祈禱:  感謝主, 你本來富足,卻為我們成了貧窮,叫我們因你的貧窮,可以成為富足。(林後八9)

PRAYER:  Thank you Lord, though You were rich, for our sake You became poor, so that we through Your poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

讀經:  摩六章1~14節


釋義:  阿摩司傳達神信息的時候, 以色列雖然已臣服亞述, 但經濟仍相當富裕。本章不少經文描述以色列國和猶大國的繁榮逸樂: 「國為列國之首,人最著名……安逸無慮」(1)、「你們躺臥在象牙床上,舒身在榻上,吃群中的羊羔,棚裏的牛犢;彈琴鼓瑟唱消閑的歌曲,為自己製造樂器,如同大衛所造的;以大碗喝酒,用上等的油抹身」(4~6)。然而他們是「為自己積財,在神面前卻不富足」(路十二21), 原因是靈性敗壞:

INSIGHT:  When Amos conveyed the message of God, although Israel had surrendered to Assyria, their economy was still quite wealthy.  Many verses in this chapter describe the prosperity of the nation of Israel and Judah:  “You notable men of the foremost nation…you who are complacent…you who feel secure.” (v. 1)   “You lie on beds adorned with ivory and lounge on your couches.  You dine on choice lambs
and fattened calves.   You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments.   You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions.” (v. 4-6)  However, they “stored up things for themselves but were not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21)  The reason was spiritual decay:

(1) 自私  — 他們安逸無慮(1), 只顧享受「舒身的人荒宴之樂」(7), 「卻不為約瑟的苦難擔憂」(6)。箴言廿一13: 「塞耳不聽窮人哀求的,他將來呼籲也不蒙應允。」

(1) SELFISHNESS – They were complacent (v. 1), they were just enjoying themselves “feasting and lounging” (v. 7),  “did not grieve over the ruin of Joseph” (v. 6).  “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13) 

(2) 不公平 — 「馬豈能在崖石上奔跑?人豈能在那裏用牛耕種呢?你們卻使公平變為苦膽,使公義的果子變為茵蔯。」(12) 公平原為社會秩序維護力量,應該有豫防與醫治的功效,現在人們將它變質,不僅苦澀難嚐,而且有毒素,對社會有極大的危害。公平和公義是先知書常

提及的主題, 因為「萬軍之耶和華因公平而崇高;聖者神因公義顯為聖。」(賽五16)

(2) UNFAIRNESS – “Do horses run on the rocky crags? Does one plow the seawith oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness.” (v. 12)  Fairness was the original force to safeguard order in society, it had a shielding and  healing effect; people today have corrupted it, it’s not only bitter and sour but it has a bad taste and it’s poisonous, extremely harmful to society.   Fairness and justice is a theme often mentioned in the book of the prophets, because:  “The Lord Almighty will be exalted by His justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by His righteous acts.” (Isaiah 5:16)

(3) 自大  — 在經濟為本的社會中, 物質、財富就是衡量人成功的指數。既然以色列繁華富裕、安逸無慮, 自然地覺得很有成功感。他們就好像尼布甲尼撒「遊行在巴比倫王宮上。他說:這大巴比倫不是我用大能大力建為京都,要顯我威嚴的榮耀嗎?」(但四29~30)所以先知責備他

們: 「你們喜愛虛浮的事,自誇說:我們不是憑自己的力量取了角嗎?」(13)

(3) ARROGANCE — In an economically-oriented society, material and wealth are indicators of human success. Since Israel is prosperous and rich, comfortable and worry free,  it was natural that they had the feeling of success.  They were like Nebuchadnezzar:  “As the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”  Therefore, the prophet rebuked them saying:  “You who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar and say, “Did we not take Karnaim  by our own strength?” (v. 13)

我們要認真思想雅基的兒子亞古珥的真言: 「我求你兩件事,在我未死之先,不要不賜給我:求你使虛假和謊言遠離我;使我也不貧窮也不富足;賜給我需用的飲食,恐怕我飽足不認你,說:耶和華是誰呢?又恐怕我貧窮就偷竊,以致褻瀆我神的名。」(箴卅7~9)

We must seriously ponder on the sayings of Agur son of Jakeh:  “Two things I ask of you, Lord;  do not refuse me before I die:  Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:7-9)

by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung