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Chinese10/23/2019English
經文:約伯記卅五至卅六章
鑰節:「祂也開通他們的耳朵得受教訓,吩咐他們離開罪孽轉回。」(36:10)
提要

        聰明又年輕的以利戶證實了,約伯的態度就是一種自義。約伯曾批評上帝不該那樣對待他這個義人,但他其實沒有理由論斷上帝,因為他的義絕不會超過上帝的義。約伯的觀點認為,在上帝的眼裡,他是罪人或敬虔的人並無區別,以利戶在此告訴約伯,這觀點有對,也有錯。誠然,主耶和華高於我們的理解;以利戶引導約伯和他的朋友向上看那證明上帝華美與榮耀的天國。人人(不論是義人或惡人)所做的任何事都無損於上帝至高無上的榮耀地位。因此,上帝執行公義時,絕對公正不偏,也絕不會有任何不明的動機。不過,一個人的邪惡或公義會影響同伴的行為(不論是消極或積極的)(35:8)。為了別人,尤其是為了我們的兒女,我們必須為他們立下良好的榜樣;這樣做會大大地討上帝喜悅。

        約伯曾質疑過上帝對祂受造物的關心,因為他覺得像他這樣的義人所作的禱告竟然得不到上帝的回答;反之,那些惡人倒是非常富有、興旺,而且似乎不會受到懲罰。以利戶向他說明種種上帝不回答禱告的理由。這當然不是說,上帝不關心他;反之,上帝隨時都在注意,傾聽人們的求助。當人不能立即得到回答時,他不該馬上就懷疑上帝的愛與關心,或是祂是否存在。以利戶說明創造主對我們的愛;祂賜給我們的聰明智慧勝於飛鳥走獸,祂也給人類歌唱及創作音樂的才能(35:10~11)。

        禱告得不到回答的問題不在於上帝,而是在於人。當人的心裡充滿驕傲與「虛妄的呼求」時,上帝必不會垂聽他們的祈求(35:12~13)。「虛妄的呼求」是由自私的動機而激發的,不是來自人想要認識耶和華而有的悔改之心。約伯對上帝所懷的最大願望和要求就是要上帝解除他的痛苦、恢復他的財富、及公平對待他;約伯要上帝向每一個人證明,他沒有任何犯罪的行為,而非想要加強他與上帝的關係及對上帝的愛。以利戶向約伯保證,上帝會公平對待他,也會回答他的禱告,但是約伯必須耐心地等待,而非現在就妄下論斷。

        由於以利戶覺得,上帝已賜給他更進一步的真理,要他教訓眾人,他就禮貌地要求聽眾繼續注意他的講話。以利戶誇讚全能的上帝,因為祂是公義的、公正的,也是無所不知的(36:5)。祂懲罰惡人,為被壓迫的人伸冤,而且還時常看顧義人,並且高舉他們。如果祂的義人遭遇了苦難,他們就要從苦難中學習教訓。如果他們尋求主耶和華,祂就會指導他們、告訴他們、他們的缺失在那裡。他們需要在上帝的面前謙卑,才不會因驕傲而跌倒,反之,更加順服及事奉祂。這樣做了,主耶和華就會使他們興旺;如果他們不這樣做,他們就會滅亡,也就是說,他們沒有從苦難的經驗中體會出上帝的恩典作為;他們本該從這苦難中學到教訓,親近上帝(36:11~12)。以利戶說這些話,是要回答約伯在苦難中遭遇到的難題。這番話多少也還了約伯一些清白,因為它顯示出上帝容許他受苦的目的,同時也推翻了約伯三個朋友所說,受苦是犯罪的結果。

        如果約伯用他該用的方法回答上帝,他所受的苦就不會那麼長,而且上帝也會很快地使他復原;但是約伯的心裡充滿了抱怨和要求,即以利戶所謂的「罪惡」(inquity)。以利戶警告約伯,最好要忍受苦難,勝於轉向罪惡(36:21),因為罪惡會激起上帝的憤怒。以利戶繼續說了些有智慧的話提醒約伯,上帝是全能的,有主權的,完善的;沒有一個人能指控上帝的錯誤。即使約伯正在受苦,他仍然被提醒、要讚美上帝所有的作為(36:24),雖然祂的大部份作為是一個奧秘,也超越我們的理解(36:26)。身為今日的信徒,我們必須這樣信靠上帝、讚美祂,不論我們的處境如何。雖然我們不能了解所有的事情,我們可以相信,一切都在上帝的掌握之中,上帝一定有祂自己的目的。

禱告

        父啊!您是完全公義與公正的,同時,您也是仁慈與憐憫人的。您的愛永遠令我們驚奇與歡欣。我們今天將所有的憂慮交託給您,我們相信,您必用您良善的方法帶領我們、引導我們。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Job 35&36
Key Verse:"He [Cod] also opens their ears to instruction, and commands that they turn from iniquity."(Job 36:10)
Overview

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        Wise young Elihu confirmed that Job's attitude was one of self-righteousness. Job had criticized God's dealings with him, a righteous man, but he had no grounds to judge God, since he could never be more righteous than God. Elihu reworded Job's sentiments that it made no difference to God whether he had been a sinner or a pious man, and he showed Job this was a wrong view of God's transcendence. Truly, the Lord is higher than our comprehension, and Elihu directed the attention of Job and his friends upward to the heavens which attest to God's majesty and glory. There is nothing that a mere man does (whether wickedness or righteousness) that can change God's most high and glorious position. Therefore, in his administration of justice, God is absolutely impartial and could never have any ulterior motives. A man's wickedness or righteousness, however, does effect the behaviour of one's fellow man (whether negatively or positively, 35:8). For the sake of others, especially our children, we need to be good examples; this greatly pleases God.

        Job had questioned God's interest in His creation, since he, a righteous man, felt his prayers went unanswered, while some wicked people were healthy, prosperous, and seemed to go unpunished. Elihu answered by giving reasons why God might not answer prayer. It was certainly not because He is disinterested; on the contrary, He is watchful and hears every cry for help. When one does not receive an immediate answer, it should not make him question God's love and concern or His very existence. Elihu illustrated our Maker's love for us in that He gave us intelligence and wisdom far greater than the animals, and He gave mankind the talent to sing and create music (35:10-11).

        The problem of unanswered prayer was not with God but with man. When men are full of pride and "empty talk", God will not regard their pleas (35:12-13). "Empty talk" is selfishly motivited and does not spring from the repentant heart of one desiring to grow more in the knowledge of the Lord. Job's main desire and request to God was for relief from pain, restored wealth, and justice; but the justice Job sought was for God to prove to everyone that he was innocent of any sinful deed, rather than a desire to deepen his relationship and love for God. Elihu assured Job that God would indeed bring justice and thus answer his prayer, but Job must wait patiently, rather than jump to vain conclusions.

        Elihu politely requested the continued attention of his audience, since he felt God had given him further truths to teach. Elihu magnified the Almighty God who is truly righteous, just, and all-knowing (36:5). He does punish the wicked and bring justice to the oppressed, as well as continually watch the righteous and exalt them. But if his righteous people suffer affliction, they are to learn from it. If they seek the Lord, He will instruct them and show them where they have fallen short. They may need to be humbled before the Lord, so they might not fall due to pride but rather obey and serve Him as they should. If they do this, the Lord will prosper them; if they do not, they will perish, not having learned from their experience of affliction given to them as a gracious act of the Lord, that they might learn from it and draw closer to Him (36:11-12). These words of Elihu were directed at Job in response to the debated dilemma of his suffering. This knowledge in itself justified Job, for it revealed the purpose of God in allowing his suffering and disproved the argument of Job's three friends that suffering was solely the result of sin.

        If Job had responded to God in the way he should have, his suffering would not have been prolonged and God would have restored him sooner; but Job was filled with complaints and demands for justice, which Elihu called "iniquity". Elihu warned Job that it is better to endure affliction than to turn to iniquity (36:21), for iniquity stirs up God's wrath. Elihu's further words of wisdom reminded Job that God was all-powerful, sovereign, and perfect; no one can accuse Him of wrongdoing. Even in his suffering, Job was reminded.to magnify and praise God for all He has done (36:24), even though much of it was a mystery and beyond understanding (36:26). We as believers today must trust God in this way and praise Him despite our circumstances. Though we don't always understand things, we can rest assured that God is in control and has a purpose.

Prayer

        Father, 'You are altogether righteous and just, yet at the same time, merciful and kind. Your love constantly amazes us and delights us. We cast the whole of our cares on You this day, trusting You to lead and direct us in Your good way.


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