希西家的愚蠢 HEZEKIAH’S FOOLISHNESS (Isaiah 以賽亞書 39: 1 – 8) – 每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung

敬畏耶和華是知識的開端;愚妄人藐視智慧和訓誨。  (箴一7)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”     (Proverbs 1:7)

希西家的愚蠢  HEZEKIAH’S FOOLISHNESS

讀經:   以賽亞書  卅九1~8

SCRIPTURE READING:   Isaiah 39: 1 – 8

釋義: 以賽亞記載希西家的事蹟中, 這是希西家第二次收到外國使節的書信。這兩次的情況截然不同: 第一次(卅七14)亞述王西拿基立派官宰伯沙基送交威嚇信, 希西家因而自卑祈求神得拯救; 這一次巴比倫王巴拉但的兒子米羅達巴拉慕名的來信, 卻誘發希西家愚蠢的行動:「把自己寶庫的金子、銀子、香料、貴重的膏油,和他武庫的一切軍器,並所有的財寶都給他們看;他家中和全國之內,希西家沒有一樣不給他們看的。」(2)

INSIGHT:   Among the events of Hezekiah’s reign that Isaiah recorded, this is the second time about Hezekiah receiving letters from foreign diplomats.  The two situations are completely different: The first time, King Sennacherib had official Rabshakeh deliver a threatening letter; because of that, Hezekiah humbled himself, prayed for God’s deliverance and got it.  This time, Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters to Hezekiah because of his fame, which led to Hezekiah’s foolish action – “he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.” (2)

神不是要求希西家秘珍自藏。彰顯神所賜的豐盛恩典, 可向世人見證神的慈愛和偉大, 是榮耀神的事。但是希西家這次的造法卻是一個愚蠢的行動, 原因是:

God was not asking Hezekiah to keep his treasures to himself in secret storage.  Revealing the abundant blessings from God is a way to witness His mercy and greatness, an act that brings glory to God.  But the way that Hezekiah did it was foolish because:

  • 沾沾自喜, 炫耀自己 —  希西家收到禮物, 知道巴比倫王驚羨他重病得癒的奇遇, 感到飄飄然地, 「歡喜」得樂不可支, 突然覺得自己很偉大。所以向使者顯示財富, 沒有歸榮耀給神, 反而重複強調這些是「我」的財寶。(4; 《呂振中譯本》按照原文在這節三次提到「我」)代下卅二25說, 希西家經歷神蹟醫病後, 「卻沒有照所蒙的恩報答耶和華, 因他心理驕傲」。
  • Complacent/Showing off  —  Upon receiving the presents, Hezekiah realized that the king of Babylon admired him for his remarkable recovery from a serious illness, and he’s flattered and overjoyed; suddenly he felt on top of the world.  So, he showed the diplomats his wealth.  Not only did he not give glory to God, but he also emphasized repeatedly that those were “my” (i.e. his) treasures. (4; the Lu Zhen Zhong Bible Translation mentions “my” 3 times based on the original text).  2 Kings 32:25 says, after Hezekiah’s experience of God’s miraculous healing, “Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him.” 
  • 愚蠢憨直, 缺危機意識  — 希西家回答以賽亞提問時說: 「他們從遠方的巴比倫來見我。」(3)要不是希西家政治的幼稚(這個可能性不大)就是勝利沖昏了頭腦。稍為有點更加常識, 都會知到「無事不登三寶殿」, 人家只送點禮物來, 用不著「凡我家中所有的,他們都看見了;我財寶中沒有一樣不給他們看的。」(4)
  • Foolish and direct/Lack of danger awareness  —  In response to Isaiah’s inquiry, Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” (3)  Hezekiah was either politically immature (which is unlikely) or he’s carried away by success.  One with a little bit of common sense should understand that no one does anything for no reason.  The people were delivering some presents only, there was no need to go as far as “they have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.” (4) 
  • 不受教訓, 沒求問神 —  以賽亞記載希西家以前的事蹟, 無論是收到伯沙基的國書挑戰或遭遇病患, 他都向神禱告(卅七15卅八2),這次卻沒有提及。危難催使人禱告, 平穩、得稱讚時, 容易忘記神。
  • Fail to learn from experience/Fail to seek God’s instructions  —   In Isaiah’s account of Hezekiah’s previous events, whether it is receiving from Rabshakeh a letter that challenged the nation to a battle, or suffering from an illness, he prayed to God (37:15, 38:2).  There is no mention of that this time.  Times of distress compel us to pray.  In security or when showered with compliments, we tend to forget God.  
  • 只顧現在, 不求將來 —   聽到耶和華預言將來國家和後人被擄,希西家說: 「你所說耶和華的話甚好,因為在我的年日中必有太平和穩固的景況。」毫不考慮向神求情, 減輕擊打, 像神宣告他將死時的反應, 可見他自私, 只顧一己利益, 過於家國興衰。
  • Caring about the present time only, failure to give thought to the future  — Learned of the prophecy from the Lord that the time would come when the nation and his descendants would be carried off, Hezekiah said, “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good.  There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”  He never considered pleading for God’s mercy to have the blow lightened like the way he acted when God proclaimed his imminent death.  That shows how selfish he was, caring much more of his personal well-being than the rise and fall of the nation.  

智者善於從他人的錯誤中汲取教訓, 而愚者難以汲取自身的教訓。

富蘭克林:《格言歷書》

“Wise men learn by other’s harms; Fools by their own.”

— Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack

智愚非天生, 也非一成不變。希西家的經歷說明昨天的智者, 就是今天的愚人。所以今天讓我們存敬畏耶和華的心, 好使我們得著智慧的開端(箴九10)。

Wisdom or foolishness is neither innate nor set in stone.  Hezekiah’s experience shows that a wise man yesterday is a fool today.  So, let us fear the Lord so that we can receive the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung