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Chinese8/10/2006English
經文:以賽亞書廿九至卅一章
鑰節:「……你們得救在乎歸回安回息,你們得力在乎平靜安穩……」(30:15)
提要

        廿九章以賽亞指責「亞利伊勒」,是耶路撒冷的另一名稱,亞利伊勒的意思是「上帝的獅子」,可能是喻表在上帝壇前的祭物,耶路撒冷依然在上帝面前敬拜,但上帝要用火審判,使整個城,成為上帝的獅子(29:2)。上帝知道人心所想,也知道耶路撒冷人的虛偽和不肯悔改,就像耶穌定法利賽人的罪一樣(可7:6;提後3:1),以賽亞警告猶大人,上帝將差亞述人攻擊他們,當他們不能抵抗處在弱勢時,他們才會謙卑(29:3~4),上帝也將及時救助他們,仇敵離去像是人做的惡夢,清晨一到夢便過去(29:5~8;王下19:35)。上帝如此工作,為要教導祂的子民,不再倚靠和埃及聯盟,要相信,只有上帝能幫助他們(30:1~2;31:1~3)。

        以賽亞所見的異象,人們不懂,先知也不明白,因靈堿O瞎眼的,上帝沒有賜下明白的靈;對他們所說以賽亞的異象,像一本被封印了的書,沒人能閱讀它(29:11~12);自從他們以為自己聰明,不需上帝的智慧和引導,他們的心志便被蒙蔽,何等愚昧的事,被選者認為創造者沒有能力與智慧可以幫助他們,其實上帝知道什麼才是對他們最好的(29:15~16)。

        以賽亞預言,驕傲的亞述要像利巴嫩一樣被伐倒無人知曉,因上帝的懲罰臨到亞述,使得他什麼都不剩(29:17,20;王下19:35~37)。上帝在拯救的時候,謙卑人的喜樂,必因上帝同在而加增,那時瞎眼的必要看見以賽亞的異象,而為自己的不信和對以賽亞的不敬感到羞愧(29:21),最重要的是他們明白了要敬畏上帝(29:18~19,22~24)。

        卅章,以賽亞十分悲傷,因猶大人不尋求上帝的幫助,也不要上帝的先知和祭司(民27:21;王下22:14),而去尋求自大的埃及人(30:7),實不知是徒然無益的,埃及實在不能幫助猶大人逃避亞述的攻擊。猶大人不要上帝,也不願聽先知的預言,他們只要求先知說一些他們想聽的話,也不要上帝干預他們的計畫(30:9~11;提後3~4;2:15);凡說實話的先知,最終都受逼迫(代下18:7,26;太23:37;徒7:52),當時的景況多麼像現代的人。以賽亞警告猶大人,他們的罪惡好像破裂的高牆,他們以為高牆可護衛他們,誰知在頃刻之間必然坍塌(30:13~14)。

        上帝耐心的等待那些不信的人,希望他們悔改、回轉歸向祂,就能得到上帝的慈愛、平安和拯救(30:15)。我們要除去攔阻我們跟隨上帝的事(30:22;31:6~7),全心信靠祂,如此祂必賜福引導我們,祂仍在對我們說:「這是正路,要行在其間」(30:21)。有信心餘留下的人,留心聽上帝的聲音,忠心的走在祂的旨意中,上帝引導他們進入耶穌永遠的榮耀中;在祂的國度中沒有哭泣,只有在各樣祝福下的歡樂,上帝要親自纏裹祂百姓的傷口(30:19,26),他們雖曾以艱難當餅,困苦當水,但一切都將過去(30:20)。

        以賽亞的預言經過歷史的印證,上帝在希西家王之後,向猶大人顯示了祂的慈愛,且要施恩給他門,他們不再信任埃及的馬匹戰車,也知這些都不能為他們做什麼,只能全心信靠上帝(30:16,18;王下19:15~20,34~35;詩20:7);在卅一章中強調,上帝不需要埃及人的戰車戰馬或任何軍隊(31:1,8),「萬軍之耶和華說,不是依靠勢力,不是倚靠才能,乃是依靠我的靈方能成事」(亞4:6);上帝對祂的子民像少壯獅子獲食咆哮,不怕任何人,又像雀鳥煽翅覆雛(31:4~5),因此上帝的子民不必害怕,上帝確實要保護救贖他們。

禱告

        主啊!讓我們今日靈埵w靜,我們的信心由您而來,也求您的能力成為我們每日的供應。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Isaiah 29, 30&31
Key Verse:"... In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength..."(Isaiah 30:15)
Overview

        In chapter 29, Isaiah denounces "Ariel", another name for Jerusalem meaning "hearth [or lion] of God", possibly referring to the altar of burnt offerings. Even though the formalities of worship to God continued in Jerusalem, still the Lord would "distress Ariel" with the fire of judgment, making the whole city His "Ariel" (hearth, 29:2; 31:9b). God, who knows the hearts of all mankind, knew that the people of Jerusalem were hypocritical and unrepentant, like the Pharisees whom Jesus condemned (Mark. 7:6ff; 2 Tim. 3:1). Here, Isaiah is the Lord's mouthpiece to rebuke the people of Judah. God would punish them by sending the Assyrians against Judah in order to humble them to the lowest place (29:3-4). Thereafter, God would miraculously intervene in an instantaneous deliverance. The enemy would be gone, just like a bad dream that vanishes in the morning (29:5-8; cf. 2 Kings 19:35). This was the "marvelous work and a wonder" that the Lord would do to teach His people that they only have to trust in Him for help, and not in an alliance with Egypt (30:1-2; 31:1-3).

        Isaiah's vision, however, was not understood, even by the supposed prophets, for because of their disbelief, they did not allow the Holy Spirit to give them understanding; they were spiritually blind. The words of Isaiah were therefore like a sealed book; no one could read it (29:11-12). Their hearts and minds were closed to the things of the Lord, since they believed themselves to be self-sufficient and wise, not needing God's wisdom and guidance. How foolish for that which is created to think that the Creator would not have the ability and wisdom to help them. He knows what is best for all His creation (29:15-16).

        Isaiah predicted that proud Assyria, like the forest of Lebanon, would be cut down to insignificance, and the "terrible one" (Sennacherib king of Assyria) would come to nothing because of the Lord's intervention (29:17, 20; 2 Kings 19:35-37). At the time of God's deliverance, the humble believers "shall increase their joy in the Lord", and those who were blinded would come to understand Isaiah's vision and be ashamed because of their disbelief and disrespect of Isaiah (29:21). Most importantly, they would learn to fear God (29:18-19, 22-24).

        In chapter 30, Isaiah expresses his sorrow, since the people of Judah were so rebellious that they would not look to God for counsel or help through either true prophet or priest (cf. Num. 27:21; 2 Kings 22:14): rather, they looked to Egypt, the arrogant one who sits idle (meaning of "Rahab-Hem-Shebeth", 30:7), for Egypt would do nothing to help Judah from the attack of Assyria. Yet no matter how much Isaiah spoke, the people did not want to hear his words. They wanted the prophets to say only the things they liked to hear, and history shows that the prophets who spoke the truth were persecuted (e.g. 2 Chron. 18:7,26; Matt. 23:37; Acts 7:52). They wanted a God who would not disturb them by interfering with their plans (30:9-11; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2:15). How like many people today! Yet Isaiah warns that their wall of iniquity and self-will, which they thought would protect them, would suddenly collapse on them and break into pieces (30:13-14).

        The Lord was patient and gracious with the unbelieving people. He desired them to repent, turn to Him, and trust in Him, then they would receive His mercy, peace, and salvation (30:15). In returning to God (repenting), we throw away the things that prevent us from following Him ("graven images", 30:22; 31:6-7) and trust fully in Him; then we can be sure He will bless us and give us guidance with His still small voice saying: "This is the way, walk in it" (30:21). The remnant who do heed God's voice and faithfully walk in His way will be ushered into the glorious reign of the Messiah Jesus. In His Kingdom there will be no more weeping, only rejoicing in the manifold blessings, and the Lord Himself will lovingly bind up the bruise (30:19, 26) of His remnant who have gone through the bread of adversity and the water of affliction" (30:20).

        As Isaiah foretold and history confirmed, God did indeed show them His mercy after King Hezekiah called upon Him and waited on Him with complete confidence, no longer trusting in the horses and chariots of Egypt (30:16, 18; cf. 2 Kings 19: 15-20, 34-35; Ps. 20:7). God struck Assyria with "the staff of punishment" (30:32). As chapter 31 clearly emphasizes, God did not need the chariots and horses of Egypt, nor even the swords of men (31:1, 8): "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). God would be to His people like a vicious lion that has no fear and like a bird which hovers over her nest to protect her young (31:4-5). His people were not to fear, for He would surely defend and deliver them.

Prayer

        May we be quiet in our spirits today, O Lord. Our confidence is in You alone. On the basis of this, we ask for Your strength to be our daily supply.


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