205 – WEARINESS
Weariness is a characteristic of the animal kingdom. When I was a boy and went in a tour in the back of a truck, there was a dog following us. Someone from the group said: Hey, look at this dog following the truck!
The owner of the dog said: It is my dog. It always does that, but he will soon get tired and quit. After a while de dog started to get behind until we couldn’t see it anymore. When I went to the army, we had a 10km marathon. At first everyone ran very well, and soon some took to the front. After 1km, things changed. The ones who ran ahead were beginning to get tired, e others with better physical preparation passed them by. After 5km, many who were left behind fell exhausted, and were picked up by a truck.
Referring to God, the prophet Isaiah declares: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired” (Is. 40:28). This is what we also think: God, the creator of everything, eternal, cannot get weary. Only the corruptible gets weary. An athlete that runs 100m in 10 seconds, or jumps 6m, when he is 80 years old, will get tired to go up any steps. God is not like that, though. God is a spirit, and a spirit does not get tired.
We read some texts in the Old Testament, though, difficult to take in. For example: “The heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts, And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Gen. 2:1-3). The doctors and theologians of the Church give the following explanation to the issue: The word rest does not have the meaning of weariness from an effort, as it does to the farmer, which at the end of the day is exhausted and needs to sleep. Rest means accomplished work. The work of creation ceased. This explanation does not convince anyone, because 4,000 years after that, Paul, the apostle, revealed the following: “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). According to Paul’s words, the creation of the Father started when the creation of Jehovah ended. The work of creation of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ did not start with the work of creation of Jehovah, for St. James, in his universal epistle, says: “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures” (James 1:17-18). First fruits are the first fruits of the land. So, the first men created by God the Father came to light only through Jesus, 2,000 years ago, and Jesus is the beginning of God’s creation (Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15).
Returning to the central point of the issue, as God does not get weary, and talking about Gen. 2:1-3where theology affirms not to be talking about the weariness of God, we want to mention a verse: “‘So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he ceased from labor, and was refreshed” (Ex. 31:16-17). If Jehovah was refreshed, that was because he was tired, and so Jehovah is an anthropomorphic god, that is, he has human form. This is the reason why in Gen. 1:26-27 men was created in the image and likeness of god, for the one who created him was similar to men, that is, he got tired and needed to be restored from tiredness. The Father, though, does not get weary or tired.
The second argument to be considered is that about the spirit of Jehovah, for Isaiah says, “For I will not contend forever, neither will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before Me” (Is. 57:16). The one who faints does it because he is tired. The spirit of Jehovah faints or weakens the same way as its author. When the spirit faints or weakens, this weariness in his interior. The interior weakness is proper of the one who feels incapable of accomplishing a work to its difficult end. Moses, servant of Jehovah, noticed this flaw in his anthropomorphic god in the case of the golden calf. Let us read the text: “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them, and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation. Then Moses entreated Jehovah his God, and said: ‘O, Jehovah, why doth Thy anger burn against Thy people whom thou hast brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought the out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Thy burning anger and change Thy mind about doing harm to Thy people” (Ex. 32:10-12) At another time, Jehovah became furious and again wished to destroy his people. Moses said, “Now if Thou dost slay Thy people as one man, then the nations who have heard of Thy fame will say, ‘Because Jehovah could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness” (Num. 14:15-16).
Jehovah is a god who tires easily, and in many ways. Let us look at his complain against his people Israel before the first captivity: “You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, neither have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; rather you have burdened Me with your sins” (Is. 43:24; 1:14). Things are different with God the Father. The more men sin, the greater is his compassion. That is why Paul Writes, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20). But let us continue to look at the tiredness of Jehovah.
Jehovah, the god who declared that he never repents, was always repenting. He repented of having created man (Gen. 6:6). He said that he was going to destroy Israel and afterwards he repents from evil (Ex. 32:10-14). He placed Saul as the king over Israel and repented, afterwards (1 Sam. 15:35; 9:16-17). Jehovah did evil to his people and afterwards he repented from it: “If you indeed stay in this land, then I will build you up and not tear you down, and I will plant you and not uproot you; for I shall relent concerning the calamity that I have inflicted on you” (Jer. 42:10). The prophet Amos narrates the following: “Thus hath Jehovah GOD showed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings. And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Jehovah GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. Jehovah repented for this: It shall not be, saith Jehovah. Thus hath Jehovah GOD showed unto me: and, behold, Jehovah GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up the farmland. Then said I, O Jehovah GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. Jehovah repented for this: This also shall not be, saith Jehovah GOD. Thus he showed me: and, behold, Jehovah stood upon a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And Jehovah said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumb line. Then said Jehovah, Behold, I will set a plumb-line in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more” (Amos 7:1-9). Samuel said that Jehovah does not lie nor repents, and this is not true (1 Sam. 15:29). Balaam, the crazy prophet, said the same thing (Num. 23:19). Balaam said that what Jehovah says, he confirms, by doing it. This is a lie. All these instances when Jehovah repented were times when he had promised or sworn.
Jehovah repented so many times of the evils he himself practiced, that he got tired of repenting. “You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting” (Jer. 15:6).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira