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Chinese7/1/2005English
經文:申命記七至八章
鑰節:「……耶和華你的上帝,祂是上帝,是信實的上帝,向愛祂、守祂誡命的人守約,施慈愛,直到千代。」(7:9)
提要

        在第七和第八章,摩西繼續對以色列新生代講論他們對上帝的責任。他再次強調以色列人要順服上帝,並下達了一個相當嚴厲的命令:為了在迦南地建立上帝的國度,以色列人將成為審判該地邪惡、墮落原住民的工具:「……你要把他們滅絕淨盡」(7:2)。迦南地的原住民恨上帝(7:10),惡貫也已滿盈(創15:16),上帝吩咐以色列人滅絕他們,不只是要貫徹祂怒氣的審判,也是為了保護已分別為聖歸屬上帝的以色列人。如果他們順服上帝,他們將在生活的各個領域堭o到豐盛的祝福(7:12~15)。

        以色列人很軟弱,也很容易誤蹈拜偶像的歧途,所以必須採取靈性上的防禦措施,包括摧毀一切與異教信仰有瓜葛的事物、並禁止與異教徒通婚。新約聖經基於相似的理由,也告誡單身的信徒:「你們和不信的原不相配,不要同負一軛」(林後6:14)。那些上帝揀選作為祂特別寶藏(7:6)的人要格外保守自己遠離世界的罪惡之道,好在神面前清潔沒有玷污。

        感謝上帝賜下聖靈,因聖靈給我們力量,使我們即使身處敗壞、墮落的世界中,仍能過聖潔的生活。我們必須拒絕讓罪轄管我們的生活,而要向罪死,向上帝在耶穌基督埵茯﹛A上帝就應許我們:「罪必不能作你們的主」(羅6:11~14)。上帝應許以色列人爭戰得勝,並勸誡他們不要懼怕,我們也一樣可以英勇無畏,在生活中擊敗罪惡,因為知道在我們堶悸滌繴會給我們力量,使我們得勝有餘。

        今日,上帝愛祂的百姓,正如我們在本章所讀到的,祂愛祂舊約中的選民(7:7~8),雖然他們實在不配。上帝揀選我們並非因為我們有任何功勞,而是出於祂的主權,也因著祂的信實、憐憫、和恩典。聖經說祂是忌邪的上帝,祂愛我們,我們也要回報祂的愛,並且祂必須是我們的最愛。如果我們容許任何其他的事物超過上帝,就等於是拜偶像。

        在第八章,摩西警告以色列人兩項危險──驕傲和忘恩。以色列人所蒙的聖召,及他們即將擁有的財富和力量可能會導致他們驕傲自大。他們必須知道,這一切都是從上帝來的,榮耀惟要歸給祂(8:18)。摩西提醒他們上帝的恩慈,和祂如何在以色列人四十年的曠野之旅中奇妙的保守、引導他們。摩西解釋道,曠野的飄流是一段磨鍊期,慈愛的天父藉此管教祂的孩子。上帝苦煉他們、試驗他們,為要叫他們終久享福(8:16)。他們要學習倚靠上帝,並要知道一切美善之物都是從上帝而來的。

        摩西特別提醒他們記念上帝供應的嗎哪,要教導他們:「……人活著不是單靠食物,乃是靠耶和華口堜狴X的一切話」(8:3;參太4:4)。人類的心靈有很大的需要,就如身體需要營養一樣重要。我們屬靈的食物只有靠天天與主相交,從祂的話語來得供應。

禱告

        主啊,幫助我們天天吃您的話、享受您的話、將您的話語化成我們生命的一部分。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Deuteronomy 7 & 8
Key Verse:“… The Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”(Deuteronomy 7:9)
Overview

        In chapters seven and eight, Moses continues the lecture to the new generation of Israel regarding their covenant responsibilities to the Lord, It is again stressed that they are to obey all the Lord’s commandments. The command emphasized here is a difficult one. In preparation for the establishment of God’s Kingdom, Israel is to be used as instruments of His judgment upon the wicked and reprobate people who occupy Canaan, “… you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them (7:2).” This command was given not only to see the wrath of God accomplished upon those people who hated Him (7:10) and whose time of iniquity was now complete (Gen.15:16), but to protect the sanctity of Israel as a people separated unto Him. If they were obedient to the Lord’s commands, then they would be blessed with fruitfulness in all areas of life (7:12-15).

        Israel was weak and could easily be led astray into idolatry; therefore, measures were taken to prevent spiritual contamination. This included destroying anything connected with the heathen religion and forbidding intermarriage. For similar reasons, the New Testament tells the single believer, “do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor.6:14). Those whom the Lord has chosen to be His own special treasure (7:6) are to safeguard themselves from the sinful ways of the world that they may remain pure and undefiled.

        We thank God for His Holy Spirit who gives us the strength to remain consecrated to Him, even while we live in a corrupt and reprobate world. We must not allow sin to reign in our lives but be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus; then God has promise that “sin shall not have dominion over you: (Rom.6:11-14). Just as the Israelites were promised victory and exhorted not to fear, we, too, can defeat sin in our lives and be courageous, knowing that Christ in us gives us the strength to be more than conquerors.

        The Lord loves His people today, just as we read in this chapter that He loved His covenant people of old (7:7, 8) even though they were unworthy. It is not because of any merit on our part, but out of His own prerogative He has chosen us because of His faithfulness, mercy, and grace. The Bible says that He is a jealous God; His love for us is to be reciprocated, and He is to be our first love. If we put anything before Him, that is like idolatry.

        In chapter eight, Moses warned Israel about two dangers – pride and forgetfulness. Pride could result because of their high calling and because of the wealth and power they were soon to attain. They needed to know that all this came only from God, and He alone was to receive the glory (8:18). Moses reminded them of god’s goodness and how He had miraculously sustained them and led them for forty years in the wilderness. He explained that the wandering had been a time of chastening, as a loving father would discipline his son. God wanted to humble them, test them, and see the end result for their good (8:16). They were to learn to be dependent upon Him and know that tall good things come from Him.

        The chief thing Moses reminded them of was God’s provision of manna to teach them that, “man shall not live by bread alone; but… by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (8:3; cf. Matt.4:4). Making has a great spiritual need, which is just nourishment can be supplied only by daily feeding upon the Word of God and by communion with Him.

Prayer

        Help us, O Lord, to eat, partake, and make part of ourselves Your Word, today and every day. Amen.


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