PRAYER: I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and You forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)
SCRIPTURE READING: Joel 3:1-21
釋義 : 「我要聚集萬民，帶他們下到約沙法谷，在那裏施行審判」(2) 猶大沒有一個山谷能容納萬民，「約沙法」意即「耶和華施行審判」（此谷又名斷定谷，14）。因此，「約沙法谷」是象徵萬民聚集受神審判的地方。
INSIGHT: “I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there.” (v. 2) Judah does not have a valley that can hold all nations, “Jehoshaphat” means “Jehovah Judges” (This valley is also called the valley of decision, v. 14). Thus, “The Valley of Jehoshaphat” is a symbol of a place where all the nations will be judged by God.
以賽亞和彌迦先知也預言「他必在列國中施行審判，許多國民斷定是非」(賽二4, 彌四3) ，而結果是「他們要將刀打成犁頭、把槍打成鐮刀；這國不舉刀攻擊那國，他們也不再學習戰事。」
Isaiah and the prophet Micah also prophesied, “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.” (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3), and the result will be that “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
But the book of Joel says the opposite: “Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” (v. 9-10)
約珥先知勸告人要歸向神, 但是必須把握時機, 「凡虔誠人都當趁你可尋找的時候禱告你；大水泛溢的時候，必不能到他那裏。」(詩卅二6) 因為先知警告, 神的忍耐是有時限的, 「到那日」(1,18)「萬民都當興起，上到約沙法谷；因為我必坐在那裏，審判四圍的列國。」(12)那時神說: 「我未曾報復流血的罪，現在我要報復」(21)。「報復」這詞在第4節又出現兩次, 再加上「報應」, 清楚表明神堅決要顯示祂公義的嚴厲審判。
The prophet Joel exhorted the people to return to God, but must seize the moment, “let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.” (Psalm 32:6) Because the prophet warned that God’s patience has a time limit, “In that day” (v. 1, 18) “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.” (v. 12) At that time, God will say: “Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged? No, I will not.” (v. 21). The word “repay” appears 2 times on verse 4, plus the words “return on your own heads”. It is clear that God is determined to show His righteousness with an unrelenting trial.
不錯, 約珥曾經說: 「他有恩典，有憐憫，不輕易發怒，有豐盛的慈愛，並且後悔不降所說的災」(二13), 但是「不輕易發怒」不等於不會發怒。使徒彼得告訴我們: 「主所應許的尚未成就，有人以為他是耽延，其實不是耽延，乃是寬容你們，不願有一人沉淪，乃願人人都悔改。」(彼後三9)所以「當趁耶和華可尋找的時候尋找他，相近的時候求告他。惡人當離棄自己的道路；不義的人當除掉自己的意念。歸向耶和華，耶和華就必憐恤他；當歸向我們的神，因為神必廣行赦免。」(賽五五6~7)
It is true that Joel once said: “He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and relents from sending calamity.” (2:13), but “slow to anger” doesn’t mean that He does not get angry. The Apostle Paul told us: “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Therefore, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.
by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung