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Chinese2/24/2005English
經文:出埃及記七至八章
鑰節:「我伸手攻擊埃及將以色列人從他們中間領出來的時候,埃及人就要知道我是耶和華。」(7:5)
提要

         耶和華上帝繼續向摩西說話,回答他的抱怨。最重要的是,上帝告訴他,祂行神蹟奇事審判埃及(因為他們殘酷的奴役以色列百姓,以及殺死以色列人的男嬰)後會有什麼結果。法老的心會很剛硬,但最後埃及人會知道耶和華是上帝,祂要領出祂自己的百姓。經過這番鼓勵,八十歲的摩西和八十三歲的亞倫拾起勇氣,帶著上帝所賜的權柄,順服祂的命令,再次去見法老。亞倫照上帝對摩西的指示,在法老面前把杖變成一條蛇。令人驚訝的是,法老的術士也能行,他們甚至仿效了前二災,那很可能是撒但在背後運行的「虛假的奇事」(帖後2:9)。不過,當亞倫的蛇吞了他們的蛇,上帝的至高和他們法力的有限就立刻顯明了,接下去,那些術士對上帝降在埃及地的刑罰也束手無策。上帝所做的事,撒但無力回天。

         法老仍然執意與上帝作對,不肯屈服讓祂的百姓走。希伯來文用三個不同的字來描寫法老的心,它們的意思分別是:「剛硬」(7:13、22;8:19);「固執」(7:14;8:15、32);和「強硬」(7:13)。上帝使法老的心剛硬乃是因為法老自己已經硬著心要與上帝作對。上帝的目的是要使法老悔改,但當一個人自己定意要違背上帝,那麼即使是上帝的憐憫也只徒然導致人越發剛硬。因為法老驕傲、心懷悖逆,上帝就在極短的時間內連續在埃及降下十災,最後一災也使以色列人成功的離開埃及。十災,一災比一災嚴重,並且是用來敗壞埃及一切的神(12:12),顯出希伯來人的上帝才是獨一真神。埃及人拜尼羅河為神,而青蛙也被視為神聖的動物──肥沃、豐富的象徵。十災同時也是要對希伯來人表明,在上帝面前不能有別神。

         摩西警告過法老後,就叫亞倫伸出他的杖擊打尼羅河,立時,所有尼羅河水,甚至容器堛漱臛變成了血。上帝很有憐憫,第一災只延續了七天。第二災(蛙災)十分神奇,因為埃及地的青蛙增加得嚇人。法老求摩西為他們代求,使青蛙離開埃及,並且承認以色列之上帝的存在和能力;但他的心還是向上帝剛硬。真正承認上帝,心奡N必隨之有順服的表現。上帝照著摩西的要求做了,在指定的時間內使青蛙都死了。但法老不是個誠實的人,他再次拒絕讓以色列人走。虱災(最好翻成刺蟲)於是在沒有預警的情況下來臨,法老的術士都不能模仿,他們承認這是上帝的作為,暗示法老應讓希伯來人離開埃及。法老仍舊固執不順服上帝。

         在第四災中,上帝將以色列人從埃及人中分別出來。一向以乾淨自負的埃及人發現他們四周圍被成群的蒼蠅「敗壞」了。那可能是一種會咬人,傳染疾病的蒼蠅。氣急敗壞的法老要以色列人就在埃及地祭祀上帝。這個折衷的辦法不被接受。上帝要求的是完全的順服。摩西很有智慧的回答,如果他們獻「厭惡的祭」(8:26),埃及人可能會殺他們,因為埃及人認為某些動物,如牛犢,是神聖的,因此他們禁止人殺那些動物。法老於是說他們可以到曠野去,但不能走太遠。順服一半也根本不是順服。這就像撒但狡詐的詭計,欲使那些跟隨上帝的人仍與世界罪惡的事物藕斷絲連。被贖之民要真正享受上帝的救恩,就必須從這個罪惡的世界分別出來(林後6:17)

禱告

         全能的上帝,柔軟我們的心,使我們始終能敏銳的明白並遵行您的旨意。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Exodus 7 & 8
Key Verse:“And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”(Exodus 7:5 )
Overview

         The Lord continued speaking with Moses in answering his complaints. The important thing is that the Lord told him the results of His miraculous signs and wonders in great judgments upon Egypt (because of their cruel slavery to the children of Israel and for killing the baby boys). Pharaoh’s heart would continue to be hardened, but in the end the Egyptians would know that the Lord is God and He would bring out His host of people. With this encouragement, new boldness, and with the authority of God, Moses, at the age of 80 and Aaron at 83, went before Pharaoh in obedience to the Lord’s command. Following the Lord’s instructions to Moses, Aaron, when asked for a sign, threw down his rod which became a serpent. It is amazing that Pharaoh’s magicians did the same, and they also could copy the first two plagues which were most likely “lying wonders” empowered by Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9). However, the supremacy of God and the limitation of their power was seen when Aaron’s serpent swallowed up theirs and in the fact that they were helpless to undo the plagues which God had brought upon the land. Whatever God does, Satan cannot undo.

         Pharaoh still strengthened his will (hardened his heart) against God and was unyielding to let the people go. There are three different Hebrew words used to describe the condition of Pharaoh’s heart: “to make strong” (7:13, 22; 8:19); “to make heavy, slow to move” (7:14; 8:15, 32); and “to harden” (7:13). The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart by God was done because Pharaoh had already, on his own, hardened his heart against God. God’s purpose was to make Pharaoh repent, but when someone sets himself against God, even His mercies result in further hardening. Because of Pharaoh’s proud, rebellious heart, God brought ten plagues on Egypt within a relatively short period of time, and the final one resulted in the Exodus (meaning “going out”) of Israel. The plagues became progressively more severe and were directed against the gods of Egypt (12:12) to show that the God of the Hebrews is the One true God. The Nile was worshipped as a god and the frog was regarded as holy – a symbol of fertility and bounty. The plagues also served to show the Hebrews there were to be no other gods before Him.

         After Moses warned Pharaoh, he had Aaron stretch out his rod and literally all the water of the Nile, and even water in jars, turned to actual blood. God was merciful, so this first plague lasted for only seven days. The second plague (frogs) was supernatural because they were tremendously increased. By asking Moses to intercede and make the frogs leave, Pharaoh confessed the existence and power of their God, but his heart remained hardened towards Him. God did according to Moses’ request and, at a set time, the frogs miraculously died. But Pharaoh was not an honorable person and again he refused to let them go. The third plague, lice (better translated as a stinging gnat), came without warning and Pharaoh’s magicians could not copy it. They confessed it was an act of God and may have intended their comment as a warning that Pharaoh should let the Hebrews go. Still Pharaoh strengthened his will against God.

         In the fourth plague, God made a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians. The Egyptians, who prides themselves on cleanliness, felt their land had been “corrupted” or ruined because of the flies. These were probably a biting kind of fly that may cause diseases. Pharaoh told them they could go and sacrifice but they were to remain in his land. This compromise was not acceptable. God demands total obedience. Moses wisely said that if they sacrificed “the abomination” (8:26), the Egyptians might kill them, for they considered some animals to be holy, such as the calf, and slaughtering them was forbidden. Then Pharaoh said they could go to the wilderness but not very far. Halfway obedience is not obedience at all. This is like the sly tricks of Satan, who tries to keep those following God still close to the bad influences of the world. To truly enjoy the redemption of the Lord, the redeemed people must be separate from the evil of the world (2 Cor. 6:17).

Prayer

         Mighty God, soften our hearts so that we may be sensitive, knowing and doing Your will always.


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