The Keeper of the Gate
2 Nephi 7:5 - 2 Nephi 9:45
I have two words written above the chapter heading of 2 Nephi 9.
There are so many lessons contained within this one chapter, but one of my favorite lessons is consistent with one of the central themes we have noticed all along this journey...the greatness of God.
"O how great the goodness of our God..." (2 Nephi 9:10)
"O the greatness of the mercy of our God." (2 Nephi 9:19)
"O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it." (2 Nephi 9:20) ...I love this second witness that He knoweth all things. Again, there is hope.
"And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice." (2 Nephi 9:21)
If they will hearken.
I am reminded I have a choice to make every day. To listen. To choose to act. And then, to follow.
To hearken requires me to follow ––just as a sheep will listen and then follow the voice of the shepherd, in the paths where He will lead.
But just to hearken is not enough, Jacob also wants me to remember.
"Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel." (2 Nephi 9:40)
"O, my beloved...remember..." (2 Nephi 9:44)
"Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate...and whoso knocketh, to him will he open." (2 Nephi 9:41)
The Keeper of the Gate is the Holy One of Israel, and He employeth no servant there.
I am reminded of the role of the shepherd as a gatekeeper as written by Alfred Edersheim, "In the East the flocks are at night driven into a large fold, and charge of them is given to an under-shepherd, while the others rest. We can understand how, when the shepherd comes in the morning, the doorkeeper, or guardian opens to him. Having thus gained access to His flock, the shepherd knows and calls them, each by name, and leads them out. Then the Eastern shepherd places himself at the head of his flock, and goes before them, guiding them, making sure of their following simply by his voice, which they know."
Jacob wanted us to remember that in Christ's care over us there is no under-shepherd...no servant there. He provides watch care night and day. He is there. Always.
Todays counsel seems so simple. Listen. Follow the path that leads to the gate. Remember the Keeper. Remember.
It is through the remembering that we come to know Him.
To know the Keeper.
So that we might know His voice.
So that we might recognize Him there.
Perhaps today you could remember some of the blessings that have come into your life because you have hearkened to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Try to remember the times you have found yourself under His watch care. Reflect on moments when you have been safe folded, led, defended, stilled, restored, guarded, comforted, or provided for.