Entries by meiling

大衛哀悼押尼珥

撒母耳記下 三章39節    我雖然受膏為王,今日還是軟弱,這洗魯雅的兩個兒子比我剛強。願耶和華照著惡人所行的惡報應他!

雖是同一個團隊,但是每個人對同一件事也會有不同的看法。好像乾隆同時使用和珅和紀曉嵐,和珅是大貪官,紀曉嵐是大清官,但是乾隆的帝王術就是要讓兩者並存在他的朝中,才能起制衡的作用。所以即使押尼珥的人品不怎麼樣,大衛也會考慮用他。大衛作了猶大王之後,他的心志就是要統一以色列,但是他並不心急,他耐性等候時機的來臨。

時機終於來臨,大衛家日見強盛,掃羅日漸衰微。押尼珥審度時勢,若與大衛談條件,他還有可能謀到高官肥缺,若再等下去,只剩個爛攤子時,誰還跟他談條件?一下子就可以把他給收拾掉,他就什麼也撈不到了。因此他越過伊施波設,這個形同虛設的王,竟自去跟大衛談判。押尼珥在為自己舖路,但是他也需要得到以色列長老們的同意。他在猶大和以色列之間來回奔跑,發揮三寸不爛之舌的功用,使大衛和以色列長老們都頻頻點頭。

約押是大衛的元帥,與押尼珥有殺弟之仇。因此他對大衛說:「尼珥的兒子押尼珥來是要誆哄你,要知道你的出入和你一切所行的事。」他不相信押尼珥的居心是出於好意,他覺得押尼珥來做間諜。雖然大衛和約押曾經是出生入死的伙伴,但此時他們看事情的角度已經有很大的區別。大衛從一個王的角度去審度形勢,他要的是猶大和以色列的統一,他要做全以色列的王;但是約押只記得押尼珥殺了他弟弟,此仇不報非君子。大衛看到的是在兩個國度的統一中,需要押尼珥這個棋子,他的人品好不好是次要的,他在統一這事上能發揮什麼作用,那才是主要的。

約押被自己的仇恨控制了,他追趕押尼珥,領他到城門的甕洞,假裝要和他說機密話,就在那裡刺透他的肚腹,押尼珥死了。約押痛快地報了仇,大衛卻立刻明白他有禍了。押尼珥死在猶大,死在約押的刀下。約押是大衛的元帥,以色列長老們有誰會再信任大衛?有誰會相信那不是出自大衛的意思?大衛是王,約押是他的部下,誰都會認為那是大衛叫約押做的。

While They Are Watching

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 12:1-16.  Let’s go!

Ezekiel 12:1-7 (NIV) 
1  The word of the LORD came to me:
2  “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.
3  “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house.
4  During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile.
5  While they watch, dig through the wall and take your belongings out through it.
6  Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.”
7  So I did as I was commanded. During the day I brought out my things packed for exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I took my belongings out at dusk, carrying them on my shoulders while they watched.

On verses 1-7:  Here God is getting Ezekiel to act out how the Israelites are exiled from their land.  Notice how many times the phrase “while they watch” and variations of it get repeated in these verses.  This shows me that God is a thoughtful communicator who carefully plans out how He will engage His hearers, so as to get the most bang for His effort.

大衛在希伯崙作王

歷代志上 11章1-2節   以色列眾人聚集到希伯崙見大衛,說:「我們原是你的骨肉。 從前掃羅做王的時候,率領以色列人出入的是你。耶和華你的神也曾應許你說:『你必牧養我的民以色列,做以色列的君。』」

隨著掃羅的陣亡,大衛的逃亡生涯結束了。他第一件事是求問神:「我上猶大的一個城去可以嗎?」這就是大衛合神心意的做法之一。假如你中了彩票,或是有什麼好處臨到,你第一件事會求問神,怎樣處理嗎?現在新冠疫情比較緩和,有些教會開始有實體聚會了,你有沒有求問神:「我要不要回去教會聚會呢?」

掃羅死了,大衛哪裡都可以去,但是他覺得自己是神的人,是神所膏的王,所以他必須聽從神的命令。這是何等的順服!然後他再求問神要上哪一個城去?神指示他上希伯崙,所以他就帶著妻子和跟隨他的人都帶到希伯崙。每次讀到大衛求問神,我都覺得是對自己的一個挑戰,學習對神的敬畏和尊重,在生活裡把自己擺在僕人和使女的位置上,像大衛一樣。

當大衛到了希伯崙之後,他以前所送的禮,所結交的朋友,現在都「發酵」了。猶大人來到希伯崙,在那裡膏大衛作王。大衛知道「建立關係」的重要性,所以他聽到基伊拉的城受困,他就去救基伊拉;在曠野時,他就幫助放羊的,免得他們被擄掠;他打勝仗得了掠物,就拿去送猶大的長老們。在逃亡的生涯中,大衛沒有因而自暴自棄,反而在每一個關鍵時刻去幫助別人,與人建立良好的關係。如此,當他住進希伯崙時,猶大支派就承認了撒母耳曾經膏大衛做王這件事,更同心接受大衛做他們的王。大衛一生中三次被膏為王,這是第二次,第三次是被膏為全以色列的王。

Home Again

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 11:14-25.  Let’s go!
 
Ezekiel 11:14-16 (NIV) 
14  The word of the LORD came to me: 
15  “Son of man, your brothers–your brothers who are your blood relatives and the whole house of Israel–are those of whom the people of Jerusalem have said, ‘They are far away from the LORD; this land was given to us as our possession.’
16  “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’ 

On verses 14-16:  The Jews in Judah were captured and taken to Babylon in three stages: the first group was brought to Babylon in 605 B.C., the second in 597 B.C., and the third in 586 B.C.  According to scholars, Ezekiel was part of the second group that was taken to Babylon in 597 B.C.  When this second group was captured and taken to Babylon, the Jews who remained in Jerusalem assumed that God was giving them the entire land (“They are far away from the Lord; this land was given to us as our possession” – v15b).  Little did they know that another attack was on its way and that many of them would also be captured and deported within the next decade.

珍惜自己的性命

以弗所書三章17節  使基督因你們的信住在你們心裡,叫你們的愛心有根有基。

從今年七月以來,開始有教會嚐試著讓會眾回到教堂聚會,原則上不能超50人,而且不可以唱詩歌敬拜,也只能看己經錄好的影像講道,因此有的人表示興趣不大。

主要是一來大家對敬拜的理解己經和以前不一樣。以前非得早起趕去教會,現在過了幾個月的家居敬拜,明白敬拜的本質不在於教堂,而在於自己和神的關係。在家裡敬拜好像更舒服,還可以跟著唱詩歌敬拜。似乎比去教堂敬拜更好。

其二也是因為怕被傳染,國外的疫情還沒受到完全的控制,每天都有幾十來個確診;有時傳來家人團聚,也紛紛被感染,心裡不由得更加謹慎小心,而不敢逾距。

這些原因都讓我們看到自己的膽小和害怕,或是十分珍情自己的性命。珍惜自己的性命,也就是珍惜他人的性命,因為萬一自己被感染而不知道,無形之中就會傳給很多人了。

寇世遠牧師說過一個故事:神在十九世紀所重用的僕人,英國的司布真,自述曾做了多年掛名的基督徒,因為他一直沒有負擔去搶救靈魂。 

他住家的巷口有一個車店,每次騎車出門,都要到店裏打氣。有一天,車店老闆信主了,一看到司布真來了,立刻興高彩烈的說:「朋友,我勸你趕快信耶穌,信耶穌可以得永生,心中有平安,靈裏有喜樂,得到祝福,得到恩典。」 

The Only Real “Pot”

Hi GAMErs,
Today’s passage is Ezekiel 11:1-13.  Let’s go!

Ezekiel 11:1-4 (NIV) 
1  Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the LORD that faces east. There at the entrance to the gate were twenty-five men, and I saw among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.
2  The LORD said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city.
3  They say, ‘Will it not soon be time to build houses? This city is a cooking pot, and we are the meat.’
4  Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.” 
On verses 1-4:  What do Jaazaniah, Pelatiah and these other 23 men mean when they say, “This city is a cooking pot, and we are the meat” (v3)?  This is them bragging that they believe they are safe and secure within the walls of Jerusalem, like meat safely kept in a pot.  Despite the fact that the people of Judah have already suffered attacks, invasions and deportations at the hand of the Babylonians, these 25 leaders in Jerusalem scoff at the idea that a foreign enemy would take them down again.  Rather they believe it will soon be time for them to look at building houses and making long term investments in Jerusalem.  As we will see, theirs was a false sense of security.

I Just Want To Be Where You Are

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 9:1-11.  Let’s go!

Ezekiel 10:1-2 (NIV) 
1  I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of sapphire above the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim. 
2  The LORD said to the man clothed in linen, “Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And as I watched, he went in.
 
On verses 1-2:  This part of Ezekiel’s vision reminds me of a scene from Isaiah 6.  In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah sees a vision of God seated on his throne in the temple.  In his vision, Isaiah is dismayed because he realizes that he is a sinner who cannot stand in the presence of a holy God.  All of a sudden one of the angels takes a live coal from the altar, touches Isaiah’s lips with it, and tells him that his guilt is taken away and his sin atoned for.
 
I believe a similar thing may be happening here in Ezekiel’s vision.  God tells a man clothed in linen (the same man whom God instructed in Ezekiel 9 to mark those who did not worship idols) to fill his hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city (v2).  What is God doing?  Since all the idolaters in the city have been exterminated in Ezekiel 9, God is now sanctifying and purifying those who are left. 
 

大衛的〈弓歌〉

撒母耳記下一章27節    英雄何竟仆倒!戰具何竟滅沒!

就在大衛去追趕亞瑪力人,奪回自己和眾人的妻兒、財物和牲畜之際,也正是掃羅帶領以色列人和非利士人大戰之時。大衛和跟隨他的人正在慶幸找回了家人和財物時,掃羅和約拿單都戰死了,以色列人大敗。

那時沒有電視,沒有伊妹兒(email),也沒有愛鳳(iphone)或其他手機,消息傳得相當慢。到了第三天,才有人來討賞。

那是一個住在以色列人中的亞瑪力人,可能是作為僱佣兵而參戰的。他把掃羅臨死的情形告訴大衛,並取來掃羅頭上的冠冕、臂上的鐲子以作證據。他可能知道大衛已被撒母耳膏立為以色列的下一任王,也知道掃羅追殺大衛的事,所以他認為大衛知道掃羅被殺一定很高興,因為他的仇敵死了,大衛就可以作王了。因此他覺得自己一定可以領到不少獎賞。

出乎意料之外,大衛不但不感激他,把他訓了一頓,還叫人把他殺了。

這就是大衛。可能有人覺得他矯情,掃羅死了,他豈有不高興之理?他不是終於不必東躲西逃了嗎?但是大衛的過人之處就在於他敬畏神,所以他一直很尊重掃羅。他在弔掃羅和約拿單所寫的哀歌裡,把他對掃羅的尊重和對約拿單表露無遺。

雖然掃羅對大衛充滿嫉恨殘酷,但是大衛不看私人恩怨,只看掃羅在國中所做的。他稱掃羅為尊榮者、大英雄。掃羅起初的作為的確是以色列的尊榮者、大英雄。大衛記得掃羅為以色列人做過的好事。

神的調虎離山計

撒母耳記辷30章6節下    大衛卻倚靠耶和華他的神,心裡堅固。

當亞吉興高采烈地叫大衛做他永遠的護衛長,讓他和跟隨的人一起去攻擊以色列人時,這時大衛的心裡有何打算呢?當非利士人的首領各率軍隊,挨次前進,有點像在閱兵時,他們發現了走在亞吉後面的大衛和從人。他們恐慌了。他們想得很遠,大衛有可能以他們的頭作為與掃羅和好的禮物。

這是很有可能的。非利士人在前面跟掃羅打仗,大衛在後面幫忙殺非利士人。因為大衛絕不會去殺以色列人。如此一來,前後圍攻,非利士人就會被殲滅了。神允許大衛和跟隨他的人被趕出非利士人的陣營,因為神有祂的計劃。當大衛聽到這個消息時,很可能鬆了一口氣。

這次非利士人又在亞弗安營,以色列人在耶斯列的泉旁安營。亞弗位於南北交通要道上;耶斯列是耶斯列平原的東口,位於東西向的交通要道上。兩相對峙,箭弩拔張,一觸即發。

神不讓大衛參與這場戰事,也不讓大衛有機會去救掃羅。因為神明白大衛的心,倘若不把大衛支開,大衛為了約拿單,肯定會上前參戰。神用什麼方法支開大衛呢?你猜得到嗎?

大衛離開了非利士,走了三日,終於回到洗革拉。原以為能見到家人,沒想到洗革拉已面目全非。亞瑪力人來過了,攻破洗革拉,焚燒了洗革拉,帶走城內的婦女和大小人口,卻沒有殺一個。這是神很大的恩典和保守,身外物可以失去,生命卻無法挽回。看似好像很慘,可是我們繼續讀下去,便會發現,原來這有可能是神要把大衛支開的一個方法。倘若大衛留在洗革拉,必然聽到掃羅和非利士人的戰情,為了約拿單,為了在神面前的義,也為了以色列人,他不可能乾坐在洗革拉,很可能就帶人衝上戰場了。

God Is Precise and Protective

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 9:1-11.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-11:  In chapter 8, as part of Ezekiel’s vision, God promised not to spare the Israelites who were engaging in idolatry. Here in chapter 9, Ezekiel’s vision continues with God fulfilling this promise. At God’s summoning, six men appear, each with a deadly weapon in his hand, as they have been appointed to execute judgment on the city (v1-2).

Before these six men go throughout the city to kill every idolater, two things happen. First, verse 3 says that the glory of the Lord moves from above the cherubim (most likely a reference to the cherubim statues that sit on top of the ark in the Most Holy Place) to the temple entrance. This signifies that God’s presence has left the temple as a result of the people’s idolatry (see Ezekiel 8:6).

Second, God calls for a man dressed in linen (linen representing purity and righteousness) and with a writing kit to go and place a mark on the foreheads of all those in the city who grieve and lament over the Israelites’ idolatrous practices (v3b-4). This signifies that despite God’s wrath against all the idolaters in the city, God still wanted to protect those in the city who did not bow down to any idol.