(February 18, 2015)
I think there is a pretty valuable lesson contained here. The Lord, speaking to His angels, tells them to go out and mark those who sigh and mourn for the wickedness of
Israel. He doesn't send them out to mark the
righteous, or those who only sin a little bit.
Nor does He send them out to destroy the wicked. He sends them out to mark those who sorrow
for sin and destroy those who do not.
I found this interesting because I have been in the different groups at various times in my life. I have been in the position of sighing and mourning for sin even as (and perhaps because) I struggled under the burden of sin myself. Likewise, I have been in a position of not committing any egregious sins, but likewise not sorrowing for the sin of the world -- a detente with sin, if you will.
But I find that the closer I come to the Lord, the more my sorrow for sin grows independent of my own keeping of the commandments at any given time. Thus I think it was precisely appropriate what the Lord asked of His angels at this time. He wants a people that actively hate sin, and are willing to fight against it in general (not just avoiding the worst sins in their own lives, but also mourning for sins of all people).