SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 12:1-6
釋義: 以賽亞書第一個大段落以本章作為結束。 本章是兩篇美麗的詩歌(1-3,4-6), 每篇都以稱謝耶和華開始。 雖然以賽亞主要用詩歌方式傳達神的啟示, (新標點和合本、新譯本等近代中文譯本都將詩歌分句排列) 但是以讚美的頌歌來結束更是適合不過。 信徒研經豈也不是應該以頌讚作研讀神話語的回應嗎？
INSIGHT: The first major section in the Book of Isaiah ends with this chapter, two beautiful songs, each begins with thanksgiving to the Lord. Isaiah conveys the revelations from God mainly in songs (recent Chinese bible versions such as CUNVP and NCV have songs displayed line by line), but it is most appropriate to end with songs of praises. Shouldn’t believers respond with praises when studying God’s words?
●個人稱頌耶和華(1-3) — 第1節以單數你開始, 顯示這是個人對神的讚美。 本篇頌歌提出兩個讚美神的原因:
INDIVIDUAL PRAISE OF THE LORD (1-3) — Verse 1 begins with a singular ‘you’, indicating that it is an individual praise to the Lord. This song gives two reasons for praising God:
1. 奇妙的寬恕──因為你雖然向我發怒，你的怒氣卻已轉消；你又安慰了我。 以賽亞在上文已經好幾次說及神發怒, 以色列人受責打罪有應得, 但奇妙的是不單神的惱怒非常短暫, 因為，他的怒氣不過是轉眼之間；他的恩典乃是一生之久。 一宿雖然有哭泣，早晨便必歡呼(詩卅5), 並且神發怒時其實也非常痛心, 正所謂打在兒身, 痛在母心, 神怒氣甫轉消, 就急不及待的安慰了我, 說明神是樂意饒恕人，有恩典，有憐憫，不輕易發怒，有豐盛慈愛的神(尼九17)。
1. AMAZING FORGIVENESS — “For though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.” (1) Previously, Isaiah spoke of God getting angry several times; the Israelites deserved to be punished. Yet it is amazing that not only is God’s anger temporary – “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5), but God also grieves when he’s angry. As the Chinese saying goes, ‘Strikes on son’s body, pain in mother’s heart’. As soon as God’s anger has turned away, he can’t wait to comfort me. That tells us, “God is ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love”. (Nehemiah 9:17)
2. 奇妙的救恩──2-3節多次提到救恩, 這是以賽亞書的主題, 但這救恩的特別, 因為不是神用奇蹟異能使人脫險, 或者透過人為我們解決困難, 而是神自己成為我的拯救, 這正是以賽亞名字的意思: 耶和華的救恩。既然我們有的不是救恩經歷, 而是救恩的泉源, 難怪先知說不懼怕, 可以歡然取水了。
2. AMAZING SALVATION – Verse 2-3 mentions salvation repeatedly; this is Isaiah’s theme. What is special about this salvation… is not that God delivers us from danger through miracles or solves our problems through the help from others, but that God himself becomes our salvation; this is the meaning of Isaiah’s name – God is salvation. Since what we have is not the experience of the salvation, but the source of the salvation, no wonder the prophet says he will not be afraid and he can draw water from the wells of salvation with joy.
●團體讚美耶和華(4-6) — 4節你們要說說明這是團體性的讚美。 上段講論神對人的作為, 祂寬恕和拯救, 人因此感恩而頌讚。 本段則強調神的名(4,5), 而聖經以名指人或神整個性格和本質, 所以這是對神本身的奇妙發出讚美, 就如人對名晝、自然奇觀、漂亮衣飾、令人心儀的人物、醉人的音樂或者精彩的表演由衷發出的欣賞和讚嘆。 神固然希望蒙恩的人表示謝意感恩, 但神更希望人能夠純粹欣賞神的偉大而發出讚嘆, 並且主動自發地傳揚在萬民中, 普傳天下, 使人知道以色列聖者乃為至大。
Community Praise of the Lord (4-6) – “And you (plural) will say” , verse 4 indicates that this is a community praise. The previous section talks about God’s deeds among people, his forgiveness and salvation, and men singing praises out of thankfulness. Yet in this section the emphasis is on God’s name (4, 5). Names in the bible reveal God’s or the persons’ nature or character as a whole; so, the praise in this section is for the wonderfulness of God himself; just like our admiration for famous paintings, natural wonders, beautiful clothing, charming characters, mesmerizing music, or brilliant performances. God would love for those who are blessed to show their thankfulness. But God would much prefer that we admire and praise him simply for his greatness, and that we readily let this be known in all the earth, so that people know that the Holy one of Israel is the greatest.
PRAISE: Let us choose a song to shout praises to God.
每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung