Understanding the Bible
Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
and avenge myself on my enemies.
I want to start this class and share my experiences and my study. Isaiah 1:24, my initial reaction was like there’s not a whole thing out there, we will just cover it and then keep going. And that’s a huge mistake! Often, our expectations prevent us from learning a lot. And as I started to look deep, I discovered some serious treasures and thus I wanted to share them all with you. And that’s why we will spend the entire class just on verse 24.
So, let’s begin!
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:
There is judgment and vengeance coming.
This class is going to be a little hardcore, and you’ll see why. We need to understand very clearly God will not be mocked, He is kind, He is long suffering and He is merciful. But when His children cross the line, when they continue in their hardiness and their rebelliousness finally he drops the hammer so to speak. Judgment will come to the rebellious and to the wicked. And in this class, we are going to see the harsh consequences that fall on those who do not listen.
So, let’s go back and look at these titles.
‘the Lord’ he is our Lord, our God and He is the God of everyone and everything. He is God over everything and He is the mighty one all powerful.
‘Omnipotent’ He knows all things and He has the power to do all things.
‘Ah’ it is described as pity mingled with wrath.
I wrote a bunch of scriptures about verse 24.
- Ezekiel 5 verses 12-17.
- Second Chronicles chapter 20.
- Doctrine and Covenants 105 verses 14-15.
- Exodes 23 verses 20-23.
- Doctrine and Covenants 1: 13-16 and 97: 21-26.
So let’s go first to Ezekiel 5:12-17 and we read:
12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. 13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.
There is a reference here in 13 to Ezekiel 24: 9-14. But let’s finish up here and then will go there.
14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. 15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it. 16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: 17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.
This is judgment that’s coming on Jerusalem and will later come on Babylon. He is promising as a consequence famine, sword, pestilence and a lot of suffering.
Let’s turn now to that reference in Ezekiel 24:9-14. And it reads:
9 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile of fire great. 10 Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil the meat well, mix in the spices, and let the bones be burned up. 11 Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn,that its uncleanness may be melted in it, its corrosion consumed. 12 She has wearied herself with toil; its abundant corrosion does not go out of it. Into the fire with its corrosion! 13 On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you. 14I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.”
Let’s look now at Exodus 23:20-23. It reads:
20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
There is a fantastic lesson there. The Lord will find our battles if we are on his side. Otherwise, who are his enemies? Well, it is those who turn against God. So are we on the Lord side? That’s an important question that we need to frequently ask ourselves.
23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.
Let’s go now to second Chronicles chapter 20. Near the heading of chapter 20 I have three scripture references if you like to jot them down.
D&C 98:37 which reads:
And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.
Another verse is Joel chapter 3:2 and Zechariah 40:30 let’s take a quick look at both of those.
Joel 3:2 reads:
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Jehosaphat means Jehovah judges.
Zechariah 40:30 reads:
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
Let’s go back to second Chronicles now. I really love this chapter because it teaches us so many great principles about doing the right things at the right time for the right reason.
2 Chronicles 20 reads:
1 Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).” 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.
Isn’t that fantastic?
And now what you and I do as a family when trials come along? Do we turn ourselves to seek the Lord and then turn our children to do the same? Or do we rely on ourselves and on other resources?
5Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, 6and he said, “O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. 7 “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8“They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, 9‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’
What a great principle! When any challenge or problem comes against us, we need to turn to the Lord.
In Helaman 3:27 we read:
Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.
D&C 101:7-8 we read:
7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. 8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.
Too many forget the Lord when things are going well!
In Helaman 12:3 we read:
And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.
God will have a humble people. We can either choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.
2nd Chronicles 20:10-12 reads:
And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
Let not our hearts to be troubled. We’ve got to keep our eyes on Christ and keep focused on him all the time. Keep your eyes on Christ.
2 Chronicles 20:13 reads:
And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
What a wonderful verse! That’s how we approach the Lord as a family!
14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation; 15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Please mark that! He will fight our battles especially if they are his.
16 Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
I want you to think about that for a minute. One of the times in our lives when we need to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. We often get so cut up and so worked up in our lives but we need to stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord and he will step in and he will work miracles in our lives if we are but faithful.
When the winds of adversity are blowing our lives, let us stand still and let’s turn and seek the Lord.
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. 19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
Man I hope you marked that please! We want to be established and have that foundation on the rock of Christ. Believe in his prophets, his teaching and his acts. And ye shall prosper.
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. 22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. 24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
The Lord fought their battle, every one of them died, none of them escaped and then Israel was able to walk in there and take all their abundance and riches.
Trust the Lord and lean not unto your understandings.
26 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. And that will be the same in the last days. When there is war all over the earth, there will be fear of the Lord. Because they’ll trust in him and allow him to fight their battles.
30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
Let’s go back now to 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:
21 Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn. 22 For behold, and lo, vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly as the whirlwind; and who shall escape it? 23 The Lord’s scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come; 24 For the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations and all their wicked works. 25 Nevertheless, Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her. 26 But if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire.
Our actions will determine what side we are on.
Let’s now turn to DC 105:14-15
14 For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil—I will fight your battles. 15 Behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints.
And last let’s turn to DC 1:13-16
13 And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. 14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; 15 For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; 16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
We need to look at some scriptures that need to go with this verse.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
So many people try to turn to the world and to materialism but this is not the right way to do it. You need to turn to the Lord and to prayers.
We’ve got to seek after the Lord no matter what happens. We’ve got to always turn to the Lord.
You’ll have every blessing you want if you just observe and do the Lord’s commitments. But on the other hand, if you don’t you’ll get the consequences.
We’ll wrap up with a quote from SC Lewis:
‘It is the business of these great masters [viz., spirits of the Lowerarchy] to produce in every age a general misdirection of what may be called sexual “taste”. This they do by working through the small circle of popular artists, dressmakers, actresses and advertisers who determine the fashionable type. The aim is to guide each sex away from those members of the other with whom spiritually helpful, happy, and fertile marriages are most likely.’
That’s from Screwtape Letters page 91.
I want to testify how absolutely important it is that we follow and worship God and Him only. That we turn our lives over to him, we submit to his will, and we observe and His commitments. And I promise that the blessings will be abundant and wonderful.