2019-4-22

出埃及记33:1-23;. 詩篇19:1-14

诗篇19篇先是颂赞了神的荣耀与大能,接着立马以一段非常生动以致于令人心驰神往的的话语来描述了耶和华的律法,再然后就说到人愿守律法取悦神而不愿犯罪得罪神的盼望。

这个叙述顺序让我们看到作者大卫的思路——颂赞神,思想到神与人的关系,进而引出律法,思想律法的益处而歌颂神的公义,在律法之下降服,求神帮助脱离罪恶。

其中大卫对律法的描述非常的吸引人。

形容词——“全备”,“确定”,“正直”,“清洁”,“洁净”,“真实”,“全然公义”。

动词词组——“苏醒人心”,“使愚人有智慧”,“快活人的心”,“明亮人的眼目”,“存到永远”。

最后还有一个不得了的比喻——比金子和蜂蜜都更好!

我想这样对律法的描述形容是很罕见的,尤其是最后一句。如今谁会说法律比钱和美食更好呢?剖析世上法律的益处的文字比比皆是,但鲜有人会赞美到如此地步。诗人对神的律法的爱慕可见一斑,而他之所以如此喜爱神的律法,正是让我思想到神的律法与世俗的法律之不同。世俗的法律是为了维护社会安定,在各方利益中做平衡。而神的律法却使人大得益处,认识自己是罪人,意识到自己需要救恩,让人出黑暗入奇妙光明,认识到神的公义、怜悯、圣洁、慈爱,……当我们向神俯伏,神的律法就让人活得不再一样。

回过头来我们看到出埃及记里,32章神刚赐下律法,以色列人就得罪神,摩西“把两块版扔在山下摔碎了”。我看到那里都心疼,那是神用指头写的石版呀……而神不在乎这个表面的形式,33章里神与摩西有一段“朋友式的对话”。我读下来脑海中出现了一个小剧场(不代表神或摩西,只是我自己的联想)——

朋友A因为朋友B的家人的背信弃义生气了,对朋友B说我说好要带你去南边的小花园玩的,但你家人这样对我我不想去了,你自己带他们去吧。

朋友B说,你叫我带他们去,可是你没有说清楚怎么弄啊,你只说了你还满喜欢我的。你如果真的喜欢我,就告诉我怎么和你相处,这样我可以更了解你,不让你生气了。我的家人也是你的家人呀。

朋友A说,我去!我和你一起去,让你轻松一下吧。

朋友B说,你如果不去,那我们都不去。如果你不跟我们去,我们都不知道你在乎我们了,对我们和对别人不一样了。

朋友A说,没问题,谁叫我喜欢你呢。

朋友B说,那我就看你的啦~

朋友A说,我就是要对你好,就是要对你特别好。我会保护你安然无恙的!

朋友B……也太好了吧…………

律法虽极好,但人实在守不住,极轻易的就会犯罪得罪神。万幸的是,神并不指望我们靠自己守得住,如同大卫所说——“求你阻拦仆人不犯任意妄为的罪,不容这罪辖制我……”我们需要来到神面前,求神帮助我们不犯罪。而神的恩典实在是大的,即使我们软弱跌倒,祂也因为神儿子的名、就是要对我们特别好,保护我们,与我们同在。

“耶和华——我的磐石,我的救赎主啊,愿我口中的言语、心里的意念在你面前蒙悦纳。” .          —- Yona Zhang

 

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2019-4-20

Exodus 32:1-35

Today we see the famous story of how the Israelites rebelled against God while Moses was on the mountain meeting with God. In the beginning of the chapter we see that Moses has been on the mountain for some time. We know Moses went out to the mountain to meet with God quite often but this time instead out because Moses took longer than usual. So, what did the people do? They went up to Aaron to ask him to build an idol for them to worship (v. 1). Notice here it might seem like Aaron was just having a very casual conversation, but the original language used here could be translated to “going up against Aaron” (v. 1). In other words, not only were the Israelites petitioning with him but was going aggressively against Aaron, leaving him no choice but to follow the people’s will. And why did the Israelites fall into such rebellion?  Notice they just came from Egypt, a place they lived their whole life, in a nation where Idol worshiping was a norm. We clearly see the Israelites know of their God, but they are still influenced by the culture that is surrounding them. The Egyptians are closely tied to their idols in the society and would almost worship anything that helped the Egyptians. This behavior is now reflected on the Israelites in our passage today: the Israelites craved to worship God in a fashion they are comfortable with, instead of worshipping in the way God desires. Notice the Israelites did not see the golden calf as a different God, they still worshipped the Lord as they performed their rituals with the golden calf. In the end, many of those who performed these rituals were punished by death. And who survived? At least the sons of Levi, they are the people of Israel who are chosen to lead the whole Israelites to worship God.

Critical Thinking Questions

The Israelites who rebelled against God did what they did because they lost their faith in following God’s way, resulting in a punishment. The Levites were saved because they continued to trust God’s way. Were there times when you distrusted God and went on your way? Were there times when you take on your own method to go before Him to worship Him?

The Israelites rebelled partially due to their cultural influences from the Egyptians. Were there times during your walk of Faith that you fell into the trap of cultural influences or even traditions?        —- Isaac Chang

2019-4-19

Exodus 31:1-18

Chapter 31 warps up the instructions of consecration with the tablets given. God called Israelites to be holy, because He is; in the same way, He calls us to be holy in all we do too. (Lev 11:44, 1 Pet 1:16).

The way we worship, the way we prepare our offering/gifts, the way we use our talent, the way we spend our time and resources, the way we work and make decisions, the way we treat others, the way we lead our lives, the way we love, the way we hate…all included in the sanctification work of the Spirit.

During this Holy Week, may we also be touched by these verses with a strong reminder that the filthy and unworthy were only cleansed by the One and Holy – by the blood of the Lamb of God.           —- Ivy Lin

2019-4-18

Exodus 30:1-38

The Priest’s Work

The alter of incense was similar to the altar for burnt offerings, but smaller and more beautiful.  It was overlaid with gold.  It was on the west side of the Holy Place and the priest first passed the altar of burn offering and the basin for washing.  The incense altar stood just before the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.  Incense symbolizes the continual prayer of God’s people.

God calls us to pour our hearts out to Him.  He delights to hear and answer prayer, but we must be those whose sin is covered by Christ’s blood.  God tell us to pray continually in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  If you are not a fervent prayer, will you ask God to change this and then do what He says?

Next, the basin for washing was used for the priest’s ceremonial cleansing.  It was placed between the altar of burnt offerings and the door to the tabernacle.  Every time the priests entered the Holy Place, they were required to wash their hands and feet.  This was a serious matter:  in the five verses that describe the basin, the priests were warned twice to wash “so that they will not die.”  Why?  The answer is that sin not brings guilt and punishment; sin defiles.

The priests needed to be cleansed from sin’s defilement to serve God; so does every believer today.  All who are in Christ have been delivered from sin’s guilt and penalty by His death,.  However, every day we fail in some way to love God with all our heart, soul and mind.  Apart from God’s grace, we turn away daily from opportunities to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Daily we can receive this needed cleansing by the Word of God and by the confession of sin.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

If you have not asked Jesus to be Lord of your life and your Savior from the eternal consequence of sin, please consider inviting Him into your heart today.  Here is a simple prayer:

‘Dear Jesus, I confess I have sinned against you and gone my own way.  Please come into my life and cleanse me of my unbelief.  I believe in you and in salvation through the blood You shed for me on the Cross.  Please be the Lord of my life.  I turn from sin and trust in You Jesus alone as my Savior.  Thank you for your promise to forgive me.  In Your name I pray, Amen.            —- Mary Mauderer

 

2019-4-17

出埃及记 29: 1-46

为什么要设立祭司制度?

本来神的旨意,是要他的选民成为“祭司的国度”,使全族人可以直接和他交往。但是因为百姓犯罪,所以使这件事不能实现,罪人不配来到完全圣洁的神面前;于是他就从利未支派之中,指派人作祭司,设立献祭制度,使百姓可以亲近他。神应许如果由祭司为百姓献上祭物,他就赦免其罪。当耶稣来到世上的时候,他要叫凡来到他面前的人,都能与神和好。不过在他降世为人以前,人只能靠祭司在神面前作百姓的代表。

本章就解说分派祭司的礼如下:(一)以水浴身–表示除掉污秽;(二)穿戴圣衣–表示外表荣耀;(三)用油膏头–表示感于圣灵;(四)献赎罪祭–表示救赎罪恶;(五)奉献燔祭–表示献己与主;(六)献分派祭–表示承接圣职;(七)主前宴筵–表示与主交通。

神要求他的子民圣洁

祭司、祭司的衣服、会幕以及祭物,都必须洁净而成圣,好符合神的标准。凡是不圣洁就不能见主的面。献祭用的公牛皮、肉、粪担了人的罪,要在营外用火烧去。我们祷告或敬拜,要记住其中意味深长的真理,并要以虔敬悔改的态度,来到他面前

求神掌管我们生命,指引我们前面路

神领以色列人出埃及,显出他渴望与他们同在并保护他们。我们从整本圣经之中看到,神要显明他并非不与我们同住,他要住在我们中间,住在我们心里。我们不要把神关在心门之外,要把他请进我们生命中。顺从他的话语,藉祷告与他交谈,让他成为我们的神,成为住在我们心里的主。            —- Haiyue Nie

2019-4-16

出埃及记 28:1-43

28章记载祭司圣衣的设计和装饰。亚伦是大祭司,他的儿子做辅助他的祭司,以后大祭司之位传给亚伦后裔中每一代的长子。

圣衣包括 :1.內袍,用细麻布织成。2 .外袍,蓝色细麻布制成的无领狍子,底边用蓝紫朱红色丝线绣上石榴,石榴之间有金铃铛。3 . 以弗得 用金线和彩色丝线织成的背心,肩头有刻着以色列十二支派名字的红玛瑙 。4. 胸牌 ,用金链系在以弗得的肩带上,胸牌是一个方形袋子,上面有一个四行金槽,内藏有12块宝石,每块宝石上刻有以色列一个支派的名字,12块共刻了12个支派。5 . 冠冕 ,是用麻布制造的,上面有金牌,金牌上刻有“归耶和华为圣”的字样。

从本章可以看出来,大祭司的圣袍是用最贵重,最美好材料制成,目的是把荣耀归于上帝,我们基督徒也应该把我们最好的献给神;冠冕上的字样也时刻提醒我们,我们的一切言行举止都要荣耀神。        —- Jenny Yang

2019-4-15

出埃及記 27:1-21

小的時候讀到這段神給以色列人建造帳幕的規矩和設定節日習俗的經文,總是迅速的閱覽過去,因為覺得內容過於枯燥乏味,也沒有太多感動。但是隨著年紀的增長和從屬靈長輩那學到的教導,使我越來越可以在各處經文中看到神各式各樣的屬性和祂做事的方式。

在這段和前些經文中,我們看到對於神自己的帳幕和裡面的擺設, 都有非常詳細的要求。像是這章特別提到祭壇要用什麼樣的木頭,多長,多寬,上面要什麼東西,要有什麼配件等等的。不是隨意的隨便架個爐,隨便擺擺就可以的。

在這裏,我們可以看到神對祂的教會具體和個人的要求。具體上我們在聚會和服侍上要有著這樣認真且仔細的心態和表現。我們往往在工作上都是講求細節與完美,這樣才能在崗位上步步高升。但世上的工作只是暫時的,我們其實更是應當把這樣的認真的心態放在屬神的事情上,把最好的獻給神,因屬於神的才是真正有著永恆的意義,並且也討祂喜悅並榮耀神。 舉個例子,我們都會因為要在工作上面表現傑出而做到不遲到,不早退。那我們為什麼在週日來朝見我們的父神卻是精神散換,平凡遲到呢?這豈不是看中那屬世的暫時的,反倒是把屬神的永恆的給捨棄了嗎?

在這段經文的最後兩節說到在帳幕裡的油燈要常常點著,亞倫和他的兒子從早到晚到要經理這燈,這要做以色列人世代永遠的定例。這讓我想起 Sanchez 牧師之前分享的經文在申命記六章八節 :『也要繫在手上為記號,戴在額上為經文』,這邊說到的是神要我們對於神所教訓的誡命、律例、典章要時常思想並遵行。油燈時常點著,聽醒以色列人神與他們同在,也是神拯救了他們。我們也當是時常思想神在我們生命中所做的一切,他如何安慰我們,如何幫助我們,如何搭救我們。同時我們也應該以遵行神所給的律例來愛祂,來回應祂。詩篇一章二節:『唯喜愛耶和華的律法,晝夜思想,這人便為有福!』

 

詩篇18:1-50

感謝主,用這段經文繼續的鼓勵安慰我。在這段經文中,我們看見神的大能和權威,同時又看到這樣一位浩瀚無比的神卻竟是我們的靠山,是我們的磐石,我們還要懼怕什麼呢?我們被罪給困住,被仇敵攻擊的時候,我們就大聲呼喊求我們的主來救我們!弟兄姊妹們,你是否正在苦難裡?你是否受到罪的轄制?你是否感受到無力無助?你是否傷心難過? 這段經文裡面有著從神來的應許,讓我們謙卑自己,經歷破碎,並大聲求告那萬軍之耶和華,那愛我們的救主必會拯救我們!

『耶和華是我的巖石,我的山寨,我的救主,我的神,我的磐石,我所投靠的。他是我的盾牌,是拯救我的角,是我的高臺。耶和華啊,因此我要在外邦中稱謝你,歌頌你的名。』 詩篇 18:2, 49

阿們!    — Bob Liu