Monday, December 29, 2014

The Chosen People of the Lord (2 Nephi 30)

Do any of you (maybe I should cross out 'any of', since it implies that more than one person is reading this) remember this book or movie?  The Chosen -by Chaim Potok  I had to watch the movie for an assignment back in High School.  As I recall, it was a rich and rewarding film, and extraordinarily satisfying.

Did you catch my trickiness there?
Actually I don't remember it at all, except Robby Benson is in it, he had cool sideburns, and it's about Orthodox Jews in New York City.  The title The Chosen refers to God's chosen people.  Is there one chosen people or person?

Is it the Jews?

Is it Harry James Potter?

Is it Anakin Skywalker?
Maybe it's one of them, or Frodo Baggins?

The Old Testament has some verses that help us find out who The Lord's chosen people are.  One of them is this one from our old pal, Isaiah.

Isaiah 41: 8-9
While it is true that scriptural references to "The Chosen People", or in the case of 2 Nephi 30, the "Covenant People", refer to the house of Israel, don't let that go to your head & cause you undue pride (if you are of the House of Israel) or weigh you down with the everlasting chains of discombobulation (if you are not of the House of Israel).  Today's chapter deals with that difficulty.

2 Nephi 30: 2

So, there you have it.  Whether you're Jew or Gentile, Bond or Free, White, Black, Brown or Green, whether you're from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica or Mars, in order to become one of the Lord's covenant people, each of us needs to come to Jesus Christ; come to know Him; come to trust in Him; come and partake of His forgiving Atonement, and be healed in both body and spirit. 

In other words, in order to be part of the Lord's Chosen people, it ain't so much a question of He choosing us, as it is us choosing Him.  And those who have chosen Him, and become His Chosen, will experience real peace.  Apparently, someday, we'll even get to pal around with Lions and snakes and stuff, and not have to worry about their sliminess or razor sharp claws.  That'll be cool.

1 Nephi 30: 8, 12-15

If you're like me (and who wouldn't like me?), you can maybe figure out that an Asp is a snake, specifically, a cobra, like the ones on the crowns of the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Cockatrice is a little harder to figure out.  Wikipedia says a cockatrice is a 1/2 rooster, 1/2 dragon sort of creature (My "hoo-haw" bell just went off).  But, our good buddy Isaiah, in Isaiah 14:29, uses the word cockatrice in the same context as the fiery serpents that The Lord plagued the Israelites with.  Remember the story in Numbers 21: 5-9?  Because of the wickedness of the Chosen people of Israel, Moses was commanded to put up a big, brass bed serpent on a pole, and anyone who'd been bitten would die, unless they looked at the snake statue. 

Not to be confused with...

That's pretty cool, actually, So our sucking children will be able to play with poisonous snakes, and our weaned teeny boppers will not have to worry about any plagues sent by The Lord because of sinful behavior.

And key to it all...

Because the earth shall be full of the knowledge of The Lord, as the waters cover the sea.  

Peace be with you...