1 Nephi 20
In Chapter 19, Nephi writes that he “did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” I think it is very fitting that following this statement he begins quoting Isaiah as he speaks in messianic prophecy about Israel fleeing Babylon. Isaiah speaks of the Israelites as chosen, even in their wickedness, and describes how the Lord will lead them from Babylon and through the desert and will provide for them.
This is a parallel of Lehi’s family being chosen by the Lord to leave Jerusalem. Even when Nephi’s brothers and the sons and daughters of Ishmael were being rude and unrighteous, the Lord still guided the family of Lehi. He still led them through the wilderness and across the oceans to the promised land.
Why? Well, we read in verse 11, “For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name to be polluted, and I will not give my glory to another.” The Lord doesn’t cut off people in order to fulfill His own purposes, not because He doesn’t care that they are wicked. In verse 22, He reminds us that “there is no peace… unto the wicked.”
The Lord needed Israel, so He spared them. The Lord needed Lehi’s family, so He spared them. If the Lord needs us, He will spare us. If He doesn’t need us, He won’t. And even if he does spare us, if we are not righteous, there is “no peace” for us.
On the other hand, the Lord says that if we hearken to His commandments, “then [would] thy peace [be] as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.”
I love the imagery of Isaiah. This particular passage reminds me that there are sweet sweet blessings that await if I follow the Lord’s commandments. I know that He will bless me if I try to do what is right. I love having peace in my heart, and I know that peace comes when I am doing what is right and when I am involved in good, holy, righteous things.