Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mosiah - Chapter 13

It is alarming that despite their evident fear at having witnessed the glory of God radiating from Abinadai their hearts were not changed.  I can't imagine rejecting such marvelous manifestations.  They certainly must have been pretty far gone.  I have served in the local jail and also in the local juvenile detention center and I don't think I have ever met anyone that utterly lost.  In each, no matter how horrible their lives have been, I have seen a glimer of light and a measure of humility.  Enough that the possibility of rekindling the flame seemed a certain possibility.
13 And again: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;
14 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
The language of these two verses really interested me this visit.  I sort of expected that God's wrath would be visited upon the heads of the children, instead he says the iniquity of the fathers would be visited upon their heads.  That may include wrath, but I suspect it is a declaration that the choices of these men will taint the choices and affect the lives of their children, bringing greater punishment and sorrow to the fathers than they can now imagine.  Never mind the punishments and sorrows of the children, the punishment and sorrow of the fathers, these wicked men seated before Abinadai is the real matter at hand.

It is also interesting that the anticedent to the pronoun they in verse 14 seems to be the children in verse 13.  This seems to indicate that the children are not necessarily condemned to follow in the error of their fathers.  The opportunity to have faith, repent and enjoy the blessings of the gospel remains real in their lives.  Negating in no way the depth of the consequences that will come of these men's choices. Clearly, though, children raised in homes of hate, rejection, wickeness and denial are at a father-caused disadvantage and will not come away unscathed by their environment.  Thank goodness the Lord can make such injurious circumstances right by the healing power of His Atonement.

At the detention center I see it every day.  Sweet children, whose parents and grandparents have made horribly consequential choices that have caused untold suffering in the their lives. It is occasionally, so good to see some grasp the light of the gospel and rise above the pain and deprivation they've suffered in their young lives.  Still, others seem likely to actually bring the iniquities of their fathers literally into the third and fourth generations. Oh, how careful we must be with the trust of fatherhood.


di said...

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Christ has paid the terrible price and the gift he has purchased for me is there for the taking. When I take it, He sees his seed. When I comprehend this thought – even briefly and incompletely, I feel the thrill of knowing that I, by taking the gift, am giving a gift. I give reason and purpose to the awful sacrifice when I humbly step up and am counted among his seed….

Candleman said...

You describe that process so beautifully di.