Jeremiah 45-46

Jeremiah 45-46

Chapter 45: The Life of Baruch shall be preserved

Baruch (who had written/read Jeremiah’s prophecies in the temple in Jeremiah 36) is in anguish regarding the destruction of Judah, but is assured that the Lord will build what he has broken down and that his life shall be preserved.

Chapter 46: Conquest of Egypt and Babylon

The prophet sees the preparation of Pharaoh Necho for the battle of Carchemish. In their confidence of victory, the Egyptians are like a river overflowing its banks. However, they will be defeated as the Lord decreed by the river Euphrates. The Egyptians will be overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar after his siege of Tyre. The Jews will be eventually returned to divine favour as Jacob returns to his own land.

Jeremiah 31-32

Jeremiah 31-32

Chapter 31: Israel shall be gathered

The northern kingdom will be restored. Rachel is represented rising from her tomb, lamenting, but then being consoled by the thought of future restoration. Ephraim repents, and is reconciled. Peace and prosperity returns to the posterity of Jacob. There shall no more be sour grapes, because they shall all know the Lord.

We learn about forgiveness of the Lord because in verse 30 it reads; “But everyone shall die for his own iniquity…” (Jeremiah 31:30) and then later we read; “…I [God] will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34). So here we learn that not only can we be forgiven of our sins, but that we cannot be punished for the sins of others!

Chapter 32: The Lord will gather Israel

Word comes to Jeremiah in the tenth year of the reign of Zedekiah, during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. Jeremiah is imprisoned, and God tells him to redeem a field in Anathoth through his cousin Hanameel. The contract is delivered to Baruch. The contract is used by God as a sign that the Jews will once more possess their land after the Babylonian captivity. An everlasting covenant will be made.

Isaiah 59-60

Isaiah 59-60

Chapter 59: Israel is separated from God

                The problem is not that the Lord’s hand is shortened, so it cannot save. The problem is the sins of the people – lies, iniquity and injustice. Darkness comes, and the people growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves. In the absence of righteousness, the Lord Himself became a righteous warrior, and lifted up his standard before the enemy. The Redeemer shall come to Zion. Our sin will separate us from God “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

Chapter 60: Israel shall be restored

Arise; shine, for your light has come. The gentiles shall come to your light. “…the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:2) this verse is talking about the Apostasy that will cover the earth, but with the light of God, He will restore His Gospel and His Church… The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Great treasures will come to Israel from many lands. The sons of those who afflicted Israel shall come bowing. The walls shall be called Salvation, and the gates Praise. The Lord will be an everlasting light to replace the sun and the moon. The days of mourning shall be ended.

Isaiah 45-46

Isaiah 45-46

                These two chapters got me thinking… we know that there is no other god, besides God the Father… but verse 7 states that God creates evil and peace, lightness and darkness. But why, why would God create evil?

This is where most people who start to hate the idea of religion or God start to point fingers and say that if God loves us, why is there pain and suffering? To answer this question we have to go back to Deuteronomy 8:2-3; 5-6 during the 40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness… which states:

“…thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna… man doth not live by bread only, but by ever good word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.”

                “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3; 5)

In the Book of Mormon we read further that “…it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so… righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad…” (2 Nephi 2:11)

                Even though it sounds weird, God does love us and that is why bad things happen. We look at things as time is now… God looks at an eternal perspective which cannot be compared to our time here on earth and is ultimately for our own good.

Chapter 45: Come unto Christ

The Lord calls upon Cyrus to subdue nations. Cyrus and Israel will know the Lord, who formed the light and created darkness.

“I for the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

The skies are commanded to rain down righteousness, and the earth to bring forth salvation. Resisting the creator is foolish. God’s role as the creator of heaven and earth is emphasized alongside the deliverance of Israel via Cyrus. When the Lord is revealed as the true God, idolaters will submit and God’s people will be saved. The Lord has not concealed Himself, but let Himself be known. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth…” (Isaiah 45:22)

Chapter 46: Idols are not to be compared to God

False gods are carried away on carriages. The Lord will carry His people into old age. Golden idols are mute and incapable of offering help. The Lord knew the end from the beginning. A bird of prey shall be called from the East. Salvation will be placed in Zion, and glory in Israel.

Isaiah 41-42

Isaiah 41-42

Chapter 41: Be Not Afraid

The people from the coastlands are invited to approach for judgment. Along with everybody else. Who raised up one from the East, the Lord did. The people of the coastlands approach with fear.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee…” (Isaiah 41:10)

Israel has been chosen, and gathered from the ends of the earth. Fear not – you will be strengthened, and your enemies ashamed. You will thresh and winnow the mountains. God will supply water and other resources. One will come from the north who shall conquer. The Lord judges idols and deems them worthless.

Chapter 42: Isaiah Speaks to the Lord

The Lord starts off by saying that His servants do not “…cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.” (Isaiah 42:2) Like the hypocrite that Jesus spoke of in Matthew that prayed for praise of the people. The spirit does not move with loud noises it moves by the still small voice… (1 Kings 19:11-12)

The Lord’s servant will bring justice to the gentiles, and establish justice on earth. A light to the gentiles. Psalm-like invitation to sing to the Lord a new song. The Lord will unleash his devastating power against idolaters. The deaf and the blind come to the servant. The Lord’s people have been robbed, plundered and punished because they have not walked in the ways of the Lord.

 

Isaiah 39-40

Isaiah 39-40

Chapter 39: Hezekiah reveals his truth

Hezekiah entertains the envoys from the king of Babylon, showing them all his treasures. Isaiah reproves him, saying that all treasures will be taken to Babylon at a future date. Hezekiah is relieved that he himself will not see this happen.

Chapter 40: Run and Not be Weary

Comfort ye, my people. A voice in the wilderness cries, “…Prepare ye the way of the Lord…” (Isaiah 40:3) Every valley shall be exalted, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Zion and Jerusalem, who bring good tidings, are invited to tell the cities of Judah to behold their God. The Lord will feed his flock like a shepherd. God’s greatness surpasses all nations, and all idols. He brings the princes and the judges of the earth to nothing. But the weak shall be strengthened…

“…they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Isaiah 23-24

Isaiah 23-24

Chapter 23: Tyre shall be overthrown

The burden against Tyre. The sailors will agonize when they hear about the destruction of their home port. The pride of Tyre will be dishonored. Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years. God will allow Tyre, symbolized by a prostitute, to continue her gross materialism with all the kingdoms of the world, but her gain and her pay will be set apart for the Lord.

Chapter 24: Men Shall Change the Scriptures

The land will be emptied and laid waste. The earth will mourn and fade away, because people “…have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 23:5). The simple doctrines and ordinances taught by the Savior were debated and changed to conform to worldly ideas. This would lead to the need for a Restoration of the Gospel.

The Book of Mormon expands on what happened:

“And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away…this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men… after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book… And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles… Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen….

 behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb…. And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true…. These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.(1 Nephi 13:26-40)

                In the last days the Book of Mormon will come forth as Another Testament (or evidence) of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15-16

Proverbs 15-16

Chapter 15: Be Wise

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

                                When someone is upset, or angry the only way to calm them down would be to speak softly to them. If someone is mad and you respond by raising your voice and do exactly what the person who is angry is doing… you are just inviting more anger to come in. Speak softly and resolve problems with calmness.

                “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)

                No matter what we do, the Lord always knows what we are doing and we will be judged according to what we do, even in secret.

                “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge; but the mouth of the fools feedeth on foolishness” (Proverbs 15:14)

                Fools will only burn hotter with lies and stupidity when they are fueled (fooled?) by other fools.

                “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.” (Proverbs 15:20)

                Make your parents proud.

                “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 15:33)

                If we follow the commandments with humility, and fear the Lord we will be better off.

Chapter 16: Wisdom is Better than Gold

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:1)

                For Example: If we do our part and put our full heart and mind into studying/preparing for a test or a big interview the Lord will help us with the right answers/words.

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

                If we do the will of the Lord, then we do not have to fear our enemies.

                “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:12)

                Public figures (i.e. presidents, governors, senators, etc.) will be punished more than someone who has not been given that great responsibility.

                “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16)

                Knowledge is always more valuable than material things.

                “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and healeth the bones.” (Proverbs 16:23-24)

                Those who are wise train their mouth with appropriate words. Those who are foolish and unwise will say vain things (swearing).

 

Psalms 130-131

Psalms 130-131

Chapter 130: O, Lord… hear us.

A Song of degrees

                “…there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” (Psalms 130:4) Those who fear the Lord and do wrong in His eyes, can be forgiven quicker.

Chapter 131: Be Like Little Children

A Song of degrees

                “…my heart is not haughty (arrogant), nor mine eyes lofty (proud): neither do I exercise myself in great matters… I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother…” (Psalms 131:1-2)

Be like little children and do not be arrogant or proud.

 

Psalms 101-102

Psalms 101-102

Chapter 101: Cutting of the “Evildoers”

A Psalm of David

                David gives some great advice in this Psalm. He tells the Lord that he will “…behave…wisely in a perfect way… I will walk… with a perfect heart.” (Psalms 101:2)

David continues to say that he will not dwell with wickedness; “…I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off…” (Psalms 101:4-5) David tells us that we really shouldn’t be around people who are wicked, who slander their neighbors. He also tells us that “…he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” (Psalms 101:7)

What we can learn from this is that while being nice and treating everyone equal… we should not have friends or associate with people that are wicked. I mean, after all, what is the point? If we are around wickedness while light from the Lord is trying to shine through us, it will only become dim in the darkness of those around us. Don’t associate with evil.

Chapter 102: Zion shall be built when Christ comes

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord

                “Hear my prayer, O Lord… Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble…” (Psalms 102:1-2) I am sure that almost everyone in the world at some point in time felt like the author of this Psalm which was written for those who were afflicted.

Zion will appear and be built up in the day that the Lord comes in His glory! The Lord will come down from His sanctuary to liberate the captive and loose those that are appointed unto death.  Even while heaven and earth perish, the Lord who created them shall endure forever!