These words from Jacob are intense and sobering.
And the day that he shall set his hand again the second time to recover his people, is the day, yea, even the last time, that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end soon cometh.Jacob 6:2
The coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the sign that God would set his hand a second time to recover his people. (See 3 Nephi 21) The servants of the Lord have indeed gone forth and many have heard their message but many, many have not. After this pruning, the end will come soon after.
And how blessed are they who have labored diligently in his vineyard; and how cursed are they who shall be cast out into their own place! And the world shall be burned with fire.vs.3
It’s not just missionaries that are the laborers in the vineyard, it is all of us who have been baptized and perhaps especially all of those who have been called to minister to their fellow saints.
The world will be burned with fire because the God of Israel will come to reign personally and “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29) Fire is a great purifier; it destroys certain things, but other things can remain undamaged by its presence.
And how merciful is our God unto us, for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches; and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long; and they are a stiffnecked and a gainsaying people; but as many as will not harden their hearts shall be saved in the kingdom of God.vs.4
God remembers all of us, great or small, throughout all time. I love the image of his hand being stretched out all day. Imagine holding your hand out that long, it would take an incredible amount of strength and endurance but God has both.
Gainsaying means “Contradicting; denying; opposing” and that sums up well what we see in the online climate today with many who go about exercising recreational outrage and warring for ideologies that have no doctrinal foundation.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts.vs.5
We have a window of time and should use it well. I love the visual of cleaving to God as he does the same to us. We can discover what that means if we will only try. Reach out to him in your own way, look for patterns in scripture and what others have done. Remember that it is the intent of your heart that drives faith, and we can all begin with intent.
Yea, today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts; for why will ye die?vs.6
Jacob says, “Yea, TODAY, if ye will hear his voice” yes, why not today? Why not today, why not now? What is distracting us? Indeed, why will we die when the hand is outstretched and we can simply reach out now and take it?