Now back to Jacob. He asks, “How is it possible that these, after having rejected the sure foundation, can ever build upon it, that it may be the head of their corner?” (Jacob 4:17). Jacob then begins what is one of the most important, far-reaching, and deep sermons in all of scripture. He answers his question by sharing an extended allegory (originally given by a prophet named Zenos) about a grove of olive trees.
In this allegory, the most touching message is about the care of the Lord of the vineyard. When the Lord of the vineyard found out that all the fruit had become corrupt and all the olive trees wild, “It came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?” (Jacob 5:41). The Lord wept. Jesus wept. He has such great compassion and love for the vineyard – the House of Israel (and everyone else) – that He personally works in the vineyard. The Lord has servants helping him but he is out there working too. He toils and labors and sweats and cries. In the allegory the Lord of the vineyard gave His all, but the trees grew wild and the fruit had corrupted. It didn’t grow corrupt from a lack of caring. Jacob 5 is one of the most beautiful chapters in all scripture. In it we learn just how involved our chief corner stone is in our lives; how tenderly he cares for us and how anguished he feels about the corruption in the vineyard. He is not lifeless and cold and hard as other stones, He is a living stone, a warm but immovable foundation. Just as the Lord caused waters to flow from the rock for Moses and the house of Israel, a fountain of living waters flows from the living rock, which is Christ.
The Lord promises great and beautiful things to the faithful: “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones…thou shalt be far form oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee” (3 Ne. 22:11-12,14). What beautiful promises from Him who is our one sure foundation!
If the Savior is our anchor and our foundation, can we move, do we have a goal? Do we attach ourselves to that anchor and sit and stagnate? Do we act like we are stuck in the tar pit of life, never moving, never going anywhere? No! We build upon the corner stone and the foundation of prophets and apostles. The earthly and spiritual house we build upon them reaches heavenward. We reach heavenward towards our eternal home. We move, we progress, we grow. The foundation the Savior provides allows us to return back into the presence of the Father. That is our goal, that is our purpose here on earth – to try to live so that we, through the grace of Christ, are able to return to live with our Father in Heaven.