Saturday, July 16, 2011

The God of heaven weeps

28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept;
and Enoch bore record of it, saying:
How is it that the heavens weep,
and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
29 And Enoch said unto the Lord:
How is it that thou canst weep,
seeing thou art holy,
and from all eternity to all eternity?....
32 The Lord said unto Enoch:
Behold these thy brethren;
they are the workmanship of mine own hands,
and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them;
and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
33 And unto thy brethren have I said,
and also given commandment,
that they should love one another,
and that they should choose me, their Father;
but behold, they are without affection,
and they hate their own blood;
34 And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them;
and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them,
for my fierce anger is kindled against them.
35 Behold, I am God;
Man of Holiness is my name;
Man of Counsel is my name;
and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
36 Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands
and hold all the creations which I have made;
and mine eye can pierce them also,
and among all the workmanship of mine hands
there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers;
Satan shall be their father,
and misery shall be their doom;
And the whole heavens shall weep over them,
even all the workmanship of mine hands;
wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer? (Moses 7:28-29,32-37 )
I was thinking about Enoch’s vision of God weeping over the wicked and I wondered what was important about that. Was there any other place in the Old Testament where God is seen weeping? Then I realized that there isn’t. There is nothing in the Old Testament that compares with it. I searched for instances of the following words to see if there were any connected with God in the Old Testament:

weep, wept, weeping, cry, cried, crying, sorrow, sorrowed, sorrowing, sorrows, mourn, mourning, mourned, sad, wail, wailed, wailing, howl, howled, howling, grief

I found three instances in the Old Testament in which it is stated that Lord was “grieved” and one instance of “grieve” associated with the Lord. Here they are:

At the time of Noah:
And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth,
and it grieved him at his heart. (Genesis 6:6)
In Psalms:
How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness,
and grieve him in the desert! (Psalms 78:40)

Forty years long was I grieved with this generation,
and said, It is a people that do err in their heart,
and they have not known my ways: (Psalms 95:10)
In Judges:
And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord:
and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. (Judges 10:16)
That’s all there is in the Old Testament. Just four. If we count Old Testament prophecy of Christ’s future sorrows in mortality, there are more instances, but of a weeping pre-mortal Jehovah, we see only the four cases above.

When there are oodles of cases in the Old Testament when “the anger of the Lord was kindled” and only four when the Lord is grieved, that contributes to the general impression that the God of the Old Testament is an angry, jealous God.

This is what makes Enoch’s vision so precious to us. Enoch testifies that God also weeps for all the wicked because of their wretched, sinful state and the anguish they will suffer after they die until they can be redeemed. God can’t deny Himself when justice has its claim, and He can’t help but weep for those who sin.

This helps us see that Jehovah of the Old Testament is the same as Jesus Christ of the New Testament.