Sunday, May 30, 2010

Samuel Becomes The Last Great Judge of Israel

(24-8) 1 Samuel 1:20–28 . Samuel Is Presented at the Tabernacle

“Weaning took place very late among the Israelites. According to [2 Maccabees 7:27], the Hebrew mothers were in the habit of suckling their children for three years. When the weaning had taken place, Hannah would bring her son up to the sanctuary, to appear before the face of the Lord, and remain there forever, i.e. his whole life long. The Levites generally were only required to perform service at the sanctuary from their twenty-fifth to their fiftieth year [see Numbers 8:24–25 ]; but Samuel was to be presented to the Lord immediately after his weaning had taken place, and to remain at the sanctuary forever, i.e. to belong entirely to the Lord. To this end he was to receive his training at the sanctuary, that at the very earliest waking up of his spiritual susceptibilities he might receive the impressions of the sacred presence of God.” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 2:2:26.)

(24-9) 1 Samuel 2:1–11

Hannah’s prayer shows her to have been a woman with great faith and love for God. The horn (see v. 1 ) symbolized power and strength. God had given her the power to bear a child. The rock (see v. 2 ) was a representation of protection. Jesus Christ is the rock or stone of Israel, the protector from evil (see Matthew 21:42–44 ). In 1 Samuel 2:10 both allusions are combined into one: the Messiah is “the anointed one” who will break all adversaries of the Lord in pieces (the Greek word for Messiah, Christos, also means “the anointed one”). He it was, Hannah said, who would be given strength in that his horn (power) would be exalted before men. This passage is a choice Old Testament reference to the future Messiah and shows that Hannah was blessed with the gift of prophecy.

(24-10) 1 Samuel 2:8

The people of Hannah’s day did not think the world was flat and sitting on pillars, as some suppose. That superstition was the invention of the Middle Ages. Hannah was using poetic language to show the power of Jehovah.

(24-11) 1 Samuel 2:13–36 . If the Priests Were Entitled to a Portion of Certain Sacrifices, Why Were the Sons of Eli Punished?

“Of these offerings, the portion which legally fell to the priest as his share was the heave-leg and wave-breast. And this he was to receive after the fat portions of the sacrifice had been burned upon the altar [see Leviticus 7:30–34 ]. To take the flesh of the sacrificial animal and roast it before this offering had been made, was a crime which was equivalent to a robbery of God. . . . Moreover, the priests could not claim any of the flesh which the offerer of the sacrifice boiled for the sacrificial meal, after burning the fat portions upon the altar and giving up the portions which belonged to them, to say nothing of their taking it forcibly out of the pots while it was being boiled [see 1 Samuel 2:12–17 ]. Such conduct as this on the part of the young men (the priests’ servants), was a great sin in the sight of the Lord, as they thereby brought the sacrifice of the Lord into contempt.” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 2:2:35–36.)
The poor example of the priests caused others in Israel to abhor “the offering of the Lord” ( v. 17 ). But these actions were not all, for the sons of Eli seduced women and engaged in adulterous acts at the very door of the tabernacle, evidently by misusing their office of priest to entice the women (see v. 22 ). Under the law of Moses, willful disobedience to parents was punishable by death, and the parents were obliged to see that the punishment was carried out (see Reading 20-9 ). Hophni and Phinehas compounded their already serous sins by disobeying their father, and Eli failed in his parental responsibility as well as in his office as the presiding priest. Although he rebuked his sons, he took no action to see that the abomination in his family and at the tabernacle was corrected. Therefore, “a man of God” (some unnamed prophet) came to Eli and pronounced the Lord’s curse upon Eli’s house because “[thou] honourest thy sons above me” ( vv. 27, 29 ). That is, Eli’s relationship with his sons was of more value to him than his relationship with God.

(24-12) 1 Samuel 3:1 . “The Word of the Lord Was Precious in Those Days”

The word precious as used here means “scarce.” The word of God was seldom heard in all the land. Elder Harold B. Lee explained why as follows: “The story commences with a significant statement.
“‘And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.’ ( I Samuel 3:1 ) . . . That means that there was no prophet upon the earth through whom the Lord could reveal his will, either by personal experience, or by revelation. And it came to pass that Eli was laid down in his place and his eyes were dim, and Samuel the boy also lay down to his sleep, and you remember through that night there came a call, ‘Samuel,’ and thinking that Eli had called him he went to Eli’s room to be told that Eli had not called him. And he lay down the second time again to be called, and yet the third time. And by this time Eli, sensing the fact that he was being spoken to by an unseen speaker, said, ‘The next time that you hear, then you shall answer, “Here I am Lord, speak to me.”’ And so the next time when the call came, Samuel answered as he had been directed. Now it says, ‘Samuel (up to this time) did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord revealed unto him.’ And after he had recognized the Lord and said, ‘Thy servant heareth,’ then he was told that the Lord was to proceed to ‘do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone that heareth it, shall tingle.’ And then he explained the reason why Eli could not receive further messages from the Lord. ‘His sons make themselves vile, and he restrained them not,’ or in other words he allowed his sons to curse God and therefore were leading the people of Israel astray.” ( “But Arise and Stand upon Thy Feet”—and I Will Speak with Thee, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, 7 Feb. 1956, p. 2.)

Institute Old Testament Student Manual (Genesis - 2 Samuel) pp. 268-269

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jericho As A Type

In the post of March 11, 2009, it was shown how the pattern for the plan of salvation was built into the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Crossing the Jordan River (a type of going through the veil) into the promised land/Celestial Kingdom brought them into their land of inheritance.  The first city that they are to take on the west side of the Jordan River can be seen as a type of a wicked and fallen world being replaced by those who have followed God's laws and commandments until they are allowed to inherit their land of promise.

Nephi tells us that the people of Canaan had been forewarned and had "rejected every word of God."

1 Ne  17:35-40
 35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it.
 36 Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
 37 And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
 38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.
 39 He ruleth high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his footstool.
 40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of Egypt.

The process by which Jericho was taken can be seen as a type for the righteous inheriting the earth as it becomes the Celestial Kingdom.  Israel followed the Ark of the Covenant around the city one circuit each day for seven days.  They were to be absolutely quiet and not utter one word as they made each round.  Then, on the seventh day they made seven rounds and on the seventh they were to yell and holler.  The wall came down and they were able to take the city and to destroy all that inhabited the city by fire.  This may be seen as a type for what happens at the end of the Millennium (seven days or seven thousand years)  when the earth is cleansed once again by fire and then dies and becomes a Celestial Kingdom to be inhabited by those who have followed God's laws (D&C 88:25-26).

Achan used terrible judgment when he took, contrary to God's instructions, gold, silver, and a garment for himself and hid them thinking no one would know.  Here a hard lesson was learn about oneness as taught by the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants "be one, and if ye are not one ye are not mine" (D&C 38:27).  As a result of Achan's deed, Israel lost their next battle as they attempted to take the small town of Ai.  Therefore, Achan had to be sought out and destroyed.  His bad example of theft implied that one can be personally enriched by a wicked and fallen world and then take it with you into the Celestial Kingdom.  He also destroyed the oneness needed for Israel to be blessed in following the directions of their God.  The Lord could not allow him to do that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Building On Christ - The Rock

The first time we see Christ symbolized as a rock in the Old Testament is the incident of Jacob's ladder.  In Genesis 28:11 Jacob takes one of the stones where he camped and used it for a pillow.  He then has the dream which is referred to as Jacob's ladder.  This became Jacob's temple experience where he became familiar with the three degrees of glory:

Paul ascended into the third heavens, and he could understand the three principal rounds of Jacob's ladder-the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms, where Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful for him to utter.  
            (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts, 5:, p.402)

 In the morning he anointed the stone making it the anointed one or the Messiah/Christ.  He also renamed the place Bethel or House of God because of the experience that he had there with God, who was in his Celestial realm at the top of the ladder.

Isaiah also refers to Christ as the cornerstone and foundation stone of Zion when he is giving a double meaning to the building of Zion and the temple in the same reference.

Isa  28:16-17
 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
All of the other stones of the temple and Zion will be aligned with this cornerstone according to divine judgment (the line) and righteousness (the plummet).  In the end, all that is not aligned with the temple and Zion will be swept away as was Jericho which was a type of the earth becoming the Celestial Kingdom.

In Deuteronomy 32:1-4, 15-18, 30-40, 45-47, Moses teaches Isreal that they must be mindful of the Rock of their salvation who is Jesus Christ.

In the New Testament the Savior makes a direct reference to himself as being the rock/stone of Jacob's ladder:

John  1:51
 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Peter uses the imagery of Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16 to help his people to understand their role with the priesthood and as the people of God in the building of Zion.

1 Pet  2:3-10
 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.
 4  To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious,
 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
 7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
 9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
 10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Paul the apostle also uses the imagery of Isaiah 28:16 to help give a vision to this people as to how they and the whole Church is built upon Christ; the whole Church becoming a holy temple to God.

Eph  2:19-22
 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];
 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The ultimate lesson from these types and this imagery is that we build Zion, and we build on Christ, through the making and keeping of temple covenants.  Thus, as I Isaiah taught, the whole earth will become the holy mountain filled with the knowledge of the Lord.

Isa  11:9
 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.