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Archive for the ‘David’ Category

Naomi, Ruth & Boaz

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boaz's Field, 1828

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boaz’s Field, 1828

The Book of Ruth begins with the story of Elimelech who married Naomi.

They and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, moved from Bethlehem to Moab, because their was a famine in their homeland.

The sons married Moabite women.  One son married Orpah, and the other married Ruth.

Elimelech and his two sons died later. Naomi then decided to move back to Bethlehem. She told each of her daughters-in-law to return to her own mother’s home. Orpah did so.

But Ruth said “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s in Bethlehem, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

Ruth went to glean ears of corn in Boaz’ field.

Gleaning was the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after the harvest.  In some cases, farmers would leave the corners of their fields unharvested for the benefit of the gleaners who were poor.
(Leviticus 19:9-10, Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 24:19
)

Boaz was kind to Ruth.

Ruth then returned to Naomi and gave her the barley that she had gleaned.

Naomi reminded Ruth that Boaz was their family goel.

The goel – sometimes translated kinsman-redeemer – had a specifically defined role in Israel’s family life.

· The kinsman-redeemer was responsible to buy a fellow Israelite out of slavery (Leviticus 25:48).

· He was responsible to be the “avenger of blood” to make sure the murderer of a family member answered to the crime (Numbers 35:19).

· He was responsible to buy back family land that had been forfeited (Leviticus 25:25).

· He was responsible to carry on the family name by marrying a childless widow (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).

Naomi instructed Ruth as to how to petition Boaz to exercise his responsibilities as her goel.

“In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.” And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”

Ruth followed this plan.

Now it happened at midnight that Boaz was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”  (Ruth 3:8-9)

But Boaz had a kinsman who a closer relative, or goel, to Ruth than himself. Boaz asked this kinsman to purchase or redeem a pracel of land which had belonged to Elimelech and that Naomi was selling.   This deal also required that the kinsman take Ruth as his wife to raise up children in behalf of Elimelech.

Boaz recognized that this kinsman had the first right to redeem the land and marry Ruth. But the kinsman declined. So Boaz himself redeemed the land and married Ruth.

Ruth and Boaz had a son Obed, who became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Our Savior Jesus Christ was a descendent of David. Jesus is sometimes referred to as the “Son of David.” (Matthew 1:1)

Boaz thus revived the name and seed of Elimelech who was dead.

Boaz foreshadowed Jesus Christ who has redeemed us from death with his blood atonement.

As Boaz married Ruth, Christ takes the church as his bride.

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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The patriarchs, prophets and kings of the Old Testament constructed altars unto the Lord. Early altars were built from unhewn stone.

The altars were used for burnt sacrifices and offerings. They were also used for prayer, worship, covenants and as memorials unto the Lord.

* * *

And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

Genesis 8:20

* * *

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 12:7

* * *

And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it, The LORD is my banner:

Exodus 17:15

* * *

The Temple in Jerusalem had two altars. The first was the Altar of Burnt Offerings. The second was the Altar of Incense.

* * *

Jesus Christ gave his own life as the ultimate sacrifice for mankind.

We can construct our own “spiritual altars” unto the Lord by taking time each day to pray, study the scriptures and ponder His grace and mercy. Upon these same altars we can lay our offerings of service to the Lord and to our fellow man.

As David wrote:

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:7)

* * *

6) Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

7) Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

2 Nephi 2

* * *

The Prophet Joseph Smith described offering “your whole soul” as serving God with all your “heart, might, mind and strength” (Doctrine & Covenants 4:2). It is to put on the altar of God your time, talents, gifts and blessings, your willingness to serve, to do all that He asks.

– Elaine L. Jack, “A Small Stone,” April 1997

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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“Christ” is derived from the Greek christós, meaning the “Anointed One.” This title corresponds to the Hebrew-derived “Messiah.”

* * *

Genesis 16

[13] And she (Hagar) called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

* * *

Genesis 31

Jacob declared:

[42] Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
[53] The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.

* * *

Psalm 76

[11] Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.

* * *

Proverbs 1

[7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Covenant-keeping begins with the fear of God.

See also Psalm 111:10 & Proverbs 9:10.

* * *

Genesis 49

[10] The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

* * *

Exodus 3

[13] And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

[14] And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

[15] And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
YHWH is a form of the Hebrew Hayah (I AM) and is pronounced as Yahweh. The equivalent name in English is Jehovah.

* * *

Exodus 5

[1] And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

* * *

Psalm 23

[1] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

See also John 10:11

* * *

Psalm 78

[35] And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.

* * *

Psalm 80

[1] Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

* * *

Psalm 83

[18] That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

* * *

Psalm 84

[11] For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

* * *

Isaiah 1

[24] Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

* * *

Isaiah 6

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

* * *

Isaiah 7

[14] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Immanuel means “God with us.” See also Matthew 1:23.

* * *

Isaiah 9

[6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

* * *

Isaiah 11

[1] And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

* * *

Isaiah 17

[7] At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

* * *

Isaiah 40

[28] Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

* * *

Isaiah 51

[15] But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.

* * *

Isaiah 53

[3] He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

* * *

Isaiah 54

[5] For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

* * *

Malachi 1

[2] But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

See also Psalm 84:1

* * *

Matthew 1

[1] The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

* * *

Matthew 1

[20] But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
[21] And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Yeshua): for he shall save his people from their sins.

The Hebrew name Yeshua means “He will rescue.”

* * *

Matthew 3

[13] Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
[14] But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
[15] And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
[16] And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
[17] And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

* * *

Matthew 9

[38] Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

* * *

Luke 1

[26] And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
[27] To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
[28] And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
[29] And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
[30] And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
[31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
[32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

* * *

Luke 2

[8] And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
[9] And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
[10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
[11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
[12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

* * *

Luke 7

[11] And it came to pass the day after, that he (Jesus) went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
[12] Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
[13] And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
[14] And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
[15] And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
[16] And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

* * *

John 1

[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John (the Baptist).
[7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
[14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
[35] Again the next day after John (the Baptist) stood, and two of his disciples;
[36] And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
[40] One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
[41] He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
[49] Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

* * *

John 3

[14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
[15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

* * *

John 3

[27] John (the Baptist) answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
[28] Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
[29] He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

* * *

John 4

[41] And many more believed because of his own word;
[42] And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

* * *

John 6

[32] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
[33] For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
[34] Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
[35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Note that Bethlehem means “City of Bread.”

* * *

John 8

[12] Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

See also 1 Nephi 17:13.

[56] Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
[57] Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
[58] Jesus said unto them, Verily,verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
[59] Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

* * *

John 10

[7] Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
[8] All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
[9] I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
[10] The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
[11] I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

* * *

John 11

[25] Jesus said unto her (Martha), I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
[26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
[27] She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
[28] And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

* * *

John 15

[1] I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman.

* * *

John 20

[11] But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
[12] And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
[13] And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
[14] And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
[15] Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
[16] Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

* * *

Acts 3

Peter teaches

[14] But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
[15] And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

* * *

Acts 4

[8] Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
[9] If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
[10] Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
[11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

* * *

Acts 5

Peter proclaims:

[30] The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
[31] Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

* * *

Acts 7

Stephen teaches:

[52] Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

* * *

Ephesians 2

[19] Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
[20] And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

* * *

1 Timothy 6

[13] I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
[14] That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
[15] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

* * *

Hebrews 12

[24] And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

* * *

Revelations 1

[8] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

* * *

Revelations 3

[14] And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

* * *

Revelations 5

[5] And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
[6] And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
[7] And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
[8] And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
[9] And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

* * *

Revelations 15

[3] And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
[4] Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

* * *

Revelations 19

[6] And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

[11] And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
[12] His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
[13] And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
[14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
[15] And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
[16] And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

* * *

Revelations 20

[6] And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

* * *

Revelations 22

[16] I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

* * *

1 Nephi 15

[15] And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God?

* * *

1 Nephi 17

[13] And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.

* * *

2 Nephi 2

[28] And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;

* * *

2 Nephi 10

[14] For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.

* * *

2 Nephi 25

[12] But, behold, they shall have wars, and rumors of wars; and when the day cometh that the Only Begotten of the Father, yea, even the Father of heaven and of earth, shall manifest himself unto them in the flesh, behold, they will reject him, because of their iniquities, and the hardness of their hearts, and the stiffness of their necks.

* * *

2 Nephi 26

[9] But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him, until three generations shall have passed away, and many of the fourth generation shall have passed away in righteousness.

See also: Malachi 1:2. This title is also used in “Hark, the Herald Angles Sing.”

* * *

Jacob 4

[5] Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.

* * *

Mosiah 3

[5] For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

* * *

Alma 5

[50] Yea, thus saith the Spirit: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand; yea, the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion. Yea, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, that the Spirit saith: Behold the glory of the King of all the earth; and also the King of heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men.

* * *

Alma 30

[44] But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

* * *

3 Nephi 15

[9] Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

* * *

3 Nephi 30

[1] Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

* * *

Moroni 6

[4] And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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The united tribes of Israel had grown steadily in wealth, power and glory or 120 years, under the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon.

Solomon’s son Rehoboam became the next king. Rehoboam raised the taxes, which caused the northern tribes to rebel against him.

Jeroboam became the king of the northern tribes. He was a wicked king who set up his own worship system using non-Levites as priests.

Jeroboam also built two golden calves as idols and placed them in the cities of Bethel and Dan. He instructed the people to worship the golden calves:

It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (1 Kings 12:28)

* * *

1 Kings 13

[1] And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
[2] And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.
[3] And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
[4] And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
[5] The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.

The Lord then healed King Jeroboam’s hand.

King Jeroboam then invited the man of God to come to his home and to receive a reward.

But the man of God refused.

“If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.”

The man then began his journey to his home in the land of Judah.

An “older prophet” who lived in Bethel then appears in the story and invited the man of God into his own home.

The old prophet proclaimed to the man of God:

“I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.”

But the old prophet lied unto him.

The man of God then entered the old prophet’s home and ate dinner with him.

The old prophet then chastised the man of God.

“Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee. But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.”

The man of God was then killed by lion, soon after he left the old prophet’s home.

* * *

David R. Reid wrote the following.

In the tale of two prophets, most likely the older prophet was a believer in the true God, and was not directly a part of Jeroboam’s false system of worship. But rather than stir up trouble for himself by speaking out publicly against King Jeroboam I, or moving south to Judah as others had done, he remained in Bethel, retaining his local prestige as a “retired prophet.” Rather than “rock the boat,” he went along with the system for his own selfish purposes. Perhaps he was like one of the 7000 silent believers who lived in the idolatrous northern kingdom in Elijah’s day. (See 1 Kings 19:18.) But when the younger prophet from Judah boldly denounced the king and his false system of worship, the older prophet was stirred into action.

Unfortunately that action was not channelled in the right direction. Maybe the older prophet was miffed that God had left him on the sidelines–even though his passive lifestyle and lack of commitment had made him unsuitable for God’s use as a messenger. Maybe he had an exaggerated notion of his own importance as a prophet in the Bethel area. Maybe he was jealous of the youth of the prophet from Judah. Whatever the case, the older prophet lied to the younger prophet. He misdirected him–and actually persuaded him to disobey the Lord’s will!

* * *

This is an extreme story. But it is worthy of careful consideration for application to our own lives.

I am skeptical that the people we personally meet in our religious settings would intentionally lie to us and tempt us to disobey God while simultaneously claiming authority from God. Yes, there is an occasional wolf in sheep’s clothing, but these individuals are rare.

The far greater concern is well-meaning but misguided people who would dissuade from some mission or purpose that the Lord has charged us with. These individuals might even claim some authority as they attempt to correct us.

Yes, we all have need of correction.

But we must follow the Lord first. We should prayerfully seek to develop discernment using the Holy Spirit to guide us. We must also become thoroughly grounded in the holy scriptures. We can then discern whether the words of others are truly from God.

* * *

I came across this Biblical story as I recently sat in a dentist office waiting room. A Bible was sitting on a small table in the room. I said a prayer in my heart asking the Lord to give me a personal message from his holy book. I then opened the Bible to what otherwise seemed to be a random location. The result was the story of the man of God from Judah.

* * *

After I wrote the initial blog post, I came across Joseph Smith’s commentary.

Smith’s interpretation was that the old prophet was truthful in the sense that an angel really had commanded him to invite the man of God into his home for dinner, but that this was all a devised test of the man’s obedience.

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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To be a Nahshon

The following is from the Midrash, a collection of Jewish stories and teachings which expand upon the Torah.

When the Jews arrived at the Red Sea, with the Egyptian Army in hot pursuit from behind and the sea in front, there was an argument in the Heavenly Court if the Jews were worthy of being saved or not.

While Moses was praying to God for help, Nahshon ben Aminadav decided to take matters into his own hands and leaped into the sea.  Nahshon’s action tipped the scales in the Jews’ favor.

Then God said to Moses, “Stop praying already! Turn around and look at what your friend Nahshon has done. While you stand here praying he is taking some action!” Only then does God part the sea so that the Israelites can cross.

This is what Rebbe Nachman of Breslev calls azut d’kedusha, or boldness for holiness.

The popular Yiddish saying to be a Nahshon means to be an initiator.

* * *

Nahshon was appointed by Moses, upon God’s command, as prince of the Tribe of Judah.  He was, through Boaz, the ancestor of David.

Nahshon is mentioned several times in the Bible.

He brought forth an offering at the dedication of the Tabernacle.

And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah. (Number 7:12)

Nahshon’s name is also given in the New Testament in the genealogy of Jesus of Nazareth. (Matthew 1:4 and Luke 3:32).

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“Be ye in the world, but not of the world.”

This quote does not actually appear in scripture, but it represents the teachings of Jesus and of the prophets and apostles.

* * *

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on this law he meditates day and night.” – King David, Psalm 1, verses 1-2

* * *

Psalm 84

[10] I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

* * *

Psalm 94

[11] The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

* * *

Proverbs 23

[17] Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

* * *

Ecclesiastes 1

[1] The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
[2] Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
[14] I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

* * *

Ecclesiastes 5

[10] He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
[11] When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?
[12] The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
[13] There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
[14] But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.
[15] As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

* * *

Isaiah 5

[20] Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

* * *

Isaiah 48

[20] Go ye forth from Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye: The LORD hath redeemed His servant Jacob.

This verse is both literal and symbolic. Babylon represents worldliness.

* * *

Isaiah 51

[7] Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

[8] For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.

* * *

Jonah 2

[8] They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

* * *

See also:

Forsaking Worldliness: New Testament

Forsaking Worldliness: Book of Mormon

Forsaking Worldliness: Doctrine & Covenants

Forsaking Worldliness: Stories & Quotes

– Tom Irvine

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There have been several times in my life when I needed to make major changes, such as moving to a new neighborhood, starting a new job, etc.

On several occasions, the Lord even forewarned me about upcoming changes in my life using some of the following Biblical principles, although he did not inform me of the specific details.

The warnings came through sermons that I heard on Christian radio stations.

The following example can apply to friendships, neighborhoods, churches, or employment settings.

* * *

People come into our lives for a reason. Maybe we need some sort of help from that person, or perhaps that individual needs some support from us, or the friendship may be mutual and reciprocal.

Then one day, this friend, or maybe a group of friends, turns bitterly against us through no fault of our own.

What does the Bible advise in these situations?

Jesus taught that we must forgive our brother “seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22)

The Lord also gave a procedure for resolving conflicts when a brother has sinned against us in Matthew 18:15-18.

We should be peacemakers as Jesus taught. (Matthew 5:9)

But there may be times when we simply need to “move on.” We may need to find new friendships, change jobs, move to a new neighborhood, or join another church.

The Lord may even use these upsetting circumstances to prod us to a new situation where we can have new opportunities for personal growth and for giving service.

* * *

David experienced this when he lived in King Saul’s household. David played his harp to comfort Saul. He also became Saul’s armor-bearer.

But Saul eventually became very jealous of David, and Saul even tried to kill David several times. As a result, David had to escape from Saul.

The following is taken from 1 Samuel 18:

[6] And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music.

[7] And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

[8] And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?

[9] And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

[10] And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

[11] And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.

[12] And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.

Saul offered to let David marry one of his daughters if David would fight the Philistines. He hoped David would be killed by the Philistines. (1 Samuel 18:20–25)

But David survived and was victorious in battle.

Saul continued to seek David’s life. (1 Samuel 19:9–10)

David fled into the wilderness. At one point, he took refuge in a cave in Adullam. (1 Samuel 22:1-3)

David had an opportunity to kill Saul, but did not do so. He exclaimed to Saul:

The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. (1 Samuel 24:12)

The author of this Biblical book then adds commentary: As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. (1 Samuel 24:13)

David had been devestated by the adversity. But the Lord protected David. And the Lord used these circumstances to prepare David himself to become king over Israel and Judah.

Eventually, Saul died in battle.

After Saul’s death, David was anointed king. (2 Samuel 5)

* * *

Some of the verses in Psalms are based on David’s experiences facing adversity.

An example is Psalm 59 where David praises the Lord for delivering him from the hands of his enemies.

[16] But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

[17] Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

* * *

Jesus himself was wounded in the house of his friends. (Zechariah 13:6, Psalm 22:16)

Jesus sought the moral support of his disciples as he gave his great intercessory prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet his disciples slept. (Matthew 26:36-45)

Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. (Matthew 26:46-50)

Peter thrice denied even knowing Jesus, even as Jesus was been tried and beaten. (Luke 22:34,54-57)

Yet Jesus forgave them. (Luke 23:34)

Perhaps we can gain a greater appreciation for Christ’s great atoning sacrifice on our behalf when we too are wounded in the house of our friends.

* * *

We have a natural tendency to try to make sense of the wounds that our friends inflict upon us. We are driven to rumination… But we should humbly acknowledge our limited capacity to understand the “big picture.”

As Paul taught:

We see through a glass darkly…

(1 Corinthians 13:12)

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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