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Chinese7/12/2005English
經文:申命記廿八章
鑰節:「你若聽從耶和華你上帝的話,這以下的福必追隨你,臨到你身上。」(28:2)
提要

        本章是聖經媟布假躟Y、神聖的一章;摩西將順服上帝(祝福)和背叛上帝(咒詛)的結果清楚陳明在以色列人面前。祝福讀起來令人陶然心動,但咒詛就讓人怵目驚心。有趣的是,咒詛的篇幅比祝福長了四倍。人類的天性對審判的警告比對祝福的應許更有反應。

        摩西告訴以色列人,藉著上帝的祝福他們有機會成為世界上最強大、最發達、最快樂的國家,只要他們遵守上帝的誡命、律例。並且,不只他們的國家蒙福,國中的每一個百姓也會在生活的每一層面得著喜樂和祝福。上帝樂於賜福給祂的百姓,這也是祂的計畫和旨意,但以色列人必須瞭解,那是有條件的。

        另一方面,摩西也警告他們,如果他們不遵行上帝的道(45節),上帝必按著祂聖潔的屬性,為以色列人的罪審判他們。他們將遭亡國之痛,被外族壓迫,人民也多受痛苦。這些咒詛要作為「異蹟奇事」(46節)。「異蹟」是指證明上帝及其信息確實可信的神蹟。藉著那些審判,以色列民便曉得上帝是信守諾言的,祂的話也是真實可信的。

        遺憾的是,以色列人是吃了苦頭才發現上帝話語的真實。正如上帝所言,也如歷史所證,摩西所說的這些咒詛都因以色列人的不信、忘恩、悖逆而臨到他們,證實了上帝的話語!以色列人在被亞述(王下17:6;約主前722年)和巴比倫(王下25:21;約主前586年)俘擄,以及羅馬的提多將軍在主後七十年毀滅耶路撒冷時,果真被分散在萬民中。

        蒙上帝揀選,得其崇高的呼召,有許多好處和特權,但也伴隨著極大的責任。上帝對祂自己的兒女,那些曉得祂律例典章的人,有更高的期望,對他們的懲罰也格外嚴厲,因為祂愛祂的兒女,祂希望使他們悔改(摩3:2)。今日,信從耶穌的外邦人必須留心,「上帝既不愛惜原來的枝子,也必不愛惜你」(羅11:21)。

        與上帝立約使一個人身負約的義務。在上一章中,以色列人以「阿們」大聲確認他們與上帝所立的約(27:26)。然而,當他們拒絕這約,至終又拒絕彌賽亞耶穌(約1:11~12),他們就註定要再次淪為奴隸;這並不是真的指作埃及人的奴隸,而是更糟糕的,作罪和死的奴隸(68節)。上帝有無限的恩典和慈愛,透過祂的兒子耶穌,祂仍然給沈淪的以色列人和世上萬國一束希望之光。祂已經開闢了通往更美之新約的路(來7:22;8:6、13),我們作祂的百姓可以在新約的關係中享受極大的屬靈福氣(弗1:3)。

禱告

        上帝啊,謝謝您賜給我們新約的關係。願我們永遠留心我們的責任,及其中的祝福和咒詛。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Deuteronomy 28
Key Verse:“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”(Deuteronomy 28:2)
Overview

        This is an extremely solemn chapter of the Bible is which Moses sets before Israel the results of obedience to God (blessings) and rebellion against Him (curses). The blessings are beautiful to read, but the curses are terrifying. It is interesting to not that there are about four times more curses than blessings. This is probably because of the nature of mankind – more apt to respond to warnings with the threat of terrible judgments than the promise of blessing.

        Moses laid before Israel the opportunity to become the most powerful, prosperous, and happy nation in the world through the blessings of God if they would but keep His covenant stipulations. Not only would national blessings be bestowed upon them, but individual blessings and joy in all areas of life. This was the purpose delight, and will of God for His people, but Israel was to understand that it was conditional.

        On the other hand, Moses warned, if they did not walk in nature and bring upon them just punishment for their sin. They would become an oppressed people and lose their national identity, undergoing much individual suffering as well. The curses were to come as a “sign and a wonder” (v.46). A “sigh” refers to a divine work that points to the credibility of God and His message. Through these judgments, the people would learn that God keeps His promises and His word is truth.

        Sadly, Israel found out the truth of God’s Word the hard way. Just as God said, and their history proved, these very curses came upon them because of their disbelief, ingratitude, and disobedience. What an attestation to the inspiration of the Word of God! They were indeed scattered to all parts of the world; this was accomplished by the Assyrian captivity (2 Kings 17:6; c.722 B.C.) and Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 25:21; c.586 B.C.) and by a further dispersion in 70 A.D. when Titus of Tome destroyed Jerusalem.

        High calling and election from God has with it many benefits and privileges, but also great responsibilities. God expects more from His own children who know His teachings than of those who do not, and His chastisement will be more severe because of His love for His own and His desire to see them come to repentance (Amos 3:2). The Gentile believer today must take heed, “for if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either” (Rom.11:21).

        Entering into a covenant relationship with God puts one under the obligations of that covenant. In the preceding chapter, the Israeli’s affirmed the covenant with God with a lour “amen” (27:26). However, when they refused to accept the covenant calling, and in their ultimate rejection of Jesus the Messiah (John 1:11-12), they were doomed to fall back into bondage; this was not the literal Egyptian bondage but a much worse bondage to sin and death (v.68). God still, in His unlimited grace and love, gave a glimpse of hope for fallen Israel and for all nations through His Son Jesus. He had opened the way into a new and better covenant relationship (Heb.7:22; 8:6, 13) in which we, His people, enjoy great spiritual blessings (Eph.1:3).

Prayer

        O God, thank You for our new covenant relationship. May we always be mindful of our covenant responsibilities with the blessings and curses they entail.


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