祈禱: 但願教會呼籲信聚多禱告, 而政府不要只顧政經, 更懂注重社會民眾
May the church pray more and may the government not only focus on politics and the economy but also be attentive to the spiritual wellbeing of their people.
SCRIPTURE READING: Joel 1:13-20
釋義: 本段內容與上段相當接近, 但上段只是純粹描述大災難的慘情, 本段卻提出兩個應付災難的行動:
This passage is quite similar to the previous passage, but while the former one describes the horrific scene of a catastrophe, these verses propose two actions in response to the disaster:
向耶和華哀求 — 「哀哉」常在哀歌的開端，在舊約中有十四次，大都是與「耶和華」的聖名相連。「哀哉，耶和華阿。」這是在危機中向耶和華哀求的禱告（如書七7；耶四10，十四13，卅二17；結四14，
九8，十一13，二十49；有時只譯為「哎，耶和華」）。本段就提到「痛哭」、「哀號」、「哀求」等字句, 所以先知說: 「耶和華啊，我向你求告」(19)。災難令人認識自己的脆弱無助, 催促人轉向仰望神解救。
Call to the Lord for Mercy – The word “Alas” always appears at the beginning of a lamentation. This word shows up 14 times in the Old Testament and it is often connected to the name “Jehovah”. It is a prayer calling to the Lord during an extreme crisis. (e.g.: Joshua 7: 7; Jeremiah 4:10, 14:13, 32:17; Ezekiel 4:14, 9: 8, 11:13, 20:49; sometimes it is translated into “O, Lord”). This passage mentions the words: “wail”, “weep”, “lament”, etc., thus the prophet said, ” O Lord, to You I cry out “(v. 19). Disasters make people aware of their vulnerability and helplessness, urging them to turn to God for help.
向領袖呼籲 — 先知向宗教領袖━━祭司說話(13)。先知叫他們在聖殿事奉的華麗衣飾上穿束麻布，向民眾表示悲哀，使人認定靈性的淒涼。然後先知呼籲政治領袖━━長老(14), 招聚國中的一切居民到耶和華─你們神的殿。先知向這兩種人呼籲, 不是只有這些人需要向神呼求, 而是領袖在社會中的影響力。如果領袖肯挺身而出, 以身作則, 必能產生社會性的影響。這樣，先知原來的呼喚可以傳遞到百姓那裏，使他扮演一位上帝代言人的角色。
Call to the Leaders – The prophet speaks to the religious leaders – to the priests (v. 13). He calls to those who minister before the altar, who are dressed in fine linen, to lament and wail in sackcloth that they may be aware of their spiritual desolate state.
Then the prophet calls the political leaders – the elders (v. 14), to call a sacred assembly of all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord. The prophet calls two kinds of people, not only those who need God, but also the influential leaders in society. If leaders are willing to step forward and lead by example, they will be able to make a social impact. In this way, the original call of the prophet can be passed on to the people thereby the prophet becomes God’s spokesman.
提到的蝗災何時發生, 但耶穌卻預言: 「你們也要聽見打仗和打仗的風聲，總不要驚慌；因為這些事是必須有的，只是末期還沒有到。民要攻打民，國要攻打國；多處必有饑荒、地震。這都是災難的起頭……該知道人子近了，正在門口了。(太廿四6~8,33)
After issuing a summon for the National Assembly to mourn, Joel then announces that the reason for his call was not the great damage caused by the plague of locusts, but that “the Day of the Lord” was at hand (v. 15). The destruction of the locusts was indeed a sign of the approaching day. We are unsure of when the plague of locusts will happen, but Jesus prophesied saying: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. (Matthew 24: 6-8,33)
by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung