祈禱 : 求主指教我怎樣準備好與神心靈相交。
PRAYER: Lord, please help me to prepare my heart to have fellowship with You.
SCRIPTURE READING: Amos 4:1-13
釋義: 當以色列人聽到先知宣告審判的信息, 一個很自然的反應就是到聖殿獻祭求恩。所以阿摩司提到以色列人「往伯特利去……到吉甲……每日早晨獻上你們的祭物，每三日奉上你們的十分之一……獻有酵的感謝祭……」(4~5)不過, 他們的獻祭不單不蒙神悅納, 更被神責備是犯罪的行動, 原因:
INSIGHT: When the Israelites heard the prophet declare a message of judgment on them, a very natural response was to go to the temple, make an offering and ask for mercy. Hence, Amos mentions what the Israelites did, they: “Went to Bethel…to Gilgal…brought sacrifices every morning…tithed every three years…and burned leavened bread as a thank offering…” (v. 4-5) However, their sacrifices were not only unacceptable to God, they were considered a sinful act towards God. Because they were:
(1) 假冒為善 — 「任你們獻有酵的感謝祭，把甘心祭宣傳報告給眾人，因為是你們所喜愛的。這是主耶和華說的。」(5)這裏講的是反話。讀者若留意本節句子結構, 就可以知道這裏所說「你們所喜愛的」並非上文幾次提到的獻祭, 而是上句「把甘心祭宣傳報告給眾人」。甘心祭必須獻
得樂意，而且只是對神的，不必向人宣傳。但是他們大事宣揚，惹人注意，使人稱讚，完全失去獻祭的精神。呂振中譯本把這種自我吹噓的動機翻出來: 「把自願獻的祭宣告而公佈吧！因為、以色列人哪、你們所愛的就只是如此！」這就如耶穌所說: 「你們要小心，不可將善事行在人的
(1) HYPOCRITES – “ ‘Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings—boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do,’ declares the Sovereign Lord.” (v. 5) There is a sense of irony here. If you pay careful attention to the sentence structure in this section, you will notice that the phrase, “what you love to do,” isn’t really referring to the offerings mentioned above, but to their “bragging about their freewill offerings — boasting about them.” A freewill offering to God must come from the heart, and it need not be proclaimed publicly. But they announced it as a major event, to catch people’s attention, so that people would praise them for it; totally missed the point of the spirit of sacrifice. Lu Chen-Chung’s Chinese version translated this kind of self-bragging motive as: “Proclaim and publicize your freewill offering! Because, O Israel, that is what you love!” Like what Jesus said: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full… And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:1-2, 5)
(2) 死不悔改 — 6~11節是一系列的曉諭，共有五方面，每一次都以「你們仍不歸向我，這是耶和華說的」作為結束。這五點曉諭，每一點都指出了神的一個審判行動，藉以引導百姓悔改；但是每一次他們仍不歸向神。饑餓和糧食的缺乏對他們無效（6節）；乾旱也無助他們看見自己的情形（7-8節）；枯萎和出產的霉爛也不能開他們的眼睛（9節）；瘟疫和軍事災難也都無效（10節）；甚至災難傾覆了他們，就像所多瑪和蛾摩拉所遭遇的那樣，以色列人仍不覺得他們危險的處境。
(2) UNREPENTANT – Verses 6 to 11 mentions 5 aspects which end with,
“yet you have not returned to me.” Each of these five points indicates a judgment from God with the purpose of leading them to repentance; but time after time they did not return to God. Hunger and lack of food was in vain (v. 6); drought did not help them see their own situation (v. 7-8); withering and rotting of their crops did not open their eyes (v. 9); plagues and catastrophic wars were ineffective (v. 10); even when disasters overwhelmed them, like what Sodom and Gomorrah encountered; even after all that, the Israelites still did not feel that they were in a plight situation.
(3) 毫無準備 — 當人到祭壇獻祭, 必定有所準備, 至少不會不帶祭物、空手(申十六16)。但先知所指的是心靈的準備, 「以色列啊……你當豫備迎見你的神。」（12節）帶有諷刺的意思。因為朝聖者的禮拜就是使人重新迎見上帝；但是先知不能期望一種快樂的相逢，他暗示他們將遭遇
(3) UNPREPARED – When a person comes before the altar to offer a sacrifice, he must be prepared, he shouldn’t come empty-handed (Deuteronomy 16:16). But the prophet refers to the preparation of the heart, “Israel, prepare to meet your God.” (v. 12) There is a bit of irony here because the act of worship of a pilgrim is to bring people to meet God once again; however, the prophet cannot expect it to be a joyful encounter, he is hinting that they will be facing judgment. At the end, the prophet tells the worshippers that the God that they will meet is the Lord God Almighty, He created the heavens and the earth, and only He can bring about the judgment which He proclaimed.
by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung