1 Nephi 20

1 Nephi 20: The Purpose of Israel

Compare to Isaiah 48

The Lord rebukes Israel for their routine religious observance. “…I showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.” (1 Nephi 20:6)The Lord made sure that he was revealed rather than concealed, but Israel did not see or hear. The Lord defers his anger for His name’s sake; He is the first and the last. The Lord wishes that his people had obeyed Him in the past. Exodus from Babylon joined with that from Egypt – the rock in the wilderness flowed with water.

In other words, Israel, even with all their disobedience was chosen by the Lord to go forth from Babylon and rise above the earth as His chosen people.