Monday, September 20, 2010
Drunkards of Ephraim
1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! (Isa. 28: 1)
Many members of the church I know will proudly claim they are from the tribe of Ephraim. The reason they know that is due to being a member of the Church and having received a Patriarchal blessing. Isaiah speaks to the drunkards of Ephraim. But we'd say, Mormons don't drink, so this scripture MUST be speaking to some unknown bunch of Ephraimites who are disobeying the Word of Wisdom. Because we Mormons differentiate ourselves on not drinking alcohol yet Isaiah uses an intoxication analogy anyway. Something about that is very funny. The verse talks about wine. How interesting that people are both avoiding wine and drunkenness, yet still drunk. This is in the book of Mormon a few times as well indicating who the latter day intended audience includes. (2 Ne. 8: 21). Everyone is being warned.
Perhaps we should consider not only the liquids we consume but the symbols Isaiah is talking about. If not physically inebriated then what are these folks from Ephraim in the latter days drunk on? What would cause in a spiritual sense the effect you can see when someone drank too much alcohol? Drunkenness causes loss of balance, running into things, slurred speech, poor decisions and passing out to name only a few. So could Isaiah be saying that spiritually our senses have become dulled? The inner ear is responsible for balance, in other words our "ears" don't hear the word of the Lord and thus we loose our balance? Could Isaiah be implying our speech is spiritually slurred in that we say we speak in the name of Christ but in reality don't, we just say the words because everyone else does. Could Isaiah be saying we are not balanced on the truth and are falling over? Could it be that we balance on what we are taught, and trust our foundation built upon our leaders? A drunks vision is typically blurred. Could Isaiah be implying our "eyes" can't discern the truth? Making it so we don't see visions, we don't see angles, and no one is seeing the Lord as has been done in times past? Are we drunk in that we're not seeing spiritual reality, therefore we're running into things and stumbling? Maybe because our eyes are more focused spiritually on images of men in suits and ties rather than the Lord?
Carrying on this analogy the intoxication leads to passing out. Fainting. In a symbolic sense spiritually loosing a lifeline to heaven causes us to faint (or fall asleep..as the case may be). Relying too much on others to receive revelation could be one cause. We trust that if the Lord had something to say he would be telling other people who in turn are supposed to tell us. We trust that no leader will lead us astray. These kinds of maladies are equated by Isaiah to being "drunk". What an interesting and apt description a few lines from Isaiah gives us.
Ephraim has great promises offered to them, granted they aren't passed out. Only way to know if you are, or aren't in that state is a direct personal connection to heaven.