279 – FOUNTAINHEADS 1
What is a fountainhead? It is an abundant fountain of water that continuously flows; a spring of clear water. In his universal epistle, James argues that sweet and bitter water cannot spring from a same fountainhead (James 3:11-12). This is why Jesus taught his disciples, saying: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said. ‘From his innermost being shall flows rivers of living water’” (John 7:38). Jesus did not say, bitter water, or gall water, but he said: “rivers of living water”, and Jesus said also: “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
If Jehovah, the god who revealed himself to Israel through Moses, is Jesus Christ, or even the Father of Jesus, he also has to be a fountain of sweet water, water of life, water of love and of grace, water of blessing, etc., for we could not drink at the same time sweet and bitter water.
1. Jehovah declared: “If your brother has become poor, and his hand can’t support him among you; then you shall uphold him. He shall live with you like an alien and a temporary resident. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God; that your brother may live among you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit” (Lev. 25:35-37). “You shall not lend on interest to your brother; interest of money, interest of food, interest of anything that is lent on interest: to a foreigner you may lend on interest; but to your brother you shall not lend on interest” (Deut. 23:19-20). Jehovah would give sweet water to his people Israel, and salty water to the other peoples.
2. “If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you; you shall not make him to serve as a slave. As a hired servant, and as a temporary resident, he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee: then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers. For they are my servants, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. They shall not be sold as slaves (Lev. 25:39-42). “As for your male and your female slaves, whom you may have; of the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover of the children of the aliens who live among you, of them you may buy, and of their families who are with you, which they have conceived in your land; and they will be your property. You may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession; of them may you take your slaves forever: but over your brothers the children of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness” (Lev. 25:44-46). Jehovah is a fountain whose fountainhead issues sweet and bitter water. Sweet water of freedom for his people Israel, and bitter water of slavery for the other peoples.
3. About peace with the neighboring peoples, Jehovah establishes the following conditions: “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it. It shall be, if it makes you answer of peace, and opens to you, then it shall be, that all the people who are found therein shall become tributary to you, and shall serve you. If it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it: and when Jehovah your God delivers it into your hand, you shall strike every male of it with the edge of the sword: but the women, and the little ones, and the livestock, and all that is in the city, even all its spoil, you shall take for a prey to yourself; and you shall eat the spoil of your enemies, which Jehovah your God has given you” (Deut. 20:10-14). If the city makes peace, it has to pay taxes with slave work forever. If it does not make peace, Jehovah, the god of war, delivers it to be killed, women and children taken, and the city plundered. The fountainhead of Jehovah had sweet water only for Israel; for the other peoples there was water of gall and bitterness. James condemns this kind of fountain.
4. Jehovah gave the following instructions to his people Israel concerning war: “But if you indeed listen to his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries” (Ex. 23:22). Sweet water for Israel, and bitter water for other peoples. That happened without a good reason, for the people of Israel were not any different from the other peoples. This is why the apostle Paul declared: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). God, the Father of Jesus, does not distinguish between peoples. Paul said: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him” (Rom. 10:12). Jehovah did not act like this in the Old Testament. Jehovah changed the hearts of the Egyptians to hate Israel (since the Egyptians were like brothers to the Israelites because of Joseph), in order for Israel to be slave in Egypt. We find this in Psalm 105:23-25. After that, he hardened the heart of Pharaoh so that he would not turn from his ways, and he ended up killing all the first-born of Egypt. It is both cruel and unbelievable that, in order to be able to give gall water to the Egyptians, he changed their good hearts into bad hearts. When the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib, invaded Judah 700 years later, Jehovah took sides with his people against the Assyrians; that is, sweet water for his people and gall water for the Assyrians, for the angel of Jehovah killed 185,000 Assyrians in one only night, and wiped out his army, and saw to the death of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35-37). We cannot understand how the God revealed by Jesus in the New Testament left all the peoples to walk on their own ways (Acts 14:15-16). Jehovah promised the land of Canaan as an inheritance to the children of Israel, but the Canaanites lived in the land and were their legitimate owners. Then Jehovah became an enemy to the Canaanites. Joshua registered the following: “There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took all in battle. For it was of Jehovah to harden their hearts, to come against Israel in battle, that he might utterly destroy them, that they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as Jehovah commanded Moses” (Josh.11:19-20). Sweet water for Israel, and bitter water for the peoples of Canaan, without mercy. Blessed fountain for Israel, and cursed fountain for the other races.“An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation shall none belonging to them enter into the assembly of Jehovah forever: because they didn’t meet you with bread and with water in the way, when you came forth out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you” (Deut. 23:3-4).
Suddenly Jehovah changed. He started to give sweet water to the wicked and evil peoples, and bitter water to his people Israel. He began by giving sweet water to the Assyrians. “Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them the mighty flood waters of the River: the king of Assyria and all his glory. It will come up over all its channels, and go over all its banks”) Is. 8:7-8). He then gave sweet water to Nebuchadnezzar, his servant, and gall water to Judah (Jer. 27:1-8). The Jewish people declare to have drunk of this cursed water. “Jehovah our God has doomed us and given us poisoned water to drink” (Jer. 8:14). And Jehovah said: “Therefore thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink” (Is. 9:15) (wormwood is absinthe). Jehovah said more: “I will do in you that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all your abominations. Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of you, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on you; and the whole remnant of you will I scatter to all the winds” (Ezek. 5:9-10). And Jehovah confesses how he gave this bitter water to his people. “When I shall send on them the evil arrows of famine, that are for destruction, which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine on you, and will break your staff of bread” (Ezek. 5:16). The famine provoked by Jehovah was such, that pious mothers cooked and ate their children (Lam. 4:10).
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ does not give anyone gall water to drink. Only sweet water comes from him (1 John 4:8). From him comes only what is good (James 1:17). God, the Father, wants that all may be saved: the good and the bad, the just and the unjust, sinners and saints, Hebrews and Gentiles, for God, the Father, belongs to all.
“One God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all” (Eph. 4:6).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira