Let us read the word of the prophet Jeremiah speaking from Jehovah, the god of Israel: “For Jehovah of Armies, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have worked for themselves in provoking me to anger by offering incense to Baal” (Jer. 11:17).
Why did Jehovah turn against Israel, his chosen people? It was because he established a concert with this people, the covenant of the Law, on Mount Sinai. But Israel broke the concert: “The earth also is polluted under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant” (Is. 24:5).
Jehovah also declares that he is not the god of the nations and the kingdoms of this world, only of Israel: “For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God, and Jehovah has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deut. 14:2). Moses spoke this word, and now the prophet Amos is going to speak: “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth. Therefore I will punish you for all of your sins” (Amos 3:2). It is clear that the heathen nations, with which Jehovah did not establish a covenant, who did not know the Law of Jehovah, are not under the same yoke, nor can be judged and condemned in the same way that Israel is condemned. Besides, the apostle Paul reveals to us that God left, in the past, all the peoples in their own ways (Acts 14:16). When the heathen nations sinned or committed abominations, they could not offend Jehovah, for their gods, invented idols, and false gods of wood and stone, did not offend one another. They were invented exactly to stimulate the people to orgies of prostitution, or to wars. Israel learned in Egypt to worship and serve these gods, and Jehovah manifested himself only after 400 years, when the people was already perverted and addicted (Ezek. 23:2-4). The people, delivered from Egypt, did not change their habits: “They sacrificed to demons, [which were] no God, to gods that they didn’t know, to new [gods] that came up of late, which your fathers didn’t dread” (Deut. 32:17). Jehovah, filled with infernal wrath, pronounces the destroying judgment over that poor people (Deut. 32:18-25). Jehovah became an enemy, and turned against Israel: “For I have set my face on this city for evil, and not for good, says Jehovah: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire” (Jer. 21:10). “I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation” (Jer. 21:5). For 1,000 years Jehovah, as an enemy, fought against his people, until he destroyed them (2 Kings 23:27; 24:2-3).
Contrary to Acts 14:16, Jehovah will go against all nations, in incredible and absurd ways, and by various motives:
- Jehovah went against Egypt: “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of his rivers, that has said, ‘My river is my own, and I have made it for myself” (Ezek. 29:3; Jer. 46:1-2).
- Jehovah went against the Philistines: “The word of Jehovah that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before that Pharaoh struck Gaza” (Jer. 47:1). “Therefore thus says the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will stretch out my hand on the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast. I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes; and they shall know that I am Jehovah, when I shall lay my vengeance on them” (Ezek. 25:16-17).
- “Of Moab. Thus says Jehovah of Armies, the God of Israel: Woe to Nebo! for it is laid waste; Kiriathaim is disappointed, it is taken; Misgab is put to shame and broken down” (Jer. 48:1). “Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because Moab and Seir say, Behold, the house of Judah is like all the nations; therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country” (Ezek. 25:8-9)
- Jehovah is against the Ammonites, and spoke through the mouth of Ezekiel, saying: “Son of man, set your face toward the children of Ammon, and prophesy against them: and tell the children of Ammon, Hear the word of the Lord Jehovah: Thus says the Lord Jehovah, Because you said, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was made desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity: therefore, behold, I will deliver you to the children of the east for a possession, and they shall set their encampments in you, and make their dwellings in you; they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the children of Ammon a resting place for flocks: and you shall know that I am Jehovah. For thus says the Lord Jehovah: Because you have clapped your hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced with all the despite of your soul against the land of Israel; therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand on you, and will deliver you for a spoil to the nations; and I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish out of the countries: I will destroy you; and you shall know that I am Jehovah” (Ezek. 25:1-7).
- Edom, that is, Esau, for Esau is Edom (Gen. 25:30), acted in vengeance against the house of Judah. Then he said to Jehovah: “I will stretch out my hand on Edom, and will cut off man and animal from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; even to Dedan shall they fall by the sword. I will lay my vengeance on Edom” (Ezek. 25:13-14; Jer. 49:10).
- Jehovah was against the Elamites and spoke through Jeremiah against Elam, saying: “On Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of the sky, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation where the outcasts of Elam shall not come” (Jer. 49:36).
- Jehovah spoke against Tyre by the mouth of Ezekiel: “Behold, I am against you, Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her a bare rock” (Ezek. 26:3-7).
- Prophecy against Sidon: “The word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face toward Sidon, and prophesy against it, and say, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against you, Sidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of you; and they shall know that I am Jehovah, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. For I will send pestilence into her, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall fall in the midst of her, with the sword on her on every side; and they shall know that I am Jehovah” (Ezek. 28:20-23).
- Jehovah went against the Assyrians, the kingdom that dominated the world, and which hem, Jehovah, used (Is. 7:17-20; 8:7). Sennacherib, king of Assyria invaded Judah, Hezekiah, the king, prayed to Jehovah, who continued the war against the Assyrians, killing 185,000 of them in one sole attack, and preparing the death of the king (2 Kings 19:6-7; 19:35-37).
- Jehovah turned against Babylon, whose king, Nebuchadnezzar, a proud and cruel monarch, ordered the construction of a gold statue of his own person to be worshipped as god (Dan. 3). And Jehovah declared that Nebuchadnezzar pleased him and was his servant, and for this reason he delivered all the kingdoms as slaves, affirming that the nation or kingdom that did not serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and did not submit to the yoke of this king, the same Jehovah would visit such nation or kingdom with the sword, through famine, and through pestilence, until he consumed it. Jehovah was a partner of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 27:5-8; Jer. 25:9; 43:10). Jehovah turned against his partner and servant, saying: “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not value silver, and as for gold, they will not delight in it. Their bows will dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb. Their eyes will not spare children. Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, neither will it be lived in from generation to generation” (Is. 13:17-20).
Jehovah was always against the nations. Jeremiah said: “The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence” (Jer. 28:8). The Ethiopians escaped (Soph. 2:12).
Let us now listen the word of the apostle Paul about the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: “FOR THE GRACE OF GOD HAS APPEARED, BRINGING SALVATION TO ALL MEN” (Titus 2:11). “BUT GOD COMMENDS HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US (Rom. 5:8). “IN THIS LOVE, NOT THAT WE LOVED GOD, BUT THAT HE LOVED US, AND SENT HIS SON AS THE ATONING SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS (1 John 4:10). This God was never against any kingdom, nor against sinners, for he wants to save all (1 Tim. 2:3-4). And because God, the Father, is in favor of everyone, Paul declared out loud: “WHAT THEN SHALL WE SAY TO THESE THINGS? IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO IS AGAINST US?” (Rom. 8:31).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira