SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 7: 1 – 9
釋義: 舊約的先知除了預言將來神使用彌賽亞施行救贖外, 也藉著時事向以色列人講論信仰真理, 鼓勵勸勉人誠心倚靠仰望神。以色列人雖然在所羅門之後分為猶大國和以色列國, 但他們都是希伯來人。本章提到兩國內鬨, 原因是在主前735至732年間, 亞述國擴展霸權, 鄰近的亞蘭國已與以色列國結盟, 就想迫使大也聯手反抗亞述。亞哈斯拒絕參加, 反而企圖投靠亞述, 爭取有利的政治本錢, 因此受到以色列和亞蘭攻擊,要另立聽從他們的他比勒的兒子為傀儡王(6)。亞哈斯面對威嚇, 就巡察耶路撒冷城防禦設施, 他在上池的水溝頭，在漂布地的大路上遇見由神所差派的以賽亞和兒子, 聽到神的信息。
INSIGHT: Other than prophesizing God delivering salvation via Messiah in the future, prophets in Old Testament also used current affairs to speak the truth to the Israelites and to encourage them to trust God faithfully. Israelites, though divided into Judah (the southern kingdom) and Israel (the northern kingdom) after Solomon, were all Hebrews. This chapter mentioned the disaccord between the two kingdoms. The reason for the conflict is that between 735 and 732 BC, Assyria was establishing hegemony in the region. Neighboring Aram formed an alliance with Israel. They then tried to coerce Judah to join forces to resist Assyria. Ahaz refused, and even attempted to seek protection from Assyria to strive for favorable political position. As a result, Judah was attacked by Israel and Aram, and forced to make the son of Tabeel king, a puppet ruler who would submit to them (6). Faced with the threat, Ahaz went to inspect the defense facilities in Jerusalem. During the inspection, at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field, he met Isaiah and his son, whom were sent by God, and received God’s message.
本段聖經的教訓是: 總要信。第9節說:你們若是不信，定然不得立穩, 換句話說, 亞哈斯 在那個極惡劣的環境裡, 只要信靠神, 就可以得救。而這段聖經亦說明信心是什麼:
THE TEACHING OF THIS SCRIPTURE: Just believe. Verse 9 says ‘If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’ In other words, Ahaz just had to trust God in that extremely bad situation, and he will be saved. This scripture also illustrates what faith is:
●信心並不否定客觀事實。相信神並不是掩耳盜鈴, 自我欺騙, 或像駝鳥埋首沙堆, 逃避面對事實, 有信心並不能減輕環境的嚴重性, 所以以賽亞說: 原來亞蘭的首城是大馬士革；大馬士革的首領是利汛。 以法蓮的首城是撒馬利亞；撒馬利亞的首領是利瑪利的兒子(8,9)。
FAITH DOES NOT DENY FACTS — Trusting God is not like a Chinese idiom says about covering ears to steal a bell where the person deceives himself, or ostriches burying their heads in the sand to avoid facing the reality. Having faith does not reduce the severity of the situation. Therefore, Isaiah said, ‘…for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin… The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son.’ (8, 9)
●信心是從神的觀點看事實。人以自己的渺小與環境比較, 必然發覺力有不逮, 然而信心就是人與無限偉大的神結連, 人看來嚴峻的環境在神的偉大能力中顯得平凡, 所以現代中文聖經意譯大馬士革不過是利亞的首都利汛王不過是大馬士革的首領沒有甚麼了不起撒馬利亞不過是以色列的首都比加王不過是撒馬利亞的首領沒有甚麼了不起 (8,9)他們的怒氣不過像兩根燒焦了的木頭所冒出來的煙(4)
FAITH IS TO SEE FACTS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE — Men compare their being small with their situation will definitely find themselves inadequate. Yet faith is men connecting with the almighty God. A very difficult and severe situation as seen by men appears ordinary in God’s great power. Therefore, the Today’s Chinese Version (TCV) Bible had the meaning translated to say that Damascus is only the capital of Syria, and Rezin is only the head of Damascus, nothing to brag about. Samaria is only the capital of Israel, and Pekah is only the head of Samaria, nothing to brag about (8, 9). Their anger is just
like the smoke from two smoldering stubs of firewood (4).
REMINDER — ‘If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’ (9)
PRAYER — Dear God, I ask that you help me stand firm in my faith.
每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung