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"And He Shall Be for a Sanctuary," 2 Nephi 18:9-17

2 Nephi 18:9-17

We live in difficult times and these verses are a powerful balm for me this day.

In verses 9 and 10, Isaiah sounds a warning against those who think to form alliances with larger powers so that they may be protected, or in the joining of smaller powers so that their combined powers may be a strength against larger threats. Isaiah plainly says that such will not stand nor will they be of effectiveness in coming against the Lord's people: "for God is with us."

Verses 11 - 13
had heretofore alluded me as to the full significance of the passage. However, having first read the translation from Spanish, and having the broader overall picture in mind, these verses are powerful counsel.

Verse 11: Isaiah is commanded not to walk in the ways of the people. With a strong hand, the Lord clearly delivered this counsel to Isaiah.

Verse 12: this is the verse that most baffled me. "Say not, a confederacy... " The Spanish translation uses a word that means "conspiracy" in place of "confederacy". In this light, this is so parallel and indicative of our times, where news is fraught with one conspiracy after another. People will dedicate their lives to the uncovering of other people's wickeness. So many of these reports are calculated to arouse fear in hearts of those that hear their reports. The Lord clearly counsels Isaiah to avoid such controversy and to not be afraid.

Verse 13: The Lord God is he that is worthy of our attention, fear, dread. It is he that ought to occupy our thoughts as we seek to sanctify Him in our own lives. Such regard for the Divine will keep us safe in the presence of God.

Thus in verse 14 there is the promise that the Lord "shall be for a sanctuary" to us. But then comes the irony of it all. For those of the covenant (the house of Jacob) who do not believe, nor wait upon Him for strength, the Savior of the world becomes for them a stumbling block, this great unavoidable obstacle. Try as they may to get around Him, they cannot and their disbelief will be for them a great burden.

Verse 16
is the closing of a book, so to speak. The work for that season had been done. Those that believed were sealed and secured to the promises in which they believed. For now the Lord is about to hide his face for a season from the house of Jacob.

Verse 17 shows still the conviction and testimony that is within Isaiah:
"I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him."