CLICK HERE to read Jacob 6.
Chapter 5 was a sweet chapter, demonstrating the Savior’s love and care for us as He nourishes us through the difficulties of mortality, knowing that if we respond to His care we will produce good fruit – which are good works of service and also bringing souls to Him.
In verse one he confirms that the tame olive tree in chapter five represents the house of Israel.
But then, after all the nourishing and pruning is done, then the Lord will return “a second time to recover his people” (verse 2).
Those who have “labored diligently” (verse 3) – done HIS work of nourishing, been HIS hands in service – will be blessed, while those who have not worked will be cast out.
But He remembers all of us, “both roots and branches” (Jews and Gentiles) (verse 4), and judges not by the spot of ground in which we were planted, but what fruit we bring during harvest season.
“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” (verse 5).
When we act in ways that are not of God, we are rejecting His words to us.
We make these words of warning and words of hope meaningless.
“Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you?”
We must not mock God or His plan for us.
“… if ye will do these things, the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God” (verse 9).
This is how His justice and His mercy work together: when we are guilty of something, His words seem hard and we are uncomfortable. This is our being stirred to repentance. We then have the choice to repent or slowly slip away from our faith, our testimony, and our access to His protection and blessings.
When we are not guilty, and hear the words of His prophets, we are instead strengthened to continue to do well, and given hope that we are making progress and He will accomplish His work and glory as He promised. This is the miracle of the atonement.
“O be wise; what can I say more?” (verse 12).