What is a false promise? It is the promise not fulfilled by the one who has the power to do it. Jehovah is the god of promises.
1. He promised that the offspring of Abraham would be like the stars of heaven and like the sand of the sea (Gen. 15:5; 22:17). This promise did not come true, for the Jewish population worldwide does not reach 14 million people, 5 millions in the United States of America, and less that 4 millions spread around the world. It is true that Jehovah declared in the law that if they turned from the law, they would become just a few men (Deut. 28:62). But the promise came to Abraham 430 years before, no conditions attached. Nowadays there are many nations that went past the one billion habitants, such as China, India, and the Arabs. Brazil, a country 500 years old, has its 170 billion. Jehovah was powerful enough to fulfill the promise, but he did not.
2. Jehovah promised to cast from the land of Canaan all the heathen nations, to avoid intermarriage. Jehovah said: “You shall not give any of your children to sacrifice to Molech; neither shall you profane the name of your God: I am Jehovah. You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is detestable. You shall not lie with any animal to defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman give herself to an animal, to lie down with it: it is a perversion. Don’t defile yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations which I am casting out before you were defiled” (Lev. 18:21-24). “You shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you: for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them” (Lev. 20:23). “It was shown to you so that you might know that Jehovah is God. There is no one else besides him. Out of heaven he made you to hear his voice, that he might instruct you: and on earth he made you to see his great fire; and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. Because he loved your fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought you out with his presence, with his great power, out of Egypt; to drive out nations from before you greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as at this day” (Deut. 4:35-38). “When Jehovah your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before you, the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than you” (Deut. 7:1).
And there are more texts: Deut. 9:1-5; 18:9-12; Josh. 13:6; 21:44; Ex. 23:28-30. And Jehovah spoke to Moses: “Depart, go up from here, you and the people that you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your seed. I will send an angel before you; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite” (Ex. 33:1-2). And Jehovah did not fulfill his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The angel of Jehovah said to the people: “Now these are the nations which Jehovah left, to prove Israel by them, even as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing of it: [namely], the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. They were [left], to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of Jehovah, which he commanded their fathers by Moses” (Judges 3:1-4). It is obvious that the people were perverted through dwelling with the Sodomites. Then Jehovah sold them in the hands of Cushan-Rishataim, king of Mesopotamia (Judges 3:5-8). The truth is that Jehovah does not do what he promises.
3. Jehovah promised that he would deliver his people from the yoke of the Egyptian slavery and would take them to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey (Ex. 3:8). When they went in, new captivities began, as we read above. And Israel went through seven captivities in the Promised Land, being morally ruined each time (Judges 3:8; 12-14; 4:1-3; 6:1; 9:1-6; 10:6-8; 13:1). Poor people of Israel! They believed and were deceived. The large and good land flowing with milk and honey was worse than Egypt, for Jehovah gave them water and gal to drink (Jer. 23:15). In the large and good land flowing with milk and honey the godly women boiled their own children to eat, such was the hunger there (Lam. 2:20; 4:10).
Someone will say: But they sinned against Jehovah and profaned the covenant of Sinai. The answer is: Do the promises of God depend on the faithfulness of men or on the faithfulness of God? And if Jehovah did not forgive those who sinned in the past (Heb. 3:17), who can assure us that today he will forgive those who sin? Someone will yet say: But Jesus died for the sinners (Gal. 1:4; 1 Tim. 1:15). Very well. If those people sinned, and these people, today, also sinned, they are alike before God as to their culpability. Those did not know Jesus, and were condemned. These of today know Jesus, so have more responsibility and are also more guilty, according Luke 12:47-48. And if Jesus saves the conscious sinners, he and Jehovah are not one in purpose. And Paul lies when he says that Christ delivers the man from sin, in Rom. 6:18.
The Bible says that the one who commits sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8). If Christians are not delivered from sin, they are not delivered from the devil. How is that? Do the children of God belong to Satan? Or does not Christ have power to deliver the Christian? I believe that he has all the power. And I believe that Jesus heals, not only the infirmities of the body, but, specially, those of the soul. To affirm that it is impossible not to sin is to confess that the devil is stronger than Jesus. It is to confess also that the Holy Spirit, which dwells in the Christian, does not regenerate him, according with 1 Cor. 6:10-11, and Titus 3:4-5. It is to confess that nobody can reach the full stature of Christ, as we read in Eph. 4:13-14. It appears that Christians are eating rotten bread, and drinking falsified milk (1 Pet. 2:2). They are, therefore, liable to be touched by the enemy (1 John 5:8). Jesus Christ saves and delivers. He does not have favorites. But Jehovah did not fulfill the promise.
4. Jehovah promised that the people of Israel were going to rest in the Promised Land, for it is written: “Today if you will hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts, as in the rebellion. For who, when they heard, rebelled? No, didn’t all those who came out of Egypt by Moses? With whom was he displeased forty years? Wasn’t it with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? To whom did he swear that they wouldn’t enter into his rest, but to those who were disobedient? We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:15-19). The truth is that the people of Israel were never in peace. Let us read what Jehovah declared: “‘His rock will pass away by reason of terror, and his princes will be afraid of the banner,’ says Yahweh, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem” (Is. 31:9).
Jeremiah was the prophet who affirmed that Jehovah promised and did not do what he promised: “Ah, Lord Jehovah! Surely you have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You shall have peace;’ whereas the sword reaches to the heart” (Is. 31:9). What is deceit? The dictionary says that it is an illusion of the senses and of the intelligence; it is something that appears to be what it is not; the deceiving appearance. Either Jehovah did this with his people, or Jeremiah was mistaken. But the Bible is the word of God, from cover to cover. And Jehovah bears testimony of Jeremiah that he is a great prophet (Jer. 1:4-7). What do we mean by “deceive”? It is to cause an illusion; to deceive; to mock; to cheat. This is what the dictionary says. Might Jehovah be mocking his people? It is unbelievable! Solomon, the wisest of men, whose wisdom was given by Jehovah (1 Kings 3:12), declares that Jehovah does mock. And he mocks when the person needs him. Let us read what Solomon said about Jehovah: “Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make known my words to you. Because I have called, and you have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention; but you have ignored all my counsel, and wanted none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your disaster. I will mock when calamity overtakes you; when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come on you. Then will they call on me, but I will not answer. They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me” (Prov. 1:23-28).
The truth is that Jehovah promises and does not fulfill his promise; therefore, he deceives his poor people. And when he deceives, he mocks. We, though, can trust in Jesus Christ, for he took the place of the sinners before Jehovah, and died for them as a ransom, to free them from the curses of Jehovah (Gal. 3:13).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira