How Will the Remnant of Jacob Be Like a Lion Among Sheep?

The prophet Micah, who was a contemporary of Isaiah, wrote about a time when the children of Israel would not be oppressed any more. In a future day, he prophesied, God’s people would be far more powerful than their enemies. In contrast with earlier times, when they were scattered and taken captive, they would be able to defend themselves against their enemies and remove all obstacles to their peace and safety:

And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off (Micah 5:8-9).

Micah also compared the Israelites in the last days to a threshing ox. Grain was threshed in that time—the edible part was detached from the chaff—by having large animals walk on it. There is no contest between the animal and the grain. The large animal has complete power over the grain that is being threshed. Micah said that, in the last days, many nations would attack God’s people. But God’s power would be with His people even though they would be dramatically outnumbered. The nations who gathered to attack them would be like wheat waiting to be threshed:

Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.
Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth (Micah 4:11-13).

When Jesus Christ visited the American continent, He quoted both of these passages from Micah, to illustrate that His covenant people would have great power in the last days. After quoting the second passage, He said:

And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.
And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel….
And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you (3 Nephi 20:20-22).

And after quoting the first passage, He emphasized that the nations who will be trodden down are the people who refuse to repent. But all those who choose to repent will become part of the house of Israel. They will become part of His church, and they will be protected by His power:

For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;…
But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;…
And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst (3 Nephi 21:20, 22, 25).

The prophet Nephi also saw how the power of God would protect His people in the last days. “I beheld the church of the Lamb of God,” he said, “and its numbers were few.” He saw multitudes gathered, in all parts of the world, to attack the church of God. But:

I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory (1 Nephi 14:12-14).

These prophecies will be fulfilled on a global scale. But they can also be fulfilled in our individual lives. There are times when we need to stand up for what we know is right even when it is unpopular and even if we are outnumbered. As President Thomas S. Monson taught:

As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone?… Remember the words of Tennyson: “My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure” (“Dare to Stand Alone,” General Conference, October 2011).

Today, I will remember that those who make covenants with God receive power from Him. Like a lion among sheep or like an ox among sheaves of wheat, power and influence is not merely a numbers game. When God is with us, we do not need to be afraid, even when we are outnumbered.

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