詩篇四十九篇

可拉後裔的詩,交於伶長。

1 萬民哪,你們都當聽這話。世上一切的居民,
2 無論上流下流,富足貧窮,都當留心聽。
3 我口要說智慧的言語,我心要想通達的道理。
4 我要側耳聽比喻,用琴解謎語。
5 在患難的日子,奸惡隨我腳跟四面環繞我,我何必懼怕?
6 那些倚仗財貨,自誇錢財多的人,
7 一個也無法贖自己的弟兄,也不能替他將贖價給神,
8 叫他長遠活著,不見朽壞,因為贖他生命的價值極貴,只可永遠罷休。
10 他必見智慧人死,又見愚頑人和畜類人一同滅亡,將他們的財貨留給別人。……

這篇詩篇非常獨特,因為詩人是向著世人發聲的。他一開始就說:「萬民哪,你們都當聽這話。世上一切的居民,無論上流下流,富足貧窮,都當留心聽。」他的話有這麼重要嗎?可見其內容必是有關萬民,而不是一兩個人。

在這詩篇裡他只有兩處提到神,就是人必須把贖價給神,而且每個人必須付自己的贖價,不能由他人代付;二是只有神才能救贖人的靈魂脫離陰間的權柄,只有當神肯收納一個人的靈魂時,那個人的靈魂才能倖免於陰間。

去陰間有何可怕呢?在那裡死亡必做他們的牧者,他們的美容必被陰間所滅。換句話說,到了陰間你再也漂亮不了啦! 那是靈魂之死,那麼肉體之死又如何?一是什麼也帶不走,榮耀也盡失去,永遠再也見不到光明。

God Chose You

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 29:1-19.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 29:11 (NIV) 
11  My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.”

On verses 1-19:  We now turn our attention to one of the greatest kings in Judah’s history, Hezekiah.  At 25 years old, Hezekiah takes over the throne from his father Ahaz, and in the first month of his reign, his first priority is to reopen the temple of the Lord, which his father had shut down for years.  After repairing the temple, Hezekiah brings in the priests and Levites.  In their presence, Hezekiah acknowledges that the reason Judah has become an object of ridicule among this nations, the reason why they have lost many who are dear to them, has everything to do with the fact that his and their ancestors have forsaken the Lord and His temple (v6-7).  So Hezekiah initiates his plan to make a covenant with the Lord and to have the people return to Him.  He involves the priests and Levites in his plan, reminding them that God has chosen them to serve Him (v11), putting them to the task of purifying the temple of everything unclean and getting the temple ready for use once again (v12-19).

詩篇四十八篇

可拉後裔的詩歌。

1 耶和華本為大,在我們神的城中,在他的聖山上,該受大讚美!
2 錫安山,大君王的城,在北面居高華美,為全地所喜悅。
3 神在其宮中自顯為避難所。
4 看哪,眾王會合,一同經過。
5 他們見了這城,就驚奇喪膽,急忙逃跑。
6 他們在那裡被戰兢疼痛抓住,好像產難的婦人一樣。
7 神啊,祢用東風打破他施的船隻。
8 我們在萬軍之耶和華的城中,就是我們神的城中,所看見的正如我們所聽見的:神必堅立這城,直到永遠。(細拉)
9 神啊,我們在祢的殿中想念祢的慈愛。
10 神啊,祢受的讚美正與祢的名相稱,直到地極,祢的右手滿了公義。……

根據猶太人的資料,在第一聖殿時期,也就是所羅門的聖殿時期,每週的第一天,除了亞倫做祭司的後裔之外,其他的利未人都會頌唱一種特別的讚美詩。而在第一聖殿被毀之後,猶太人在晨禱結束之後會繼續吟唱每日的詩篇,來記念當年有聖殿時的敬拜,並且祈求神的救贖和重建聖殿。

在每週的週一,他們會朗誦詩篇48篇,也就是我們今天讀的詩篇。Jonathan Sacks拉比說:「這是一首讚美耶路撒冷之美麗和堅忍的詩歌,這聖城將會比所有想征服她的人站立得更長久!」另外一位約瑟夫拉比說:「這是屬於永恒之人的永恒之城! 」

以色列首都耶路撒冷,是史前的全球宗教重鎮,也是完整保留人類信仰文明演進史的一個城市。耶路撒冷同時是猶太教、基督教和伊斯蘭教三大亞伯拉罕宗教的聖地,三千年來不曾有一座城市的光芒可以蓋過耶路撒冷。

詩篇四十七篇

可拉後裔的詩,交於伶長。

1 萬民哪,你們都要拍掌,要用誇勝的聲音向神呼喊!
2 因為耶和華至高者是可畏的,祂是治理全地的大君王。
3 祂叫萬民服在我們以下,又叫列邦服在我們腳下。
4 祂為我們選擇產業,就是祂所愛之雅各的榮耀。(細拉)
5 神上升,有喊聲相送;耶和華上升,有角聲相送。
6 你們要向神歌頌,歌頌!向我們王歌頌,歌頌!
7 因為神是全地的王,你們要用悟性歌頌!
8 神做王治理萬國,神坐在祂的聖寶座上。
9 列邦的君王聚集,要做亞伯拉罕之神的民,因為世界的盾牌是屬神的,祂為至高。

現在有許多國家都在進行總統或總理大選。以色列的選舉己經是五個月裡的第二次,內塔尼亞胡和對手勢均力敵;美國、加拿大和台灣也都如火如荼地在預備在進行將來臨的選舉。每一場選舉的過程都很緊張, 充滿了未知數,當結果發表時,勝出的一方必然十分高興,用誇勝的聲音歡呼,鼓掌叫好。鼓掌,即拍掌,是一種非常興奮的表示。

詩篇46-48篇一直在形容神怎樣為以色列人赢得勝利,也因而他們熱烈地歡慶神是全地的王,萬民的主宰。世人的王和領袖一直在換,我們都會為自己心中的領袖或歡呼或悲傷,但是我們讚美永恒的神不受時間的控制,可以從過去、未來和現在去默想神的偉大,以及祂的王權永遠堅立的事實。

Are You Overly Impressionable?

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 28:1-15.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 28:3 (NIV) 
3  He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his sons in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.

On verses 1-4:  Ever met someone who was easily impressionable?  In other words, they would easily fall for anything that any stranger would say and fall headlong for whatever latest fresh, new philosophy or belief system is out there.  A good argument can be made that Ahaz was the most easily impressionable king in Judah’s history.  Whenever he saw other nations worshiping other gods that he did not grow up with, Ahaz wanted to worship those same gods as well.  Whenever he saw some new foreign religious practice that was different from what he grew up with, with little discernment or discretion Ahaz would adopt it, even if it meant doing something as horrific as sacrificing his own children in the fire (v3).  At the same time, Ahaz had this tendency to disregard, downplay, and take for granted the Lord whom his father Jotham had worshiped.   

詩篇四十六篇

可拉後裔的詩歌,交於伶長。調用女音。

1 神是我們的避難所,是我們的力量,是我們在患難中隨時的幫助。
2 所以地雖改變,山雖搖動到海心,
3 其中的水雖砰訇翻騰,山雖因海漲而戰抖,我們也不害怕。(細拉)
4 有一道河,這河的分汊使神的城歡喜,這城就是至高者居住的聖所。
5 神在其中,城必不動搖,到天一亮,神必幫助這城。
6 外邦喧嚷,列國動搖,神發聲,地便熔化。
7 萬軍之耶和華與我們同在,雅各的神是我們的避難所。(細拉)
8 你們來看耶和華的作為,看祂使地怎樣荒涼。
9 祂止息刀兵,直到地極;祂折弓斷槍,把戰車焚燒在火中。
10 你們要休息,要知道我是神!我必在外邦中被尊崇,在遍地上也被尊崇。
11 萬軍之耶和華與我們同在,雅各的神是我們的避難所。

由於以色列位於敘利亞 – 非洲裂谷的斷層線上,以色列這塊土地上曾經發生過無數次的地震。在〈阿摩司書〉裡,先知一開始就提到在以色列王耶羅波安時曾經發生過大地震。因此寫此詩篇的作者也注意到這個現象,藉著對大自然界的反應,他描述了以色列人對神的信心,不會因為地的改變或山的搖動而害怕,因為他們在歷史中經歷了神的保守。

有人認為這詩篇是在希西家王的時代寫成的,那時亞述王基拿西立攻打猶大,希西家王懇求神的拯救,神就應允他。一夜之間,在亞述營中殺了十八萬五千人。「清早有人起來,一看,都是死屍了」,〈列王記〉的作者寫是神的使者殺的,只有形容死屍,沒有血流成河,所以神是怎樣收拾這亞述大軍,誰也不知道。

3 Ways Pride Can Destroy Your Life

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 26:16-23.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 26:16 (NIV) 
16  But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall…

On verse 16:  Notice it was Uzziah’s pride, not his power, that led to his downfall.  What can we learn from this?  When you think you are powerful, be especially wary of pride.  Powerful people are not necessarily prideful.  You can be humble and powerful like Jesus, or you can be prideful and powerful like Uzziah.  The choice is yours.  That said, pride often affects us when we think we are powerful.  So when things are going well, when your business or ministry grows, when you’ve got some accomplishments or experience under your belt, be careful not to let pride slip into your life. 

2 Chronicles 26:16 (NIV) 
16  …He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.

On verse 16b:  According to the Jewish law, only the high priest was allowed to enter the temple and burn incense on the altar.  But Uzziah thinks, “I’m the king.  I can do whatever I want.”  Before, when Uzziah was younger, he knew his place as king and he had a good relationship with the priests of the land.  In fact, Uzziah would sit under the teaching of the prophet Zechariah.