贖罪日Yom Kippur

利未記 16:6-10亞倫要把贖罪祭的公牛奉上,為自己和本家贖罪;也要把兩隻公山羊安置在會幕門口、耶和華面前,為那兩隻羊拈鬮,一鬮歸與耶和華,一鬮歸與阿撒瀉勒。亞倫要把那拈鬮歸與耶和華的羊獻為贖罪祭,但那拈鬮歸與阿撒瀉勒的羊要活著安置在耶和華面前,用以贖罪,打發人送到曠野去,歸與阿撒瀉勒。

根據猶太傳統:起初,上帝創造天地 (創1:1) 。創造的第一天是在希伯來提敘黎月(猶太曆七月)的第一天。猶太新年(Rosh Hashanah) 字面上的意思是「年頭」,今年(2020年)落在陽曆9月18日。當天黃昏,便進入了猶太曆5781年。猶太曆不是從亞伯拉罕被揀選、摩西被呼召或大衛王朝的時候開始,而是在宇宙被造時開始的,因為《聖經》是萬物的歷史。

對於猶太人,神在《聖經》裡有很明確的指示,新年代表審判,因此要自我內省、禱告和悔改。新年也是莊嚴的節期,用來進行個人靈命反省和思考人類未來的方向,這節日是「敬畏的日子」(Days of Awe),用來檢視自己的生活並重新將自己歸向神,與神和好。

依《聖經》記載,新年又稱作「吹角節」。在這段節期,猶太百姓會在以色列營地四處吹起號角,尖銳剌耳的聲音是要喚起人民悔改與出征,是指屬靈爭戰。號角的聲音涉及到西奈山的啟示(出19:16)、信心(詩81)、聚集猶太子民(賽27:13)、對罪的告誡(賽58:1)、以色列國的復興和對列國的審判(撒9:14)。最終,號角聲預表了主耶穌的復臨。祂將回來審判列國(太25),從困苦中釋放以色列子民(賽63)、和以色列國立新約(耶31)、為祂將在平安禧年掌權預備道路。

God Is Never Too Early and Never Too Late

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Joshua 4:11-24.  We’ll include verse 10 in here too.  Let’s go!

Joshua 4:10-18 (NIV) 
10  Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the LORD had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over,
11  and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the LORD and the priests came to the other side while the people watched.
12  The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, armed, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them…….

On verses 10-18:  If I was one of the priests carrying the ark, and I had to remain standing in the middle of the Jordan River while everyone else is passing through, I would probably be more than a little nervous, thinking, “Can we go over already?  What if the river collapses on us and washes us away?”  But the priests stayed until all 40,000 Israelites crossed over the Jordan River (v13).  It wasn’t until all the soldiers crossed over that God gave the command for the priests to come out of the Jordan (v13-17), and the moment the priests stepped foot on the other side of the Jordan River the river waters returned to flood stage as before (v18).