I loved today’s reading! Didn’t you? I learned so much. I will do my best to put it all into words.
Vs. 1-4 ~ 1 "He" in these verses is Jesus Christ. Check out v4. What's one of the things that goes on in the world? War. Christ will come and rebuke war. He will have us all change the uses of our resources... what we normally would use as weapons of war, we will start putting to better use. All I can say is… It’s About TIME! I’m tired of seeing so much wasted. Come on. Instead of using resources for swords, let’s use them to make things which are more productive. After all... what good is a gun and what good is a missile when there isn't war upon the earth? Think all the good things we could spend taxes on if we didn’t have war all over the world. Think of what all that money would do to help our schools give our children a good education... think of how it could help eliminate poverty... think of all the medical research which could be done with that money... The whole world is going to be rebuked for not putting to better use our resources! If only the world embraced peace.
Vs. 5 We go all military here to get to Zion. We must return to the light of the gospel.
Vs. 6 I’ve noticed that a dimming of the light in the world… well… maybe not total dimming, but a concentrated to localized areas… a clear separation of dark and light. What has replaced the light of the Lord? Isaiah is a poet. I love how he uses imagery and allusion. The word "replenished" means to be refilled. When the light of the Lord leaves, it is replaced by something else... Something has to fill that vacuum of emptiness. Isaiah says here that "You are allowing the worldly things to fill you rather than the Light of the world! For instance, do we allow the fashions of the world, the philosophies of the world, etc., become our lights? "Philistine" in the above verse suggests those who are earthy, base, low class. Calling someone a Philistine is NOT a compliment! Soothsayers say soothing sayings! They tell you things you want to hear, not things that you NEED to hear! The world wants to hear soothing saying, do they not? What does "they please themselves in the children of strangers" mean in the above verse? It means we are shaking hands with the world! We are accepting what they have to offer!
Vs. 7-8 ~ "Treasures".... wealth and profits are on their minds, rather than the things of the Lord. Horses and chariots suggest were military vehicles of the day... their tanks! Because Israel didn't have much military might in the form of horses and chariots, they would often make alliances with greater foreign powers. But Isaiah is saying, "You are finding your security in wealth and weapons! In the June 1976 issue of The Ensign, there is an article called "The False Gods We Worship," written by President Spencer W. Kimball.
Vs. 12 All those who are lifted up in loftiness and pride, and who act haughty shall fall. In the next several verses Isaiah gives us examples of things which are lifted up...
Vs. 13 Bashan is Lebanon, which was known for their vast abundance of trees. Cedars are symbols of strength, splendor, and glory. It is a beautiful fragrant wood used in building. Oaks are symbolic of idolatry and man’s false trust in nature and man. Isaiah says, You cut the tree down, and it falls." What else is high up? Mountains and hills, towers and walls!
Vs 14 The images of v14-15 are all military images. Isaiah says, "You are so proud of your so great military might."
Vs. 16 Looking in the Bible Dictionary we learn that "ships of Tarshish" was a phrase used to denote ships of the largest size, suitable for long voyages. In other words, these are ships used business purposes and traveled all across the Mediterranean to Spain. "Pleasant pictures" is a ways of saying luxury craft-type boats.
vs. 19-20 This is pretty clever of Isaiah... Have you ever thought about what moles and bats have in common with proud, wicked men? Well, moles and bats are blind... they don't like light, and they actually hide from light. Of course, when make the analogy to proud, wicked men... are they not spiritually blind? Do they not like the light which the Savior offers them? And when the Light and Life of the world comes, won't they want to hide?
In short, the entire 12th chapter of 2 Nephi seems to be saying, "Members of the Church... be careful of pride!" This is one heck of a reality check!