The servant in Jacob 5 & Moses


My son Jonah and I were reading the story in Jacob 5 about the wild and tame olive trees. Several times in the story, the Lord of the Vineyard wants to burn the trees and be done, because he feels like he had done everything he could for the trees and they became wild anyway. The servant then suggests that they try a little longer, and each time the Lord of the Vineyard agrees. This pattern reminds me of Moses (and other prophets) who ask God to spare the people a little longer, even though they have turned against Him knowingly. This is one example, from Exodus 32, where Moses asked God not to wipe out the Israelites even though they were worshiping the golden calf:

9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 11 And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Moses has this conversation several times, actually!

I also think of Abraham in Genesis 18, where he asks, “Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?” and then “Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five?” and then “And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there” and “And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there” and then “And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there.” And in each case, the Lord agrees not to destroy the city if there are that many righteous in the city.

The description of the Lord of the Vineyard grieving also reminds me of Enoch’s vision, where he sees the Lord weep:

and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?

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