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Chinese2/8/2006English
經文:歷代志下卅至卅一章
鑰節:「現在不要像你們列祖硬著頸項,只要歸順耶和華。……」(30:8)
提要

        希西家成功的推動地區性靈性復興後,想進一步在全國推動。他甚至希望變節的北王國前來觀看他們按照摩西啟示的禮儀守逾越節。自從所羅門王時代以來,就沒有好好守過合一的逾越節。聯合王國在所羅門的兒子羅波安在位時分裂之後,北王國在耶羅波安帶領下建立了自己的宗教,以致於敬拜的中心,耶路撒冷,原本是南北聯繫的帶子,就被切斷了。逾越節是三大節期之一;守節時按摩西律法之規定,以色列的所有男孩都要聚集在上帝的居所(申16:16)。

        因熱望恢復靈性的合一,希西家將信息傳遍猶大及以色列國,「從別是巴到但」(30:5),邀請每一個人到耶路撒冷守逾越節。此刻,北國的政治環境也容許希西家做此邀請,因北國國王何細亞早先對亞述王不滿而謀反,結果遭到報復,許多國民被擄去,通國正荒涼(王下17:3~6)。

        希西家雖是國王,他呼召人民回歸上主的信息,實在更像是出於先知。他使用了一種摩西常用的表達方法,警告這民不要「硬著頸項」(像「倔強的牛」,既不服從,又難駕馭,何4:16),而要降服於主,並事奉祂,這才能扭轉祂的憤怒。希西家預言說:如果他們這樣做了,上帝會因祂的恩慈,將被擄之民帶回給他們(30:8~9)。儘管北國已處在災難的邊緣,許多人的心仍定意抵擋上主,以致於嘲笑這個信息,並冷落上帝的恩典(3:10)。不過,北國仍有少數餘民回應了這一呼召。

        守逾越節,是紀念上帝從埃及滅命的天使中,釋放拯救祂的子民(出12:27)。羔羊的血帶給他們拯救,象徵了將來上帝的羔羊耶穌基督為世人替死(出13:15;林前5:7)。通常,逾越節是在猶太曆的元月,但是摩西已設了先例,如果環境需要,可以延後一個月(參民9:10~11)。這次延遲的理由便是,還有許多祭司尚未聖別自己,但是不久,他們便為自己的疏忽而悔改了(30:15)。許多利未人則早已在禮儀上潔淨自己,於是他們幫助祭司們,也幫忙殺了逾越節的羔羊,宴請所有從遙遠地方趕來,因通知急迫,未依禮自潔的人。希西家為他們禱告,盼他們也能吃這逾越節的餐席(30:18~20)。他的祈禱闡明了聖潔的真義,正如耶穌在新約之中所教導的:心靈才是最重要的。

        人民服從主,守了逾越節,並享受了吃無酵餅的七天筵宴(30:13;利23:5~6),感到莫大歡樂與滿足。因為他們不希望就此結束,又再慶祝了七天。這偉大的復興導致進一步地順服主──毀壞任何與偶像有關的東西,包括摩西所舉的銅蛇,因它已成為外邦敬拜的對象(31:1;王下18:4;民21:7~9)。

        希西家不只領導大家恢復聖殿,也把利未族的事奉組織正常化,像大衛王所建立的一樣(代上24與25章)。可是整個聖殿敬拜要恢復正常,人民需要服從上帝所定奉獻什一及初熟果子的律法(民18:12、21~24),和其他摩西教導的奉獻(民28及29章)。沒有這些支持,利未人無從盡上帝要他們盡的責任(參尼13:10)。作為人民的榜樣,希西家帶領大家盡情地捐獻。令人歡樂而驚奇的是,人民對他的呼籲,給予熱烈地支持。終於有足夠的經費給所有的祭司和利未人用,甚至還有大量的剩餘。當主的子民邁出信心的步子,以捐獻服從祂時,祂會更大量賜福,以增益祂的榮耀。

禱告

        親愛的主,我們對希西家的領導,印象十分深刻。請賜我們今日的領袖也有這樣的能力和認識。您正在此刻恢復您的教會。幫助我們大家熱心盡本分。奉耶穌基督的名禱告,阿們。

English

Scriptures:Read 2 Chronicles 30&31
Key Verse:"Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord;..."(2 Chronicles 30:8)
Overview

        With the success of his localized revival, Hezekiah desired to extend it nationwide. He wished to have even the apostate Northern Kingdom come and observe the Passover feast in the manner Moses had prescribed. Since the time of Solomon, no unified Passover feast had been observed. After the division of the kingdom under the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon's son, the Northern Kingdom established its own religion under Jeroboam. Thus ties with the centralized place of worship in Jerusalem had been cut off. The Passover was one of the three feasts for which the Law required the assemblage of all the males of the children of Israel at the House of the Lord (Deuteronomy 16:16).

        In hopes of restoring spiritual unity, Hezekiah sent messengers throughout Judah and Israel, "from Beersheba to Dan" (30:5) inviting everyone to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem. The circumstances in Israel at this point made it possible for him to do such a thing. King Hoshea of Israel was preoccupied with a revolt against Assyrian domination and with the resulting Assyrian attacks wherein some of his people had been taken captive (2 Kings 17:3-6).

        Hezekiah's message sounded more like that of a prophet than of a king, as he exhorted the people to return to the Lord. Using an expression Moses often used in referring to the children of Israel, he warned them not be "stiff-necked" ("like a stubborn calf" that is disobedient and uncontrolable, Hosea 4:16), but to yield to the Lord and serve Him, in order to avert His wrath. Hezekiah prophesied that if they did so, God would bring the captives back because of His grace and mercy (30:8-9). Though the nation was on the verge of disaster, many of their hearts were so set against the Lord that they mocked at the message and thus spurned the grace of God (30:10). There was, however, a remnant from Israel that responded to the call.

        The Passover was observed as a memorial of God's deliverance and salvation from the death angel in Egypt (Exodus 12:27). The blood of the lamb which brought them salvation typified the future vicarious death of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ (Exodus 13:15; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Normally, the Passover was observed in the first month, but Moses had set a precedent that permitted the celebration to be a month later if circumstances necessitated it (cf. Numbers 9:10-11). On this occasion, the reason for the delay was that many priests had not yet sanctified themselves, but they later repented for being negligent (30:15). Many Levites, however, were ceremonially clean and helped the priests. They also slaughtered the passover lambs for all those who came to the feast from far distances on such short notice without having the time to be properly cleansed. Hezekiah prayed on their behalf that they still might be able to participate in the Passover meal (30:18-20). His prayer illustrated the true essence of sanctification, like the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament: it is the condition of the heart that matters.

        The people's obedience to the Lord in observing the Passover, and then the seven-day feast of unleaven bread (30:13; Leviticus 23:5-6), brought them great joy and satisfaction. Because they did not want it to end, seven more days were designated for corporate worship. This great time of revival led to further obedience to the Lord — the destruction of anything associated with idolatry, including the brazen serpent of Moses which had become an object of heathen worship (31:1; 2 Kings 18:4; Numbers 21:7-9).

        Hezekiah not only led in the restoration of the Temple, but he also put in order the Levitical organization as king David had instituted (1 Chronicles 24 & 25). However, before this system could really work, the people needed to obey the Law of God concerning the giving of their tithes, first fruits (Numbers 18:12, 21-24), and other offerings which Moses had instructed (Numbers 28 & 29). Without this support, the Levites could not carry out the responsibilities to which God had called them (cf. Nehemiah 13:10). As an example to the people, Hezekiah led the way in giving generously. To his joyous amazement, he found that the people tremendously responded to his appeal. There was enough provision for all the priests and Levites, and even an abundance remaining. When the Lord's people step out in faith and obedience to Him by giving, He blesses it and supplies an abundance that is accredited for His glory.

Prayer

        Dear Lord, we are so impressed with Hezekiah's leadership. Please give us leaders today with such strength and understanding. You are restoring Your church today. Help us all to do our part joyously.


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