蝗災 Plague Of Locusts (Joel 約珥書 1:1-12)

祈禱:  求神使我的眼從觀察地上的災難轉為仰望天上掌管一切的神。

PRAYER: 

May God turn my eyes from looking  at the disasters that are happening now in this world to focusing on the sovereign God who is in control of everything.

蝗災  PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS 

讀經  珥一章1~12節

SCRIPTURE READING:  Joel 1:1-12

釋義:  這段聖經清楚不過是預言一個非常特別的蝗災。  特別的地方是:

INSIGHT: 

This passage clearly prophesies about an unparalleled plague of locusts.  It was unusual because:  

空前絕後  蝗災的嚴重性是從所未有: 老年人未曾聽、歷史(列祖) 沒有可以相比的記載; 而且後代也應該知道的(2~3), 可說是列入健力 士世界紀錄(Guinness World Records)中。

It was unequaled:  It never happened with such a severity:  The old people had never seen anything like it. There was no record in the history of the world that something like that ever happened and future generations would know about it. (verses 2-3), it was one for the Guinness World Records.

‚徹底毀滅  「剪蟲剩下的,蝗蟲來吃;蝗蟲剩下的,蝻子來吃;蝻 子剩下的,螞蚱來吃。」(4) 加上「牠毀壞我的葡萄樹,剝了我無花果樹的皮,剝盡而丟棄,使枝條露白。」(7)、「大麥小麥與田間的莊稼都滅絕了。」(11)可見是徹底的毀滅。

There was total destruction: “What the locust swarm has left, the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left, the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left, other locustshave eaten.” (verse 4).  In addition to that, “It has laid waste my vines and ruined my fig trees. It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white.” (verse 7).  “Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed.“  (Verse 11).  The only thing visible was total destruction.

ƒ極度傷痛  本段經文四次提到「哀號」(5,8,11), 加上「哭泣」(5)和兩次「悲哀」(9~10), 結果就是「眾人的喜樂盡都消滅。」(12) 這慘絕人寰的境況是由蝗災引起。本段提到的蝗蟲既是天災, 也是人禍:

There was extreme pain:  The word “wail/lament” is mentioned 4 times (v. 5, 8, 11), plus the word “weep” (v. 5), and the words “mourn”, two times (v. 9, 10).  The result was, “joy has withered away from the sons of men.” (v. 12).  This terrible situation is caused by a plague of locusts.  The locusts mentioned in this passage are natural disasters and also man-made disasters.    

天災━━本段所說的蝗蟲「毀壞葡萄樹,剝無花果樹的皮,剝盡而丟 棄,使枝條露白」(7)使「五穀毀壞」(10) 、「大麥小麥與田間的莊稼都滅絕了」(11)都說明這些是農夫聞風喪膽的蝗災。

Natural Disasters – The locusts mentioned in this passage: “Has made my vine a waste and my fig tree splinters. It has stripped them bare and cast them away; their branches have become white.” (v. 7).  It made “the grain ruined.” (v. 10), “Wail for the wheat and the barley; because the harvest of the field is destroyed.” (v. 11).  Clearly, the plague of locusts has become a stench in the air to the farmers.

人禍━━第6節說: 「有一隊蝗蟲〔原文是民〕又強盛又無數,侵犯我的地」, 毫無疑問件拿蝗蟲比喻敵人。下文更清楚說明: 「我打發到你們中間的大軍隊,就是蝗蟲、蝻子、螞蚱、剪蟲」(二25)。

Man-made disaster – Verse 6 says: “For a nation has invaded my land,” (In the Chinese version, instead of the word “nation”, it says “locusts”).  There is no doubt that the locust refers to the enemy.  The following verse will make it clearer to understand:  “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust,
my great army which I sent among you.” (Chapter 2, v. 25)

先知約珥沒有說明蝗災是以色列人犯罪引起。其實許多時候苦難到, 並非當事人的過錯; 別人犯罪、社會不公、人類生活破壞生態平衡、甚至天然的氣候或地理變化等, 都可能構成大災難。重要的是, 這些不是偶然或單純因果反應, 這一切神都知道、並且掌管。

The prophet Joel didn’t say that the plague of locust was caused by Israel’s sin. 

In fact, many times when suffering comes upon us, it is not necessarily our fault.  Other people’s wrongdoing, social injustice and the way humanity lives can destroy the ecological balance of the planet. Even natural climate or geographic changes could be the cause of a disaster.  The main point is that the things that happen are not purely accidental or a cause and effect reaction.  God knows and has control over everything that happens. 

默想:    試回想過去的大災難, 911世貿受襲、禽流感、「沙士」、印尼海嘯、大風災、金融風暴等, 你是否相信神都知道並且向人啟示祂的心意?

REFLECT:

Think back to the disasters in the past:  The 911 World Trade Center attack, Avian Influenza, SARS, Indonesia Tsunami, Hurricanes, Financial Crisis, etc.  Do you believe that God knows and wants to reveal His will to us?

by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung