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Showing posts from June, 2009

The Lambs Shall Feed and Strangers Shall Eat, 2 Nephi 15:17

2 Nephi 15:17

"Then..." After the destruction of the wicked and after the Lord is exalted in righteousness.

"shall the lambs..." The disciples of Christ; the followers of the Good Shepherd.

"feed after their manner..." The real question here is whom does "their" refer to? It is in reference to the wicked who had been destroyed. We've read in earlier verses that the unrighteous have these great feasts, but their indictment was that they did not remember the Lord their God. The sheep then, the followers of Christ, are the privileged recipients of those blessings that were first enjoyed by the wicked.

The second half of the verse reaffirms this point even more clearly: "And the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat." There is an interesting cross reference to this verse in Isaiah 10:16 which reads: "Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning…

"Sanctified in Righteousness", 2 Nephi 15:16

2 Nephi 15:16

"But the Lord of Hosts shall be exalted in judgment," After all the condemnation which will be brought upon the children of Israel for their unrighteousness, Isaiah reminds us that the Lord and his work will continue. His ability to judge rightly will cause him to be exalted. I'm trying to consider how the judgments of God vary from man's judgment. Under the Topical Guide for Jesus Christ, Judge there are ample references to this aspect of his mission and character.

"For judgment I am come into this world." (John 9:39)
"He shall judge the world in righteousness."(Psalm 9:8)
(See also 2 Nephi 2:10)

"...And God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness." This second part of verse 16, explains the result of God's ability to judge rightly, he shall be sanctified in, or because of, his righteousness. This is offered in contrast to the destruction into which the house of Israel descends.

The Isaiah equivalent for this verse…

"Man Shall Be Humbled," 2 Nephi 15:15

2 Nephi 15:15

We begin with this statement, "And the mean man shall be brought down..." The footnote on "brought" references similar passages from earlier in Isaiah where he says, "And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day, " (Isaiah 2:17). In Spanish, the word "mean" is translated to mean "vile". This has the feel to me of a man who through lies and deceit has built up his pretended kingdom around him. His tactics are by force. All this shall crumble and be made to lie low in the dust.

"And the mighty man shall be humbled," These next two statements both end with "shall be humbled." I call on the true definition of "humble" or "humility". It is to acknowledge the hand of God in our work. For the wicked to be humbled, those who have up to that point not acknowledged God, and had thought to become a …

"Hell Hath Enlarged Herself... Without Measure," 2 Nephi 15:14

2 Nephi 15:14

This is a chilling description of the demise of God's people because of their failure to acquire testimony and live according to its precepts.

Vs. 14 - "Therefore, hell hath enlarged herself," These are the preparations that devil has made (perhaps preparations isn't the proper term) to receive the wicked, who should have been the righteous. "...and opened her mouth without measure;" It seems that void into which they are descending at this point is so hard to escape, and so all consuming, that to define its ends seems impossible, for they are "without measure."

"And their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it." It is as if one were stuck in a small paddle boat 50 feet from the edge of a great waterfall, realizing that everyone is going off a cliff into destruction. The reality of surviving such is unthinkable. Being stuck in the current of destruction, and powerful downward …

"My People Are Gone Into Captivity," 2 Nephi 15:13

2 Nephi 15:13

These verses are so very rich in descriptions as they relate to the conditions under which the House of Israel crumbled. We continue in this verse to build on the "Wo" pronounced upon Israel in verse 11, where we learn that the resources that were allocated to Israel (in the form of blessings) for the purpose of advancing the Lord's work were wasted on luxury.

Verse 13 begins, "Therefore, my people are gone into captivity..." I've been with the notion of blessings being abused for several days. Now, as I consider it, I don't know that I've ever really considered in my own life the proper use of blessings. I acknowledge to the best of my ability the blessings that I do receive from God, yet I've never thought that there is a reason for receiving them. In other words, blessings are not the end, but as we are observing here, they are a means received because of our righteousness to enable us to achieve even greater ends. Israel's …

"They Regard Not the Work of the Lord," 2 Nephi 15:12

2 Nephi 15:12

Vs. 12 - "And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands."

This is a pointed accusation. Amos 6 elaborates on this condition in greater detail by saying, "Woe unto them that are at ease in Zion." The riches and blessings that are bestowed upon Israel are for an expressed purpose in advancing the causes of Zion. God blesses us with abundance so that we can create equity and share our abundance with others. Historically, what Isaiah is accusing Zion of is the human tendency to waste our abundance on luxury and finery.

In this particular verse, those luxuries are described as music and drink to accompany their meals. Then the pointed accusation: "but they regard not the work of the Lord."

What is the work of the Lord that the wicked would not consider it? When I consider how hard it is to bring about the converting changes that ne…

"Wo Unto Them That... Follow Strong Drink", 2 Nephi 15:11

2 Nephi 15:11

Continuing with the next "Wo".

Vs. 11 - "Wo unto them that rise up early in the morning..." We have to read this in context of the rest of the verse. There is not evil in awaking early. We read in Doctrine and Covenants 88:124, "retire to thy bedearly, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."

The rest of the verse reads, "...that they may follow strong drink, that continue until night, and wine inflame them!" Here it is those that are motivated by strong drink. These verses were given in a time long before the establishment of the Word of Wisdom and the resultant conspiring designs of large corporations that now stand behind the "strong drinks" of our day, the principles of sobriety are the same throughout the ages.

To me this is curious, because the drives that cause an man to arise early after strong drink and stay up late, stand in direct opposition to the compelling moti…

The Opression Caused by Covetousness, 2 Nephi 15:8-10

2 Nephi 15:8-10

The beginning of a list of condemnations that the Lord has against the house of Israel begins in these verses. Each point begins with the word "Wo".

Vs 8 - "Wo unto them that join house to house..." There are footnotes on these verses that equate this to covetousness. This is the first condemnation against Israel: covetousness. "...Till there can be no place..." This joining together has reference to the establishment of city dwelling environments, apartments and such, that are created to save on the amount of land used. Those guilty of covetousness, are them that are responsible for the joining of houses, in other words, greedy landowners/developers that attempt to squeeze into as small a space as possible. "...That they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!" (The exclamation mark is part of the actual scripture.)

The visual that I have is of a wide expanse of land with a small area in the middle built up as a mountain of…