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Chinese1/26/2005English
經文:創世記四十五章至四十六章
鑰節:「上帝差我在你們以先來,為要給你們存留餘種在世上,又要大施拯救,保全你們的生命。」(45:7)
提要

        這個美麗又動人的故事的最高潮終於來到。約瑟看出他哥哥們的心已經改變,於是他表明了自己的身分。這是個感人的時刻,但他的哥哥在他面前卻驚惶不安(45:3)。他們害怕約瑟會報復他們以前的罪行。儘管約瑟多次向他們保證他不記仇,但他們還是在恐懼不安中過了好多年(參50:15)。然而約瑟是真的原諒他們了。約瑟不但沒有懷恨在心(若非上帝的愛在他心裡,他有這樣的反應也是正常的),反而承認上帝是在這件事上的主權。為要「保全生命」(45:5)。約瑟的智慧不僅引導幫助埃及度過了豐年和荒年,更重要的是,他在埃及是要完成上帝的目的,使他的家族成為一個國家,使所應許的後裔從中而出。上帝的恩典和憐憫是無限的!祂已經為以色列家預備了救贖,正如祂也藉著祂的兒子耶穌為你預備救恩。

        約瑟要他的兄弟帶著他們的父親、所有的兒女和牲畜遷來埃及居住,因為還要持續五年饑荒,而埃及有充足的食物可以供應他們。約瑟的地位使他有權柄讓他們住在歌珊地,那裡是理想的牧場,位於埃及東邊肥沃的三角洲內,靠近約瑟的所在地。他們可以在歌珊地放牧,遠離文明的埃及大城及討厭他們的埃及人(46:34),也可以自由的照他們的方式生活、敬拜上帝,與異教的埃及文化分開。約瑟在他哥哥離開以前送他們每人禮物,給便雅憫格外的多,又請他們帶禮物回去給他的父親。法老也歡迎他們來,並慷慨的說埃及所有的財物都是他們的。法老派車輛去接他們的婦孺,約瑟似乎還為他父親以色列安排了一輛特別的車。

        以色列見了埃及來的車輛才相信約瑟還活著,聖經說他的心甦醒了,願意下埃及,好在他死前得見約瑟一面(45:27~28)。有趣的是,每當他心存疑惑時,聖經稱他為雅各(45:26),但當他相信以後,他就被稱為以色列,「上帝的王子」(45:28)。在南下的途中,以色列停在別是巴,在從前他父親以撒(26:25)和祖父亞伯拉罕(21:33)築壇的地方獻祭給上帝。雅各可能對此行有些猶豫,因他想到亞伯拉罕曾在埃及有過不好的經驗,以及上帝曾叫他的父親以撒不要下埃及。他一定為此尋求上帝的引導和意見。雅各在異象中聽見上帝的聲音告訴他不要害怕,儘管下埃及去,上帝要在那裡使他成為大國。上帝也安慰他,說他死時約瑟必在他的身旁。「約瑟必將手按在你的眼睛上」意思是約瑟必為他闔眼給他送終。雅各到了埃及以後,上帝又賜給他十七年的壽命(47:9、28)。在異象裡,上帝也向雅各保證祂必將雅各家再帶回迦南地。上帝是信實的,我們一定要相信祂所應許的祂必成就。

禱告

        主啊,謝謝您賜給我們豐富的供應。願我們天天進入您的倉房,享您用您為我們身、心、靈所預備的祝福。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Genesis 45 & 46
Key Verse:“And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”( Genesis 45:7 )
Overview

         The climax of this beautiful and touching story has arrived. After Joseph saw the changed hearts of his brothers, he revealed his identity. It was an emotional time, but Joseph’s brothers seemed to be uneasy, “dismayed in his presence” (45:3). They were afraid he would repay them for the evil they had done to him. In spite of his many reassurances, they continued to be uneasy for many years (cf. 50:15). Joseph, however, truly forgave them. Rather than being resentful and bitter (which, without the love of God in his heart, would be considered normal), Joseph recognized the sovereignty of god. He told them several times that it was the plan of God for him to be in Egypt “to preserve life” (45:5). Joseph’s wisdom did not only guide and help Egypt during the time of plenty and famine, but most importantly, his being there was to fulfill the purpose of God for his family to become a nation from which would come the promised Seed. The grace and mercy of God is incomprehensible! The Lord had planned for their salvation, just as He has also planned for yours through His son Jesus.

         Joseph told his brothers to migrate to Egypt with their father and all their children and herds. There they would have plenty of food for there were still five years of famine yet to come. His high position and prestige gave him the authority to let them dwell in the land of Goshen, which was ideal for grazing herds and yet was near to him in the fertile eastern delta area. Here they could shepherd their herds far from the civilized city of the Egyptians, who considered them an abomination (46:34). They were free to live as they pleased and to worship God in their own way, remaining separated from the heathen Egyptian culture. Before his brothers left, Joseph gave them gifts for themselves and extra gifts to Benjamin, along with gifts for his father. Pharaoh welcomed them to come and generously said all the goods of Egypt were theirs. He supplied them with carts for the children to ride in and it seems there was even a special cart sent by Joseph for his father Israel.

         Upon seeing these Egyptian carts, Israel believed Joseph was alive and we are told his spirit was revived and he was willing to go so he could see Joseph before he died (45:27, 28). It is interesting to note that when he was in doubt he is referred to as Jacob (45:26), but after believing, he is referred to as Israel. “prince with God” (45:28). On the way south, Jacob stopped at Beersheba to offer sacrifices to God where his father Isaac (26:25) and grandfather Abraham (21:33) had erected altars previously. Possibly Jacob hesitated about going, thinking of the bad experience Abraham had there and the fact that God had told his father Isaac not to go down to Egypt. He must have prayed for guidance and counsel from God. In a vision, he heard the voice of the Lord telling him not to be afraid, but to go to Egypt where God would make of him a great nation. The Lord comforted him by saying Joseph would be at his side upon his death, “Joseph will put his hand on your eyes”, meaning Joseph would close his eyes in death. God gave Jacob seventeen more years of life after he arrived in Egypt (47:9, 28). In the same vision, the Lord assured Jacob He would bring his family back again to the land of Canaan. The Lord is faithful, and what He has promised we must be confident He will do.

Prayer

         Thank You, Lord, for Your great provision for us. May we access daily Your storehouses of blessings for spirit, souls and body.


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