Entries by meiling

How to Pray When You’re Under Pressure

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 20:1-19.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV) 
12  “…We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
 
On verses 1-19:  Jehoshaphat gets word that the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites are on their way to attack Jehoshaphat’s land of Judah (v1-2).  Jehoshaphat responds by inquiring of the Lord and proclaiming a fast for all of Judah (v3).  As the people of Judah assemble to seek help from the Lord, Jehoshaphat stands up, recalls who God is (v7), recalls what God has done (v8-9), tells God their current situation (v10-11), admits their desperate need for God and proclaims their trust in Him (v12).  I love what Jehoshaphat says in verse 12: “we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

God responds by giving a word to Jahaziel, telling Jehoshaphat and the people not to be afraid or discouraged.   He also tells them that “you will not have to fight this battle” (v17) “for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v15).  The people only need to take up their positions, face their enemy tomorrow “and see the deliverance the Lord will give you” (v17).
Jeho and the people fall down in worship before the Lord (v18-19).

詩篇卅六篇

耶和華的僕人大衛的詩,交於伶長。

1 惡人的罪過,在他心裡說:「我眼中不怕神。」
2 他自誇自媚,以為他的罪孽終不顯露,不被恨惡。
3 他口中的言語盡是罪孽詭詐,他與智慧善行已經斷絕。
4 他在床上圖謀罪孽,定意行不善的道,不憎惡惡事。

5 耶和華啊,祢的慈愛上及諸天,祢的信實達到穹蒼。

6 祢的公義好像高山,祢的判斷如同深淵。耶和華啊,人民、牲畜祢都救護。
7 神啊,祢的慈愛何其寶貴,世人投靠在祢翅膀的蔭下。
8 他們必因祢殿裡的肥甘得以飽足,祢也必叫他們喝祢樂河的水。
9 因為在祢那裡有生命的源頭,在祢的光中我們必得見光。
10 願祢常施慈愛給認識祢的人,常以公義待心裡正直的人。……

這是大衛在遭遇惡人的迫害後所寫的詩篇,當他回想惡人的所言所行時,情不自禁把他們作惡的本質都寫出來。當我們對照大衛的描述時,很可能心裡會認同,因為世界业,或說社會上真的有太多邪惡的存在。

人為何行惡?一、是眼中不怕神,二、是以為他的罪孽終不顯露,三、連他口中所說的話也都沒有良善,四、他每天想的都是圖謀害人利己的事。

與惡人相對的是神的慈愛和信實。因為聖經上說,沒有義人,一個也沒有。所以在蒙主的救恩之前,我們都是惡人。我們的惡和神的愛一對照,很多人就因而被感化了,因為我們實在都不配領受神那樣的慈愛和信實。

Getting Up After a Fall

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 19:1-11.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 19:1-3 (NIV) 
1  When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem,
2  Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you.
3  There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.”

On verses 1-3:  Whereas King Ahab dies while trying to attack Ramoth Gilead (see the chapter before), his co-attacker Jehoshaphat King of Judah returns safely to Jerusalem (v1).  Upon returning, Jehoshaphat is confronted by Jehu the prophet, who rebukes Jehoshaphat for partnering with the idol-worshiping, prophet-murdering King Ahab in the first place, saying “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” (v2)  Jehoshaphat was fortunate that nothing worse happened to him when he went with Ahab to attack Ramoth Gilead.  Jehu also reassures Jehoshaphat that despite his mistake of partnering with Ahab, God still believes in Jehoshaphat and is pleased with how he rid the land of idol worship and has his heart set on seeking God (v3).

When You Ask God for Guidance

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 18:1-34.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 18:3 (NIV) 
3  Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” 

On verses 1-3:  This chapter is full of irony.  The first irony is that Jehoshaphat, one of the godliest kings in Judah’s history, becomes allies with Ahab, possibly the wickedest king in Israel’s history.  Their alliance came by marriage when Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram marries Ahab’s daughter Athaliah.  This alliance would prove to be a huge mistake for Jehoshaphat’s family, one that would cause much pain and suffering for his family and the nation of Judah.  The first proof that this alliance was a mistake was here when Ahab influences Jehoshaphat to attack Ramoth Gilead, something God did not want Jehoshaphat to do. 

What can we learn from this?  Be careful whom you partner with.  When you partner with someone who does not trust the Lord, the chances are high that that partner will lead you to do things that do not please the Lord.

詩篇卅五篇

大衛的詩。

1 耶和華啊,與我相爭的,求祢與他們相爭;與我相戰的,求祢與他們相戰。
2 拿著大小的盾牌,起來幫助我;
3 抽出槍來,擋住那追趕我的。求祢對我的靈魂說:「我是拯救你的!」
4 願那尋索我命的,蒙羞受辱;願那謀害我的,退後羞愧。
5 願他們像風前的糠,有耶和華的使者趕逐他們。
6 願他們的道路又暗又滑,有耶和華的使者追趕他們。
7 因他們無故地為我暗設網羅,無故地挖坑要害我的性命。
8 願災禍忽然臨到他身上,願他暗設的網纏住自己,願他落在其中遭災禍。
9 我的心必靠耶和華快樂,靠祂的救恩高興。
10 我的骨頭都要說:「耶和華啊,誰能像祢,救護困苦人脫離那比他強壯的,救護困苦窮乏人脫離那搶奪他的?」……..

有人說過禱告要以神為中心,而不是把自己放在中心。從大衛的詩篇裡,我們可以很強烈地感受到這一點,大衛的人生坎坷,但是因為他敬畏耶和華,他讓神成為他生命裡的重心,凡事倚靠神,向神求智慧,求帶領,求拯救。他不讓環境成為他的主宰,不管環境如何,神都是他的中心。

曾經有人懷疑大衛王存在過的真實性,以為那是以色列人揑造的神話,但是大衛寫的詩篇讓我們明白,他曾經是一個有血、有肉、有感覺、有思想的人。有一個存在的實體才會有相爭的對象。你有沒有這樣的經歷呢?在大大小小的競爭裡,我們也都會遇到相爭的對象,相爭的目的就是打倒對方,使自己勝出。對大衛而言,與他相爭的,不僅有目的性,而且想要他的命。

詩篇卅四篇

大衛在亞比米勒面前裝瘋,被他趕出去,就作這詩。

1 我要時時稱頌耶和華,讚美祂的話必常在我口中。
2 我的心必因耶和華誇耀,謙卑人聽見,就要喜樂。
3 你們和我當稱耶和華為大,一同高舉祂的名。
4 我曾尋求耶和華,祂就應允我,救我脫離了一切的恐懼。
5 凡仰望祂的便有光榮,祂們的臉必不蒙羞。
6 我這困苦人呼求,耶和華便垂聽,救我脫離一切患難。
7 耶和華的使者在敬畏祂的人四圍安營,搭救祂們。

8 你們要嘗嘗主恩的滋味,便知道祂是美善。投靠祂的人有福了!

9 耶和華的聖民哪,你們當敬畏祂,因敬畏祂的一無所缺。
10 少壯獅子還缺食忍餓,但尋求耶和華的,什麼好處都不缺。……

讀大衛的故事若沒有讀〈詩篇〉就無法明白大衛所受的苦。大衛被掃羅追逼時,甚至想到去接受非利士人的保護。想想看他曾經殺了非利士人的第一英雄歌利亞,跑到非利士人的境地裡是何等危險的一招?有點像自投虎口。

果然大衛一逃到迦特王亞吉那裡,亞吉的臣僕立刻對亞吉說:「這不是以色列國王大衛嗎?那裡的婦女跳舞唱和,不是指著他說『掃羅殺死千千,大衛殺死萬萬』嗎?」大衛將這話放在心裡,甚懼怕迦特王亞吉(亞比米勒),就在眾人面前改變了尋常的舉動,在他們手下假裝瘋癲,在城門的門扇上胡寫亂畫,使唾沫流在鬍子上。 於是亞吉派人將大衛趕走,大衛因而保存了性命。

Focus on the Giver, Not the Gifts

Hi GAMErs,

2 Chronicles 17:3-4 (ESV) 
3  The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, 
4  but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel.

On verses 1-4:  Jehoshaphat takes over from his father Asa as king of Judah.  Notice why the Lord was with Jehoshaphat: “because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David.  He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father” (v3-4).  The fact that verse 3 mentions “the earlier ways of his father” suggests that his father was not faithful to the Lord all his life, but only in his earlier years.  Jehoshaphat had the wisdom and discernment to sift through the lives of those who came before him, learning and applying the good things he saw in them while avoiding their mistakes and bad habits.  Likewise, if you want to maximize God’s power and anointing on your life, learn and apply the good things you see from those who came before you, while at the same time consciously avoiding their mistakes or bad habits.

2 Chronicles 17:5-6 (NIV) 
5  The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. 
6  His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.

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。