Because I knew that thou [Israel] art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew [stiff-necked won’t bend or bow], and thy brow brass.” (Isaiah 48:4)
What does it mean to have a brass brow?
Look up. Notice the position of your forehead and eyebrows. Now try looking up without using your forehead, eyebrows or neck. Can you?
- What is God telling the Israelites through the symbolism of the forehead and neck?
- Do you have a reputation of being stubborn? How are you overcoming it?
- In what ways do you look to God?
- In what ways are you riding yourself of pride?
- In what ways are you summiting to God?
After doing a study on foreheads I came up with a list of symbols. I always find it interesting how God uses a symbol and Satan has a counterfeit symbol. At the same time God uses the hard forehead to describe prophets and sinners. The message I’m learning is that we need to make our hearts (in this case foreheads) hard against evil and soft toward God’s messages.
- Obstinate: the house of Israel are “stout of forehead” (Ezekiel 3:8)
- Without God: thy brow is brass (Isaiah 48:4)
- Separation from God: Amlicites marked themselves (Alma 3:13)
- Not looking to God: Israel are of a hard forehead and of a stiff heart (Jeremiah 3:7)
- Beliefs: David’s stone struck Goliath’s forehead (1 Samuel 17:49)
- Loyal to God/ need not fear your enemies: God makes his prophet’s “forehead hard …. as an adamant harder than flint,” (Jeremiah 3:8, 9)
- Hard work: Adam worked “by the sweat of [his] brow”
- Bold and Firm Message from the prophet (Isaiah 48:8; Isaiah 48:9)
- Saving Mark: a distinguishing mark made on the men that turned to God, it set them apart and they were spared (not killed)(Ezekiel 9:4)
- Present to God: “Holiness To The Lord” written on the mitre (hat) of the High Priest (Exodus 28:36)
I recently did a study on hair for our “Body of Christ” Series. Sometimes when you study a subject yo
u think you know it pretty well and then you begin and realize that your knowledge is very small. This is exactly how I felt in this study. I learned far more than I knew. I invite you to take a small topic and study it.
The first time ‘hair’ is used in the Bible is when Esau was born (Genesis 25:25)The word for hair in Hebrew is “שֵׂעָר” (se’ar) consisting of the consonants shin-ayin-reish. These are the same consonants used in the word “shi’ur” meaning a “measured portion”.
They are also the same consonants for the Hebrew word שער (sha’ar) meaning “gate”.
These suggests that hair acts like a gate and can be measured. Like a gate acts as a connection between those inside and those outside, so does hair act as a connection between the inside and outside. God said no hair of the head would be lost to him (Alma 40:23) suggesting he knows and measures all things.
We can imagine God being the keeper of the gate regulating the revelation we receive into our head and keeping track of the lost pieces of the gate. You may imagine something different.
Here is a list of symbols I found that had to do with hair.
- Innumerable – the hairs together on a head
- Minuteness (hairbreadth) – the thickness of a single hair (Judges 20:16)
- Honored / Wisdom – Grey and hoary white hair (Proverbs 16:31; 20:29) Expressing old age (Isaiah 46:4), and wisdom (Solomon 4:9-10?)
- Glorious / Divine presence “whose brightness and glory defy all description” (Joseph Smith History 1:17; Daniel 7:9; Revelation 1:14)
- Humble and mighty people – “hair of the feet and the beard” (Isaiah 7:20)
- Terror or fear – the “hair of the flesh” is said to “stand up” (Job 4:15)
- Slavery – “instead of well set hair baldness” (Isaiah 3:24; 2 Nephi 13:24)
- Strength – Samson’s “hair of his head began to grow again” (Judges 16:22)
- Omniscience – even a hair of the head shall not be lost (Alma 40:23; D&C 9:14; 29:25); a hair of his head shall not fall … unnoticed (D&C 84:80; 84:116)
- Gate – hair is like a gate between the outside and the inside (Hebrew word with same consonants as hair is gate)
- Measurable – our hair “shall not be lost” (Alma 40:23) (Hebrew word close to hair is “measured portion”)
What insights do you know about hair?
How has this study helped you become closer to Christ? Your family?
The Lord isolates the prophets and insulates them with knowledge, understanding and testimony. Then he sends them out to lead. Not to fit in, not follow – but to LEAD.
We follow this same pattern when we keep our children close until they know how to follow the Lord and the spirit says they’re ready to lead.
In 1939 it was proposed that the government get the children away from the moms and grandmas as early as possible, because this is when they are easily molded.
Heavenly Father’s plan is best – keep them with mom. But Father’s plan has a counterfeit. Satan has devised a plan to keep children away from their parents – today children are with their moms less than 2 hours a day.
For examples think of Moses in the wilderness, the call of Enoch or Isaiah…
How do you keep your children isolated from the things of the world?
How do you insulate your children from the fiery darts of Satan?
I had always understood that the “ministering of angels” to mean that the Aaronic Priesthood were blessed to see angles. Recently while studying the scriptures I learned what “ministering angels” really meant.
What is an angel?
In Hebrew and Greek angel means “messenger.” God has “sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest… the coming of Christ.” (Moroni 7:22) They bear Christ’s message, declaring his word and therefore building faith.
Ministering Angels are missionaries “minister[ing] unto all the scattered tribes of Israel…and they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good.” (3 Nephi 28:29, 30)
They are those who receive the Holy Ghost. “I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels?” and they “speak the words of Christ.”
Those that witness miracles (an indicator of the Lord’s help) are also ministering angels. “have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.” Angels are “subject unto [Christ] to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.”
Ministering angels are subject under Christ’s authority. They are those that are baptized and doing Christ’s work. Ministering Angels are those declaring His word and building faith in Christ. They are us!
When you are baptized you become an angel. The Lord will prompt you to help someone and you’ll see the hand of the Lord working through your kindnesses.
When we teach with the spirit those with the spirit will respond and recognize the angelic ministry and miracles and it will build their faith.
We, as members of the Church, are Ministering Angels. We gain strength by treasuring up His word so its power is within us. If we are prepared with this power we can teach the gospel the way angels do: by the power of the Holy Ghost.
see General conference talk, “What Every Aaronic Priesthood Holder Needs to Understand” by Douglas D Holmes, first counselor in the Young Men General Presidency