Dear Lord, as I come before you, let me have enough faith to trust that the Holy Spirit will guide me through understanding your will.
TRUST IN GOD’S MIGHTY POWER
讀經 : 以賽亞書 卅一1~9
SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 31:1 – 9
釋義 : 本章聖經可以說是前一章的濃縮版。段落次序和思路跟卅章一樣: 頭一段責備以色列人投靠埃及(1-3); 接著先知形容耶和華怎樣保護耶路撒冷(4-5); 最後預言亞述的傾覆(6-9); 而結束也和卅章一樣提到耶和華的火。
INSIGHT: This chapter can be considered a condensed version of the previous one. Here the organization and the train of thoughts are identical to those of chapter 30: The first segment rebukes the Israelites for going down to Egypt for help (1-3); then the prophet describes how the Lord protects Jerusalem (4-5), followed by foretelling the fall of Assyria (6-9); as in chapter 30, the ending also mentions the Lord’s fire.
The first verse includes four words/phrases about ‘faith’: “rely on” – translated as “trust” in 20:2; “trust” or “trust in” – also appears in other poems in the Book of Isaiah (12:2, 26:3-4) and repeatedly in the record of Hezekiah’s crisis of faith in chapter 36 and 37 (example 36:4-6, 37:10); “look to/on the Holy One of Israel” – has appeared in chapter 17 verse 7-8; also, “consult the Lord” – the prophet’s favorite phrase.
可惜以色列人這些信仰的行動是指向「不過是人, 並不是神……是血肉, 並不是靈」的埃及,而非耶和華。
Unfortunately, the Israelites’ acts of faith were based on Egypt that is of “man, and not God…..flesh, and not spirit”.
我們也許覺得以色列人雖然經過先知多番勸諭仍不悔改歸向神, 匪夷所思。不過在我們譴責以色列人之前, 最好撫心自問, 我們的信心又如何? 我們所倚靠的是「血肉」的人? 經濟環境? 職業技能? 國家政策? 還是看不見的全能神的力量?
Perhaps we think it is inconceivable that the Israelites still did not repent despite having been advised by the prophet multiple times. But, before we rebuke the Israelites, we’d better ask ourselves – how about our own faith? Do we trust in men of “flesh”? Economic environment? Professional skills? Our country’s policies? Or the mighty power of the God that we cannot see?
獅子怎樣完全不怕「許多牧人來攻擊牠」(4), 神也照樣不怕強權 勢力。鳥兒搧動翅膀保護小雛, 萬軍之耶和華保護耶路撒冷是「越門」 保守。昔日出埃及的時候，神逾越以色列人 門(即「越門」的意思)， 擊殺埃及人長子(參出12:13,23)，如今祂也照樣保護，拯救猶大. 結 果耶和華的使者就是那樣「越門」拯救猶大脫離亞述人的手(卅七36)。
The way a lion can be not at all afraid “when a band of shepherds is called out against him” (4) is the same that God is not afraid of the powerful. While birds outstretch their wings to protect their nestlings, the Lord protects Jerusalem by “passing over” its doorframes. Back then when the Israelites left Egypt, God passed over the Israelites’ homes (meaning passing over the doorframes) while striking down every firstborn of the Egyptians (refer to Exodus 12:13,23). Now He will protect and deliver Judah in the same manner. Just like that, in the end, the angel of the Lord delivers Judah from the hand of the Assyrians by “passing over” their doorframes (37:36).
德蘭修女有一日告訴修道院的負責人: 「我有三毛錢, 想為神辦 一所孤兒院, 收容有需要的兒童。」負責人回答: 「三毛錢哪能夠辦孤 兒院? 只有三毛錢, 甚麼都不會做成。」 德蘭修女微笑地說: 「你說 得對, 只有三毛錢, 甚麼都做不成; 不過, 有神和我在一起, 加上這 三毛錢, 我甚麼都可以做。」
One day, Mother Teresa said to the person in charge of the Convent, ‘I have 30 cents, and I would like to start an orphanage for God to take in children in need.’ The abbess replied, ’How can we start an orphanage with 30 cents? With only 30 cents, nothing can be accomplished.’ Mother Teresa said with a smile, ‘You are right, with only 30 cents, nothing can be accomplished; but, when God is with me, together with these 30 cents, I can do anything.’
面對困難洪波, 你是否信靠恩主仗舵的船, 在祂大能動力推動下, 可安全地帶領你乘風破浪?
When faced with tremendous hardships, do you trust that the boat steered by the Lord and driven by His mighty power will get you through the strong winds and waves safely?
每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung