Jacob 3

Jacob 3: Jacob Warns of Sin

                “…behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.” (Jacob 3:1)

This is a great promise that we can all lean on when we are afflicted. If we come to God with a pure heart, he will guide us. Jacob speaks to the Nephites and explains that the Lamanite righteousness had exceeded that of their own righteousness; “…ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts of because of the example ye have set before them…” (Jacob 3:10) We never know who is watching us, and because of that we need to be an example to everyone around us, wether that is our own children, friends, family, co-workers etc.

Jacob finishes this chapter off, by making know the seriousness of fornication, lasciviousness and of all sins, in the eyes of God.

1 Thessalonians 4

1 Thessalonians 4: The Dead Shall Rise

                Paul urges the members of the Church in Thessalonia to follow in their footsteps, even as they (The Apostles) follow in the footsteps of Christ. Paul promises that if they do, they will be blessed;

“…as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

Paul goes on to remind them of the importance of having sexual relations in the bounds of marriage; “… this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

Paul reminds them to not defraud their brother, and to the importance of loving on another and treating one another as you would want to be treated;

“…no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter… ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” (1 Thessalonians 4:6,9)

Paul writes and tells them that they need to “…study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) In other words, study hard, strive to do good in your own business and with your own hands. You should obtain skills, education, etc. You should not lie, cheat or steal from others.

Paul ends his letter to the Thessalonians  by telling them to keep their heads up and not worry about those who will die without Christ;

“…I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

He then goes on to explain the Second Coming of Jesus Christ;

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18)

1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7: Marriage

                Paul addresses the Corinthians and explains that; “…It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthian 7:1-2) Some will argue that Paul is teaching that being single and without sex is more pure than being married with sex. However, I don’t believe that is what Paul was teaching… but rather he was teaching that sex should only occur between a man and woman who are lawfully wedded.

It is interesting to note that Paul (an Apostle of the Lord) speaks of a man having a woman and a woman having a man. He speaks out against fornication, but rather stresses the importance of marriage between a man and a woman. Why? Because Marriage is important in the eyes of God; “…for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:9)

Paul explains that marriage should not end in divorce, divorce should not be considered except in rare cases. Paul does stress that if a marriage starts to crumble that both the husband and the wife should; “…give yourself to fasting and prayer; and come together again…” (1 Corinthians 7:5)

Paul goes on to explain how the husband and the wife (working in equal partnership) should strengthen one another in the Faith of Jesus Christ. Not only should they both strengthen each other in Spiritual matters, but in all matters. Husbands and Wives should lean on each other and show their children a good example. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14)

Paul explains that it is wise to get married at a younger age, as to not commit sin. “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) Especially in today’s modern world, where sex is considered ok outside of marriage, it is important to not wait around to get married so as to not be tempted into sexual relations before marriage.

Paul ends by explaining why some people believe it is more pure to be single and without sex; “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:33-34)

Here is the question; does being married mean you will care only for the things of the world? No, husbands and wives should bring each other sexual joy, along with friendship, and a loving relationship throughout all life and ETERNITY. But husbands and wives should also build one another up in everything from Spiritual matters, to education, work, physical well-being and emotional support.

1 Corinthians 5

1 Corinthians 5: Sinners in the Church

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians and addresses accusations of sexual immorality among them. Paul explains that those who commit sexual sin are handed over to Satan; “…for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5) Paul invites everyone to not associate with those who are fornicators or extortioners; “…them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” (1 Corinthians 5:13)

Jeremiah 3-4

Jeremiah 3-4

Chapter 3: Gathering of Israel

Israel is compared to an adulterous husband. In the days of Josiah, the Lord speaks about the high places in Israel, and about how Israel was punished. Judah, far from taking Israel’s as a cautionary tale, played the harlot also, and pretended to turn to the Lord.

It mentions that people “…committed adultery with stones and with stocks [wood].” (Jeremiah 3:9). Essentially people were having sexual relations with objects. These people were abusing the power of procreation for their own pleasure. An appeal is made for Israel to acknowledge transgressions, and be restored. In the last days the Lord shall gather all nations and bring them to Jerusalem. However, we learn that not everyone in a family will be gathered to Zion; “…I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” (Jeremiah 3:14) This means that everyone in the family will need to be righteous in order to make it to Zion in the last days.

Chapter 4: Repent!

The Lord appeals to the men of Judah and Jerusalem to circumcise their hearts. Mourn and repent – an evil is coming from the north. It mentions the people who are not following the Lord as “…foolish, they have not known me, they are sottish [drunken: in the habit of drinking far too much alcohol] children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” (Jeremiah 4:22) The land will be spoiled. “…all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord…” (Jeremiah 4:26) and the “…heavens above be black…” (Jeremiah 4:38). This will be the state of the world at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 

Proverbs 7-8

Proverbs 7-8

Chapter 7: “La Diabla”: Her house is the way to hell

Again, Proverbs 7 carries on a similar message from Proverbs 5. A “strange woman” will lead you to hell. Sex outside of the bonds of marriage is sinful.

                “…keep thee from thy strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.” (Proverbs 7:5) The author goes on to say that they witnessed from their window “…a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house.” (Proverbs 7:8)

The author then describes the characteristics of the ‘strange woman’.

“…the attire of a harlot… loud and stubborn… lieth in wait at every corner…” (Proverbs 7:10-12)

The author then tells us that this ‘strange woman’ “…she caught him and kissed him…[and tells the young man] …I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love until the morning… For the goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey… with flattering of lips she forced him.” (Proverbs 7:13-21)

                Essentially this could very well have been a story of something that actually was seen through the eyes of the author. But we can also assume that this could just very well be a metaphor for sexual sin. Notice how she deceives him like the devil would. She sweet talks him and flatters him with her clothing, her smell, her sweet lips and assures the man that he won’t get caught because the ‘good man’ is gone on a long journey. This good man could be her husband or could be God. If the devil deceives someone, he will tell them that what they are doing is ok, and that God or anyone else that might look down on them or get them in trouble will never know.

“Let not thine hear decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:25-27)

I think it is safe to assume that “her” or the “strange woman” is a metaphor for sexual sin and the devil. OR while I was serving in Spanish Speaking Honduras I liked to call this chapter “La Diabla” meaning the devil, but more specifically the “female devil”. Because after all the devil can take on many forms of influence. We need to refrain from the lustful desires that the devil will place before us. This author has warned that if we participate or even loiter near her house we will be on the path to hell. Notice how it says that she has slain even the strongest of men? I don’t believe that it was talking about physical strength. I believe it was talking about how even the strongest willed man, can fall into the trap of sexual desires and lust. But going back to the last few chapters, if we marry we can avoid those lustful desires, because we will have the sexual satisfaction from our spouse and he or she will keep us from sin.

Chapter 8: The Truth: The Great Missionary

I absolutely love this Proverb! It expresses that wisdom is to be greatly desired and that we possessed this wisdom in the pre-mortal life.

“O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward [difficult] or perverse [unreasonable] in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward [difficult] mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.” (Proverbs 8:5-14)

                This is the GREAT MISSIONARY, a missionary who has a simple yet easy to understand message. Those who have a desire to know the truth will hear that message. The message is more valuable than gold, silver, rubies or diamonds. The Lord does not like to deal with evil, he hates pride and arrogancy. Those missionaries, who have been called to serve, must remember that they have the knowledge and the strength to complete their mission.

This proverb helps us to understand the great purpose of our eternal life. The Lord has had a plan from the beginning and we were there with him before the world was. (Proverbs 8:23)We were there with the Lord before the heavens! (Proverbs 8:27) We were with the Lord from the beginning (Proverbs 8:30)

 

Proverbs 5-6

Proverbs 5-6

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

Both Proverbs 5 and 6 have a very clear message that is directed towards men, but can easily be applied to women. That message is pretty simple; 1: Don’t fornicate or commit adultery; 2: Be careful who you marry or who you trust in general. People can deceive and have lying lips that appear to be sweet as ‘honey’ but once you partake the ‘sweet honey’ turns ‘bitter’; 3: Once you are married is important to stay married and ensure that both partners feel a strong connection on all levels that includes a very healthy sexual intimacy.

I believe that all too often (especially in the LDS Church) that sex is talked about as something evil and perverted. Which is true if done outside of marriage, but in marriage it should be something that both husband and wife can have sexual fulfillment that will keep them from lust and sin. Eternal Marriage goes one step beyond traditional marriage in the sense that being married to someone who you can trust with your physical and spiritual life. Husband and wife should be a check and balance system to ensure that both return to our Heavenly Father and dwell in the Celestial Kingdom. God knew that man was weak, so he gave man the woman to keep man in check and ensure that we will return to live with him. Mankind in general is weak, and men and women sin. But if man and woman are bound together in Holy Matrimony they become ONE, just like God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are ONE, one in purpose.

Chapter 5: Don’t Divorce

In this proverb we learn a lot about the importance of marriage to the right person. We also learn about the evils of the world and the ways that man can be tricked into evil ways.

“…the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:” (Proverbs 5:3)

Essentially this is a warning to men who may get caught in the trap of lusting after a woman who may appear to have “lips of honey” and someone who is a “smooth” talker. She may appear to be sweet, but… “…her end is bitter… sharp as a twoedged sword… her steps take hold on hell… her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” (Proverbs 5:4-6)

The counsel given in this proverb is very clear: “Remove thy way far from her…” (Proverbs 5:8)

But the proverb continues to tell us who we should marry “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)

Something very important to remember and take away from this Proverb… sex is not evil. Sex outside of marriage is evil. Those who are married should enjoy sexual intimacy between one another and if a healthy sexual relationship is balanced with all other activities of being married, spending time together, working through problems together, having children etc… then the marriage will be successful and filled with love. God does not want us engaging in sexual relations before marriage and wants to make sure that once we are married, WE STAY married. God does not like divorce.

Chapter 6: Seven things the Lord Hates

This proverb lists seven things that the Lord hates (in my version of the Bible, which is the King James Version it tells me that there are ‘6’ things the Lord hates, I like to classify them as 7.

  1. 1.       “A proud look…” (Proverbs 6:17)
  2. 2.       “…a lying tongue…” (Proverbs 6:17)
  3. 3.       “…hands that shed innocent blood.” (Proverbs 6:17)
  4. 4.       “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations…” (Proverbs 6:18)
  5. 5.       “…feet that be swift in running to mischief.” (Proverbs 6:18)
  6. 6.       “A false witness that speaketh lies…” (Proverbs 6:19)
  7. 7.       “…he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:19)

God does not like sin, period. The laws don’t change, we either choose to follow them or we don’t. “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” (Proverbs 6:23)

Essentially the law is light, we can choose how much light we want in our lives by adjusting the amount we follow the commandments (our lantern), if we chose to not follow the commandments it is like not putting any oil (or batteries) in our lamp. If we chose to follow the commandments and fill our lantern with fresh oil or batteries then we can have more of the light. If we go against this WE WILL be left in the dark. We also have to understand that criticism and even chastisement is part of life and it occurs for our own learning.

This proverbs ends by re-addressing what we learned from Proverbs 5; that is “…whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” (Proverbs 6:32)

Committing adultery, or fornication (sex outside of the bonds of marriage) will be wounded and dishourned and will carry that sin for life (Proverbs 6:33)

We must remember that “…jealousy is the rage of a man…” (Proverbs 6:34)