Dear Lord, please calm my heart, allow me to enjoy rest in Your words amidst chaos and exhaustion.
讀經: 以賽亞書 卅 1~17
SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 30:1 – 17
釋義 : 主前715年沙巴谷成為埃及法老後, 亞蘭與迦南諸小國曾要求結盟以抗衡亞述。猶大似乎也加入這個聯盟(廿5)。以賽亞j針對這個秘密聯盟，發出災禍的預告，說明這個聯盟必定徹底失敗的原因:
INSIGHT: After Shabaka became Pharaoh in 715 BC, Aram and the small nations in the Canaan region had sought to form alliances to resist Assyria. Apparently, Judah had joined (20:5). In regards to this secretive alliance, Isaiah issues a prophecy of calamities, speaking of the reasons for the sure and complete failure of the alliance:
They devised strategy on their own instead of seeking the Lord’s plan (1-2). They formed an alliance to seek refuge instead of asking for His spirit for protection. They went down to Egypt, asking for help from Pharaoh, instead of from the Lord.
Isaiah denounces the alliance, for it will surely put them to shame (3-5). Judah is seeking protection from a nation that is unwilling to offer help. The Egyptians’ meeting with the Jewish officials will “bring neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace”.
The passage of “an oracle on the beasts of the Negev” (6) is inserted as a supplement to describe the journey of the Jewish officials in a sarcastic tone. Through a land of hardship and distress where wild animals roam free, they carry their treasures to a people that cannot profit them.
This journey will surely be futile; even if Egypt offers help, it will still be useless, yielding no benefit at all. Isaiah describes Egypt as “Rahab who sits still”; obviously they will give only lip service, nothing in action (7).
The treaty was planned in a rebellion (8-11). They refused to follow the Lord’s instruction, told the seers to close their eyes, and even ordered their prophets to tell only smooth things and nothing about God. The way they acted will certainly not gain God’s blessing.
They simply did not care about the welfare of the nation (12-13); they just took the opportunity to oppress and turn away from God. This iniquity, like a high wall, will collapse upon a strike from the Lord.
其實耶和華向以色列人發出一個解決他們困境的祕方: 用信心安靜等候神為他們作工(15)。就像摩西那樣說: 「不要懼怕，只管站住！看耶和華今天向你們所要施行的救恩……耶和華必為你們爭戰；你們只管靜默，不要作聲。」(出十四13-14)
In fact, the Lord gave a secret formula to deliver the Israelites: Stay still and trust that God will work for them (15). Just like Moses said, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today…..The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
A senator had indicated that he would speak on the Senate floor but didn’t really say much:
他站起身來, 輪到他講話, 便說: 「我沒有話要說。我認為, 我們這個國家現在最用得著的就是沉默一下。」
When it was his turn, he stood up and said: “I don’t have anything to say. I think that at this point in time, this country can use some silence.”
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
Are you willing to be still?
每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung