Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 2 Nephi 18

In 2 Nephi 18 we meet Isaiah’s second boy.... little Maher-shalal-hash-baz, which means significantly enough, “destruction is imminent.” (It is significant that Isaiah’s own name means “Jehovah saves.” Thus, when we put his name with the name of his sons, we learn,

“Destruction is imminent, but don’t despair because Jehovah saves and the remnant shall return!” These people were walking billboards!)

Vs. 5-6 This verse is saying that because the people have broken God’s commandments (which are not hard or grievous) and have refused and rejected the gentle flowing waters of Jerusalem (the gospel, God’s teachings, His house, and His love... all of which flows softly)...

Vs. 7 “... because you’ve rejected that Living Water, you’re going to get another river to swim in instead!” Think of the mighty Euphrates River compared to the waters of Shiloah. What does a river often do? A river often floods its banks (borders). Isaiah is using this imagery to show what nations do as they go about crossing the boarders of neighboring countries and then conquering them. “You’ve rejected My soft water, so now you will get flooded by the Assyrians!”

Vs. 8 Now Isaiah shifts the image of what is going to happen from a river to a bird of prey. “O Immanuel,” though, reminds them to have hope because of Immanuel. How high will the Assyrian threat be to Judah? Judah will be up to it’s neck in the threat. And this does come to pass. Assyria does come in a sweep all of Judah, except for the city of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem is completely surrounded. But there is a beautiful story coming.

The chapter heading of 2 Kings 18-20 tell the story. I suggest you look it up.

Vs.9 Isaiah repeats his warning in a defiant statement... “You will be destroyed if you flirt with danger!”

Vs. 10-11 Isaiah says, “Listen to me! I know what I’m talking about. God is with us if you turn to Him. If you don’t make that alliance with Assyria... even though the people of Judah are wanting you to do so, ...

Vs. 12- “... if you don’t make that alliance, God will protect you! He will be with you!”

Vs. 14-15 Another great use of imagery here... The image of Christ as a stone, a rock. Christ says, “I can use that Rock in one of two ways... 1) You can use it as a place of safety and refuge... as a sanctuary... You and your people climb up on that Rock where you won’t get hurt... (but of course you can’t climb up on that rock unless your are righteous and have faith! That means you have to pay your tithes, you have to keep the Sabbath Day holy... ) or, 2) I am either a sanctuary or a stone of stumbling. If you’re not going to use Me as a sanctuary, then I (the ROCK) will be standing in your path. You will have to go around the Rock, but even if you go around me, you don’t have the option of being safe and protected. Try to go around me and you will stumble, fall, and break into pieces.. You would be wise to climb up on Me and use me as your Protector!” So you can use the ROCK to step up or to trip up. You choose.

Vs. 16 “Bind up this message.... seal it up so that later on when it is opened and read you will see that what I prophesy is true!”

Vs. 21 The blame is on everyone but themselves.

What did you learn?

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