The prophet Isaiah declares in his book: “Wail; for the day of Jehovah is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will be feeble, and everyone’s heart will melt. They will be dismayed. Pangs and sorrows will seize them. They will be in pain like a woman in labor. They will look in amazement one at another. Their faces will be faces of flame. Behold, the day of Jehovah comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger; to make the land a desolation, and to destroy its sinners out of it” (Is. 13:6-9).
Will Jehovah, the Almighty, destroy men? What does destruction mean? It means devastation, ruin, and desolation. Destruction has never been a punishment or correction. Destruction is devastation. Destruction is to ruin, crush, and destroy. This destructive and devastating craft should belong to Satan alone. It is odd and incomprehensible that a God who is love according to the New Testament (1 John 4:8) may show up in the Old Testament with the characteristics of Satan. Jehovah says that he created the destroyer to ruin, and then appears as a destroyer? (Is. 54:16). This is inconsistent.
In the days of the judges of Israel, there was a man by the name Elimelech, which translated means MY GOD IS KING. He should, therefore, be a blameless Israelite. His wife was Naomi, which name was translated KIND and LOVABLE. Naomi was probably gentle, agreeable, and happy. The names in the Old Testament usually translated the person’s character. As an example we will mention the name of Isaac, which means, “laugh,” because his birth and life brought happiness to his parents Abraham and Sara. Jeremiah is translated by “Jehovah establishes,” because when he became a man Jehovah chose him to destroy and establish kingdoms (Jer. 1:9-10). David means “loved,” and was Jehovah’s beloved. And so on…
According to his name, Elimelech honored god as the supreme king, and his wife Naomi was a virtuous wife, loving and extremely likable. There is not a single reference in the Bible denouncing any character flaw of this couple. Very well. This family came from Bethlehem, in Judah, and as there was a great famine in the city, they left wandering through the fields of Moab—they and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. Elimelech died, and also Mahlon and Chilion. Naomi was left alone with her daughters-in-law, widows of her sons. Naomi, wandering, returned to Bethlehem. All of those who met her said: “‘Is this Naomi?’ She said to them, ‘Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.’ I went out full, and Jehovah has brought me home again empty; why do you call me Naomi, since Jehovah has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?’” (Ruth 1:1-5, 19-21). The house of Naomi and Elimelech was devastated and destroyed by the Almighty, for in the Old Testament the death of the firstborn broke the lineage, and the house was blotted out and destroyed (Deut. 25:5-6).
El Shaddai (almighty god) is another name through which Jehovah was presented to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He declared: “And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah I was not known to them” (Ex. 6:3). “The Almighty” does not reflect exactly what Jehovah is, but it is a cognomen that reveals one of his facets. To Job, Satan was the Almighty. Jacob saw two gods in that god—one who blesses with blessing of the heaven above, and another who blesses with blessing from the pit below (Gen. 49:25). Paul reveals that the pit is the place of the dead (Rom. 10:7). If the pit is below and hell is also there, the blessings of the pit are the blessings of hell (Prov. 15:24). If the blessings of Jehovah include the blessings of hell, whoever believes in him is a fool!
Let us look at what Job, who was blessed with the blessings from hell, says:
1. “Oh that I had one to hear me! (behold, here is my signature, let the Almighty answer me); let the accuser write my indictment!” (Job 31:35). To Job, the Almighty was his adversary. Job not once credited his evils and torments to Satan. He was sure that they came from the Almighty or Jehovah.
2. “Withdraw your hand far from me; and don’t let your terror make me afraid. Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you answer me. How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my disobedience and my sin. Why hide you your face, and hold me for your enemy?” (Job 13:21-24). We notice that the Almighty filled Job with an anticipation of fear and terror, even if he was righteous and just, and did not have any memory of having practiced any sin. Job accuses the Almighty of taking him for an enemy maybe because the Almighty was not pleased that Job was righteous, and might not profit from Job’s walk in the way of perfection (Job 22:3). And Job also said: “I am clean, without disobedience. I am innocent, neither is there iniquity in me. Behold, he finds occasions against me. He counts me for his enemy” (Job 33:9-10).
3. Job affirms that the Almighty abandoned him without cause: “Oh that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; when his lamp shone on my head, and by his light I walked through darkness, as I was in the ripeness of my days, when the friendship of God was in my tent, when the Almighty was yet with me, and my children were around me” (Job 29:2-5). If the light of the Almighty is good only to walk in darkness, Job has never known the light of Jesus (Job 8:12). And if Job said, “When the Almighty was yet with me,” it is because he was not with him (Job 29:5). Jesus did not act in this way, for he said: “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
4. Job lamented: “I will give free course to my complaint. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will tell God, ‘Do not condemn me. Show me why you contend with me. Is it good to you that you should oppress…?’” (Job 10:1-3). And in verse 7, he says: “Although you know that I am not wicked, there is no one who can deliver out of your hand”. Jehovah, the Almighty El Shaddai, oppressing an innocent righteous? This is what we see in 2 Sam. 24:1, when Jehovah incited David. To incite is to move, to impel. To incite is more than to tempt, for whoever moves or impels another person, overrules that person’s will. In the book of 1 Chr. 21:1, we read that Satan incited David.
5. Isaiah says that the Almighty destroys: “Wail; for the day of Yahweh is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty” (Is. 13:6). Jehovah commanded Nebuchadnezzar to destroy the cities of Judah (Jer. 34:22; Lam. 3:47).
But, getting back to Job and to his complaint: “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me. My spirit drinks up their poison. The terrors of God set themselves in array against me” (Job 6:4). May the worshippers of Jehovah, the Almighty, forgive us: God, the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is filled with infinite love and unquestionable truth.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira