Sunday, November 22, 2009

2 Nephi - Chapter 15

I found a pretty neat article about Palestinian Vineyards that depicts the very thing Isaiah speaks of here.  It is interesting to me how many millennia passed by on earth without much change in methods and means of doing things.  Indeed the past two centuries have been amazing in so many ways.

It seems to me like the Lord is saying in this chapter, "We can do this the easy way or we can do it the hard way."  Collectively, as well as individually, Israel seems to always want to choose the hard way.  I see this in my own life.  It would be so blessed and easy if I would just be obedient and humble as the Lord leads me through life.  But from Jerusalem to Jackson County, from Zarahemla to Vernal, Utah, we persist in wandering into our own paths and ways of doing things.  Inevitably, but not spitefully, a woe is pronounced upon us; we suffer the consequences of our choices.  Choosing selfishness over obedience, pride over humility, gratification over sacrifice always leads to broken walls, abandoned watch towers and woeful consequences.  "Men are that they might have joy."  But the might have woe, too, if they so choose.

The amazing thing is that God freely grants us the freedom to do this.  To me the beauty in this chapter is that even in our rebellion God's will is accomplished.  Israel is scattered across the entire globe and in the end that blood and influence with bless the entire earth.  How thankful I am that despite my many scattering choices, "His had is stretched out still."  The offer remains, even after death, "Come follow me."

Today, in the Stakes of Zion, the walls are being repaired, the watchtowers rebuilt and the vineyard reestablished.  How fortunate we are to be among those gathered under the protective shelter of the Master's wings.  Occasionally, we or our children, follow Israel's path and pridefully rebel.  Such was the case with me.  But, His hand is stretched out STILL.  While some still choose the hard way, I believe, because of God's faithfulness, it is a way and though it may be a thorny path, His intention is to bring us back safely in the end.


D1Warbler said...

It must continually amaze the Lord to see that we (collectively) are so consistently consistent in our willfulness and disobedience.

Fortunately, as you said above, He is also consistently consistent in His willingness to stretch forth His hand to us.

As a parent still learning patience, I marvel at His.

D1Warbler said...

I forgot to say thank you to you, Candleman, for posting the article on Palestinian Vineyards. Like articles I have read on ancient olive cultivation, I find it fascinating how accurate a farmboy who didn't even know that the city of Jerusalem had walls around it and who lived in an area in the United States where neither olive trees nor vineyards are typically cultivated was in "his" descriptions or both endeavors. Thus, the method of grape cultivation, etc., described in this chapter of 2nd Nephi is another internal witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon.

For me, the "gotcha" phrase in the article was the following: "No tree requires such constant and severe pruning as the Vine."

The Lord always uses the most appropriate symbol for his wayward and recalcitrant children. In the case of an animal, He most often chooses a sheep (which scholars have said is an unbelievably appropriate symbol for man). In the case of a plant, He chooses the vine which needs "constant and severe pruning."

Truly, he does know His children.