2019-10-16

Deuteronomy 9:1-29

In verses 1-6, God reminds the Israelites not to think their victories came by their worthiness.  Moses reminds the nation that:
“No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you.  It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
The only way for the Israelites to have victory was to go with the presence of God at His leading.

We too, only IN CHRIST, have righteousness and victory – nothing comes at our own sufficiency.
God rejects by our own wickedness, but accepts only because of HIS righteousness.
Jesus imputes (gives) His righteousness to us when we receive him as Lord and Savior.

In verses 7-29, Moses reminds the Israelites of their rebellions – specifically the golden calf.
He admonishes them, pointing out that the only reason they were not destroyed in the wilderness was because of God’s mercy.

We are a rebellious people too.  It is sobering to remember our sin.
But then we rejoice in God’s grace that allowed us to be redeemed.
The Cross is our victory and all praise goes to the One who died there for our salvation.            —- Mary Mauderer

2019-10-15

Deut 7-8

Deuteronomy 7-8 records part of God’s stipulation with the Israelites. If the Israelites do such and such, God will provide such and such. Chapter seven begins with God’s guidance to clear lands of many nations for the Israelites. God reminded the Israelites not to covet their possessions, do not intermarry, and do not worship their gods. As the Israelites obey God’s commands to them and continue to honor God, God will continue to bless them according to His covenant. Throughout chapter 7-8, God continued to remind the Israelites to remember God and obey His commandments for the Israelites are holy people chosen by God.

Critical Thinking Questions

The Israelites are promised with blessings if they follow God’s commandments and honor Him as the One and only God. Even though we as believers today are not promised with the same blessings, how are we to live in lives that is God honoring and pleasing in His eyes? Are there aspects in our lives right now that may inhibit us from living a life that pleases God?

— Isaac

2019-10-14

申命記6:1-25;詩篇Psalms 45:1-17

這是申命記中最為基督徒所熟知的一章。
這也是基督徒家庭中父母對子女信仰傳承/教導原則的極重要教訓。

6:5-7「你要盡心、盡性、盡力愛耶和華你的神。我今日所吩咐你的話都要記在心上,也要殷勤教訓你的兒女。無論你坐在家裏,行在路上,躺下,起來,都要談論。也要繫在手上為記號,戴在額上為經文;又要寫在你房屋的門框上,並你的城門上。」

這是以色列人生命的傳承、信仰的傳承、文化的傳承。回顧以色列人曾經在信仰上失敗,曾經經歷國破家亡,人民被迫在異國他鄉漂蕩二千餘年,當有一日在神應許中復國時,他們的語言、文字、文化、信仰竟然在一夕間全然恢復,那是因為神的保守,也是因為有完整的保存,才能有完全的恢復。

「你們不可加添,也不可刪減」(4:2)。對神的信仰,不可以有選擇性的信奉,更不可把自己的意思妄稱是神諭;對神的信仰,必須是完全信奉神的律例、店章、誡命。這是「聖經」歷數千年未曾改變的原因,歷代先祖所信奉的與我們今日所信奉的是完全一樣的,我們的神是昨日、今日、一直到永遠都不會改變的。
這也就是神與人、人與神的立約關係,因為5:3說,「這約不是與我們列祖立的,乃是與我們今日在這裏存活之人立的。」

神應許給先祖的也應許要給我們,在那裏
有城邑,又大又美,非你所建造的;
有房屋,裝滿各樣美物,非你所裝滿的;
有鑿成的水井,非你所鑿成的;
有葡萄園、橄欖園,非你所栽種的;你喫了而且飽足。
那時你要謹慎,免得你忘記耶和華。
是的,在基督裡我們是神的兒女,承受神國的基業,得享豐盛的賞賜,絕不可忘記神的恩典,且要諄諄告誡我們的兒女,這是神的恩典,當信奉神、敬畏神。

我們常常以自己的想法、自己的需要來要求神的成全,並不是人按神的心意行事,而是要神按人的心意成就,那是試探神;摩西曾經在米利巴擊石出水的事上得罪神,就是試探神。聖經告訴我們,「不可試探耶和華你們的神」(6:16)。
總要遵照耶和華我們神所吩咐的一切誡命謹守遵行,這就是我們的義了。

感謝主,您是昔日、今日、明日、直到永遠不改變的神,
您是拯救我們的神
您是守約施慈愛的神,
您是賞賜豐富生命的神,
我願信奉遵行您的一切話語,
但我是軟弱的,憑靠自己是難以實踐的,
主啊,求您幫助我、引領我、剛強我,使我能堅定信心,信奉遵行,得您喜悅。

詩篇Psalms 45:1-17

這是詩篇中可拉後裔的訓誨詩,又是愛慕歌!
可拉一黨250人曾經被神擊殺(民數記16章),但可拉的後裔並沒有因此遠離神,反而極其愛慕神。

一位侍奉神,為王(神)做事的,比世人更美,嘴裡滿有恩惠,就是述說神的恩賜、律例典章與誡命,造就人,帶給人恩福的話語。因此,就必得蒙神賜福直到永遠。

不論我們的靈命是否曾經軟弱、失敗,只要我們歸回到上帝跟前,尊崇神──
神啊,祢的寶座是永永遠遠的;祢的國權是正直的;祢喜愛公義,恨惡罪惡。
──並且矢志尊崇神、順服神、遵行神的旨意;──

所以神,就是你的神用喜樂油膏你,勝過膏你的同伴。           —- Solomon Liu

2019-10-12

申命記5:1-33

在和合本圣经中,“遵行”一词出现了168次,48次是在申命记中。申命记第五章是摩西重申十条诫命。在以色列人就要进入迦南的时候重申十诫是非常必要的,因为迦南各族所行的在神眼中看为可憎,神不允许以色列人也照着行。

主耶稣在新约中将律法总结为爱神和爱人,并称之为“律法和先知一切道理的总纲”(太22:40),我们可以按照这个总纲,将十诫划分为爱神的部分与爱人的部分。十诫前四诫揭示纵向的“人—神”关系,不可以有别神、不可以雕刻偶像、不可妄称神的名、要守安息日为圣日。注意在第四章,摩西列举了不可雕刻的各类偶像,如此强调是因为迦南各族就是这么干的。以色列人后来的历史证明这四诫他们都干犯了。他们拜别神、雕刻偶像、妄称神的名作恶、不守安息日,导致神厌恶他们的献祭,不听他们祈祷(赛1:13-14)。

十诫的后六诫调整的是横向的“人—人”关系。第五诫是孝敬父母。孝敬父母首先是尊重他们,不可粗暴对待,然后是赡养的责任。但圣经禁止祖先崇拜,并把父母放在上帝之上。此后五诫分别禁止谋杀、奸淫、偷盗、假见证和贪恋他人的配偶、财物。

如果我们诚实,我们必须承认我们没办法行全律法,即便在行为上靠主一时行出来了,我们的内心如何我们并不知道(路9:55)。主耶稣在登山宝训重讲律法时,给我们揭示了律法的“残酷性”:律法也管你的心思意念,跟兄弟动怒就是犯杀人罪,看见女人动淫念就是犯奸淫(太5:28),这样就没有一个行律法的人可以站的住了,因为律法原是让人知罪(罗3:20)。于是耶稣基督来了,他是神的爱,他为了成全律法上了十字架,又复活使我们称义。如保罗所说,“律法的总结就是基督,使凡信他的都得着义”(罗10:4)。

但我曾经听到过一个荒谬的说法,新约时代,十诫不需要守了。这是错误的,十诫永远都是基督徒的行为准则,基督徒要靠着主,靠着圣灵的引导不断学习十诫,践行十诫。只是我们因着肉体的软弱无法守全,因此求主不断的赦免我们,跌倒后可以重新靠着主站立。         —- Mary Mei

 

2019-10-11

Deuteronomy 4:1-49

Obedience: Immediately, completely and carefully

Moses reminds us to hear and follow God’s law immediately.
In Det. 4:1 He said to the Israelites: ‘Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.’
He did not say, O Israel, follow the decrees and laws after you settle down in the promised land as you will be busy fighting and building in the promised land.

When we teach our children to obey our instructions, we want them to obey immediately. We do not want them to show delayed obedience.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.

In addition, Moses reminded the Israelites that they could not pick and choose what laws they want to follow.
They had to completely obey every word, not adding or subtracting any words in the Law. (Det.4:2)

Finally, Moses asked them to follow the Laws carefully.
The word careful or carefully appear four times in this chapter.
In verse 6, it tells us to observe the laws and decrees carefully.
In verse 9, only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.
In verse 23, ‘Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.’
In verse 15b-16, ‘Therefore watch yourselves very carefully so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman.’

If we are not careful, we can forget about God by filling our minds with various idols.
The antidote of idolatry is to obey God’s truth immediately, completely and carefully.            —- Alan Yam

2019-10-10

申命记3:1-29

在这一章里,摩西对战败的巴珊回忆有更多细节的描述,敌人共有六十座城,这些城都有坚固的高墙,有门、有闩;此外还有许多无城墙的乡村。

还有那个巴珊王噩,他是巨人族利乏音人所剩下的,在第二章里有记载“耶和华从亚扪人面前除灭他们,亚扪人就得了他们的地。”(2:21)

巴珊王噩的床是铁的,长九肘、宽四肘,估计得有三到四米多长!

不过,摩西说:“……耶和华对我说,不要怕他,因我已将他和他的众民,并他的地都交在你手中……那时,我们夺了他所有的城……没有一座城不被我们所夺。……耶和华我们的神也将巴珊王和他的众民,都交在我们手中,我们杀了他们,没有留下一个。”

这让我想起大卫打败歌利亚的故事。

我们今天面对的是怎样的巨人呢?从我们选择相信主耶稣,背起自己的十字架,决志一生跟随主的那一刻起,就注定了会有大大小小的城墙和障碍挡在前面,有门,还有闩,也许也会有巨人的出现。以耶稣为友,即表示要与世界为敌,我们无法预测和估算这场战争的输赢,甚至害怕会被这世界吞灭……你有没有却步?你是否也有足够的信心把敌人杀个片甲不留,大获全胜呢?……

3:22 你不要怕他们,因为那为你争战的,是耶和华你的神。

争战的胜败全在乎耶和华!Amen!

                        Sandy Xu

2019-10-9

Deuteronomy 2:1-37

In this chapter, Moses reminds the Israelites of the Lord’s instructions to bypass the rich countries of Edom, Moab and Ammon because of their blood relationship to Israel.  The Israelites were to take over only the lands east of the Jordan that were in the hands of the Amorites.

The king of Hesbon, an Amorite, was asked by the Israelites for passage through his land. He refused this request and sent his army against Israel.  The Lord God delivered His people and the king was defeated in battle, all his towns were conquered and all living in the kingdom were destroyed.  There were no survivors.

God told Moses in verse 25 that He would begin to put terror and fear of His people on all the nations under heaven.  The reports of  Israel would cause trembling and anguish.

Thoughts:  God tested the Israelites by forbidding them to meddle with the rich countries of Moab and Ammon. He gave them possession of the country of the Amorites through battle. When we obey God and keep from what He forbids, we do not lose by our obedience. And what God gives we must endeavor to get. The Israelites fought for what the Lord promised to give.

We too, must battle against the one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy and for our Lord. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are promised deliverance from the wrath to come.  What joy this should bring.  Our inheritance in Him cannot be affected by kingdoms or possessions.   We are eternally secured!        —- Mary Mauderer