(020) – THE GOD OF PEACE 2

 

God, the Father is not the enemy of man; He loves all men, good and bad: “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

According to Paul, the enemies of God are men: “For while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom.5:10). Men make themselves enemies of God by loving this wicked world. “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

God, the Father of mercies, is not an enemy to even this chaotic world: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The Apostle Paul declares that there are many Christians who are enemies of the cross of Christ. The cross is the instrument of peace between God and men. Men are so wicked that they use God’s diligent effort to make peace, that is, the cross, as an instrument of the greatest enmity: “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite” (Phil. 3:18-19). If the cross is not an enemy, neither it can be an enemy to anyone, how can it be used for enmity between God and men? This is how man is: “…and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of the cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you” (Col. 1: 20-21).

The cross is the reconciling power of the Father with men, yet there are enemies of the cross. Why? Because there are evil spirits controlling the will of men: “…in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Eph. 2: 2-3).

God, the Father, is a friend to all men; He has always been and will always be. This is the reason why He wants to save all men: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4).

If God was a friend of all, and established peace with all on the cross, how can we explain that Jehovah was an enemy to certain peoples? Jehovah declared to Israel: “But if you will truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” (Ex.23:22).  With these words Jehovah is saying that he does not want the salvation of all men, except of those of his inner circle. He protects ones with the exception of the others. “And the Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you” (Deut. 30:7). Speaking of his people Israel, Jehovah was an enemy to the enemies: “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered” (Ps. 68:1)

Jehovah, though, made himself an enemy to his people, giving their disobedience as a reason, there is, God was acting in the same level as men. “And I Myself shall war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation” (Jer. 21:5). “He has bent His bow like an enemy, He has set His right hand like an enemy, He has set His right hand like an adversary and slain all that were pleasant to the eye; in the tent of the daughter of Zion He has poured out His wrath like fire. The Lord has become like an enemy” (Lam. 2:4-5).

Jehovah is a God who changes from a friend to an enemy, and his Holy Spirit also changes: “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them” (Is. 63:10).

Jehovah made a thousand promises to Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1 Kings 11:37-40). Jeroboam sinned in making idols, and Jehovah destroyed the house of Jeroboam as one does to an enemy, for Baasha conspired against Jeroboam’s son, killing him and sitting himself on the throne. He, then proceeded to kill Jeroboam’s offspring, inspired by Jehovah (1 Kings 15:25-29). This was what Jehovah was like. When somebody sinned, Jehovah killed his father, mother, wife, brothers and sisters, his sons and grandsons. Imagine what would it be if he were not merciful…

When Baasha sinned, Jehovah treated him in the same manner (1 Kings 16:1-4). There were other houses against which Jehovah fought as an enemy, utterly destroying them. Jehovah destroyed the house of Ahab (2 Kings 10:6-11). Jehovah waged war against the house of Gideon and killed his 70 children, on account of a sin (Judges 8:27-30; 9:5). Achan sinned and Jehovah destroyed his house Jehovah, acting as an enemy, destroyed the houses of Dathan and Abiram, who had come up against Moses (Num. 16:26,29-34). Jehovah also fought against the house of the just Job, without reason.

The worst happened with David, after his sin: “Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword; have taken his wife to be your wife… Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house” (2Sam. 12:9-10). Jehovah, then, destroyed the house of David, his servant, with whom he had made an eternal covenant. If he has done that to David, woe be to us! A God who, being a friend, becomes an enemy does not deserve our trust. All who trusted in Jehovah either died or were made captives.

Dear reader and friend, look to the cross, and come from under the curse and the enmity.

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

 

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