Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jacob - Chapter 5

Verse 25 seems to refer to the Nephites and Lamanites.  They were given a Promised Land, very fertile and fine.  I can't help but wonder who verse 22 refers to.  Obviously, they weren't granted such a fertile nice place to dwell, but flourished anyway.  I don't intend to speculate here.  I really don't have much of a guess.  I just find it interesting that having a poor spot of ground didn't hamper their development.  In fact it may have contributed to the outcome.  Additionally, I'd like to hear their story.  There must be a record coming forth someday, to tell us of these hardy souls who flourished under harsh conditions.  Perhaps when things become more difficult for us, we'll flourish better too.

While it is certain that the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees is about Israel and her prophetic history.  I discovered today that the story can be likened unto myself.  I personally have required some pruning and digging about and fertilizing.  I too have needed to be grafted into different situations to humble, strengthen and rescue me.  I too have borne wild as well as sweet fruit.  I too have grieved the master of the vineyard.  I hope one day I will bear Him adequate fruit.  For me the biggest problem with being a fruitful tree is best described in this verse.
48 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?
I am so quick to take strength unto myself, to take credit for my accomplishments, to suppose I don't require the help of the Lord or to draw strength from my roots.  Obviously, Christ is the source of my strength and clearly I can do nothing without his strength and support.  I also believe that my own ancestors are directly involved in inspiring me, blessing me and assisting me in my efforts here in this life.  I must stop taking personal credit for that strength so generously supplied by God and his servants.


Bonnie Walker said...

I always find the allegory a little confusing. I enjoyed your insight!

Jacob 5:22 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.

Why is it easier to be righteous when life is difficult? When life loses its stress and my burdens are eased my nature is become lazy and ungrateful. So I guess I should welcome the trials or I could end up the fruit that is bitter.

If the fruit was not the natural fruit, it was not good. Even if it was not the most bitter fruit, it was still bitter. We often compare ourselves to others, but by comparing others faults with our own we might be satisfies with less bitter. Instead of trying to be less bitter than our neighbor, let us try to be the natural fruit of the lord of the earth. "let" is a powerful word for just 3 letters

di said...

I always think of this as the 'long' chapter and I find myself glossing through it confused by who, what, and where is being represented in the allogory, and trying to avoid the thought of the 'wrath' of God if my fruit is bitter. And I always espect it is bitter, after all, I'm not comely, or athletic, or brilliant. I was usually chosen last for the team. So I imagine my worth isn't that great. I don't see myself as one of the plump, full, sweet fruits of the vinyard.

I ponder this and receive the comfort of the Spirit. I'm reminded of 1 Samuel 16:7

7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

I guess it is not how that fruit 'looks', but how it tastes and nourishes when the Lord bites into it...

di said...

Another comment just for note. When the scripture mentions the vinyard was waxing old and showing decay...I thought of the Garden of Gethsemane I visited last year and the trees were so old some of them had been there at the time of Christ. The one in this photo must be thousands of years old.

Another thought is that olives are always extremely bitter freshly plucked from the tree. They take much processing to be edible.

D1Warbler said...

The first time I truly began to understand this allegory was when I sat in a Book of Mormon class with my one year old granddaughter in my lap. (This sweet granddaughter's Father was a non-member, while her Mother -- my daughter -- had been Born in the Covenant.)

We were watching the old CES (Seminary) film on this allegory,(which is really helpful in understanding this particular allegory); and as we got to the end of the film, I realized that I was holding a "wild fruit" in my lap.

The possibility that this child could one day become "tame" and part of the House of Israel, was an amazing (and comforting) thought to me. It also let me know how great a responsibility I had to help prune, dig and nourish this little fruit so that she would become just that.

Candleman said...

Wow, I never thought of it that way. Thanks! How is your little wild fruit doing by now?