Entries by meiling

Protect What God Has Placed In Your Care

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 11:1-23.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 11:4 (NIV) 
4  ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.'” So they obeyed the words of the LORD and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.

On verses 1-4:  King Rehoboam had a very spotty reign as king of Israel.  He is best known for failing to heed his elders’ advice at the beginning of his reign and as a result losing the entire kingdom of Israel (except for the lands of Judah and Benjamin) to Jeroboam.  But in verses 1 to 23, we see some good things that Rehoboam did as king. Let’s take a look starting with verses 1-4.   Here Rehoboam is about to go to war against Israel to regain the kingdom that he lost.  But the Lord speaks through the prophet Shemaiah, warning Rehoboam against going to war and encouraging Rehoboam to surrender his plans to God.  Rehoboam and his troops obey the Lord’s words, and thus save themselves from unnecessary losses and embarrassment. 

What can we learn from this?  Before waging war against someone, or making an important decision, seek the Lord’s advice and heed His warnings.  You are always better off following the Lord’s advice on any matter.

2 Things Great Leaders Do

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 10:1-19.  Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 10:1-5 (NIV) 
1  Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king. 
2  When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. 
3  So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 
4  “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.” 
5  Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away.

On verses 1-5:  Solomon’s son Rehoboam succeeds Solomon as king of Israel.  Jeroboam son of Nebat leads a nation-wide campaign to ask Rehoboma for less stringent labor requirements on Israelite workers.   Rehoboam’s initial response is to ask for time to consider what to do: “Come back to me in three days”.  This was a wise first move by Rehoboam.  What can we learn from this?  As leaders, when people pressure you to make a leadership decision and you have no clear sense as to what to do, don’t succumb to the pressure and give a quick, rushed decision that you haven’t thought through.  Give yourself time to think before you decide.

詩篇第廿七 篇

大衛的詩。

1 耶和華是我的亮光,是我的拯救,我還怕誰呢?耶和華是我性命的保障,我還懼誰呢?
2 那作惡的,就是我的仇敵,前來吃我肉的時候,就絆跌仆倒。
3 雖有軍兵安營攻擊我,我的心也不害怕;雖然興起刀兵攻擊我,我必仍舊安穩。
4 有一件事,我曾求耶和華,我仍要尋求,就是一生一世住在耶和華的殿中,瞻仰祢的榮美,在祢的殿裡求問。
5 因為我遭遇患難,祢必暗暗地保守我,在祢亭子裡,把我藏在祢帳幕的隱密處,將我高舉在磐石上。
6 現在我得以昂首,高過四面的仇敵。我要在祢的帳幕裡歡然獻祭,我要唱詩,歌頌耶和華。
7 耶和華啊,我用聲音呼籲的時候,求祢垂聽,並求祢憐恤我,應允我。
8 祢說:「祢們當尋求我的面。」那時我心向祢說:「耶和華啊,祢的面我正要尋求。」
9 不要向我掩面,不要發怒趕逐僕人,祢向來是幫助我的。救我的神啊,不要丟掉我,也不要離棄我!
10 我父母離棄我,耶和華必收留我。…….

在猶太人的以祿月(西曆8-9月)裡,也就是迎接新年和贖罪日的前一個月裡,猶太人每天早晨(除了每週的安息日以外)都要吹羊角,背誦這首詩篇。吹羊角是為了喚醒人們的靈魂,背誦詩篇是為了提醒眾人要仰望神。這樣的作法一直要做到新年的來臨。今年的猶太新年是西曆九月29日開始,也就是說再過兩三天就是以祿月的開始,猶太人要開始每天背誦這詩篇了。

詩篇第廿六篇

大衛的詩。

1 耶和華啊,求祢為我申冤,因我向來行事純全,我又倚靠耶和華並不搖動。
2 耶和華啊,求祢察看我,試驗我,熬煉我的肺腑心腸。
3 因為祢的慈愛常在我眼前,我也按祢的真理而行。
4 我沒有和虛謊人同坐,也不與瞞哄人的同群。
5 我恨惡惡人的會,必不與惡人同坐。
6 耶和華啊,我要洗手表明無辜,才環繞祢的祭壇,
7 我好發稱謝的聲音,也要述說祢一切奇妙的作為。
8 耶和華啊,我喜愛祢所住的殿和祢顯榮耀的居所。
9 不要把我的靈魂和罪人一同除掉,不要把我的性命和流人血的一同除掉,
10 他們的手中有奸惡,右手滿有賄賂。……….

這詩篇很像是一個利未人在詩班讚美神時對神的傾訴,說到他對神不動搖的信靠,他不喜歡與惡人同行或同坐,他喜愛神的殿,並且在眾會中稱頌神。

大衛寫這詩篇不是在自誇自己的清潔無辜,乃是在神面前不斷地自省,求神察看,求神試驗,因為他怕自己做得不夠好,害怕有得罪神的地方。他誠然很努力地保守自己,但是在神面前,有誰能稱自己是義人?因此即使他在日常生活裡保守自己,在事奉前依然要先洗手,才敢環繞神的聖壇。

大衛在這詩篇提醒我們,自守是應該的,自潔是必須的,到神面前省察也是理所當然,讓我們可以手潔心清地親近神。那時我們才能明白神所住的殿何等神聖,神的榮耀何等可畏,而更加感謝神,更不能住口地傳揚神奇妙的作為。

Life is a Game of Thrones

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 9:13-31.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-18:  Here the Chronicler describes all the gold that Solomon accumulated on an annual basis (v13-16), the gold and ivory throne that he sat on, which was unlike anything that had ever been made for any other kingdom (v17-19), the possessions Solomon amassed (v20, 24, 27), the connections Solomon had (v21), the audience he attracted (v23),  the horses and chariots he collected (v25, 28), and the territories he ruled over (v26).  Verse 22 sums it up: “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.”

Yet as impressive as Solomon’s splendor, wealth and wisdom may have been, the sad reality is that none of it lasted and none of it satisfied.   Here the Chronicler is very gentle in his treatment of Solomon, as he barely alludes to Solomon’s moral failures such as his refusal to obey God in the area of marriage (2 Chronicles 8:11; see also 1 Kings 11:1-13) and his obsession with accumulating gold and horses in violation of God’s instructions to kings (see Deuteronomy 17:16-17).  The Chronicler does not mention the crumbling of Solomon’s relationship with God or the depression and disillusionment that resulted.  But Solomon himself would write in the book of Ecclesiastes that all of the riches, fame, possessions, power and wisdom he accumulated were ultimately and utterly meaningless.  Solomon’s son Rehoboam would take over his father’s throne, only to see most of the kingdom that Solomon had worked so hard to build slip through his fingers.

詩篇第廿五篇

大衛的詩。

1 耶和華啊,我的心仰望祢。
2 我的神啊,我素來倚靠祢,求祢不要叫我羞愧,不要叫我的仇敵向我誇勝。
3 凡等候祢的必不羞愧,唯有那無故行奸詐的必要羞愧。
4 耶和華啊,求祢將祢的道指示我,將祢的路教訓我。
5 求祢以祢的真理引導我,教訓我,因為祢是救我的神,我終日等候祢。
6 耶和華啊,求祢記念祢的憐憫和慈愛,因為這是亙古以來所常有的。
7 求祢不要記念我幼年的罪愆和我的過犯,耶和華啊,求祢因祢的恩惠,按祢的慈愛記念我。
8 耶和華是良善正直的,所以祂必指示罪人走正路。
9 祂必按公平引領謙卑人,將祂的道教訓祂們。
10 凡遵守祂的約和祂法度的人,耶和華都以慈愛、誠實待他。……..

這首詩篇裡,大衛提醒我們要仰望神。仰望神在英文的版本裡有些譯為:In you I trust(我信靠祢)。所以我們知道,在仰望中帶有信靠的意思,只有當你相信且願意倚靠時,你才會仰望,你才會禱告,你才會敬拜。

這是一首每一段以希伯來文字母為開始的詩篇,所以又稱為字母詩。大衛形容一個心裡敬畏神的人對神的敬拜,包括了要理解神的公義和神的道,不是以自己的標準行事為人,而是按著神的心意,因此他求神指示罪人走正路,選擇當走的道路。

An Excellent Church for God’s Glory

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 9:1-12.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-12:  These verses describe Solomon’s interactions with the Queen of Sheba when she came to visit Solomon in Jerusalem.  While the Queen of Sheba had heard great things about Solomon’s wisdom, when she visits Solomon she is blown away (verse 4 says “overwhelmed”) by his wisdom, the palace he built, the kind of food served at Solomon’s table, the way is officials, servants and cupbearers served, and the sacrifices given at the temple.  In fact a running theme in this chapter is that in Solomon’s kingdom people experienced things they had never seen before.  For example:

The Queen of Sheba is blown away by Solomon’s wisdom and the administration of his kingdom
The Queen of Sheba brings an overwhelmingly large number of gifts, including spices that the people of Jerusalem had never seen before (v9)
The use of algumwood from King Hiram to make steps for the temple and the royal palace and to make musical instruments for the temple, such that “nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah” (v11).

詩篇第廿四篇

詩篇第廿四篇

大衛的詩。

1 地和其中所充滿的,世界和住在其間的,都屬耶和華。
2 祂把地建立在海上,安定在大水之上。
3 誰能登耶和華的山?誰能站在祂的聖所?
4 就是手潔心清,不向虛妄,起誓不懷詭詐的人。
5 祂必蒙耶和華賜福,又蒙救祂的神使他成義。
6 這是尋求耶和華的族類,是尋求祢面的雅各。(細拉)

7 眾城門哪,你們要抬起頭來!永久的門戶,你們要被舉起!那榮耀的王將要進來!

8 榮耀的王是誰呢?就是有力有能的耶和華,在戰場上有能的耶和華。
9 眾城門哪,你們要抬起頭來!永久的門戶,你們要把頭抬起!那榮耀的王將要進來!
10 榮耀的王是誰呢?萬軍之耶和華,祂是榮耀的王。(細拉)

這是一篇禮儀詩,是朝聖者進入聖殿時所誦唱的。這詩篇的來源有兩種說法,一是當大衛將約櫃從基列耶琳送到錫安城時,據說就是以這詩篇為歌詞配樂吟頌,68和132篇也是為此行而作。大衛在詩中讚美神的創造,只有創造宇宙者才能知道祂的創作裡所具有的潛力,也只有祂才能決定要把祂的創作與誰分享。在祂的異象中,祂選擇了人類,並且讓以色列人進入迦南地,擁有迦南地。

Compromise Your Faith, Complicate Your Life

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 8:1-18. Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 8:11 (NIV) 
11  Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, “My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the ark of the LORD has entered are holy.”
 
On verses 1-18:  In these verses we read about some of the activities Solomon engaged in after he built the temple and his own palace, such as cities that he developed (v2-6), peoples he ruled over (v7-10), sacrifices that he made and work that he did at the temple (v12-16), and riches he accumulated (v17-18). 

Notice in verses 12-16, Solomon goes to great lengths to make sure that the offerings he gives at the temple as well as the way the priests and Levites conduct their services at the temple are all in strict accordance with Moses’ commands and his father David’s orders (v12-16).  Solomon is painstakingly devout in this particular area of his life. But in other areas of his life, we see Solomon starting to compromise his faith.  For example, Solomon knew full well that God’s Word commanded against marrying an unbeliever, yet Solomon goes ahead and marries Pharaoh’s daughter, who did not believe in the God of Israel or worship Him. 

詩篇第廿三篇

詩篇第廿三篇

大衛的詩。

1 耶和華是我的牧者,我必不致缺乏。
2 祂使我躺臥在青草地上,領我在可安歇的水邊。
3 祂使我的靈魂甦醒,為自己的名引導我走義路。
4 我雖然行過死蔭的幽谷,也不怕遭害,因為祢與我同在,祢的杖、祢的竿都安慰我。
5 在我敵人面前,祢為我擺設筵席,祢用油膏了我的頭,使我的福杯滿溢。
6 我一生一世必有恩惠、慈愛隨著我,我且要住在耶和華的殿中,直到永遠。

有位猶太拉比說,〈詩篇〉23篇是支持以色列人度過最黑暗時期的詩篇,在長期的壓迫和流浪裡,再恐怖的謀害或悲劇也不能讓他們忘記「祢與我同在」的應許。大衛王的一生並不平順,他的遭遇十分坎坷,但是因為他知道神與他同在,所以他從不絕望。

大衛渴望可以舒服地住在聖地,有神的恩惠與慈愛相隨。「住在dwell」在希伯來文裡還有一個意思,就是「我會回來I will return」。大衛盼望他不僅可以住在神的殿中,而且萬一必須離開,也可以經常回到神的面前。大衛那時只有會幕,尚未建聖殿,但凡是有神在的地方,便是大衛渴想的所在。