Entries by meiling

You Need Someone to Keep You Accountable

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 12:1-16.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 12:1-3 (NIV) 
1  In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. 
2  Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 
3  The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

On verses 1-3:  Notice what it says in verse 2:  “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him.”  Here we see the importance of being teachable and accountable to someone you trust and respect.  Joash was blessed to have a wise and God-loving father figure and mentor in his life called Jehoiada.  As long as Joash was willing to let Jehoiada speak into his life and keep him accountable, Joash did what was right in God’s eyes.  When Joash stopped having someone to stay accountable to, that’s when his life would go off the rails (see 2 Chronicles 24:17-19).  

魚口得稅銀

馬太福音17: 24_27魚口得稅銀

24 到了迦百農,有收丁稅的人來見彼得,說:「你們的先生不納丁稅嗎?」 25 彼得說:「納。」他進了屋子,耶穌先向他說:「西門,你的意思如何?世上的君王向誰徵收關稅、丁稅?是向自己的兒子呢,是向外人呢?」 26 彼得說:「是向外人。」耶穌說:「既然如此,兒子就可以免稅了。 27 但恐怕觸犯他們,你且往海邊去釣魚,把先釣上來的魚拿起來,開了牠的口,必得一塊錢,可以拿去給他們,做你我的稅銀。」

在義大利文藝復興時代有一位很年輕的畫家,原名托馬索‧迪喬瓦尼‧迪西莫內‧圭迪,綽號馬薩喬Masaccio,意思是傻瓜。可能因為他作風懶散,除了藝術什麼都漠不關心,但他一點也不傻。雖然出身清苦,師承不明,卻在21歲時就被獲准加入當時正統的畫家協會,聖路加工會。馬薩喬的藝術真實而有氣勢,非常注意光和空氣在畫中對人物和環境造成的距離感,使他所畫的人物和場景顯得特別實在而立體。很可惜,他在27歲時就因病過世。在他留下的創作裡,《納稅銀》The Tribute Money可以說是他的代表作之一。

《納稅銀》是一幅巨型的壁畫,以連環的形式描繪出這段經文的三個環節:阻攔、捉魚及交付丁稅。畫中人都是與畫家同時代的普通百姓,組合成基督與門徒在迦百農的一個小故事。耶穌和門徒到了迦百農時,路經一個關卡,收稅人上前攔住他們的去路,要收他們的丁稅。

You Have a Destiny

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 11:1-21.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 11:1-3 (NIV) 
1  When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family. 
2  But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. 
3  He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.

On verses 1-21:  After talking about the kingdom of Israel and how Jehu became its king in 2 Kings 9 and 10, the author of 2 Kings turns our attention once again to the kingdom of Judah.  Judah’s King Ahaziah was killed by Jehu of Israel, but instead of Ahaziah’s brother or son taking over Ahaziah’s throne in Judah, Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah seizes power for herself.  

門徒的憂愁

馬太福音17: 22_23門徒的憂愁

22 他們還住在加利利的時候,耶穌對門徒說:「人子將要被交在人手裡, 23 他們要殺害他,第三日他要復活。」門徒就大大地憂愁。

每次看到有信徒被迫害的消息,我的心情總是非常難過,只能不停地為他們禱告,直到心情平靜下來。有的人要求連合簽名上書,抗議基督徒所受的非人待遇,可是我相信那些陳情不會有什麼效果。我相信只有神的及時拯救才能幫助他們。可是假如連耶穌都必須面對逼迫,我們又怎麼敢說,求主讓我們不要受苦呢?

有部電影《搶救雷恩大兵》,以1944年6月6日諾曼地登陸史實為背景,前面半個小時只有一個劇情,敵軍的機關槍掃射著海岸線,聯軍勇士前仆後繼搶攻灘頭,屍橫遍野。登陸成功的隊長米勒,接獲任務帶領八人小組深入前線,尋找一位名叫雷恩的傘兵。類似美國的〈僅存者政策〉,防止一家庭數香火無繼的情形發生,若有兄弟姊妹在服役時喪生可提出免服兵役,戰區軍人則可退役。而雷恩的三位兄長都為國捐軀,米勒要找到他,為雷恩家留後。

Jehu is gone. Jesus has come

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 10:15-36. Let’s go!

2 Kings 10:28-29 (NIV) 
28  So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 
29  However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit–the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. 

On verses 15-36:  Having gotten rid of the house of Ahab along with a slew of others, Jehu now focuses on erasing the worship of the idol Baal in Israel. He invites all the prophets of Baal to the temple of Baal under the auspices that he is going to hold an assembly in honour of their god. Jehu even gives each prophet of Baal a special robe (which seems like a gift when in fact it just makes them an easier target).  As these prophets make their sacrifices to Baal, Jehu’s men ambush the prophets of Baal and cut them down with the sword inside the temple.  They also destroy the temple of Baal and begin using it as a urinal. 

信心的能力

馬太福音17: 14_21信心的能力

14 耶穌和門徒到了眾人那裡,有一個人來見耶穌,跪下, 15 說:「主啊,憐憫我的兒子!他害癲癇的病很苦,屢次跌在火裡,屢次跌在水裡。 16 我帶他到你門徒那裡,他們卻不能醫治他。」 17 耶穌說:「唉!這又不信又悖謬的世代啊,我在你們這裡要到幾時呢?我忍耐你們要到幾時呢?把他帶到我這裡來吧!」 18 耶穌斥責那鬼,鬼就出來,從此孩子就痊癒了。

19 門徒暗暗地到耶穌跟前說:「我們為什麼不能趕出那鬼呢?」 20 耶穌說:「是因你們的信心小。我實在告訴你們:你們若有信心像一粒芥菜種,就是對這座山說:『你從這邊挪到那邊!』,它也必挪去;並且你們沒有一件不能做的事了。 21 至於這一類的鬼,若不禱告、禁食,他就不出來。」

耶穌的判斷,那個小孩的癲癇病不是生理的疾病,而是因為鬼附。門徒們的判斷也是正確的,但是他們無法把鬼趕出去。在現代的社會裡,有時分不清鬼附和癲癇,所以我們最好不要隨便下判斷,讓專職人員做判斷,更不要隨便論斷別人是被鬼附。

在這段經文裡,主要是在講為什麼耶穌可以把那個鬼趕出去,門徒按照耶穌皂方法去做,卻沒有辦法把鬼趕出去。耶穌在這裡提到一個信心的問題。有的人因而以為,只要自己有信心,就真的能夠移山了。這是一個對信心的誤解,耶穌說的信心是靠神的信心,以神的旨意為中心的信心。有神的應許為把握的信心。但是有些比較極端的信徒會認為,只要我相信,我就可以為人禱告,使對方立刻得醫治,等等。

Be Strong In The Word and In The Spirit

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 10:1-17.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-17:  Having assassinated Joram king of Israel and Jezebel the queen mother, Jehu continues his mission to eliminate the remaining sons in Ahab’s house.  Instead of a sneak attack, Jehu issues a formal challenge to the high officials in Israel’s capital city as well as those in charge of Ahab’s sons.  Jehu challenges them to put one of Ahab’s sons on Ahab’s throne and to fight Jehu and his troops. Fearing that they are no match for Jehu, Israel’s high officials surrender to Jehu and express their willingness to do whatever Jehu wants them to do. So further to Jehu’s command, Israel’s high officials slaughter 70 sons of Ahab and place their heads in baskets.  Jehu then announces that the word of the Lord which Elijah spoke against the house of Ahab has been fulfilled (v10).  Jehu then goes on a killing rampage:  

– First, Jehu kills Ahab’s chief officials, close friends and priests in Jezreel (v11).  

– Then on his way to Samaria, Jehu slaughters 42 unsuspecting relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah who had gone to visit King Joram and Jezebel, not knowing that Jehu had already killed them (v12-14).   Jehu also invites Jehonadab to get into his chariot and says to him, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” (v16)   

以利亞己經來了

馬太福音17: 9_13以利亞己經來了

9 下山的時候,耶穌吩咐他們說:「人子還沒有從死裡復活,你們不要將所看見的告訴人。」 10 門徒問耶穌說:「文士為什麼說以利亞必須先來?」 11 耶穌回答說:「以利亞固然先來,並要復興萬事。 12 只是我告訴你們:以利亞已經來了,人卻不認識他,竟任意待他。人子也將要這樣受他們的害。」 13 門徒這才明白耶穌所說的是指著施洗的約翰。

在這段經文裡談到兩件事,一是主耶穌吩咐門徒,在祂從死裡復活之前,不可以將祂變像的事告訴別人。假如門徒將所見的傳出去,會有怎樣的後果呢?我想,若有人聽到這樣的事,可能會有人把肉身的耶穌當作神膜拜。但是這時的主耶穌,目的是要為眾人贖罪,並不是要出風頭。其二,有人可能認為門徒瘋狂,斷了以後傳福音的路。其三,就給了想殺耶穌的人有了藉口,把耶穌從無罪之人變成有罪。

主耶穌是為了完成神的計劃而來世上,並不是為了祂個人的任何目的。祂不要世上的名利富貴或權勢,所以要避免一切的虛名和不必要的麻煩。我們在世上的目的,也是要實現神在我們身上的計劃,所以千萬不要被虛名或權勢綁架,以免身不由己,壞了神的計劃。

第二部份是談到以利亞。會不會有人奇怪,倘若《聖經》不講輪廻,施洗約翰怎麼就成了以利亞呢?在施洗約翰尚未出世前,就有天使這樣告訴他的父親撒迦利亞:「撒迦利亞,不要害怕,因為你的祈禱已經被聽見了。你的妻子伊利莎白要給你生一個兒子,你要給他起名叫約翰。你必歡喜快樂,有許多人因他出世也必喜樂。他在主面前將要為大,淡酒濃酒都不喝,從母腹裡就被聖靈充滿了。

The Best Way to Prepare for Eternity

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 9:30-37.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 9:30 (NIV) 
30  Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she painted her eyes, arranged her hair and looked out of a window. 

On verse 30:  Having heard that Jehu has killed her son King Joram, Jezebel expects that she is next, so she paints her eyes and does her hair.  Why?  Some scholars think she was trying to seduce Jehu.  I think the more likely scenario is that she’s getting ready to die as dignified a death as possible.  Jezebel may have thought to herself, “If I’m going to die a queen mother, I better look the part!”  Ironically, despite her efforts to look good in death, Jezebel would end up being killed in the most undignified way, as we will see.  

What can we learn from this?  The best way to prepare for death and eternity is not to get busy doing your hair or make up, but to change your clothes; that is, put on the robes of righteousness that Jesus makes available to you and me.  In other words, if you really want to get ready for death and eternity, if you really want to look good while dying, the absolute best way has nothing to do with your hair and make up and everything to do with having Jesus Christ as your Saviour.  For hair and make up won’t cover your sins, but Jesus’ robes of righteousness can.