尋求神 SEEK THE LORD (Amos 阿摩司書 5:1-27)

祈禱:  主啊, 我心中羨慕你;我裏面的靈切切尋求你。(以賽亞書廿六9)

PRAYER:  My soul yearns for you, O Lord; my spirit longs for you. (Isaiah 26:9)

讀經:  摩五章1~27節

SCRIPTURE READING:  Amos 5:1-27)

釋義:  阿摩司先知在上一章對到伯特利和吉甲求恩典的人說了一番消極的話, 指出徒有虛名的獻祭只是犯罪的行為。在本章 阿摩司向 聽眾說積極的信息: 要尋求神。

INSIGHT:  In the previous chapter, the prophet Amos spoke negatively to those who had come to Bethel and Gilgal to ask for God’s favour, stating that their meaningless offerings were a sin. In this chapter Amos tells his listeners a positive message: Seek God.

(1) 尋求的先決 —  「你們要尋求,就必存活。」(4) 這句話是帶有諷刺味道。朝聖者以為他們是在聖地尋求耶和華。因此第五節結束時用了一句有力的文字遊戲,阿摩司譴責他們虛假尋求的聖地「也必歸於無有」。把第五節由希伯來文譯成中文是不容易的,呂振中譯本把這幾個地名用括號小字註解: 「不要尋求伯特利,不要進吉甲,不要過去到別是巴;因為吉甲真地會流亡〔「流亡」讀音與「吉甲」相似〕,伯特利〔即:上帝之殿〕必變成了伯亞文〔即:偶像之廟〕。」人民是尋求耶和華,但他們去尋求的地方卻甚麼也找不到。他必須先確知尋求正確的對象而不是地方或其他代替品或其象徵。

(1)  The prerequisite of seeking — “See me and live.” (v. 4) There is some irony in this sentence.  The worshippers thought that they were seeking the Lord in holy places. Thus, at the end of verse 5, a forceful wordplay is used, and Amos condemns the places which they thought were holy saying that those “will be reduced to nothing.”  It is not easy to translate verse five from Hebrew to Chinese.  Lu Cheng Chung ’s translation explains the name of these places in small brackets:  “Do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba.  For Gilgal will surely go into exile (the pronunciation of the word “Exile” is similar to that of “Gilgal”), and Bethel [ie, the Temple of God] becomes Beth-aven [ie, the Temple of Idols]. The people were seeking the Lord, but they were looking for Him in the wrong places.  They must know first what they are seeking for, it’s not a place,  and it’s not something that can be substituted or a replaced.

(2) 尋求的結果 –「你們要尋求我,就必存活。」(4)在兵荒馬亂之際,「存活」或者是指不致被殺、國家得以苟延殘喘, 但先知肯定亦包括屬靈含義。好像「尋求耶和華的人必讚美他, 你們的心永遠活著!」(詩廿二26)、「尋求上帝的人哪!願你們的心甦醒。」(詩六九32)所以呂振中譯本是: 「你們要尋求我、來活著」。

(2) The result of seeking — “Seek me and live.” (v. 4)  In times of turmoil and chaos of war, while the nation was lingering on in a worsening condition, “to live” may have meant not to be killed; but it also carries with it a spiritual connotation.   Like, “Those who seek the Lord will praise Him— may your hearts live forever! ” (Psalm 22:26),  ” You who seek God, may your hearts live! ” (Psalm 69:32)  Thus,  Lu Chen Chung’s translation says: “Seek me, come and live.”

(3) 尋求的對象 — 「要尋求耶和華,就必存活」(6)不是空泛地尋求一位「未識之神」(徒十七23), 而是「要尋求那造昴星和參星,使死蔭變為晨光,使白日變為黑夜,命海水來澆在地上的─耶和華是他的名」(8)。這重複四章13節的觀念: 「那創山、造風、將心意指示人、使晨光變為幽暗、腳踏在地之高處的,他的名是耶和華─萬軍之神」

(3) The object of seeking-“Seek the Lord and live” (6)  Don’t just seek an “unknown god” blindly  (Acts 17:23), but seek “He who made the Pleiades and Orion,  who turns midnight into dawn  and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land— the Lord is His name. “(v. 8).  Repeating the idea from Amos 4:13:  “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord God Almighty is his name. “

(4) 尋求的方法 — 尋求不僅是心願, 「因為沒有好樹結壞果子,也沒有壞樹結好果子。凡樹木看果子,就可以認出它來……善人從他心裏所存的善就發出善來」(路六43-45)。所以尋求那位良善的神的, 必定「你們要求善,不要求惡,就必存活。這樣,耶和華─萬軍之神必照你們所說的與你們同在。」(14)

(4) The way of seeking – To seek is more than just a wish, “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.   Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.…A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.” (Luke 6:43-45).   So,  in order to seek the good God, one must “Seek good, not evil, that you may live.  Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,  just as you say He is.” (v. 14)

神說: 「這稱為我名下的子民,若是自卑、禱告,尋求我的面,轉離他們的惡行,我必從天上垂聽,赦免他們的罪,醫治他們的地。我必睜眼看、側耳聽在此處所獻的禱告。」(代下七14-15)

God said:  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)

by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung