For the Lord has declared there are no other gods among us, I will not take the names of other gods on my lips.
THE LORD – THE ONLY TRUE GOD
經文: 以賽亞書 四四1~28
Scripture Reading:Isaiah 44: 1 – 28
釋義: 以賽亞鼓勵面對危難的同胞不要害怕(2), 因為他們是「屬耶和華的」(5)。為什麼認識是「歸耶和華」就會安全和得福(3~4)? 以賽亞重複一個重要的神學答案: 因為所倚靠的耶和華是唯一真神。「除我以外再沒有真神……除我以外，豈有真神嗎？誠然沒有」(6,8)。
Insight: Isaiah urges his fellow countrymen who are faced with adversity to not be afraid (2), because they are “the Lord’s” (5). Why would the recognition of ‘belonging to the Lord’ bring safety and blessing (3-4)? Isaiah repeats a very important theological answer – because the Lord whom we put our trust in is the only true God. “Besides me there is no god….. Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (6-8)
● 永恆 —「我是首先的，我是末後的」(6)。神的特性不是超越人的能量; 大自然如地震、颱風、旱災、太空的輻射和殞石、空氣中的細菌和病毒、什至生命本身, 都告訴我們人力不能勝天。但是這些人不會視之為神, 因為它們的存在和影響多是短暫, 什至可能比一代人的時間還短。真(理)的神必須是恆久常存, 人(任何時代的人)才可倚靠。耶穌就是真神道成肉身, 祂說: 「我是阿拉法，我是俄梅戛；我是首先的，我是末後的；我是初，我是終。」(啟一8,17二8廿二13)
Eternal — “I am the first and I am the last” (6). God is not defined by His enormous energy that men can’t overcome. Things/Phenomena in nature such as earthquakes, cyclones, droughts, radiation and meteorites in space, bacteria and viruses in the air, or even life itself, all tell us that men are no match for nature. Yet we do not regard these as gods because their existence and their impact last for only a short period of time, some even for less than a generation. The true God must be eternal for men (of any time period) to put their trust in Him. Jesus is the true God in the flesh. He said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 1:8,17, 2:8, 22:13)
● 預知 — 既然真神是永恆存在, 時間對於祂來說就不是直線進行。昨天發生的事既已過去, 人若沒有刻意攝錄存案, 只成為虛渺的記憶;將來的事更是不可知。但神「在他並沒有改變，也沒有轉動的影兒。」(雅一17)「耶穌基督，昨日、今日、一直到永遠、是一樣的。」(來十三8)所以神可以「將未來的事和必成的事說明」(7)。
Foreknowledge — As the true God is eternal, to Him, time does not travel in a straight line. For us, events that happened yesterday have passed; if we did not make a conscious effort to record them, they will become blurry memories; and the future is simply not seeable. But with God, “there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ (Hebrews 13:8) Thus, God can “declare what is to come, and what will happen” (7).
● 真實 — 真神不單有真「理」, 更是真「實」。先知用古時認為堅固的「磐石」比喻神的實在(8), 相對人認為是神卻是「虛空」的偶像(9)。接著先知用了一大段篇幅揶揄偶像無益和製造的人的糊塗:
Real and Faithful — The true God does not only possess ‘truth’, He is also real and faithful. The prophet symbolizes God’s faithfulness with rocks that are considered solid in ancient time (8), a contrast to the ‘empty’ idols men regard as gods. Next, the prophet teases about the worthlessness of the idols and the folly of the people who made them in an extensively long passage:
- 人造(9~12): 由人所造, 甚至飢餓無力時鑄造, 當然無益處。
- Created by men (9-12): Made by men, hungry and faint at the time of casting, they are sure to be worthless.
- 軟弱 —人的形像(12~13): 偶像的樣子是由人塑造, 連它本來的面目都不保,能夠保護人才怪。
- Figure of weak men (12-13): The figure of the idols is crafted by men. They are not even capable of preserving their own face, let alone protecting men.
- 人的昏迷(14~20): 偶像部份木頭被焚燒取暖或烤餅, 人竟然糊塗至「不知道、也不思想……眼不能看見、心不能明白、心裡也不醒悟、也沒有知識、沒有聰明……心中昏迷」。
- Men’s confusion (14-20): Some portion of the wood is used for making the idol, and some is burnt for warmth or baking bread. Yet men are so folly that “they know not, nor do they discern…..He has shut their eyes…..they cannot see…..they cannot understand.”
耶和華是真神不單只是人應該認識的神學真理, 更重要的是能夠透過救恩經歷去體會神的真實。所以在本章最後的段落, 先知多次強調耶和華的救贖(22,23,24)。而神的救贖工作中對人最寶貴的莫過於罪的赦免: 「我塗抹了你的過犯，像厚雲消散；我塗抹了你的罪惡，如薄雲滅沒。 」(22)但是神應許的實現, 必須得到人的合作和參與:「你當歸向我」。神已發出了真實和寶貴的救贖應許, 你可願意全心歸向祂?
The Lord, being the true God, should not just be a theological truth that we need to know. It is more important for us to be able to understand God’s truth through the experience of salvation. For this reason, the prophet emphasizes the Lord’s salvation repeatedly in the last passage of the chapter (22, 23, 24). And the most precious thing in God’s work of salvation is the forgiveness of sin – “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist.” (22) For God’s promise to be realized, it requires our cooperation and participation – “return to me”. God has given a true and precious promise of salvation. Are you willing to return to Him with all your heart?
每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung