2 Nephi 15 continues Isaiah’s discussion on the Israelite’s failure to keep their covenants. Israel was likened to “a vineyard in a very fruitful hill” that was planted “with the choicest vine” and well protected. Unfortunately, the “pleasant plant” “brought forth wild grapes.” The Lord of the vineyard lamented “What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes it brought forth wild grapes” (2 Nephi 15:4). Because the vineyard became wild and unfruitful, the Lord of the vineyard promised to “take away the hedge thereof, and…break down the wall thereof, and…lay it waste.” When we, like the Israelites, “regard not the work of the Lord” and “have cast away the law of the Lord” the Lord’s defenses and protection are taken away. In order for us to access the power, the protection, and the promises of the Lord we have to live the law of the Lord, not “[despise] the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
Isaiah said that the people of Israel went “into captivity, because they have no knowledge” and then went on to explain that they had no knowledge because they had accepted Satan’s lies. For they “call evil good, and good evil, [they] put darkness for light, and light for darkness, [they] put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Hosea also explained what happened to Israel and what can happen to us, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God….the people that doth not understand shall fall….I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing” (Hosea 4:6, 14, Hosea 8:12).
In order for us to be fruitful, we must receive and understand God’s laws and then live them. Hosea noted it is vital to “frame [our] doings to turn unto [our] God” (Hosea 5:4). “Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies” (Hosea 10:13). When Israel planted wicked seeds, they not only produced wild, rotten fruit but “their root shall be rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up as dust.” Hosea taught a better way: “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12). Isaiah gave these simple instructions on how to be fruitful: “be willing and obedient….learn to do well” (Isaiah 1:19, 17). May we each “hear counsel, and receive instruction” and “obey the instructions” of the Lord that we may be fruitful and wise (see Proverbs 19:20 and D&C 132:3).
*How has being obedient to God’s law helped you be fruitful?
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