but could not (Is. 53:2-5).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira