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亞伯蘭的第四步

創世記13章14-17節   羅得離別亞伯蘭以後,耶和華對亞伯蘭說:「從你所在的地方,你舉目向東西南北觀看,凡你所看見的一切地,我都要賜給你和你的後裔,直到永遠。我也要使你的後裔如同地上的塵沙那樣多,人若能數算地上的塵沙,才能數算你的後裔。你起來,縱橫走遍這地,因為我必把這地賜給你。」

昨天的紐約每日新聞報導,說有位下班了的警員在長島的家外面和一位從小一起長大的好朋友發生爭執,開了五槍,把對方殺死了。從小一起長大,這樣的友誼不能說不堅固了,可是讓堅固的情誼受到挑戰的因素很多,其中有一個很大的因素便是利益衝突。

就像亞伯蘭和羅得這對伯侄,他們也可以說在一起很久了,羅得才會離開父親,跟著亞伯蘭伯伯出吾珥,又跟著他到迦南。他們一起下埃及,又一起出埃及,在這樣數年的時間裡,羅得也逐漸成長,獨當一面。他們各有自己的財產和僕人,各有自己的牲畜和需求。

當他們從埃及回到迦南地後,大家住在一起,伯侄相安,僕人卻時有爭執。同在一地共飲一井,誰的牲畜先喝水,誰的牛羊先到哪塊草地上吃草,大家都要搶先機,免得吃虧。日子一久,這些爭執就傳到了兩個伯侄的耳中。

The Spirit-Empowered Life

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Jude 1:17-24.  Let’s go!
 
Jude 1:17-18 (NIV) 
17  But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 
18  They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.”
 
On verses 17-18:  In the face of false teachers, Jude tells his Christian readers to remember how the apostles had warned them that false teachers would come.  What can we learn from this?
When false teachers try to lead you away from the truth we have in Jesus, don’t be surprised.  This is something Jesus Himself warned about (for example, see Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11, 24).  This is also something the apostles warned about (for example, see Acts 20:29; 2 Corinthians 11:13; Colossians 2:18). 

亞伯蘭的第三步

創世記12章17節  耶和華因亞伯蘭妻子撒萊的緣故,降大災於法老和他的全家。

我常常在想,耶和華神是何等有憐憫的神;若不是有豐盛的憐憫和慈愛,有誰能站在祂面前呢?若不是祂知道人的本性,憐憫我們的軟弱,我們早就被消滅了。因為我們是如此地不完全。

好像亞伯蘭,一個頭腦如此清楚,在眾人皆睡我獨醒的情況下,可以分析出真神假神,以確定自己信仰的人,在面臨問題時,也不免按著人的思路去解決。有饑荒,就去找水草豐盛之地;有生命危險,寧可出賣別人,也不惜說謊來保全自己。

為什麼神允許祂所揀選的亞伯蘭在南地碰上饑荒呢?祂難道不保護他,不賜福給他了嗎?在這裡,我們看到饑荒是世情的必然,而愛美是人的天性。在南地的饑荒,神有沒有辦法解決呢?不請神解決,而自行下埃及,好像羊入虎口,帶著美麗的妻子太引人注意,甚至可能遭來殺身之禍。亞伯蘭都知道,所以想了個保命之法,說謊。希望自己不死,至於妻子會遭到何事,他就不管那麼多了。

亞伯蘭的失敗,在於不仰望神,自尋出路,所以失去心裡的平安,只好選擇說謊來保護自己。他帶著妻子撒萊下埃及,要求妻子說是他的妹妹,所以他的妻子就被送到法老那裡。但是神降大災於法老和他的全家,法老因而送回撒萊,責備亞伯蘭,還送他很多禮物。

5 Ways You Can Unwittingly Put Your Foot in Your Mouth

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Jude 1:8-16.  In the following passage, Jude will describe five ways that you can put your foot in your mouth – that is, five ways that you can do damage (especially to yourself) with your words.  The first one is in verse 8, the other four are in verse 16.  Let’s go!

Your words are powerful.  Here Jude describes five ways that you can put your foot in your mouth – that is, five ways that you can do damage (especially to yourself) with your words.

Jude 1:8-10 (NIV) 
8  In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. 
9  But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 
10  Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals–these are the very things that destroy them.

亞伯蘭的第二步

創世記12章7節   耶和華向亞伯蘭顯現,說:「我要把這地賜給你的後裔。」

吾珥Ur,現在叫做烏爾法Urfa,是三教聖城,也稱為先知之城,只因為那是亞伯蘭的出生地。舊約聖經裡用了十五章的篇幅來講述亞伯蘭(亞伯拉罕)的生平,新約裡也有多處提及他的事蹟。他是基督教、回教和猶太教公認的先知,是猶太人和阿拉伯人的共同祖先,也是所有相信耶穌基督者的信心之父。神在世人最敗壞的時候,看見了挪亞,揀選了挪亞,拯救了挪亞和他的一家;在一個敬拜偶像的世代中,神看見了亞伯蘭,一個非常清楚偶像之虛假和不可靠的人,神揀選他,並且要祝福他和他的後裔。

在古蘭經和猶太人的經典裡,記載著挪亞曾孫寧錄,於大洪水之後,建造了巴比倫和巴別塔,並且開始多神偶像的崇拜。當亞伯蘭出生時,寧錄的星相家預言亞伯蘭將砸碎所有的偶像,與寧錄對抗。於是寧錄下令殺死所有男嬰,以免預言應驗。亞伯蘭的父親為了救他,把他藏在某個山洞裡,直到七歲。亞伯蘭長大後,果然砸碎所有的偶像。寧錄王很生氣,便把他關在一個城堡裡,用騾子運木材運了三個月,將木材起火後,又用巨大的石孥要把他丟到火裡燒死。沒想到熊熊烈火化為清水,木柴變成鯉魚,而亞伯蘭則掉到玫瑰花叢裡。另一傳說,因為亞伯蘭長得很俊美,被選上為祭物要獻給月神。亞伯蘭因而逃到哈蘭。寧錄王追殺亞伯蘭時燃起大火,但天神來救亞伯蘭,烈火化為清水,木柴變成鯉魚。所以現在吾珥的清真寺裡的鯉魚是聖魚,只可餵食,不可捕釣;那裡的鯉魚因食料過多而不斷繁殖,也沒有人敢吃聖魚,清真寺的水池只好不停地擴建。

Called, Loved and Kept By Jesus

Hi GAMErs,

Today we begin the book of Jude, one of the shortest books in the Bible, written by a Christian called Jude to Jewish Christians probably between 67 AD and 80 AD. 

Today’s passage is Jude 1:1-7.  Let’s go!

Jude 1:1-2 (NIV) 
1  Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: 
2  Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

On verses 1-2:  Who is Jude?  The fact that Jude calls himself “a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James” (v1) suggests to scholars that Jude had a very unique background: Jude was Jesus’ half-brother.  In other words, after the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, Mary and her husband Joseph had natural children of their own, including Jude and James.  Imagine growing up with Jesus as your older brother!  Although Jude grew up with Jesus, Jude and his siblings at first did not believe that their brother was actually the Son of God (John 7:4-5). 

亞伯蘭的第一步

創世記第12章 1-3節耶和華對亞伯蘭說:「你要離 開本地、本族、父家,往我所要指示你的地去。 我必叫你成為大國,我必賜福給你,叫你的名為大,你也要叫別人得福。 為你祝福的,我必賜福於他;那咒詛你的,我必咒詛他。地上的萬族都要因你得福。」

在思想神的應許時,我往往會想起亞伯拉罕。亞伯拉罕的原名是亞伯蘭,他當時住在迦勒底的吾珥城,今天它的遺址位於伊拉克的內地,屬伊拉克濟加爾省。在那個時代,就像許多傳說中提到的,人們因為生活的豐富而逐漸地自大起來,忘記了神的恩典,不再敬拜神,所以受到神的懲罰。但是洪水之後,巴別塔的分裂之後,人自大的心性是否有改變呢?根據猶太人的傳說,人並沒有歸向神,反而開始為自己製造偶像,拜偶像,而亞伯蘭的父親他拉,就是以製造和販賣偶像為生。當他拉必須出門時,會要求亞伯蘭為他看店。亞伯蘭是一個好的推銷員嗎?今天要跟您介紹一些亞伯蘭的小故事。

根據阿卡族及蘇美族泥版記載,“迦勒底的吾珥”在公元前廿世紀已是一個富麗、忙碌又拜多神的都城,主要是拜日、月和女神。有個傳說提到,為何神會揀選亞伯蘭這個人。有一個夜晚,亞伯蘭睡不著就外出散步,他看到夜空中星光閃爍,甚為美麗,因此興起拜星星的念頭。可是再看月亮,月亮比星星更好看,要拜星星倒不如拜月亮;這麼一想,卻又想起日出時太陽的萬丈光芒,那麼更應該拜太陽。但是接下來,他想到陰天時遮住太陽的雲,那麼雲是否比太陽厲害?但是風又會把雲吹走?難道該拜風嗎?是誰造了日月星辰和大自然的一切?他忽然之間想通了,那位創造了這一切的造物主,才是他要敬拜的對象。從此他就決定只要敬拜那位創造萬物的真神。

Who Is Like You?

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Micah 7:14-20.  Let’s go!

Micah 7:14-20 (NIV) 
14  Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago.

On verse 14:  Previously Micah focused on the rod of God’s discipline (Micah 6:9), but now Micah ends his book by talking about the staff of God’s tender leadership.  Here Micah prays and invites God to shepherd His people.  He describes God’s people as a flock living “by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands”, meaning that God has assigned a special and exclusive place for His people filled with blessings.  The glory that His sheep will enjoy will be like in Israel’s most glorious days of old.

What can we learn from this?  God is a shepherd who disciplines with His rod and who tenderly leads with His staff.  When we follow our Shepherd, He leads us to an ancient place of blessing that we could never get to ourselves.  You’re always best off following your Shepherd.

我相信上帝的旨意,不相信運氣

「起初上帝創造天地」(創世記 1:1)

學生問道:「老師,什麼是『運氣』?運氣是不是上帝的旨意?」

「運氣」是人類以自己的聰明,創造出最高明的詞。每一種語言,都有運氣對等的字,例如英文是fortune。

運氣是以朦朧的詞句,作事情的結論,不討論原因,不看過去產生的因素,不看後來的發展,不管真實如何,不用驗證,就歸於「歹運」或「好運」。更可怕的是,在這含糊的語詞裡,有些人可用「改運」來操控人心,賺取許多的錢財。

「上帝的旨意」與「運氣」,完全是兩回事。上帝說祂創造世界,已經在告訴人世界的形成在祂,宇宙的法則在祂,不是運氣。

我們教學生「實驗課」,有物理實驗、化學實驗與生物實驗,在讓學生知道物理作用,化學有反應,生物有代謝,是有法則,不是運氣。因此,沒有運氣實驗課。

我們教學生,數學的證明題、計算題。證明與計算,都在培養學生的專心、解析與努力,不是運氣。我們教學生天文學,例如太陽系,系是系統,不是運氣。我們教學生水的循環,這循環幫助地球所有的生物,不是運氣。