1 Nephi 16
This is a pretty wild ride in this chapter. Things really begin to pick up for the group. The Lord really does test them throughout this journey. Feelings are deep: hatred, gladness, love, depression. You see it all in these 39 verses.
• Vs 1 – 2 For a while I sat and wondered what do they feel is so hard. Then it dawned on me before I read vs 2 that they felt guilty. They new that they were separated from the Lord spiritually at the time and would be so physically if they would not change their ways. Nephi explains it so well when he says in essence, yes it is hard to hear for those on the wrong side of the gulf. For the righteous however this was sweet nectar for the hungry soul.
• Up to Vs 20 Nephi is painting a delightful picture and it may have been for those who were in his tent at night, but for the rest of the family it seemed to be very hard. So hard in fact that even Lehi begins to doubt and murmur against the Lord. I would imagine that Lehi’s version that was lost painted a different picture. We learn from this that it is all about perspective. Nephi seemed to be the only one with eyes set on an eternal one.
• Vs 23 - 27 Nephi was very careful not to try to go over his father’s head if you will. He accomplished a lot with the words, “Whither shall I go to obtain food?” Nephi, in fact was calling Lehi to repentance and it worked. He also knew that the Lord could be his only help at that point. They were helpless without Him.
• Vs 28 – 29 the Liahona has been likened to the scriptures and here I will do the same. Do the scriptures not “point the way” and does not your “understanding” change from time to time when you take a serious study of the word? I would say so, in fact I testify to this!
• Vs 35 Ishmael never sees the Promised Land or even the vessel which would get them there. The lord did use his death as a testing experience. The family took is so hard in fact death threats emerged from the blindness of hate.
• Vs 37 – 38 how does Laman and the group allow themselves to be so overcome with hate that they wanted to kill their Father and Brother? Satan must have truly been amongst this family watching their every move plotting their destruction so as to not have this record come forth. He uses the same old Rhetoric we hear throughout the word. Rhetoric is one of Satan’s most powerful tools. He is very cunning with his words.
• Vs 39 I really learned a lot and gained a lot of confidence in this verse. We hear it all the time that the Lord’s Spirit departs when one sins, but here I learned that the Lord may speak and go where he pleases. In the midst of the vilest of circumstances and words, the Lord’s Voice is heard. He can reach and speak to us in the darkest of places. His voice can penetrate the darkness and show us the light. We are never too far away to hear his voice. That is special and everyone should understand this truth.