Look Upon Zion, the City of Our Solemnities

Isaiah 33

Again continuing with prophecies of forthcoming events, Isaiah starts this chapter playing around with the theme of spoils. He first speaks of those who dedicate themselves to the spoiling of others, and decrees that such will become their end: spoiled and dealt with treacherously.

But then Isaiah talks about the Lord’s spoils in verse 4. When the Lord finally reveals himself at the end of time, it shall be equated to the gathering of a caterpillar, or running to and fro of a swarm of locusts. What a surprise to all the world this will be, and more especially to those who did not anticipate anything of the sort.

Reading on, some of these verses have me contemplating the vastness and grandeur of our God, the immensity of the space that surrounds us. The literal depth and separation of our little planet from all the known universe, and yet the immediate and real connection of our spirits to God.

Verse 15 is then key in answering the question: Who shall walk righteously and with confidence before God? Isaiah (as well as Nibley) points to man’s business practices:

  • He that walketh righteously,
  • and speaketh uprightly;
  • he that despiseth the gain of oppressions,
  • that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes,
  • that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood,
  • and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

Verse 17 states that “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty.” This is reminiscent of similar hopes expressed by the prophet Mormon:

…pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love… that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is…. that we may be purified even as he is pure.

Moroni 7:48

The final verses of this chapter give me pause for contemplation on the state of Zion, the result of a people that dwell in the knowledge and eventually, the literal presence of the Lord. Things are so different there:

  • there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams;
  • For the Lord is our judge, (judicial branch)
  • the Lord is our lawgiver, (legislative branch)
  • the Lord is our king; (executive branch)
  • he will save us. (religious branch)
  • the prey of a great spoil divided;
  • the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick:
  • the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

Leave a comment