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Chinese10/11/2019English
經文:約伯記九至十章
鑰節:「……但人在上帝面前怎能成為義呢?」(9:2)
提要

        約伯開始他第三次的獨白,肯定以利法和比勒達所說,關於人在上帝面前無法稱義的話來(4:17)。比勒達曾經說過上帝的公義(8:3,20),這使約伯彷徨地,把自己的案件,拿到上帝的法庭,要求判其無罪,並且求法官的憐憫。約伯的大問題,乃是他認為這法官(上帝)也是原告,祂無故地找他麻煩,而且能力也比他自己大得多。約伯是一位無望的被告。即使他是最為公義的人(這一點上帝也認同,1;8),並且已經擇日開庭,他也認為自己在上帝前有罪難逃,且遠非上帝的對手(9:2,15,20)。

        約伯用一種描述的話,尊上帝為「心裡有智慧,且大有能力」(9:4)的一位;但是因他遭遇的麻煩,所以使他從反面的角度看這種能力,因為覺得上帝老是與他作對。他感到自己身上所發生的一切,真正是難解的。以人類有限的心智,不能理解上帝的心意,及祂的道路;上帝是無限的、全智的、全能的。所以,約伯承認「祂行大事不可測度,行奇事不可勝數」(9:10)。這事之難解,令約伯沮喪;又因他感到上帝對他不公,所以陷於失望。

        約伯的主要問題,倒不是他怎麼才能在上帝面前成義,而是一個關乎他如何能在全能者面前,辯護自己的案件,使自己有理的法律問題。總之,一個微小的人「若要與祂爭辯,千中之一也不能回答」(9:3)。上帝與約伯確實不在一個同等的地位上(9:32)。約伯期盼有一位中保,能在一個如同約伯所說的地位,「向兩造按手」(9:33),那樣約伯就有機會站在上帝面前。這一中保應該與上帝同等,並且降低身份,是夠接觸卑微的罪人。那樣就可做他的律師,在上天之前為他據理力爭的人。

        約伯的呼喊,發自與上帝和解的極深需求。他感到自己遠離上帝,比起上帝的偉大、榮耀與超越,是那麼渺小、敗壞、軟弱而低下。詩人大衛也有類似的感覺,故曰:「人算什麼,您竟顧念他?」(詩8:4)。約伯是要找一條路去接近難以接近的那一位,並滿足他內心認識上帝的渴求,並且在祂眼前稱義。約伯因為找不到一位擁護者,又因以為自己快要死去,沒有東西可再喪失,所以心中充滿了問題。所以他把自己的心境,直接向上帝陳明;向上帝說,究竟是什麼原因,和他作對?約伯的話再一次是粗暴的,但是他的環境確實難堪。他不能理解,為什麼上帝首先給了他生命,(而生命充滿苦難),於是他希望自己最好不要出生。

        由於上帝不斷地啟示,約伯的許多問題和期待,今日都已有了答案。上帝希望所有的人,都能認識真理,並且得救;這也就是祂為什麼差祂的獨生子,耶穌降世的原因。祂是我們與上帝之間的中保(提前2:5),也是當初約伯所期待得到的那一位,藉此他案情可以直接呈獻在上帝面前。祂是我們現在在新約時代所享受,作為我們擁護之對象的那一位。只有祂能同時按手在神聖的上帝和有罪的人身上。祂與上帝相等,但因祂降世為人,祂能具有人的身份,並且為人按手(約1:3~5,14;來2:14;10:5)。

        誠如約伯所信,「我們的義,都像衣服,漸漸舊了」(賽64:6),這是真的;也是約伯不能憑他的義站在上帝面前的理由。耶穌既是我們的中保,也是我們的救贖者。祂為我們付了罪債,贖回我們,使我們與上帝和好:乃是經由祂在十字架上所流的寶血(西1:13~22)。只有藉著信耶穌基督所得的義,我們才能無玷污地站在上帝面前,甚至與祂相交(腓3:9;弗2:16~18)。這是約伯所希求的,我們今天卻有權利享受。

禱告

        謝謝您,恩主,我們能在您面前稱義。您曾成為人,但您仍是上帝。您是上帝與人之間的中保,使兩下成就了和平。幫助我們今天能與人分享這項好消息。奉耶穌基督的名禱告,阿們。

English

Scriptures:Read Job 9&10
Key Verse:"... But how can a man be righteous before God?"(Job 9:2)
Overview

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        Job began his third monologue by affirming the truth of the words of Eliphaz and Bildad concerning mankind's lack of righteousness before God (4:17). Bildad had spoken about the justice of God (8:3, 20), which led Job to ponder the notion of taking his case before God in a court of law, pleading innocence, and begging for mercy before the Judge. A great problem for Job, however, was that he considered the Judge (God) to also be the plaintiff, who had risen against him without cause and was much greater in strength than himself. Job was the hopeless defendant. Even if he were the most righteous man (which the Lord had found him to be, 1:8) and had been appointed a day in court, Job felt he would still be found guilty before God and could never stand up to Him (9:2, 15, 20).

        With descriptive words, Job magnifies the Lord who is "wise in heart and mighty in strength" (9:4), and yet because of Job's trouble, he sees God's strength in the negative sense, for he feels God has turned against him. Job felt that what was happening to him was truly a mystery. The finite mind of man cannot comprehend the mind of God and understand His ways, for He is infinite, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Thus, Job confessed, "He does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number" (9:10). The mystery of it all left Job distressed, and because he felt God was being unjust to him, he was in despair.

        Job's main question was not about how he could become righteous before God, but it was a legal question about how he could possibly defend his case before the Almighty and be found innocent and justified. After all, a mere man "could not answer Him one time out of a thousand" (9:3). God and Job were certainly not on equal planes (9:32). Job longed for a mediator who could be in a position to, as Job said, "lay his hand on us both" (9:33), that Job might have a chance to stand before God. This mediator would have to be equal with God, and yet condescending enough to touch an unworthy sinner. He could then be his lawyer, an advocate to defend his case before Heaven.

        Job's cry came from a deep need to be reconciled with God. He felt so far removed from God and so small, wretched, weak, and inferior compared to the greatness, glory, and transcendence of God. The psalmist David had a similar feeling when he said, "What is man that You are mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4). Job was searching for a way to approach the unapproachable One and fulfill the longing of his heart to know God and be justified in His sight. Job was full of questions, and because he could not find an advocate, and since he thought he was about to die, he had nothing to lose. So he spoke his mind directly to God, questioning Him about why He was set against him. Once again, Job's words were harsh, but so were his circumstances. He could not understand why God had given him life in the first place, and he wished he had never been born.

        Because of progressive divine revelation, many of Job's questions and longings have now been answered. God desires all men to come to the truth and be saved, and that is why He sent His Son Jesus into the world. He is our Mediator to God (1 Timothy 2:5), the One whom Job had wished to have, so that his case could be presented directly to God. He is the One whom we now enjoy as our advocate to God in the New Covenant era. Only He could lay His hand on both Holy God and sinful man. He is equal with God, and since He became a man, He can identify with and lay His hand upon man (John 1:3-5, 14; Hebrews 2:14; 10:5).

        It is true, as Job believed, that "all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), and that was why Job could not stand before God on his own righteousness. As well as being our Mediator, Jesus is also our Reconciler. He became a ransom for us and redeemed us that we may be reconciled to God through the shedding of His blood upon the cross (Colossians 1:13-22). It is only by the righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ that we can stand blameless before God and even have access to Him (Philippians 3:9; Ephesians 2:16-18). That which Job longed for, we now have the privilege to enjoy.

Prayer

        Thank You, Lord, that we can be righteous before You. You became man yet remained God, and only You are the Mediator who can bring man and God together in reconciliation. Help us today to share this Good News with others.


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