In Whose Heart Is My Law

Isaiah 51, See also 2 Nephi 8

The audience for this chapter is defined in verse 1: Those who follow after righteous, who seek the Lord. (This picks up where the last chapter left us, that if we are trying to do what’s right and we still in darkness, then place your trust in the Lord and turn your thoughts, feelings, energy and actions towards Him. It will be impossible to remain in darkness with our faces towards His light.)

(What’s more, I need the Spirit of the Lord to understand these verses better.) Zion spoken of in verse 3 represents a people who are willing to bear one another’s burdens. They shall be comforted. The inhabitants of Zion are not land owners, but rather are stewards, possessors of an endowment that they have covenanted to maintain and improve upon. They may “own” land, but for what purpose or intent do they possess it?

New day, I’ve been glossing over verse 2, where the Lord invites us (inhabitants of Zion) to consider our foundation: Abraham and Sarah. But then the Lord says look at how I blessed him, and gave him increase. The Lord is asking us to consider the man as a model for our emulation.

What are the themes that we are discussing in this chapter? Fearing God or rather trusting in His righteousness and salvation verses fearing the oppression of men. Men and their dominions are of such short duration. Understanding the nature of God and his power over all the earth. There is so much more going on in my head right now, from this study and parallel studies of Zion and stewardship and inheritances and the such. Temporal possessions are only a small part of the purpose of this life, but they can also constitute our stewardship given to us of the Lord.

A new day, and I am now honing in on the purpose of this chapter: The Lord has a law, his way of doing things, which are the eternal principles upon which all of life and the universe hangs in the balance. This law constitutes His righteousness and His salvation. Man, or the world, stands in contrast to this law. Their opposition is both real, vocal, and attempts to be enforced through fear.

The Lord’s judgment is upon those that insist that the ways of man are right. Yet, in these verses it feels like the Lord’s judgment is actually a tool to aid those that do right:

…and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people… mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.

Verses 4 -5

(Maybe a better way of saying this is that the Lord’s judgment is against those that oppose His law.) This is a significant shift, because there will be judgment, the righteous have wherewith to hope for something better. This is not a tool to restrain the wicked in their deeds of unrighteousness. No, the arms of the Lord will judge the people… that same arm is in whom the righteous also trust and put their confidence. In the arm of God we trust, in God’s judgment we trust. God’s judgment is against the wicked because it upholds the principles of the righteous, validating the way of life and light.

Given the history of Israel and Jerusalem, it is understandable how the Jews could be fearful of their oppressors. Fury is the word that is used at 5 times in this chapter: the fury of the oppressor….

There is a significant prophecy in these verses about two “things” that come to the Jews.

And then there is a promise at the end of this chapter: the cup of fury that the Lord had given to the house of Israel will eventually be given to those that oppressed them. Their oppression will end.

A footnote on verse 13 has caused me to consider apathy this morning. I am concerned that in my own efforts I have been too apathetic towards others. (Yet, I know that this is not truly the case.) Apathy also describes the state at Jerusalem when the two prophets referred to in verse 19 will come forth.

(This study –on June 7th– ended with the Spirit of the Lord stating, “I need you.” I don’t know what this means, but I am willing to search this one out.)

I am still in this chapter (it’s been a couple of weeks), but this morning I was brought back to 3 Nephi 23, which is where I started my study of the book of Isaiah a season or two ago. I have had no problems, with the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, in understanding clearly what the first 50 chapter of Isaiah have meant. My understanding has been expanded, or rather deepened, on the many things that Isaiah has discussed as it pertains to the house of Israel, but more particularly, the work of the Lord. There are great promises and blessings associated with the covenants of the Lord with his people. Some events only have context in consideration of these covenants.

Trust in the Name of the Lord

Isaiah 50, see also 2 Nephi 7

Side details tell stories in themselves: the heavens are clothed with sackcloth? (See verse 3) We travel in space now. We send rovers to Mars. Yet what, if we could see it, is really being kept from our view?

How do I “encompass myself about in sparks” instead of relying on the true source of light? (see verse 11) That light is so much brighter. It is real light, not pretended sparks. Do I believe that I am following Jesus Christ and yet still am walking in darkness? (see verse 10)

I am not sure if this next line of thought pertains to this chapter particularly, but a residue of Sunday impressions and other thoughts are crowding into me head presently, petitioning my consideration: We have recently acquired an art print of the story of the woman taken in adultery to be judged of Christ. In it she is surrounded by the symbol of those who would judge and condemn her to death. I find it interesting that of those found committing the most serious of transgressions, the thing that they are surrounded with, or maybe even the thing that they are most worried about themselves are the judgments of others. Why are these two things (false judgment and serious sin) coupled together?

There is another thought, not unrelated (that I don’t recall from where it originated yesterday), that bids me to consider who’s praise do I seek.

The Lord God Hath Given Me the Tongue of the Learned

This statement found in verse 4 is footnoted to several other statements given to disciples wherein they instructed to “take not thought” beforehand as to what we should say when we are brought to bear testimony of the truth before men. The Doctrine and Covenants gives the added instruction to treasure up the words of life and then it will be given to us, in the moment that we need it, that part of the word that we are to share.

Near the end of the chapter, Isaiah makes this wise observation: If you have feared God and obeyed the counsel of His servants (the prophets), do you still walk in darkness and without light? If this be so, the remedy is sure: trust in the name of the Lord (who is Jesus Christ) and be supported, held up, sustained or whatever makes sense in your head, by your God. (See verse 10)

You cannot follow Christ and remain in darkness.

In matters of developing a relationship with Christ, and understanding Him and His nature there are key insights here that I’m overlooking. I will spend one more day here.

Here is that “one more day”:

So much of this chapter is written in the first person, with Christ being He whom Isaiah is writing for. Christ is bold in the face of opposition, but its more than this. As I think about Christ understanding his purpose in establishing peace, the requirement to face opposition is essential, because the opposite of peace is contention. Therefore, I should not hide from that which may produce a contentious response, if I understand that my purpose is with Christ to establish peace.

To bridge the chasm between life and death, to establish the order of peace where there is chaos and contention, requires being willing to do as Christ did:

I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Verses 6 & 7

Thou Art My Servant, Oh Israel

Isaiah 49, See also 1 Nephi 21

The first thought that impresses me in this reading is that the Lord is behind it all. It is His name’s honor that will be achieved in the end. “Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful,” (vs. 7)

At a different time and a different season in my life I was able to extract much more out of these verses than I have in the present season of my life. But then, what I am now discovering I never understood before.

This session of study started with a comparison of the two chapters. Notable, 1 Nephi 21 starts with a more detailed explanation of the target audience: “all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel.”

The first two verses sound like a reference to the Savior: “from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention” and “he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword”, etc. But then in verse 3, Isaiah sounds to be very deliberately shifting focus to address Israel: “Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
Are we talking about the Savior of the world or are we talking about Israel? Answer: both.

Here’s where the shift in my thinking takes place: I have always looked at Israel as sort of like God’s pet project. “At the end of the day, Israel will be saved.”

But no, Israel is not God’s pet project, but rather for Israel to take its rightful place in the work of God is for Israel to take its place as the Lord’s servant, and if a servant to the Lord, then also a partner, an equal. Christ and His servant, Israel, should be equal and one in the same.

God’s scope is much broader than just Israel. Israel is suppose to be the tool by which the rest of the nations are to be redeemed. And oh, what a frustrating prospect, it seems at times, to have to drag Israel along. ( See vs. 4 )

(The following are notes that were taken when I studied 1 Nephi 21 many years ago. It helps me to understand what’s going on in the rest of this chapter. )

Verses 16-26

These are some exciting verses that illustrates the surprise of a desolated House of Israel at the righteous posterity that will be raised up to possess the promised land.

Verse 16 is profoundly moving and encouraging. The Lord describes his capacity to remember us in terms of his suffering and crucifixion by saying, “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” This is the evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ gives that he will not forsake His people and that He will honor the covenant that He has made with the House of Israel.

What follows are reassuring words of hope in the promise of a righteous posterity.

  • “Thy children shall make haste against thy destroyers,”(vs 17). This seems to suggests that whatever was a struggle for us in our day and time shall be much easier to overcome for the next generation that is brought up in righteousness.
  • “Lift up thine eyes round about and behold; all these gather themselves together, and they shall come to thee,” (vs 18). This reminds me that there are many that long for the ways of the righteous, and many will find them.
  • The actuality of such a posterity yet comes as such a surprise to the remnant of the house of Israel that they ask “Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children. ” (vs 21).

Verse 22 picks up as an answer to the question posed in verse 21: how is it that Zion had any children if everyone of her natural children had been destroyed? The answer is pivotal to understanding the purposes of the Lord in the last days and how exactly it is that the Lord will redeem His people.

The answer:

Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

Verse 22

Footnotes on “standard”include additional references to this final work (see footnote – Ensign). The standard is also called an ensign. Important doctrines related to the establishment of this final standard or ensign: The work is to be initiated among the gentiles, and it is of such as scope that it will reach the ends of the earth. This is a global work. Yet it is extremely individual.

This particular final point is strongly impressed upon my mind. We are dealing with the salvation of God’s family, and in the end, it shall be as it was in the beginning–available to all. The atonement of Christ works for all men; Jew, Gentile, Tongan, Chinese, Ethiopian, Russian, Israeli, Palestinian, Scandinavian, Brazilian, Indian, French, Nigerian, Australian, American, and all. It is almost impossible for us to comprehend as mortals that all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God (see Isaiah 52:10, Mosiah 15:31, or Doctrine and Covenants 133:3). But this is the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Then this chapter concludes with these words of encouragement: “For I will contend with them that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children,” (see vs. 25). This is the faith, the hope, the promise that inspires the work to be accomplished. This is the strength to scale an insurmountable mountain.

In these closing verses are assurance to go ahead with the fight that we are to wage against the forces of this world. There is also the reminder that this is in part why our Lord is also referred to as our Savior, our Redeemer, and the Mighty One of Jacob.

Footnote: There is something about myself personally that has always resonated with the idea of a global church family. I like being a part of a family that spans the globe. This idea feels to be a part of my purpose or personal mission.

The Lord Thy God… Teacheth Thee To Profit

Isaiah 48

Isaiah’s audience in this chapter is setup in verse one: members of the house of Israel by covenant (baptism) who swear by the name of the Lord, but not in truth, nor righteousness.

How could one find themselves in such a position? Perhaps born into a community of believers but they themselves are just going through the motions. (This is a perpetual problem indeed for any faith community that seeks to extend itself beyond one generation.)

The Lord is quick to point out the purposes behind the prophecies given to the house of Israel and it is for the expressed reason so that they would not have means were with to give credit to their idols.

Oh how the Lord is trying to teach us how to profit and prosper in this life. Why did he lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and Babylon? Twice they were led into captivity. Twice did the Lord redeem his covenant people.

It is not simple or mindless task to keep the commandments of God. In fact, it is something of a challenge given the variables of life: time, energy, resources. It’s a perfect storm. It is a perfect convergence of forces to test our faith.

The Lord loves those that will declare his word. (vs. 14)

What are the assumptions that the natural man tells himself when he flees from his Maker?

  • God cannot be found, or is hiding from me.
  • God is not interested in my temporal success or welfare.
  • God doesn’t understand my immediate circumstances.

If the opposite were true on all three of the above counts, what would change about our relationship to God? If I knew that he were deeply invested in my success and well-being and that He could be found doing these things well, how would this change my regard for Him in prayer?

This is Christ talking to me in these verses. It is the Savior who says “I have not spoken in secret from the beginnings.” It is Jesus who says to me “I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” They are His commandments that bring peace like a river and righteousness like the constant lapping waves of the sea.

I am dealing with a God who is 100% faithful. His way is sure.

O Virgin Daughter of Babylon

Isaiah 47

An entire chapter of Isaiah is dedicated to the demise of Babylon. This is a refreshing break from the previous theme of God verses the idols, but that one full chapter would be dedicated to this theme seems significant.

It’s what Babylon represents and what it has represented. Babylon thought it could avoid the tragic ends of widowhood and childlessness.

It’s this image, so common, that Babylon represented: that a of a naive and beautiful young woman, who vainly hoped to avoid the hardships of mortality.

In verse 6, the Lord acknowledges his wrath upon the house of Israel, and that he allowed the House of Israel to be delivered into the hands of Babylon, but that this in no means was yet a justification for Babylon’s wickedness or cruelty towards the Lord’s people.

Because of Babylon’s sorceries and enchantments (superstitions), they are left without children or spouse.

Q: Why does a belief in the truth preserve family life?

Truth is law and law is the reality of things as they really are. These are the principles of life that define our reality. Family life only exists in obedience to the laws of life. Where we choose not to abide by laws, there family life ceases to exist.

A Definition of Babylon

How shall we define Babylon?

For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.

Verse 10

What is wickedness? Why would one trust in it? From the above verse, we see that the fruits of wickedness includes a false self-confidence, an assurance that “none seeth” the bad things that we do. Wickedness takes abuse of wisdom and knowledge, and uses it for personal gain, instead of recognizing it as a sacred stewardship. The biggest issue with wickedness is the false reality that there is none else; this idea that we exist alone.

If there is any one reality that the stars bear witness to, it is that we are not alone in the universe.

One more day on this particular chapter, Babylon, because she trusted in her wickedness, she will not, she cannot be kept from evil:

  • Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth
  • mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off
  • desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know

(Verse 11)

Babylon has six sources of its wickedness:

  • Enchantments
  • Sorceries
  • Astrologers
  • Star Gazers
  • Monthly Prognosticators
  • Merchants

In the absence of truth, in the absence of priesthood and its power, superstitions take its place. (The ground will be covered, but with what?) Babylon is accused of being in association with all these since her youth. And none of these have the power to save them from the destruction that follows falsehoods and lies.

The truly interesting thing about all these is that they yet exist in our time. Though Babylon is no more, just a distant memory, her vices exist still among all societies that refuse to follow the truth.

My Counsel Shall Stand

Isaiah 46

This theme of idols verses God is repeated again in this chapter. Do we not put our confidence in dead works today just as much as they did in antiquity? Our idols are now electric powered. They are capable of artificial intelligence. And yet somehow, naively, these works of our hands are to be endowed with power enough to save us? From what?

In verses 3 & 4, there are reminders of the Lord’s goodness and care for us which extends from our birth and infancy all the way to old age.

The prevalent theme of this chapter is the reality that the words of God uttered from the beginning of time will be fulfilled even until the very end of time. Every word of God shall be fulfilled. God is not a liar. God is in all things an honest being. He says things as they are and as they will be. This is a very interesting characteristic of His Being.

This also reminds me of the introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants: “what I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken…” Anyone familiar with the God of the Old Testament could immediately recognize this same Being in the Doctrine and Covenants. “…though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled.” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38)

…for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Verses 9 &10

“I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” (vs 13)

What this seems to suggest is that the salvation of Israel will come from Zion. Zion was historically established much earlier than Israel. Both represent sacred covenants with God, and it seems quite fitting that Zion be employed to redeem Israel: the one that has successfully established a gospel-centered society helping the other that has struggled, but also longed for a gospel-centered society.

After praying about this, I think that the real point in saying all this is to show Israel, that the Gospel that they are to follow will not be far from them, or impossible to obtain. There will be no delay (comparatively) in obtaining all that God has promised to give to those who follow him.

Welcome Message

“Welcome Message,” President Russel M. Nelson, April 2021 General Conference – Saturday Morning Session

Not even having read this message yet, the only thing that I have done is prayed to understand the words of the Prophet. In reading the title, which appears mundane and unimpressive, there is a micro-sermon on inclusion. Everyone is welcome in this Church and to this conference.

I am part of a global family of disciples of the Christ. This was the take-home message at the end of my mission. The sister at the airport who I had never met during my two years as a missionary giving me a parting gift for my service to her country as an emissary of the Lord Jesus Christ; the YSA sister that I met once in Liberia on an exchange; these disciple of the Christ in the far-flung regions of this beautiful earth, connected by covenant, these are your brothers and sisters.

There is an invitation here to consider what has changed in my thinking since the start of the pandemic. This invitation (actually not, but made in the form of an observation) is two-fold:

  • What things didn’t I know before the pandemic?
  • What did I previously know but gained new insights on, or was brought to consider it in a different light? (“Some lessons that I knew before have been written on my heart in new and instructive ways.”)

(Answer later)

Pres. Nelson starts his remarks by pointing to Christ and testifying of how he and his counselors see the Lord directing his work in very personal ways. Things are speeding up. The Lord is directing the “hastening of his work.” Pres. Nelson is telling us what is going on. This is different than in times past, where I’ve heard other say the Lord is directing his work. There is a speeding up process, steps forward in significant ways.

Testimonies are built in our homes. “Testimonies are best cultivated in the home.” I’m going to need to let that sit on me for a few days. If testimonies are best cultivated in the home, what does that mean? Living life in a gospel-oriented fashion. Facing challenges with gospel perspective and insight.

He talks about the renovation process or what it means to “dramatically increase the study of the Gospel in our homes” by referencing what is happening to the Salt Lake Temple right now.

The Lord needs a people worthy and willing to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.

But the core of his open is message was on repentance.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance. Because of the Savior’s Atonement, His gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing, and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing, and of progress. Thus, the gospel is a message of joy! Our spirits rejoice with every small step forward we take.

Connecting repentance to joy… our spirits rejoice when they are growing, that growth happens when we are repenting. Oh this is so hard to grapple with personally!

Welcome to general conference and to the privilege of hearing the voice of the Lord.

Why would we want to hear the voice of the Lord, if it wasn’t to change?

Look Unto Me

Isaiah 45

Isaiah starts chapter 45 with a prophecy of a future king, Cyrus, who will be raised up of the Lord, though he know it not. Or rather, this king, Cyrus “the Great” would not the Lord. That Isaiah could prophecy this future king’s reign, especially as it pertained to the overthrowing of one kingdom and the rise of a new kingdom, the Lord knows all of this from the beginning: “I the Lord do all these things.” (vs. 7)

This chapter is amazing. Continuing to reinforce this reality that God is capable of all that he decrees, juxtaposed to the idols of men’s fashioning that are literally dead objects that can do nothing. Though God is hidden from man’s view, he does that which is righteous always. (See vs. 19)

Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

Verse 11

Or in other words, ask me what you will, of things past or future. I am able to show it to you.

Those that persist in the construction of idols, they will end in confusion. (Even movies are idols. The construction of great pageantry that is to what end?) On the other hand are those that will persist in helping the Lord to save Israel. Of those the Lord promises: “ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.” (vs. 17)

(Spend one more day on verse 20-25. I understand them, but I am having a harder time articulating what this means at this moment to me.)

“Ye that are escaped of the nations.” What labors of man are there that are not to the end of idol worship, or better yet, that set men up to worship the works of their own hands, instead of God? Is this not most of modern labor the uprising of man, a metaphorical tower of Babel? If so, if this be true, then how applicable are the words of Isaiah to even a modern world, who’s priorities haven’t changed for a very long time.

“There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior.” We are either worshiping this true and living God or we are not. If it were so, if it were otherwise, he would have told us as much. I am also contemplating what it means to belong to the only church that God has claimed as His own. If it be true, what a humbling statement it is! What privilege is ours if indeed we do belong to the Church that He established for the completion of his covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What a sacred trust is ours if this is the only authorized organization that the true and living God has placed his stamp of approval upon. How lightly I sometimes in the past have let those words just roll of my lips, without even the slightest consideration of the full ramifications of such a statement, divisive and otherwise.

What I am saying is that if, in truth, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ as established by Himself personally, perhaps some reconsideration of my personal relationship to it (the Church) is in order. Do I regard it as an organized entity founded by Divinity itself? How does that change my relationship to it?

“Look unto me, and be ye saved.” These final verses are witness of Christ’s infinite and real ability to save and to the reality that in the end of times, our times, men will come unto Christ and take on themselves that the strength of Christ that he has to offer.

“Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Why? Because the way of Christ, the strength that comes from looking to Jesus Christ is the only way. All will eventually come to this realization.

That Confirmeth the Word of His Servant

Isaiah 44

I have read through this last few chapters with clarity and ease of understanding. Why? Surely the Spirit of the Lord is upon me in these days, but I feel that I have done little, nay, nothing to merit such a blessing. So it is with the Lord.

Continuing with the theme of contrast between God and the graven images of men’s creation, the Lord illustrates again how He is able to sustain Israel through famine and drought. He continues to address the folly of those men who will craft such idols and fix their worship upon them. The Lord concludes this chapter with a wonderful reminder to Israel of their redemption:

…I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Verses 21-22

New day, I’m re-reading this chapter again. The first thing that strikes me as curious is the distinct relationship between Jacob (Israel) and the Lord. Jacob is called His servant. So the inherent relationship expected of the Lord is that Jacob will do the Lord’s work, not just believe in Him as the Christ or our Redeemer, those of the House of Israel are to do something with our faith in Him, we are to do His work.

Another new day, I am sitting with the verses 3 – 5. Isaiah says that the Lord will pour out water to them that are thirsty. The dry ground shall be covered as with a flood. That’s not a small amount of water. And then he starts talking about posterity and the children and how the Lord’s blessing will be upon the children, so much so that they will want to take Christ’s name upon themselves.

There are two responses that I have to this. The first is: Yes, of course this is happening. This has happened. The second is a call to action. It is a stirring reminder of the work that is yet to be performed. It is up to me to publish the Good news to my own children and to as many others as will believe.

At the end of the chapter, I am hearing the same voice that is found in Section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants, that is the voice of Christ stating that he will “[confirm] the words of his servant.” And I know this. I absolutely know this is true.

Ye Are My Witnesses

Isaiah 43

This chapters starts with a statement of ownership. Israel belongs to the Lord. The Being that is both responsible for their creation and the details of that creation, He it is who also has concerned Himself with Israel’s redemption. (I am thinking of my own family formed under covenant with Him and my wife.) Is my attitude of responsibility the same as His? What is my level of commitment to those things which I have helped to create?

Again, Isaiah is returning to this theme that is continual among his writings: that besides God, there is no other God. No idols, no false gods, nothing in this world is in comparison to the Creator of all of it. So to illustrate to the people of his day, and maybe as much to our day of “political equality” for all, we find phrases like: I will give Egypt a ransom for you. Ethiopia and Seba are what I am willing to pay for you. The greatest nations of the earth are nothing in comparison to you, my tiny flock of witnesses, because you believe.

Those of us that believe, we are the chosen servants of the Lord to bear witness of Him. (See verse 10) There is no other god. There is none who can deliver me out of His hand. (See verse 13) This reminds me of my move to Marshall. Almost as it were, God was picking us up with his own hands and carrying us safely to another place, I just had to not violate the protective covenants that had brought me thus far! I remember thinking that about the Sabbath day. What a protection that has been for me. Keep the Sabbath day holy, and you will always be protected, strengthened, and empowered to do good. Why? Because God is behind it all! He’s the funding source. He’s got your back when you follow Him, because He is really there. (See verse 11)

The Lord clearly states that with Israel He is doing something new. It is uncharted territory. So though we know that we are following God into something new, something different, something not known of this world, Israel does grow weary of their constant dependence upon God. (see verse 22) The Lord ends this chapter by pointing out how we have made him to serve with our sins. There is a bit of irony in this observation because it is He that has blotted out our transgression, and declared that he will not remember our sins. Then a commandment, “put me in remembrance.” (vs. 26)

This commandment seems to me both logical and easy to observe.