Friday, September 7, 2012

The Grapes of Wrath (2 Nephi 15)

My project of blogging the entire BOM is going pretty slow.  These Isaiah chapters are very difficult for me.  Add a busy summer to that, and, violin, I'm only up to 2 Nephi 15 after almost 11 months of effort.  To the countless millions who read these fascinating and vitally important blog posts I apologize for my feet dragging.

So, here's 2 Nephi 15, which corresponds to Isaiah 5...

1.  And then will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved, touching his vineyard.  My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.

2.  And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

3.  And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

4.  What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?  Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes it brought forth wild grapes.

What the heck's Isaiah talking about; what does all this mean?  Well, I'll interpret for you, and then I'll share with you the trick to my brilliance so that you, too, can amaze your friends...

The vineyard is The House of Israel. 
The grapes are the men of Judah.

And now here's the secret of my success:

2 Nephi 15: 7

7.  For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant; and he looked for judgment, and behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Ok, so sometimes it helps to read ahead.  Anywayz, The Lord did what He could for the house of Israel, but they went wild anywayz.  I really love verse 4:

4.  What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?

Because The Lord's efforts for His people yielded no repentance from them, they were scattered.  This may bring to your mind an image of an angry Father kicking his kids out of the house.  I don't see it that way.  I see it more like The Prodigal Son parable from the New Testament.  It was the son's choice to leave, and the circumstances (starvation) that brought him back to his father's house were the natural consequences of bad decisions.

2 Nephi 15: 12-13

12.  ...but they regard not the work of The Lord, neither consider the operation of His hands.

13.  Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.

This time I'll do it without a net.  

"They have no knowledge" means no revelation from God, "their honorable men are famished" means their spiritual leaders are not worthy to receive the revelation and inspiration to lead them, and "their multitude dried up with thirst" means that the people are not receiving the life-giving nourishment of the living waters of Jesus Christ.  Well, that's my thought on it anywayz.

The rest of this chapter continues on with prophecies of the scattering of the house of Israel, a much repeated and important topic with Isaiah.  2 more verses and then my closing arguments...

2 Nephi 15: 24

24.  Therefore, as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, their root shall be rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up as dust; because they have cast away the law of The Lord of Hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

So there you have the real sin:  Casting away the Law of Moses (commandments), and despising the word of God.  The danger in this is not only the consequences to ourselves (spiritual starvation), but also the danger to our posterity.  The "root" is that from whence we came, and the "blossoms" are our own children and descendants. Did I just use whence and are our in the same sentence?  Cool.

But there's good news, the best news

Prodigal Son Returns, -Rembrandt
Part of the following verse is repeated several times in these Isaiah chapters, and is one of my faves...

2 Nephi 15: 25
25.  ...For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
Talking about The Lord's anger sounds a little strange to us.  "God is love", right?  I think the word anger in this context means justice, or the fact that disobedience brings consequences.  So, in other words...

No matter what sins we may be guilty of committing, Jesus Christ always stands, with pierced hands open, ready to welcome us home.

Peace be with you.


  1. Hey! Show some respect. I am one of those "countless minions" that read and enjoy every dad-gum post you write!