Wednesday, August 18, 2010
2 Nephi 30: 9-10
2 Nephi 30: 9-10:
"And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire."
Nephi quotes Isaiah to weave a second witness into this end-of-times description of the Lord's agenda.
Righteousness for the poor. Equity for the meek. Smiting for the earth. Death to the wicked. For the poor, why "righteousness?" For the meek, why "equity?" For the earth, why shall it be "smitten?" What is the "rod of His mouth" to be used to smite the earth?
For the wicked, it is the "breath of His lips" which will slay. Have you considered what this means? Why His "breath" when that is the mechanism that brings life to Adam, (Gen. 2: 7) and the Spirit to His disciples? (John 20: 22) Does the word "breath" imply the converse of bringing life, and the removal of the Holy Spirit? If so, how do those ideas affect the meaning of the Lord's decision to "slay the wicked?" In what sense will they be "slain?"
What does it mean that "the time speedily cometh?" From what point is the measure taken to decide the "speed" of His coming? Is it from Nephi's prophecy, or from the time in which the prophecy is set?
What does it mean there will be "caused a great division?" How would that "division" manifest itself? Is it first spiritual, then physical? Or is it both from the start? If it is first a great spiritual division, followed at some point in a physical gathering together of these two groups into separate locations, how would it unfold?
How will the wicked be "destroyed?" (Mormon 4: 5.) Will they also be able to destroy the people whom the Lord identifies as "His people?" (1 Ne. 22: 16.)
What does it mean that the Lord "will spare His people, yea, even if it so be that He must destroy the wicked by fire?" Is that true? Would the Lord personally intervene to protect His people? Has He done anything like that before? If so, when? Why? Can He still do that today? In a time of tremendous upheaval and destruction, can He selectively preserve His people? (3 Nephi 9: 1-13.) What protection is there from such forces of destruction?
Have you noticed how things seem to be speeding up? Business cycles that used to take generations now play themselves out in a few years. Political dynasties are crumbling and institutions which were once impervious to change are being forced to change. Cultural norms are changing so quickly that change is itself the new culture. The days seem to be shortening, don't they. (Matt. 24: 22; JS-Matt. 1: 20.)