詩篇卅三篇

1義人哪,你們應當靠耶和華歡樂!正直人的讚美是合宜的。
2 你們應當彈琴稱謝耶和華,用十弦瑟歌頌祂。
3 應當向祂唱新歌,彈得巧妙,聲音洪亮。
4 因為耶和華的言語正直,凡祂所做的盡都誠實。
5 祂喜愛仁義、公平,遍地滿了耶和華的慈愛。
6 諸天藉耶和華的命而造,萬象藉祂口中的氣而成。
7 祂聚集海水如壘,收藏深洋在庫房。
8 願全地都敬畏耶和華,願世上的居民都懼怕祂。
9 因為祂說有,就有;命立,就立。
10 耶和華使列國的籌算歸於無有,使眾民的思念無有功效。……

這是一篇讚美詩,是寫給義人的讚美詩,因為只有義人對神的讚美才是有意義的。世界上除了耶穌,原沒有義人。義人是指相信神,接受了耶穌的寶血遮蓋,被神赦免其過的人。

為什麼只有義人對神的讚美才有意義呢?因為信仰是指一種生命內在的變化,從前跟上帝沒有關係,現在成為家人的關係;也是指一種生命的改變,因為不再是在外面流浪沒有家的人,生活的想法和方式就有了改變。假如信仰只是一種外在的宗教行為,那麼全世界的宗教就都一樣。但是只有在基督裡,人才能有生命的改變,和神建立關係。

Seek God and Experience Rest on Every Side

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 16:1-14.

2 Chronicles 16:7 (NIV) 
7  At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.”

On verses 1-9:  King Asa and his land of Judah are attacked by Baasha king of Israel.  Baasha sets up a stronghold at Ramah near the border of Israel and Judah, preventing any more Israelites from flocking to Judah (see 2 Chronicles 15:9).  Instead of placing his hope in God, Asa places his hope in King Ben-Hadad of Aram to save him.  With silver and gold from the temple as well as from his own palace, Asa bribes King Ben-Hadad of Aram to break his treaty with Baasha and attack Baasha.  King Ben-Hadad of Aram accepts the bribe and helps Asa to fend off Baasha.  However, God sends the prophet Hanani to rebuke Asa, saying that “[b]ecause you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand” (v7).  

詩篇卅二篇

大衛的訓誨詩。

1 得赦免其過、遮蓋其罪的,這人是有福的!
2 凡心裡沒有詭詐,耶和華不算為有罪的,這人是有福的!
3 我閉口不認罪的時候,因終日唉哼而骨頭枯乾。
4 黑夜白日,祢的手在我身上沉重,我的精液耗盡,如同夏天的乾旱。(細拉)
5 我向祢陳明我的罪,不隱瞞我的惡。我說「我要向耶和華承認我的過犯」,祢就赦免我的罪惡。(細拉)
6 為此,凡虔誠人都當趁祢可尋找的時候禱告祢,大水泛溢的時候,必不能到祂那裡。
7 祢是我藏身之處,祢必保佑我脫離苦難,以得救的樂歌四面環繞我。(細拉)

8 我要教導你,指示你當行的路,我要定睛在你身上勸誡祢。

9 你不可像那無知的騾馬,必用嚼環轡頭勒住牠,不然就不能馴服。
10 惡人必多受苦楚,唯獨倚靠耶和華的,必有慈愛四面環繞他。
11 你們義人應當靠耶和華歡喜快樂,你們心裡正直的人都當歡呼!

在詩篇第一篇和卅二篇的第一個字都是“ashrei”(אשרי),英文譯為“快樂”,中文譯為“有福”。第一篇第一節這樣開始:Happy is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked。中譯:1-2節:不從惡人的計謀,不站罪人的道路,不坐褻慢人的座位,唯喜愛耶和華的律法,晝夜思想,這人便為有福!

32篇第一節:Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered over. 得赦免其過、遮蓋其罪的,這人是有福的!

詩篇的一開始就談到人生之福Happy的可能性。第一篇講到的有福,是指當人逃避罪惡的選擇,立意跟隨神走敬虔的道路時,他的人生必然蒙福Happy, 蒙福的人生自然是快樂的人生。

Seek God and Experience Rest on Every Side

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 15:1-19.

2 Chronicles 15:4 (NIV) 
4  But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.

On verses 1-19:  In this passage God sends Azariah with a message to King Asa of Judah at a time when Asa fears going to war (v1).  He reminds Asa of how God worked in the past – how there was a time in Israel’s history when the Israelites did not know God personally (v3-4). At that time there was lots of unrest and turmoil from wars and threats of war (v5-6).  But when the Israelites turned to God and sought God, they found Him and experienced Him personally (v2-6).  With this in mind, Azariah tells King Asa to be strong and to keep going with the work Asa started in removing idolatry from the land of Judah (v7).  Encouraged by Azariah’s message, Asa removes idols from the lands of Judah and Benjamin (v8).  He repairs the altar at the front of the temple (v8).  He also assembles all his people at Jerusalem for a worship service (v9-10).  At the worship service Asa and the people offer plentiful sacrifices to God (v11) and covenant to seek God together (v12-14), all with great rejoicing (v15a).   As further evidence of how committed and eager Asa’s heart was to seeking the Lord (v17), he deposes his grandmother Maacah as queen mother and burns up the Asherah pole she had erected (v16).  He also brings the silver, gold and articles of his father Abijah into the temple (v18).   As a result, Asa and the nation of Judah enjoyed ten years of peace (v19; see also 2 Chronicles 14:1).

詩篇卅一篇

大衛的詩,交於伶長。For the leader. A psalm of David.

1 耶和華啊,我投靠祢,求祢使我永不羞愧,憑祢的公義搭救我。
2 求祢側耳而聽,快快救我,做我堅固的磐石、拯救我的保障。
3 因為祢是我的巖石,我的山寨,所以求祢為祢名的緣故,引導我,指點我。
4 求祢救我脫離人為我暗設的網羅,因為祢是我的保障。
5 我將我的靈魂交在祢手裡,耶和華誠實的神啊,祢救贖了我!
6 我恨惡那信奉虛無之神的人,我卻倚靠耶和華。
7 我要為祢的慈愛高興歡喜,因為祢見過我的困苦,知道我心中的艱難。
8 祢未曾把我交在仇敵手裡,祢使我的腳站在寬闊之處。
9 耶和華啊,求祢憐恤我,因為我在急難之中,我的眼睛因憂愁而乾癟,連我的身心也不安舒。
10 我的生命為愁苦所消耗,我的年歲為嘆息所曠廢,我的力量因我的罪孽衰敗,我的骨頭也枯乾。……

在希伯來文裡,在這詩篇的最前面註明了這是大衛王寫給領導者For the leader的詩篇。他沒有誇耀他的功績,相反地,他把自己的軟弱全然呈現在世人面前。他把他最痛苦最無助時的感情表露無遺。讓世人明白,不要只看領導者輝煌的一面,事實上,每個領導者都有他軟弱失敗的時候。而能讓一個真正的領導者得力重新抬頭,是來自仰望神,來自耶和華的幫助。

也讓所有想當領導或是己經當領導的人明白,雖然社會上有很多教導做領導者的功課和方法,但是當你真正面對挑戰時,只有仰望神才能成為得勝的領導者。大衛教導我們,面對強敵時,你必須從內心壯大自己,而唯有親近神,按著神的話語去行事為人才能得到真正的力量。

根據猶太拉比Rashi的解釋,大衛寫這詩篇是在他從非利士人的手拯救了基伊拉城之後,掃羅派人去追殺大衛。大衛問神,基伊拉的人會不會把他交給掃羅,神說,會。於是大衛只好再度逃亡。但是也因著神的帶領,大衛可以逃脫掃羅的手, 因而大衛以感恩的心寫下這篇詩歌,讚美神的救贖。

Place Your Hope in God and Rely on His Strength

Hi GAMErs,

2 Chronicles 14:1-7 (NIV) 
1  And Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years. 
2  Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. 
3  He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 
4  He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands. 
5  He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 
6  He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the LORD gave him rest. 
7  “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.

On verses 1-7:  Asa takes over from his father Abijah as the new king of Judah.  Asa’s first course of action is to lead Judah in turning away from idol worship (v3, 5) and toward seeking and obeying the Lord (v4).  As a result, the land of Judah experiences great peace, rest, strength and prosperity (v5b-7).

What can we learn from this?  When we take the time to remove the idols from our lives and to seek the Lord, we give God more room to work and in return He brings His peace and blessing into our lives. 

The God Who Sees All of Me

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 13:1-22.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 13:18 (NIV) 
18  The men of Israel were subdued on that occasion, and the men of Judah were victorious because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers.

On verses 1-22:  King Abijah takes over from his father Rehoboam as king of Judah and goes to war against King Jeroboam of Israel.  Despite being grossly outnumbered (compare Abijah’s 400,000 soldiers to Jeroboam’s 800,000 troops) and despite Jeroboam’s attempt to ambush Abijah’s army, Abijah’s army gains a decisive victory over Jeroboam’s army.  The reason the Chronicler gives for Abijah’s victory is because he and his troops “relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers” (v18).

Here the Chronicler focuses on how Abijah relied on the Lord.  He even includes a speech from Abijah about how faithful he and his people of Judah are compared to Jeroboam and Israel.  In contrast, when 1 Kings 15 gives its account of Abijah’s reign as king of Judah, its treatment of Abijah is negative. The writer of 1 Kings says that Abijah “committed all the sins his father had done before him”, that “his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God”, and that it was for the sake of his father David that God allowed Abijah to have any strength at all (1 Kings 15:4).