Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gospel Doctrine OT c37: Isaiah 22-30

Gospel Doctrine OT c37 Isaiah 22-30
Maybe invite class members to answer the question:  Has anyone done anything really wonderful for you? Have you thought, “Wow, that’s Wonderful!”
READ Isaiah 25:1 “O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
Today we are studying Isaiah (somewhere between 22-30). Isaiah and other prophets like him used a lot of imagery and symbolism. One of the reasons they used these things to teach is because it allowed them to reveal and to conceal the truth about the Lord and His gospel. 
Gerald N. Lund offers some ideas to help understand the symbolism.
1. Look beyond the symbol for its intended meaning.
2. Look for the interpretation of the symbol in the scriptures themselves.
3. Look for Christ in the symbols and imagery of the scriptures.
4. Let the nature of the object used (its characteristics) contribute to understanding its spiritual meaning.
5. Seek the reality behind the symbol.
With those ideas in mind, let’s READ Isaiah 25:4 “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”
Also READ Isaiah 32:1-2 “Behold a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”
??What images did you find in those verses?
            Strength to poor and needy                   Refuge from the storm
            Shadow from the heat                             River in a dry place
            Shadow of rock in a weary land
??What do those images teach about how the Savior helps us when we face such challenges?
These images teach us that the Lord will never leave us. He will always be there to help us. We need to never leave Him. ??How do we not leave Him?? We build on His foundation.
Let’s talk about foundations.
READ Isaiah 24:17-20  That is the state of the world. ??Any observations you’d like to share about these verses and the world we live in? So we can build on the world’s foundation, which a lot of people do OR…
READ Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a stried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.”
??How is Jesus Christ our ‘sure foundation’? READ Helaman 5:12  “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
This brings to mind the primary song and parable from Matthew 7:24-27 - The wise man and the foolish man. I had an experience that changed the way I feel about this parable. I used to think it meant strong people build on rocks and foolish people build on the sand. End of story. I was talking with a friend whose son had died at a young age. It was a hard time for the whole family and their testimonies were definitely tried beyond their breaking point. The rains and floods came and beat upon their house. She admitted that some of her testimony washed away. She wasn’t foolish, she was strong. She told me her testimony was smaller now but what she had was strong and deep.
This changed my perception of the parable of the wise and foolish man. The tricky thing is that we are, at the same time, often wise and foolish. Not wise all the time, not foolish all the time. We are somewhere in the middle. We are learning and growing. We have to start building our testimonies somewhere, somehow. Sometimes we build with sand and soil and that’s enough to stand on for a while. Then trials and adversity come and our foundation gets shaken up and the sand washes away, revealing what is left of our sure foundation. Then we continue to build on that until the next trial comes, to show us where we are weak and where the sand has washed away. It’s a process. A beautiful, strengthening process
??What can we do to build on a strong foundation? What does the Lord promise if we build on this foundation? READ D&C 50:44 “Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall.”
READ Isaiah 30:19-21  “For the people shall swell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.  And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see they teachers:  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”
??What stands out to you in those verses?
*He will answer thee
*Why do we need bread and water? What do they do for us? Give us life, help us grow, fulfillment, enjoyment. Can adversity and affliction do the same thing?
*Thine eyes shall see, thine ears shall hear THE WORD. We need to keep our spiritual eyes and ears open. How do we do that? We hear “the word.” Read the scriptures.
*This is the way, WALK ye in it. No matter how hard the Lord’s road is, it is the Lord’s way. We have to “walk.” Not be wheeled along or stall out.
READ Alma 37:37 “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”
This is the best testimony I can think of to close with:
“I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!

Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!”

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