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雲柱火柱的帶領

出埃及記13章20-22節   他們從疏割起行,在曠野邊的以倘安營。日間耶和華在雲柱中領他們的路,夜間在火柱中光照他們,使他們日夜都可以行走。日間雲柱,夜間火柱,總不離開百姓的面前。

當以色列人扶老攜幼地出埃及時,他們會不會覺得在作夢呢?摩西和亞倫會不會感動到流淚呢?終於告別四百年的奴隸生涯,神的應許是那樣的真實。〈希伯來書〉11章1節說:「信就是所望之事的實底,是未見之事的確據。」他們曾經不相信摩西,抱怨生活中的苦楚,沒想到原來神的計劃是如此美好,早知如此,多挨幾鞭又算什麼?因為自由在望了。能夠憑著信心看到所望之事的實底,見到未見之事的確據,我們就不會常常埋怨了。

但是一個得救的經驗之喜樂,能夠維持多久呢?逾越節和基督教的受難日很相似,只不過在後者,神以祂的愛子代替了羊羔,親自死在十字架上,承受了世人的罪。接受了耶穌這救贖之恩的人,就好像得救的以色列人出埃及,不再是撒旦的奴隸,在基督裡得到了真正的自由。但是這就夠了嗎?要到迦南地,神的應許之地,還有一段遙遠的路,他們的信心能撐多久?我們的信心又能撐多久?

法老容百姓去的時候,非利士地的道路雖近,神卻不領他們從那裡走,因為神說:「恐怕百姓遇見打仗後悔,就回埃及去。」所以神領百姓繞道而行,走紅海曠野的路。以色列人出埃及地,都帶著兵器上去。摩西把約瑟的骸骨一同帶去,因為約瑟曾叫以色列人嚴嚴地起誓,對他們說:「神必眷顧你們,你們要把我的骸骨從這裡一同帶上去。」他們從疏割起行,在曠野邊的以倘安營。日間耶和華在雲柱中領他們的路,夜間在火柱中光照他們,使他們日夜都可以行走。日間雲柱,夜間火柱,總不離開百姓的面前。(出13:17-22)

Don’t Live In Fear. Stand Firm Against Your Opposition.

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 20:1-8.

Luke 20:1-2 (NIV) 
1  One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.
2  “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” 

On verses 1-2: As Jesus is publicly teaching people in the temple courts, Israel’s religious leaders (“the chief priests and the teachers of the law”) and political leaders (“the elders”) confront Jesus and question him as to what authority he had to do “these things”. “These things” most likely refers to Jesus clearing the temple in Luke 19, forgiving people’s sins, healing people on the Sabbath, and other deeds.

What can we learn from this? When you do God’s will over the long haul, you can expect to face opposition, questioning and criticism from time to time. If Jesus was opposed, questioned and criticized, as a servant of Jesus you will be as well. But don’t let opposition, questioning and criticism cause you to throw in the towel and give up. Let the opposition, questioning and criticism you face, whether valid or invalid, justified or unjustified, refine you into the person and leader God made you to be.

耶和華的夜

出埃及記11章1-3節   耶和華對摩西說:「我再使一樣的災殃臨到法老和埃及,然後他必容你們離開這地。他容你們去的時候,總要催逼你們都從這地出去。你要傳於百姓的耳中,叫他們男女各人向鄰舍要金器銀器。」耶和華叫百姓在埃及人眼前蒙恩,並且摩西在埃及地、法老臣僕和百姓的眼中看為極大。

那是一個奇異的夜晚,在歌珊地的以色列人,家家戶戶都在烤羊羔。吃晚餐的時候,他們腰間束帶,腳上穿鞋,手中拿杖,努力地吃羊羔。空氣中瀰漫一種詭異的氣氛,有的人低聲地傳著:「我們今晚當真要離開埃及了嗎?」有的人點頭,有的人微笑,有的人聳肩,沒有人真正知道什麼,只覺得有大事要發生了。

法老在宮裡沉默地坐著,不知在等待什麼。他有點擔心,有些害怕,可是他不知道該做些什麼。突然,好像聽到了第一聲哀嚎劃破寂靜的黑夜,第二聲緊接著又起,好像在回應似地,忽然之間,埃及充滿了哭嚎。僕人匆忙來見法老,不等僕人開口,法老已經心知發生何事。

他的心被一種疼痛抓住,讓他無法喘過氣來。僕人輕聲報告,他的長子,已經嚥下最後一口氣。法老壓抑住也想發出哀嚎的衝動,凝視著極黑的暗夜之空,他的希望,正像一顆流星,迅速地消失了。他輸了嗎?他的臣僕聚集來見他,個個淚眼迷濛,低聲哀求,讓他們去吧,不然我們也活不了。每一家的長子都死了,頭生的牲畜也都死了。耶和華神的警告一一應驗。法老的淚在眼裡流動,可是他繼續隱忍。他的長子也去了,這該如何是好?讓他們走吧。埃及付不起這樣沉重的代價。

以色列人已經準備好,在這個時刻,摩西和亞倫吩咐他們向埃及人要金器銀器和衣裳。埃及人此時心神俱喪,只想保命,他們要什麼就給什麼。有誰敢去和這群「瘟神」說三道四,只想躲過一個又一個的飛來横禍。以色列人腰纏萬貫地出埃及,他們不再是窮乎乎的奴隸了,兒女子孫也不必再做埃及人的奴隸,他們可以成為有前途有光明有盼望有自由的人了! 

When Jesus Entered Jerusalem

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 19:28-40 (NIV) 

41  As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
42  and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43  The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
44  They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

On verses 41-44: Here Jesus weeps for the city of Jerusalem. He weeps because he knows that he is the only one who can bring the city true and lasting peace and yet the people of Jerusalem would fail to recognize it (v42: “If you had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes”). The majority of Jews in Jerusalem didn’t feel a need for a Saviour to deliver them from their sins. Rather what many of them were looking for was a military leader who could conquer the Romans by force.

Jesus also weeps as he predicts Jerusalem’s eventual and heartbreaking destruction by the Romans (v43-44), which would happen within 50 years after Jesus gives this prophecy.

What can we learn from this?

我使他的心剛硬

出埃及記十章1-2節     耶和華對摩西說:「你進去見法老。我使他和他臣僕的心剛硬,為要在他們中間顯我這些神蹟,並要叫你將我向埃及人所做的事,和在他們中間所行的神蹟,傳於你兒子和你孫子的耳中,好叫你們知道我是耶和華。」

在神呼召摩西時,神就再三告訴摩西,神要使法老的心剛硬,這樣神才能按著祂的計劃行許多神蹟,好叫他們知道祂是耶和華。我們經常會覺得神是不是太不公平,祂使法老的心剛硬,又不是法老自己剛硬的。事實上,法老只是一個世人的鏡子,法老代表世界上的人,寧可到處亂拜,拜偶像拜假神,信八卦找算命的,就是不懂得要拜真神。所以神使法老的心剛硬,其實是很大的憐憫,神用每一樣災來對應埃及的十個假神,為了喚醒他們的靈,來認識創造宇宙的真神,實在用心良苦。

因此我有時在想,神有時也會如此對待祂的兒女,如同祂也如此對待以色列人。當以色列人轉去拜假神時,神也是用災禍提醒他們,他們所拜的假神一點不能救他們,直到他們悔改,回轉歸向神,神就安慰他們,拯救他們。我們的心裡若有比神重要的偶像,有時我們不知道那就是偶像,但凡是我們看得比神還重要的人事物,那就是有可能被神擊打的部份,為了要換醒我們的靈,神會不惜讓我們忍受一些世界或身體上的損失,直到我們悔改,回轉,歸向祂。

God’s Return on Investment

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 19:11-27. Let’s go!

Luke 19:11 (NIV) 
11  While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

On verse 11: Many people expected that when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem he would immediately establish himself as king over Israel and bring judgment upon those who oppose God. Little do they know that Jesus was entering Jerusalem to be betrayed, arrested and killed by his enemies, and that it would be a long time before Jesus would return as king and establish his kingdom. To help communicate the fact that Jesus would first have to go away for a while before returning as king, Jesus tells this famous parable in the verses that follow.

這是神的手段

出埃及記8章18-19節     行法術的也用邪術要生出蝨子來,卻是不能。於是在人身上和牲畜身上都有了蝨子。行法術的就對法老說:「這是神的手段。」法老心裡剛硬,不肯聽摩西、亞倫,正如耶和華所說的。

對法老而言,摩西和亞倫所施的奇事,只是一場又一場的法術比賽,法老的術士們也做得到。但是妥拉坊的鍾鹽光老師對這些奇事,有一套很好的解說:「每一組災難都有一個耶和華神要向法老證明的命題。每個命題,在『每一組的第一災』要發生時就已先預告和佈達,並且,這命題的範圍會隨著法老的心理剛硬而不斷加大、其等級也會不斷上升。」這是法老所沒有想到或預料到的。

在第一組的第一災:水變血。首要證明的是耶和華神的「存在」。『因此,你必知道我是耶和華。』我耶和華神「是存在的」,你法老無法置之不理,坐視不管 (出7:17) 。接著,神要讓法老知道誰掌管生命。

當神吩咐摩西,摩西就告訴亞倫,亞倫就伸杖擊打地上的塵土,就在人身上和牲畜身上有了蝨子,埃及遍地的塵土都變成蝨子了。行法術的也用邪術要生出蝨子來,卻是不能。於是在人身上和牲畜身上都有了蝨子。行法術的就對法老說:「這是神的手段。」法老心裡剛硬,不肯聽摩西、亞倫,正如耶和華所說的 (出8:17-19) 。

行法術的明白他們的法術源頭,不是神,也不是生命的源頭,所以他們無法製造或產生生命。地神(撒拔)就好像華人拜的土地公,它也不是生命的源頭。只有耶和華神才能使塵土變出生命體。所以他們認輸:因為「這是神的手段。」原來他們拜的神明都是假的。行法術的明白了,法老卻不肯認輸,因為在埃及,法老也是被當作神來敬拜的。

Blessed are the Proactive

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 19:1-10. Let’s go!

Luke 19:1-3 (NIV) 
1  Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 
2  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.
3  He wanted to see who Jesus was…

On verses 1-3: In Jesus’ day, tax collectors had a reputation for being greedy and dishonest. Tax collectors were notorious for trying to collect more taxes from the Jews than they actually owed, pocketing the difference for themselves. As a chief tax collector, Zacchaeus was wealthy and unpopular. Ironically, Zacchaeus’ name means “righteous” or “pure one”, though Zacchaeus probably felt like he was anything but righteous and pure. Despite having much wealth, Zacchaeus’ relationships were a mess. One of the big lessons from Zacchaeus’ story is that you can have great material wealth, but if your relationships with God and with people are broken, you will feel empty, poor and stressed with life. It’s no wonder Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. Zacchaeus probably thought: “Maybe this guy has something that I’m missing.”

上帝的道與世上的小學

上帝的道與世上的小學

在第一天,我提到上帝所創造的浩瀚宇宙有一個中心點,就是渺小的地球;在地球千萬的事物中還有一個中心點,就是人;在成千上萬的人之中還有一個中心點,就是領受上帝的道、建立信仰的人。第二天,我們思想到另一個題目,就是在人類歷史中有上帝的燈台隨著上帝子民轉移。昔日史上的帝國已經一一被淘汰,唯獨遵行上帝旨意的人才能永遠常存。啟示錄告訴我們:「世上的國(將)成了我主和主基督的國;他要作王,直到永永遠遠。」(啟11:15)今天,我要提到上帝的道與世上的小學。

三種知識的層次

對於世上的小學,保羅用一個非常堅定的信仰來看世界最高的哲學思想,特別是希臘的思想,他認為比起上帝永恆的道,希臘的思想沒有多高深的學問在其中。上帝的道與世上的小學,一個是永恆的,一個是暫時的,一個是由上帝而來,一個是由人而來。知識分為三大層次:一、上帝啟示給人的永生之道;二、人類思想家想出的智慧;三、撒但參雜在其中,用牠邪惡的意念來改變上帝的話,攪亂人類思想的假知識。從這三個層次,你就知道應當持守的是什麼——我們應當持守上帝一次交付聖徒的真道(參:猶1:3)。

兩種知識的源頭

人超越所有被造之物,因為人有永恆的靈。語言是靈的聲音。上帝是靈,上帝向人說話;天使是靈,天使有言語;人有靈,就用言語彰顯意義。撒但是天使墮落後所成的,牠照樣有牠意見的表達。上帝說話、天使說話、人類說話、撒但說話,除此之外,沒有任何存在可以說話。

3 Traits That Help You Experience God’s Power

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 18:31-43. Let’s go!

Luke 18:31-34 (NIV) 
31  Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.
32  He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.
33  On the third day he will rise again.”
34  The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

On verses 31-34: According to Jesus himself, the Old Testament (i.e. “the prophets” – v31) predicts that the Messiah (“the Son of Man”) would be handed over to be mocked and killed, but afterwards would rise again.

Notice that Jesus specifically says in verse 32 that he will be handed over to the Gentiles. One of Luke’s big themes is that Jesus came not just to save the Jews but to save the Gentiles (all non-Jewish people) as well. Other places in Scripture focus on how it was the Jews who handed Jesus over to be crucified (e.g. Acts 2:22-23). But here Luke emphasizes that Jesus would be given into the custody of Gentiles who would mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. It is not just Jews but Gentiles too – indeed all of humanity – that is ultimately responsible for Jesus’ death.