安慰的安息日

<安慰的安息日 (שבת נחמו)>

由塔模斯月 17 號開始 (今年陽曆7/9),一直到埃波月 9 號 (陽曆 7/30),中間經過的三週安息日,會有三份「責備」的先知書伴讀經文 (Haftarat of Rebuke/פרשיות הפורענות),內容主要是關於「譴責、訓斥」以色列百姓的犯罪、偏行己路、離棄神的控訴,直到「聖殿被毀日」達到高峰。

但緊接在「聖殿被毀日」 “之後” 的第一個安息日,也就是本週的這個安息日 (7/31),猶太人稱之為「安慰的安息日」(שבת נחמו) Shabbat Nachamu。

因為在這個安息日的 (先知書伴讀),猶太人會誦讀《以賽亞書》40:1-26 的經文,並且,從這個安息日開始,接連的七個安息日 (包括本週),都會誦讀關於「安慰」信息的先知書經文伴讀,以此預備心,來迎接「吹角節/猶太新年」的到來。這七份的「安慰」經文全部都在《以賽亞書》。

《以賽亞書》40章1節說: 你們的上帝說: 你們『要安慰,安慰我的百姓。』

40:2 要對耶路撒冷的心說話,向她宣告,她的苦役已結束,她的罪孽已償還;她為自己一切的罪,已經從耶和華手中加倍地領受了。(妥拉坊,鍾鹽光老師)

讀了<安慰的安息日 (שבת נחמו)>,你可能會想知道什麼是〈聖殿被毀日〉。今年(2020)的7月29-30日是猶太日曆最悲傷的一天,因為在距離646年之間,兩座聖殿在同一天被毀。現在我們來看看約阿咪介紹的〈聖殿被毀日〉(Tisha B’Av):

No Matter What the World Around You Does, Trust God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 20:30-49. Let’s go!

Ezekiel 20:30-31 (NIV)
30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will you defile yourselves the way your fathers did and lust after their vile images?
31 When you offer your gifts–the sacrifice of your sons in the fire–you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will not let you inquire of me.

On verses 30-31: As part of their idol worship, the Israelites adopted the wicked and horrific practice of sacrificing their children to the idol Molech by burning their infant children in a massive fire pit. The Israelites hoped that by sacrificing their children to Molech, Molech would bless them with prosperity. In response to this heinous crime and horrific sin, God refused to let the elders of Israel inquire of Him.

雖然疲乏,還是追趕

士師記八章4節    他們雖然疲乏,還是追趕。

在神主導的戰役中,真正的主帥永遠是神。祂只給基甸留下三百人,要去對付13萬5千的敵軍,還有無數的駱駝。換了是你,會不會想逃回家?那夜,耶和華對基甸說:「起來,下去攻營,因我已把它交在你手中。」

我們仔細聽神的用語:「起來」,意思是別休息了。「下去攻營」,就是現在,要打仗了。「因我己把它交在你手中」,你己經得勝了,去領獎吧! 整去加起來,就是我己經幫你打完仗了,去領獎吧! 也知道基甸聽不懂,又加了一句:「倘若你害怕下去,可以帶你的僕人普拉下到那營裏去, 你必聽見他們所說的,這樣你的手就有力量下去攻營。」

神知道基甸心裡害怕,神也知道我們心裡的害怕。所以祂用方法去鼓勵基甸。基甸真的害怕,所以他真的帶著普拉去探敵營。到了敵營,看到敵人如同蝗蟲那樣多;他們的駱駝無數,多如海邊的沙。但是他聽到另一件事:有一人把夢告訴同伴說:「看哪,我做了一個夢。看哪,一個大麥餅滾入米甸營中,來到帳幕,把帳幕撞倒,帳幕就翻轉倒塌了。」同伴回答說:「這不是別的,而是以色列人約阿施的兒子基甸的刀。 神已把米甸和全軍都交在他手中了。」基甸看到的是環境,聽到的是神的應許,他終於願意放手一搏。

以色列人沒有刀也沒有槍,三百人要對付13萬5千的敵軍和無數的駱駝,這仗怎麼打呢?我相信《孫子兵法》裡絕對沒有這一招。基甸將三百人分成三隊,把角和空瓶交在每個人手中,瓶內有火把。 他對他們說:「看著我,你們要照樣做。看哪,我來到營邊,我怎樣做,你們也要照樣做。我和所有跟隨我的人吹角的時候,你們也要在營的四圍吹角,喊叫:『為耶和華!為基甸!』」

Rebellious Israel Purged

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 20:1-29. There are many lessons we can learn from this passage. Let’s go!

Ezekiel 20:1-3 (NIV)
1 In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and they sat down in front of me.
2 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Have you come to inquire of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign LORD.’

On verses 1-3: According to many scholars, the date Ezekiel describes in verse 1 can be equated to sometime in August 591 B.C. At that time some elders of Israel come to Ezekiel to inquire of the Lord. However, the Lord tells Ezekiel that He refuses to let the elders inquire of Him (v3).

Why would the Lord not let the elders of Israel inquire of Him? In the rest of chapter 20, God will explain in an indirect way His reason for not letting the Israelite elders inquire of Him: it’s because of the Israelites’ tendency to rebel against what God says. Why would God bother telling the Israelites what they should do when the Israelites would refuse to do it?

耶路巴力—基甸(2)

士師記六章32節  所以那日人稱基甸為耶路巴力,意思是:「他拆毀了巴力的壇,讓巴力與他爭辯吧。」

有的人和基甸一樣,雖然聽聞有神,卻因為看到這個世界有太多災難而懷疑神的存在。當神的使者來找基甸時,基甸就把他的疑惑都說出來,我覺得這是一個很好的開始。當我們心裡有疑惑時,當告訴神,只有祂知道如何解決你心裡的疑惑。很多無神論者因而成為神的僕人,到處傳福音。

基甸一旦知道有神,他的人生目標就整個改變了,他開始學習順服神。神給他的第一個使命不容易,神要他去拆掉他父親拜巴力的祭壇,還要砍下旁邊的亞舍拉當柴燒。就像我們信主後的第一個使命,便是跟家人傳福音,去掉他們拜的偶像,有的人為此禱告了幾十年。

基甸不敢在白天做,怕犯眾怒,便帶著僕人偷偷在夜裡做。第二天,自然有人發現,並且發現是基甸做的,便要求基甸的父親阿施把兒子交出來。奇妙的是,約阿施護著兒子,對站着敵對他的眾人說:「你們是為巴力辯護嗎?你們要救它嗎?誰為它辯護,就在早晨把誰處死吧!巴力如果是 神,有人拆毀了它的壇,就讓它為自己辯護吧!」巴力如果是神,就可以為自己辯護;巴力若不是神,為它辯護豈不是多此一舉?

The Real Lion King

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 19:1-14. Let’s go!

Ezekiel 19:1 (NIV)
1 “Take up a lament concerning the princes of Israel

On verse 1: Here in chapter 19, God tells Ezekiel to write down a “lament”. A lament is a funeral song honouring someone who has died and expressing the feeling of loss and grief of losing that person. In this case the lament concerns “the princes of Israel”, which is Ezekiel’s term for the kings who led Israel in its most recent history. As we will see, the lament consists of two pictures or parables.

On verses 2-9: The first parable describes how a mother lion raises one of her cubs to be a strong and powerful lion, but that lion cub is trapped and taken to Egypt as a captive. The mother lion then raises another one of her cubs to be an even stronger and more powerful lion, but the nations trap him and take him to Babylon as a captive.

大能的勇士—基甸(1)

士師記六章17節  基甸對他說:「我若在你眼前蒙恩,求你給我一個證據,證明是你在跟我說話。」

今天是以色列人的聖殿被毀日(希伯來語:תשעה באב‎或ט׳ באב‎;Tisha B’Av,意為「埃波月第九日」),是猶太教一年一度的禁食日,紀念耶路撒冷第一聖殿和第二聖殿的被毀。這一天也是為了紀念發生在同一天的其他降臨猶太人的災難,其中包括在公元135年超過50萬猶太人在羅馬被屠殺。 聖殿被毀日被認為是猶太日曆最悲傷的一天。很多猶太人因為發生在以色列的災難,而不能相信有一位耶和華神在眷顧他們。

〈希伯來書〉的作者說:「人非有信,就不能討神的喜悅,因為到神面前來的人必須信有神,並且信祂會賞賜尋求祂的人。(希11:6)」 但是並非每個人都像底波拉一樣,對神有滿滿的信心。當你諸事不順時,你相信世上有神嗎?

當底波拉過世之後,以色列人又遠離耶和華神,轉去拜外邦人的偶像,神就讓米甸人轄制他們。每當以色列人撒種之後,米甸、亞瑪力和東邊的人都上來攻打他們,對着他們安營,毀壞那地的農作物,直到迦薩,沒有給以色列留下食物,牛、羊、驢也沒有留下。那些人帶着他們的牲畜和帳棚上來,像蝗蟲那樣多;人和駱駝無數,都進入境內,毀壞全地。

〈士師記〉第六章形容他們的困苦,為了躲避米甸人,以色列人就在山中挖洞穴,挖洞建營寨。所以當神的使者去看基甸時,他正躲在酒榨那裡打麥子。有一種出土的酒榨,上池約8英尺見方,15英寸深,下方約2英尺處有一個用來承接果汁的較小的池。基甸就是用這種酒榨來打小麥。酒榨是為了要把葡萄榨成汁,所以只需要一個很小的地方;但是打麥子要在空曠的地方,因為需要利用風力將麥糠和麥子分開,才能有最多的收成。在一個不通風的地方打麥子,麥糠會到處飄,連呼吸都不容易。但是基甸沒有辦法,他不敢去外面空曠的地方打麥子,免得被米甸人發現來搶他的糧食。

I Can’t, But Jesus Can

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 18:21-32. Let’s go!

On verses 21-32: When you read these verses, at first you might find a reason for some humanistic hope, thinking, “Okay, so if I clean up my entire act, turn away from my sins and keep God’s decrees, doing what is just and right, I will have eternal life.” But if you really consciously try to keep all of God’s decrees, you’ll find that there is absolutely no way that you can do it. No matter how hard we try, there is no way we can turn away from “all the sins” we have committed (v21) and keep “all” of God’s decrees (v21), for nobody’s perfect. As much as God does not want us to die and be separated from Him eternally, and as much as we don’t want that either, there is no way we could ever be free of sin by our own strength. What we need is a Saviour who can do what we ourselves can’t do. Praise God for Jesus Christ who lived the perfect life on our behalf and suffered death on the cross for our sins, so that through Jesus Christ we can have eternal life.

These verses also show us repeatedly God’s heart, that while God is just and in His justice needs to punish sin, God takes no pleasure in punishing or destroying anyone for their sin. As verse 32 says, “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!” (v32, see also verse 23). Rather God delights in giving people a new start with “a new heart and a new spirit” (v31).

底波拉

箴言 3章 5-6節   你要專心仰賴耶和華、不可倚靠自己的聰明. 在你一切所行的事上、都要認定祂,祂必指引你的路。

在烈陽發威時,突然想起了一位很聰明的女士師兼先知。她喜歡坐在一棵棕樹底下,為百姓排解糾紛。因此大家都稱那棵棕樹是底波拉的棕樹。

在士師管理的時代,以色列人有一個不好的習慣,當他們順利平安時,就去拜外邦人的偶像,耶和華神就任由外邦人欺負他們。當以色列人被欺負得民不聊生時,就會轉向耶和華神祈求。

約書亞過世之後,便是士師的時代。第一個士師是約書亞的女婿俄陀聶,他戰勝了美索不達米亞王古珊‧利薩田,獲得四十年的太平;接著是以笏刺殺了摩押王伊磯倫,以色列太平八十年;以笏之後,有亞拿的兒子珊迦,他用趕牛的棍子打死六百非利士人。底波拉是第四任的士師兼先知。

根據底波拉在〈士師記〉第五章的史詩,她說:「在亞拿之子珊迦的時候,在雅億的日子,大道無人行走,過路人繞道而行。以色列農村荒蕪,空無一人,直到我底波拉興起,興起作以色列之母!」珊迦雖然用趕牛棍打死六百非利士人,獲得一時的平安。但是珊迦沒有帶領以色列人抗敵,也沒有帶領以色列人轉向神。

因此以色列人很快又被迦南人轄制。迦南人把守要道,又四出擄掠,大道不安全,百姓須繞小道而行。「以色列農村荒蕪,空無一人」,因為農村缺乏防衛的條件和力量,並且迦南人時時來搶劫,人們不敢耕種都逃走躲起來,因此田地都荒廢了。田地荒廢就沒有糧食,何等困苦的處境。