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Chinese12/14/2005English
經文:列王紀下三章
鑰節:「在耶和華眼中這還算為小事,祂也必將摩押人交在你們手中。」(3:18)
提要

        亞哈謝沒有兒子,所以他死後他的兄弟約蘭就接續他作以色列王。約蘭雖然也像耶羅波安一樣拜偶像(金牛犢),行耶和華眼中看為惡的事,但他並不像他的父親亞哈那麼邪惡,因為他除掉了一些巴力的柱像。拜巴力是所有偶像崇拜中最惡劣的一種,因為敬拜的儀式包含了以人為祭。

        摩押在亞哈王時仍是以色列的屬國,每年要向以色列進貢大量的羊和羊毛。亞哈死後,摩押的米沙王背叛以色列,拒絕再納貢給約蘭王,這對以色列的經濟是一大打擊;摩押的羊毛和羊可能是以色列唯一的貢物來源,所以約蘭想挽回局面。那時以色列和猶大仍處於友好狀態,猶大的約沙法王便同意與約蘭一同出戰,就像他從前幫助約蘭的父親亞哈一樣(3:7;王上22:4)。而由於以東是約沙法的屬國,他們有義務幫助約沙法,於是三王共同向摩押進軍。

        途中他們缺水,約蘭馬上埋怨上帝,但他太小信了,甚至不求上帝幫助。約沙法是個敬虔的國王,他建議約蘭求問上帝關於水和爭戰是否能勝二事,要不是因為約沙法的信心,以利沙也不會願意說話,因為他對約蘭的拜偶像之舉極為不悅。以利沙為了平息因約蘭的出現帶給他的憤怒,特請一位琴師在他尋求上帝引導之前為他彈琴,緩和他的情緒。

        以利沙回答他們說,對上帝而言,賜水給他們是件小事,同樣的,將摩押人交在他們手中,在以色列大能的上帝眼中也是輕而易舉的事。以色列人照上帝的吩咐,在谷中挖溝,上帝奇蹟式的使溝中充滿了水,也同樣的使用這些水溝混淆摩押人的視聽,使他們以為猶大、以色列、以東聯軍在自相殘殺。摩押人看見清晨的日光照在水面上,他們以為那是血,摩押軍隊貪圖戰利品,粗心大意的向看起來空盪盪的敵軍陣營衝去,很多人可能連武器都沒帶在手上。令他們吃驚的是,以色列聯軍竟起來攻擊他們。

        摩押王米沙見情勢不妙,便想從最弱的以東陣線衝出去,誰知他帶著七百位拿刀的兵也無法突圍。眼見大勢已去,米沙只得退到吉珥哈列設的城牆內。同時,以色列人正順服上帝的命令,在摧毀一切的城池。當他們來圍攻吉珥哈列設時,米沙做了一件可憎的事。為了討摩押神基摩洗的歡心,米沙將自己的長子,摩押受冠的王子,在城牆上當著以色列人面前獻為祭。米沙這麼做使得這場戰爭變成屬靈的戰爭。以色列人的轉回顯出他們的迷信,不敢再繼續攻城。以色列人可能相信現在摩押神的憤怒會傾倒在他們身上,他們就違背上帝,回本國去了。

        以色列人很可惜的沒有得到完全的勝利,因為他們還沒有學到功課,他們還是不瞭解,除了以色列的上帝以外,並無別神。當上帝站在祂百姓這邊,他們就沒有什麼好怕的。

禱告

        主啊,謝謝您讓我們從今天的故事看到一個信賴您的政治領袖。求您賜給我們更多敬虔愛主的政治領袖,可以表現出信心的榜樣。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read 2 Kings 3
Key Verse:"And this is but a trivial thing in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand."(2 Kings 3:18)
Overview

        Since Ahaziah had no sons when he died, his brother Jehoram took the throne of Israel. Jehoshaphat also had a son named Jehoram, who apparently reigned with him at that time (compare 3:1; 1:17). Although Jehoram did evil in the sight of the Lord by continuing in the idolatry of Jeroboam (calf-worship), he was not as evil as his father Ahab, for he put away some of the worship of Baal (3:2). Baal worship was the most vile form of idolatry, since it involved human sacrifice.

        Moab had been subjugated under Ahab and forced to pay tribute to Israel of sheep and wool. After Ahab's death, Mesha king of Moab rebelled, refusing to pay the tribute. This would have hurt Israel's economy, and it was probably their only source of tribute, so Jehoram wanted to recover it. At this time, Israel and Judah were on friendly terms, so king Jehoshaphat of Judah agreed to assist Jehoram in this campaign, just like he had helped his father Ahab (3:7; 1 Kings 22:4). Since the king of Edom was a vassal of Jehoshaphat, he was obligated to assist; so these three kings came up against Moab.

        Jehoram was quick to blame God when he saw there was no water, but he was so faithless that he did not even ask for God's help. The godly king Jehoshaphat of Judah suggested they enquire of the Lord (as he had done with Ahab; 1 Kings 22:5) concerning both the water and the battle (3:11). If it had not been for the faith of Jehoshaphat, Elisha would not have spoken, since he was angry with Jehoram for his idolatry. In order to put himself into the proper frame of mind and calm the anger that the presence of Jehoram brought to the surface, Elisha requested some soothing music before he asked guidance from God (cf. 1 Samuel 16:23).

        Elisha answered that it was a very simple thing for God to supply them with water, and equally as simple for their great and powerful God to deliver the Moabites into their hands. These words were no doubt spoken so that Jehoram could see that the God of Israel was all-powerful. The Israelites followed God's orders and dug the ditches. God used these very ditches, once He had miraculously filled them with water, to deceive the Moabites into believing that their enemies had turned against each other. Seeing the morning sun's reflection upon the water, they thought it was blood, and the Moabite army, greedy for spoil, rushed carelessly, probably many without weapons, into the seemingly vacant camp. Much to their surprise, the combined Israelite army arose against them.

        Mesha, king of Moab could not even manage to get through to the king of Edom with 700 men, probably trying at the weakest link on the battlefront. When he saw that the situation was hopeless in their own strength, he retreated to the fortified city of Kir Haraseth. Meanwhile, in obedience to God's orders, the Israelites were destroying every other fortified city. When they came to besiege Kir Haraseth, Mesha did an abominable thing. In order to gain the favour of their god, who was likely the god Chemosh, he sacrificed his eldest son, the crown prince, upon the wall in the sight of the Israelites. In doing this, he made it a spiritual battle. The Israelites showed themselves superstitious and afraid to continue the siege. Perhaps believing that now the wrath of Chemosh would be against them; so they turned back in disobedience to God.

        Sadly, it was not a complete victory for Israel, because they did not learn their lesson; they still did not understand that there was no God but the Lord God of Israel. When the Lord is on the side of His people, there is nothing to fear.

Prayer

        Thank You for the story of one political leader who trusted You. Please grant to us godly political leaders who will show an example of faith in You.


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