(352) – PSALM OF PRAISE 1

Psalm 136 exalts and praises the loving kindness of Jehovah. Let us read:

  1. Give thanks to Jehovah, for he is good; for his loving kindness endures forever.
  2. Give thanks to the God of gods; for his loving kindness endures forever.
  3. Give thanks to the Lord of lords; for his loving kindness endures forever:
  4. To him who alone does great wonders; for his loving kindness endures forever:
  5. To him who by understanding made the heavens; for his loving kindness endures forever:
  6. To him who spread out the earth above the waters; for his loving kindness endures forever:
  7. To him who made the great lights; for his loving kindness endures forever:
  8. The sun to rule by day; for his loving kindness endures forever;
  9. The moon and stars to rule by night; for his loving kindness endures forever:
  10. To him who struck down the Egyptian firstborn; for his loving kindness endures forever.

The psalmist certainly made a mistake here. How is it that killing children and grownups reveals loving-kindness? If the god that Jesus reveals desires to save all men (1 Tim. 2:3-4), killing according to the will of God the people whom Jesus wants to save, that is, killing the firstborn of Egypt among which were many innocent children does not reveal loving-kindness, but malevolence. To make it worse, Jehovah changed the hearts of the Egyptians to hate his people (Ps. 105:23-25). Therefore, they were innocent victims and the psalmist should have said: “struck down the Egyptian firstborn; for his malevolence endures forever.” And the psalmist continues to praise the malevolence of Jehovah, saying:

v. 15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea; for his loving kindness endures forever:

v. 18 And killed mighty kings; for his loving kindness endures forever:

v. 19 Sihon king of the Amorites; for his loving kindness endures forever;

v.  20 Og king of Bashan; for his loving kindness endures forever. (It is written about Sihon that Jehovah hardened his spirit and made his heart to be obstinate. Then Sihon set himself against Israel, and Jehovah delivered him to Israel. All the cities were destroyed, and men, women, and children were killed by the sword. They took the booty (Deut. 2:30-35). In this case, it should have been written: Jehovah killed Sihon, king of Heshbon, men women and children, for his malevolence endures forever.” But contrary to all principles of ethics, virtue, and justice, when Jehovah commits a crime the psalmists always write: PRAISES BE TO JEHOVAH’S LOVINGKINDNESS. According to this false principle of justice, we can say:

1. Jehovah made a furnace out of Jerusalem; for his loving-kindness endures forever (Is. 31:9).

2. He sent fire from heaven and killed 102 soldiers; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (2 Kings 1:9-12).

3. He declared eternal war against Amalek; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Ex. 17:16).

4. He incited David to sin, and therefore he killed 70,000 people; because his loving-kindness is everlasting (2 Sam. 24:1-15).

5. He made the parents to eat their children out of extreme hunger; for his loving-kindness is everlasting: “You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom Jehovah your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you” (Deut. 28:53).

6. “The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children; they were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people”; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Lam. 4:10).

7. He shut the ears of the children of the high priest Eli so that they would not listen to the advice of their father; for he wished to kill them; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (1 Sam. 2:22-25).

8. Jehovah said to his idolatrous people: “For a fire is kindled in my anger, burns to the lowest Sheol, devours the earth with its increase, and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire.  I will heap evils on them. I will spend my arrows on them. [They shall be] wasted with hunger, and devoured with burning heat and bitter destruction. I will send the teeth of animals on them, with the poison of crawling things of the dust. Outside the sword shall bereave, and in the rooms, terror; on both young man and virgin, the nursing infant with the gray-haired man”; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Deut. 32:22-25).

9. The psalmist said: “You sell your people for nothing, and have gained nothing from their sale”; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Ps. 44:12).

10. Jehovah declares that he is the author of all the evil that may happen to a city, for his loving kindness is everlasting (Amos 3:6).

11. He keeps trumping up evils against his people and tries to change their hearts using terrible threats, instead of love; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Jer. 18:11).

12. He cast the monstrous curses of the law against his people; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Deut. 27: 15-26; 28:15-68; Gal. 3:10).

13. He destroyed humanity in the flood before its time; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Job 22:15-16).

14. Jehovah puts malignant spirits in the people whom he rejects and hates; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (1 Sam. 16:14-15).

15. Angry against his people, he said: “Then you shall tell them, Thus says Jehovah, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings who sit on David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says Jehovah: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, that I should not destroy them”; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Jer. 13:13-14).

16. And Jehovah said more: “and tell the land of Israel, Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north”; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Ezek. 21:3-4).

17. When he wants to kill someone, Jehovah sends a spirit of lies to deceive the prophets; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (1 Kings 22:19-23).

18. Job, delivered into the hands of Satan by Jehovah, said: “For the arrows of the Almighty (El Shaddai) are within me. My spirit drinks up their poison. The terrors of God set themselves in array against me”; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Job 6:4).

19. “The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit: he who is under Jehovah ‘s wrath will fall into it”; for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Prov. 22:14).

20. When Israel sinned at Baal Peor, Jehovah told Moses to hang before the sun all the heads of the ten tribes, and in this way the heat of his fury departed from Israel; for his loving-kindness endures forever  (Num. 25:4).

21. A group of boys called Elisha bald. He cursed them, and Jehovah sent two female bears that tore 42 of them; for his loving-kindness endures forever (2 Kings 2:23-24).

22. He commanded his people not to have mercy on the peoples of Canaan, as he does not have pity on anyone; because his loving-kindness is everlasting (Deut. 7:2). He teaches them not to have mercy on a brother who sins, for his loving-kindness is everlasting (Deut. 13:6-10). He forbade Jeremiah to pray for his people whom he loved; for his loving-kindness endures forever (Jer. 7:16).

23. Jehovah commands everyone not to have mercy because he, Jehovah, did not have mercy of anyone; for his loving-kindness endures forever (Ezra 5:11; 7:4,9; 8:18). Jehovah does not have mercy on the children; for his mercy is everlasting. Isaiah says: “Prepare for slaughter of his children because of the iniquity of their fathers” (Is. 14:21). But Jesus said: “Then little children were brought to him, that he should lay his hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Allow the little children, and don’t forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these’” (Matt. 19:13-14).

 

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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