“Thou Hast Done Wonderful Things”

Lesson 37 – Isaiah 22, 24-26, 28-30

 

Introduction

The prophet Isaiah did much of his teaching in symbolic language. This language does not teach directly, so we must examine and ponder Isaiah’s words to discover the truths they teach.  Some of Isaiah’s most beautiful and profound symbolic language is about the Savior, who is the focus of this lesson.  Today, we will consider how we may come unto Christ through recognizing some of the wonderful things he has done. Those things include the following:

·         Isaiah 22:22 - The Savior opens the door to Heavenly Father’s presence.

·         Isaiah 24:21-22 -  The Savior shows mercy for those in spirit prison.

·         Isaiah 25:1-4; 32:1-2 -  The Savior is a strength and a refuge.

·         Isaiah 25:6-9 - The Savior will prepare a feast and destroy the “vail.”

·         Isaiah 25:8 - The Savior wipes away our tears.

·         Isaiah 26:19 - The Savior will bring the Resurrection.

·         Isaiah 28:16 - The Savior is our sure foundation.

·         Isaiah 29:4, 9-14, 18, 24 - The Savior will restore the gospel to the earth.

·         Isaiah 30:19-21 - The Savior knows our trials and directs our paths.

 

The Savior opened the door to Heavenly Father’s presence.

Isaiah 22:22 - says that the Messiah has “the key of the house of David.” This is a symbolic way of saying the Savior has the power to admit or exclude any person from Heavenly Father’s presence. (See also Revelation 3:7-8; 2 Nephi 9:41)

To open this door for us the Savior gave his life.

2 Nephi 9:45 - To be able to enter this door, we must repent and come unto Christ.

 

The Savior showed mercy for those in spirit prison.

Isaiah 24:21-22 – The prison referred to in this verse is the Spirit prison, the place where the spirits of some deceased mortals go while awaiting the Resurrection.

D&C 138:32 - The spirits of some deceased mortals are in spirit prison because some of them did not receive the gospel on earth, and others were not valiant in their testimonies.

Isaiah 42:5-7; D&C 138:29-37 - The Savior opened the way for the spirits in prison to come out of the darkness.  He organized righteous spirits to teach them the gospel.

Isaiah 49:9-10 – Sending missionaries and providing a way out of prison demonstrated the Savior’s love and mercy.

 

The Savior is a strength and a refuge.

Isaiah wrote of the Savior strengthening us during the storms, tempests, deserts, and heat of our lives. The following images teach about how the Savior helps us when we face such challenges:

·         Isaiah 25:4 - He is a refuge from the storm.

·         Isaiah 25:4 - He is a shadow from the heat.

·         Isaiah 32:2 - He is a hiding place from the wind.

·         Isaiah 32:2 - He is a covert (cover) from the tempest.

·         Isaiah 32:2 - He is rivers of water in a dry place.

·         Isaiah 32:2 - He is the shadow of a great rock in a weary (thirsty) land.

 

The Savior will prepare a feast and destroy the “vail.”

Isaiah 25:6-7; 2:2; D&C 58:8-9 - One interpretation of this is that the mountain is a symbol for the temple where the patrons will find a spiritual feast.

Isaiah 25:6 - The feast mentioned is a feast of the words and teachings of Christ. Temple attendance can be like a feast if we are prepared to be inspired and filled with gifts of the Spirit and eternal knowledge.

Moses 7:26 - A veil is a thin covering. Symbolically it often represents the unbelief that prevents people from truly coming to Christ.

Isaiah 25:7-9 - The “vail” that is over the earth will be destroyed when the Savior will remove all doubt that He is the promised Messiah and there will be no excuse for unbelief.

 

The Savior wipes away our tears.

Isaiah 25:8 - Isaiah prophesied that when the Messiah would come, he will wipe the tears off our faces. When someone you love is crying, you comfort them and wipe away their tears. The Savior will “wipe away [our] tears”.   Picture a parent wiping tears away from a child’s face. There is a sense of intimacy in this act. It is a tender gesture that is shared only by people who love and trust each other deeply.

Death, sorrow, crying, and pain are the conditions mentioned in Revelation 21:4 that cause tears. 

The Savior will wipe away the tears that are caused by these conditions by continuing the resurrection, cleansing the earth to bring it to a terrestrial state, giving hope, comfort, and causing rejoicing with his presence and his reign, and removing pain caused by wickedness.

 

The Savior will bring the Resurrection.

Isaiah 26:19 – Others to be resurrected in due time include all the children of God who have lived on the earth in all dispensations and throughout its history.

Isaiah 26:19 - This verse suggests that we will feel like singing when we are resurrected. (See also D&C 138:12-16, 50)

The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “When the voice calls for the dead to arise, … what would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my father, my mother, my brother, my sister; and when they are by my side, I embrace them and they me” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 295-96).

 

The Savior is our sure foundation.

Isaiah 28:16 - Isaiah tells us about the Savior by referring to him as a “tried stone”. Mosiah 3:17 tells us that the Savior’s is the only name by which salvation shall come.

Helaman 5:12 - Jesus Christ is our “sure foundation”

To build on this foundation, we follow the commandments and live by guidance of the Spirit.

D&C 50:44 - The Lord promises that if we build on this foundation, we shall never fall.

 

The Savior will restore the gospel to the earth.

Isaiah 29:4, 9-14 - Isaiah foresaw the latter-day restoration of the gospel.  He knew that it would come at a time of spiritual darkness. He also foresaw the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

 

Compare the following verses in Isaiah 29 with corresponding passages in the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants to see how some of Isaiah’s prophecies have been fulfilled:

Isaiah 29:4

Moroni 10:27

Isaiah 29:9-10, Isaiah 29:13

Joseph Smith—History 1:18-19

Isaiah 29:11-12

Joseph Smith—History 1:63-65

Isaiah 29:14

D&C 4:1; D&C 6:1

 

Isaiah 29:13 - Isaiah told of people drawing near to the Lord with their mouths while their hearts are far from Him.

We need to assure that we remain close to the Lord in our thoughts and actions as well as in our words.

Isaiah 29:18, 24 - Isaiah said that the Book of Mormon would help the spiritually deaf and blind to hear and see.

This prophecy has been fulfilled as the Book of Mormon has helped clarify and add to the doctrines and teachings of the Bible so that as it has been studied, enlightenment occurs and understanding expands for anyone who wishes to learn of the Lord.

 

The Savior knows our trials and directs our paths.

Isaiah 30:19-21 – Adversity can be a learning experience for us. These verses teach what the Savior will do for us when adversity comes. He will give us teachers and inspiration and direction. (also Alma 37:37.)

 

Conclusion

The Savior has done wonderful things for us. Think about what we can do in return.