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Chinese8/4/2006English
經文:以賽亞書十至十二章
鑰節:「……外邦人必尋求祂,祂安息之所大有榮耀。」(11:10)
提要

        以賽亞對北國以色列的宣判,從九章廿八節延續到第十章,而同時警告和懲罰也臨到違背上帝的猶大人身上。南北兩國都犯了驕傲、自大、自負、偽善、拜偶像的罪;懲罰將臨到那些訂不義律例又壓迫窮人的人,他們拒絕上帝的權能及蔑視祂的律法(10:1~4)。

        上帝用亞述王降罰在以色列人身上和懲戒猶大人,而亞述人因已征服過許多城市,自認為有能力打敗一切的敵人,其實在亞述人背後是上帝的能力,他們只是上帝手中的工具(10:15)。撒瑪利亞城陷落後(王下18:9~12),亞述人認為可輕取耶路撒冷,能勝過以色列人所信仰微小的上帝(10:10~11;36:18~20;王下18:19~20,28~30,33~35);他們對以色列的上帝輕蔑、傲慢,然而上帝不將祂的榮耀給假神及偶像(42:8),祂的光要引導自己百姓(10:17,26)成為永火,燒盡毀滅亞述。

        在審判之中先知們預言將有慈愛和希望存留給那些餘剩的人,上帝拯救他們,使他們明白要相信上帝而不是倚靠人,上帝將這些有信心的餘民,從被擄中釋回,並派以賽亞去鼓勵耶路撒冷城的人不要怕亞述人,因上帝的懲戒不足以毀滅他們,而是要煉淨他們,上帝必拯救耶路撒冷(10:27,33~34),且在以賽亞活著之時必應驗(37:36;王下19:30~37)。

        第十章結尾,上帝要除去高傲,使之變為謙卑(10:33~34),接著到十一章,大衛家要像將死的歹枝再發芽(耶穌是大衛的後裔),繁衍成為一棵大樹──喻表彌賽亞(啟22:16),上帝的靈將在祂身上,使祂有智慧和聰明的靈、謀略和能力的靈、知識和敬畏耶和華的靈(11:2);因敬畏上帝遵守上帝的誡命服事上帝,並且照著上帝的心意而行。上帝將祂的公義顯明在彌賽亞身上,上帝以公義管理祂的國度(11:5;弗6:14),以公義審判,祂用有能力有權柄的話語(即口中的杖)來鞏固祂的公義(啟1:16;19:15;來4:12;何6:5)。

        預言中的「那日」,樹幹必成為旗幟,也就是萬民所歸順耶穌的十字架旗幟,外邦人藉由耶穌基督得救的預言(羅15:12),使徒保羅得見預言實現。當那日主必二次伸手救贖自己所剩餘的百姓(11:11)。「救贖」在希伯來文中有領回、買回、贖回之意(尼5:8)。上帝第一次救贖祂的百姓是在逾越節,將祂的百姓從埃及監禁束縛中釋放出來(11:16),現在藉耶穌基督的恩典,救贖回餘剩的子民──教會,即是在世界各個角落的人(約11:49~52),無論是猶太人或外邦人,只要相信耶穌,上帝將引導他們勝過仇敵進入祂千禧年的統治中,在祂榮耀與安息中,上帝要繼續看顧引導祂的聖民(11:14~16),他們將與耶穌基督連接(11:13),在安息和諧中和上帝所創造的一切共同生活,這時所有的咒詛將由地上除去(11:6~9;羅8:19~23),每個人都認識敬拜主耶穌,因「認識耶和華的知識要充滿全地」(11:9),被救贖的人要歡喜快樂,不斷的讚美耶穌,因祂是能力、歡唱、滿足、喜樂泉源和支柱,祂是唯一聖潔、救贖活水的泉源(12章;55:1;約4:10,14;7:38;太1:21;啟22:1~3)。

禱告

        父上帝!我們藉著主耶穌基督,飲於您救恩之泉,求您成為我們隨時的力量、詩歌、滿足、喜樂、拯救和救恩,讚美您!奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Isaiah 10,11&12
Key Verse:".. .the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious."(Isaiah 11:10)
Overview

        Isaiah's pronouncement of judgment upon the Northern Kingdom (Ephraim) which began in 9:8 continues in chapter ten, but now the warnings of punishment are also directed to the people of Judah, for they too rebelled against God. Both kingdoms were guilty of pride, arrogance, self-sufficiency, hypocrisy, and idolatry. In chapter ten, Isaiah condemns and predicts punishment for those who perverted justice by making corrupt laws which oppressed the poor, for in so doing they rejected God's authority and ignored His laws to protect and care for the needy (10:1-4).

        God used the king of Assyria as an instrument to mete out His punishment upon Israel and chasten the people of Judah. Many mighty cities had fallen to the Assyrians who boasted of their strength and of how they would overcome their enemies' gods. But God was the power behind the success of the king of Assyria; he was merely God's tool (10:15). Samaria is spoken of as already having fallen (2 Kings 18:9-12), and the Assyrians thought it would be a simple thing to overthrow Jerusalem with their puny gods (10:10-11; 36:18-20; 2 Kings 18:19-20, 28-30, 33-35). They showed haughtiness and contempt toward the God of Israel, but God will not share His glory with another (Is. 42:8). Assyria would be judged with near annihilation, for God, "the Light of Israel" who guides His people, would become a consuming fire to destroy the Assyrians (10:17, 26).

        In the midst of judgment, there is a prophecy of hope and mercy for the remnant who will be saved, having learned to trust only in God and not in man. It was in God's predetermined plan that a faithful remnant would return from captivity. In light of this promise, the Lord, through Isaiah, encourages the people of Jerusalem not to fear the Assyrians, for the chastisement would not destroy His people but rather purify them. Isaiah prophesied that God would intervene to save Jerusalem (10:27, 33-34), and Isaiah lived to see this fulfilled (37:36; 2 Kings 19:30-37).

        As chapter ten ended by explaining that God will hew down and thus humble the haughty (10:33-34), so the imagery in the beginning of chapter eleven indicates that the House of David ("Jesse", the forefather of the Davidic line) will be hewed down like a tree stump. Isaiah gives a message of hope, however, for from that seemingly dead stump, new life will arise: "a shoot" (NIV 11:1) will come up from its roots and will flourish to become a "Branch" — the Messiah (Rev. 22:16). The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him, endowing Him with the fullness of His qualities and attributes (11:2). The Messiah's joy will be to fear the Lord, and thus He will keep the commandments, serve God, and do His will. Since He is righteous and the Spirit of the Lord is made manifest in Him, He will see and hear with spiritual understanding, and thus all His judgments will be righteous. Righteousness will be the key to holding His Kingdom together (11:5; Eph. 6:14), and therefore He will enforce righteousness with "the rod of His mouth", that is by the power and authority of His Word (cf. Rev. 1:16; 19:15; Heb. 4:12; Hos. 6:5).

        With prophetic vision, Isaiah refers to "that day" when the Branch shall be a "banner" or ensign, for people of all nations to rally to the standard of the Cross of Jesus (11:10, 12). The Apostle Paul saw this prophecy fulfilled in the redemption that Jesus Christ provided for the salvation of the Gentiles (Rom. 15:12). At this same time, "the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left" (11:11). The word "recover" translated from the Hebrew is qanah, which is usually translated as "bought", "purchased", or "redeemed" (Neh. 5:8). The first time the Lord redeemed His people was through the first Passover, resulting in their freedom from bondage in Egypt (11:16). In the present age of grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Lord is going to redeem the remnant of His people, the Church, who are found in all parts of the world (cf. John 11:49-52), be they Jew or Gentile, as long as they believe in Jesus. He will give them victory over all their enemies and lead them into the coming age of His Millenial reign, when His holy remnant will enjoy the continual care and leading of the Lord in His glorious resting place (11:14-16). They will be unified in the bond of Jesus Christ (11:13), and it will truly be a golden era of peace and harmony amongst all God's creation, including mankind and wild beasts, for in that day the curse upon the earth will have been removed (11:6-9; cf. Rom. 8:19-23). Everyone will know and worship the Lord Jesus, for "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord" (ll:9b), and thus the redeemed will enjoy singing continual praises to Jesus who is their strength, song, satisfaction, source of joy, sustenance, and salvation. He is the Holy One in their midst who is the source of living water, for in Him are the "wells of salvation" (chapter 12; 55:1; John 4:10, 14; 7:38; Matt. 1:21; Rev. 22:1-3).

Prayer

        Our Father, we drink deeply from the "wells of salvation ' which You opened through our Lord Jesus Christ. Please be our strength, song, satisfaction, source of joy, sustenance, and salvation at all times. We praise You!


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