PRAYER: But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death. (Psalm 141:8)
讀經: 那鴻書 1:1-15
SCRIPTURE READING: Nahum 1:1-15
釋義: 「耶和華是忌邪施報的神」(2)這句開場白提綱挈領地說出本章和本書的主題。而接著的一節, 指出忌邪施報的三個原則:
“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God.” (v. 2) This opening statement outlines the theme of this chapter and this book. Following are three principles of this statement:
「耶和華不輕易發怒」 — 神雖然忌邪, 但他忍著不出手, 正如彼得所說: 「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)其實神並不願發怒, 因「耶和華本為善，在患難的日子為人的保障，並且認得那些投靠他的人。」(7)
[The Lord is Slow to Anger] – Although God is jealous, He does not act on His anger, as Peter says: “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) In fact, God doesn’t want to be angry, because “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” (v. 7)
「大有能力」 — 忌邪的神可以施報, 因為祂有施報的能力: 「他乘旋風和暴風而來，雲彩為他腳下的塵土。他斥責海，使海乾了，使一切江河乾涸。巴珊和迦密的樹林衰殘；黎巴嫩的花草也衰殘了。大山因他震動；小山也都消化。大地在他面前突起；世界和住在其間的也都如此。
[The Lord is Great in Power] – A jealous God can avenge because He has the power to do so: “His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. The mountains quake before Him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at His presence, the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand His indignation? Who can endure His fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before Him.” (v. 3-6)
Thus, “with an overwhelming flood He will make an end of Nineveh… Whatever they plot against the Lord, he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time… Although they have allies and are numerous, they will be destroyed and pass away… The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: “You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the images and idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile. (v. 8, 9, 12, 14)
「萬不以有罪的為無罪」 — 這說明神公義的原則, 有罪就是有罪, 但神不是向凡有罪的人發怒, 祂只向頑梗、對抗者施報: 「耶和華施報大有忿怒；向他的敵人施報，向他的仇敵懷怒」(2)、「尼尼微人哪，設何謀攻擊耶和華呢？他必將你們滅絕淨盡；災難不再興起」(9)、「有一人從你那裏出來，圖謀邪惡，設惡計攻擊耶和華。耶和華如此說：尼尼微雖然勢力充足，人數繁多，也被剪除，歸於無有」(11~12)。
[The Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished] – This plainly shows the principle of God’s righteousness, a sin is a sin; but God does not get angry at all sinners, only against those who oppose Him: “The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.” (v. 2) “Whatever they plot against the Lord He will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.” (v. 9), “From you, Nineveh, has one come forth who plots evil against the Lord and devises wicked plans. This is what the Lord says: “Although they have allies and are numerous, they will be destroyed and pass away.” (v. 11-12).
感謝神, 祂的公義是認定攻擊祂的罪人, 但祂的信實也認定投靠的人: 「耶和華本為善，在患難的日子為人的保障，並且認得那些投靠他的人。」(7)即使以色列社會存不公、宗教不純正, 就如我們道德距離完美甚遠, 只要專心仰望祂, 神豐盛的救恩就必臨到: 「猶大啊，我雖然使你受苦，卻不再使你受苦; 現在我必從你頸項上折斷他的軛，扭開他的繩索。」(12~13)因為「耶和華救贖他僕人的靈魂；凡投靠他的，必不致定罪。」(詩卅四22).
We thank God that His righteousness is firmly established against those who oppose Him but His faithfulness is also firmly held for those who seek refuge in Him: “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” (v. 7) Even though there was social injustice in Israel and their religion was not pure just like our morals are far from perfect, as long as we look to Him wholeheartedly, God’s abundant salvation will come: “Although I have afflicted you, Judah, I will afflict you no more. Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away.” (v. 12-13) Because, “The Lord redeems the life of His servants, and all who take refuge in Him will not be punished.” (Psalm 34:22)
by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung