Monday, July 9, 2012

1 Nephi 1:13 - Wo unto Jerusalem

This verse is plaguing me.  I don't have much to say about it, besides that it has proven true through the course of history.  And it's taken me over a week to get to sharing.

1 Nephi 1:13
And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine aabominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning bJerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be ccarried away captive into Babylon.
And he read.  Lehi's still reading the book, given to him by "the first", meaning the Savior, pre-earth life.  One thing I forgot to mention before, is that these verses definitely prove an existence of spirit beings, before they are born.  If Jehovah were creating the earth before he was born into mortality, that means he had a spirit body.  And if there were others that followed him, that means they had spirit bodies too.  Not many faiths explore this topic much, but in the LDS faith, it is a tenant.  We believe in pre-earth life, as spirits.

So in aprox. 600 B.C., as Lehi reads a book, passed to him during a vision involving Jehovah, he gives a double strong warning to the people of Jerusalem.  He heard prophets witness of Jerusalem's pending destruction; now he can add his own.

I've heard it said before (sorry, no source) that "wo" means not just "whoa!" but "damned".  If that is the case, how does it affect this verse?  Damned, damned [is/will be] Jerusalem.  Ut uh.  Better listen up.  Any why is Lehi sharing this with us?  Just as an "I told you so" moment?  Or is there a lesson here for us?

For I have seen thine abominations!  One, it's not often in scripture that we see exclamation points.  Lehi's seriously calling these people out!  And he has seen them.  This not only indicates that Lehi was given the gift of "seeing" things that not everyone is privileged to see, but it also indicates that our sins cannot be hidden.  Many think that in the privacy of their homes, they can do whatever sins they please, and no one will notice.  The good and bad part is, God sees, and at times, his prophets see.  Somehow, so many of these prophets see the wickedness of others, and serve not only as bullhorns of repentance-calling, but also as testifiers.  At the last day, I expect that whatever prophet saw me and my works will be there, either testifying in support or against my actions.  I hope they're pretty supportive, because I can use all the help I can get!!!

Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem–that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon.  This is fascinating.  Have we not seen this come to pass, reading the annals of history?  But even more interesting –who are these people?  Are these not God's covenant people?  These are the "religious".  These are the people who the Bible speaks of.  They might keep the laws and obey the ordinances of their religion, but do they really believe?  Are we any different, or are we the same?  They are being warned of destruction, and Lehi, as one sole prophet of many, has seen their abominations.  What are abominations?  (I looked up the root word, and there are so many differing views that it's not worth exploring too far in depth.)  In essence, I imagine these are not only small, but very large sins.  Not something that any of us are immune to, perhaps?  How many of us are under our own abominations?  The Doctrine & Covenants and even living prophets have warned repeatedly of our abominations, and the need to quickly repent.  But do we?  What's our excuse? 

(Photo source found here. Painting by Nicolas Poussin of a later conflict in Jerusalem, as recorded by Flavius Josephus (AD 37/38-100).  Same affect though.  Illustrates horrific destruction.  Painting background here.)
Either way, Jerusalem was destroyed shortly after 600 B.C.  The inhabitants did perish by the sword, and many were carried away into captivity into Babylon.

If this were shared for a reason, and not just a history lesson, what's the lesson for us?  I think it's that God will not forever look upon sin and allow it.  Eventually, those who refuse to repent, despite many, many warnings, will suffer either destruction or slavery.  Neither one sounds very enjoyable. 

(I think I'll take door #2, Bob.) 

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