讀經: 《以賽亞書》一章 18-28節
SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 1:18-28
釋義: 耶和華是神。 任何宗教的神必須具至上最高權威, 不然就被降格, 不能再配得神的稱號。
INSIGHT: The Lord is God. The god of any religion must have the supreme authority, or he will be demoted, and no longer be worthy of the title of god.
耶和華在舊約和以色列人的觀念中, 都是至高無上的主。他的旨意高超(五五8-9);他籌算的事必定成就(四六9-11)。並且耶和華按公義行事(廿八17);萬不以有罪的為無罪(出卅四7); 那麼既然上文耶和華指出以色列人內心離棄神、宗教只流於外表, 就大可以義正辭嚴的向以色列人發出審判語。但是先知卻聽到一個奇特的信息:
In the Old Testament and in the minds of the Israelites, the Lord is the supreme God. His thoughts and ways are the highest (55:8-9); what He has planned, He will do (46:9-11); furthermore, the Lord acts with justice and righteousness (28:17); He does not leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:7); So, since the Lord points out in the previous passage that the Israelites had abandoned Him, it would be proper for God to utter stern words of judgement against them; but the prophet heard an unusual message:
The Lord said: Come now, let us settle the matter; why settle the matter?
●辯論並非耶和華不知所措, 對判斷是非能力有懷疑, 因為誰曾指示耶和華, 或作謀士指教他呢？他與誰商議, 誰教導他? 誰將公平的路指示他? 又將知識教訓他? 將通達的道指教他呢？(四十13,14) 耶和華是全知和全能的神, 他不會懷疑自己的判決, 也不須請教人。
Settling a matter really isn’t something that could easily overwhelm the Lord, because who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as His counselor? Who did the Lord consult to enlighten Him, and who taught Him the right way? Who was it that taught Him knowledge or showed Him the path of understanding? (40:13-14) The Lord is omniscient and omnipotent, He is not doubtful about His own judgment and He doesn’t have to ask anybody for guidance.
●辯論是法律訴訟的詞語, 特別是在盟約遭破壞時, 為了能確保司法公正, 就讓被告申辯, 一方面澄清指控中可能有的疑點, 同時給予機會說明苦衷或困難, 務求審判公正和合情理, 叫人心服口服。神在審判人的時候, 總給人機會為自己辯論。如果教會也採取這個原則, 不讓當事人機會分辨和申訴的流言蜚語必在教會絕跡, 減少許多創傷。
A dispute to settle a matter is the term for legal proceedings, especially when the covenant is breached. Its purpose is to ensure justice and to allow the accused to plead for himself. On one hand, to clarify the possible doubts of the allegations, and at the same time to give the opportunity to explain the hardships or difficulties, in order to make the trial fair, reasonable and convincing. When God judges the people, He always gives people the opportunity to dispute for themselves. If the church would also adopt this principle and resolve grievances the same way, lies and slanders would vanish and trauma on the parties involved would be reduced.
●辯論是耶和華請求人接受救恩的呼籲。全知的神在上文已清清楚楚的講述以色列人的情況, 不必再辯論神對人的審判。耶和華現在要求以色列人回答: 如果神有赦罪的方法, 可將如硃紅丹顏的罪洗得白如雪, 為什麼不甘心聽從, 接受悔改的恩典? 以賽亞書另一次提到耶和華要求人辯論, 也是提到神的赦罪恩典(四三24,25),可見辯論實在是神苦口婆心的勸諭, 提醒人把握悔改的機會。
The debate to settle the matter was a call from the Lord for the people to accept salvation. In the previous passage, the omniscient God speaks clearly about the situation of the Israelites. There was no need to settle any matters regarding God’s judgment on the people. Now, the Lord demands the Israelites to answer the following: If God has a way to forgive sins, though they were like scarlet they would be as white as snow; why were they not willing to obey and receive the grace of repentance? In Isaiah 43:24-25, the Lord also asks the people to settle the matter, mentioning God’s forgiving grace. We clearly see that the call to settle the matter was an earnest way to remind the people to seize the opportunity of repentance.
反省: 神說：在悅納的時候，我應允了你；在拯救的子，我搭救了你。 看哪！現在正是悅納的時候；現在正是拯救的日子。(林後六2) 我今天是否願意回應神的呼籲, 悔改心志和行為?
REFLECT: God said: “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Am I willing to respond to God’s call today to repent of my thoughts and my actions?
每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung