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Chinese7/4/2006English
經文:箴言十九∼廿章
鑰節:「謹守誡命的,保全生命;輕忽己路的,必致滅亡。」(19:16)
提要

        在這些章節中,我們將讀到許多關於不同型態之人的簡短描述,其中包括智慧的、公正的,及公義的理想型之君王(19:12;20:2,8,26,28)。行為純正的貧窮人,亦被描寫成勝過乖謬愚妄的富足人(19:1,22對照28:6處經文)。而那些作假見證的,不免受罰,他們將難逃上帝的審判。因為上帝恨惡任何不法和謬誤的行為(19:5,9,28)。那使用兩樣法碼、兩樣升斗的奸商,都為耶和華都所憎惡(20:10,23)。這好比買物的在買賣交易時,欺騙商賈,及至買去後,他便自誇(20:14)。當人們得到他們因惡心所想要獲得的,及嚐到「以欺騙所得食物」之甘甜時,他們也許得著短暫的喜樂與滿足。但後來,他們必因此而後悔和受苦(20:17)。

        另外一個值得我們注意的人,就是愚昧的兒子。在摩西的律法中,咒罵自己父母的,是一件非常忤逆和不敬的案例,當處以死刑(出21:17;利20:9)。上帝將親自審判這等愚昧、作惡之子(20:20;19:26)。值得注意的是,在這同一節的句子中所言之愚昧之子,乃是父親的禍源。亦提及導致家庭紛爭的,乃是由於好爭辯的妻子所使然。她被形容為如雨連連滴滴的禍源(19:13)。當作妻子的不尊敬她的丈夫時,這將會在兒女身上產生一項可怕的後遺症──可能導致兒女在其成長過程中,塑造出悖逆和不尊敬父母,或其他在上位者的性格。上帝早已預定了一套尊卑的次序(例如,丈夫為一家之主)。而當此次序被破壞了,將造成家庭破裂、爭鬧的結局。家中有一賢慧之妻,乃被認為是耶和華所賜的恩惠,這家庭是有福的(19:14)。

        父母在兒女的成長過程中,扮演著極為重要角色。「趁有指望」做父親的,在兒女極年幼時,施以愛的管教與懲戒,將教育其成為順從訓悔、尊敬在上位者,甚而成為順從耶和華威嚴和祂話語的兒女;如此,將有助於其得著智慧,不至於像一個愚昧之子至終滅亡(19:18,27;20:11)。當一個人在孩提時,能接納他人的指正和聽取別人的勸告,將優於一個成年人接受智者及耶和華的籌算(20:18)。人的籌算有時會失敗,但耶和華的籌算向著那些順從祂的人將立定不移(19:20~21)。

禱告

        主啊,感謝您!因為您應許當我們奔向您時,您就要成為我們的避難所。儘管,別人可能向我們失信,但您始終可信。但願我們學會,住在您裡面的奧秘。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Proverbs 19&20
Key Verse:"He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die."(Proverbs 19:16)
Overview

        We read in these chapters many brief descriptions about several types of people, including that of the ideal King, who is wise, just, and righteous (19:12; 20:2, 8, 26, 28). The righteous and kind poor man is also described as being better off than the lying fool, implied to be rich (19:1, 22; compare 28:6). Yet another liar who is condemned is the false witness who will not escape the judgment of God, for God hates injustice and corruption of any kind (19:5, 9, 28). The deception of merchants who use false weights is an abomination to the Lord (20:10, 23). It is equally deceptive for the buyer to lie while bargaining over merchandise and later boast of how he got a good deal (20:14). When people get what they desire by sinning and eat of the sweet "bread of deceit", they may be pleased with themselves and satisfied for the moment, but later they will come to regret it and suffer for it (20:17).

        Another individual that receives attention is the foolish son. The punishment of death was prescribed in the Law of Moses for an extreme case of rebellion and disrespectfulness when the son would curse his parents (Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9). The Lord Himself will bring judgment upon such a foolish and wicked son (20:20; 19:26). Notice that in the same sentence about the foolish son who is the ruin of his father, mention is made of the contentious wife who brings discord into the home rather than peace. She is described as being a continual source of irritation (19:13). When the wife does not honour and respect her husband, it can have a terrible influence upon the children who may grow to be disobedient and disrespectful to their father and other authority figures. God has preordained an order of authority (the husband is to be head of the house), and when this order is not kept, the result is chaos and the break up of the home. The home is blessed, however, by a prudent wife, who is to be considered as a gift from God (19:14).

        The father, as well as the mother, plays an important role in the raising of a child. The father's loving discipline and chastisement of his child from the time of early childhood, "while there is hope", will teach him to obey instructions and respect authority, including the authority of God and His Holy Word; this will help him in attaining wisdom so he might not die the death of a fool (19:18, 27; 20:11). The one who, as a child, received correction and listened to counsel will be better able to receive counsel as an adult from both wise men and God (20:18). Man's counsel can sometimes fall, but those who follow the Lord's counsel can be sure it will stand (19:20-21)

        The most important thing to teach a child is the fear of the Lord, which these proverbs repeatedly stress as leading to life, and it is promised that "he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil" (19:23). The one who fears the Lord lives his or her life in a way pleasing to the Lord which will help him to avoid many troubles, as well as keeping his soul from destruction. The one who follows God's way and not the twisted paths of his own careless choosing (19:1, 16) will not do such an unwise thing as to drink intoxicating beverages (20:1). This can cause one to lose his self-control. The wise person always maintains control of his temper (19:11; 20:3).

        These proverbs make it very clear that slothfulness does not please God (19:15; 20:4,13). The epitome of laziness is humourously pictured by the slothful man who, while eating with his hands (the custom of the ancient near east), is too lazy to bring his food to his mouth (19:24)! This proverb may be condemning those lazy people who start something without seeing it to completion.

        In previous proverbs, much has been said about showing mercy and kindness to the poor. We are all created in the image of God, and every person must be given human dignity and respect. To reproach the poor is to reproach their Maker, the Lord (11:24-26; 14:31; 17:5). Here we learn that giving to the needy is like lending to God. He will repay those who are charitable (19:17; cf. 2 Cor. 9:6-9; Matt. 25:34ff).

Prayer

        Dear Lord, You are the one we look to for wisdom. Help us to heed the counsel from Your Word and be faithful to pass it on to our children, as well as to other loved ones. For Your Word is Life!


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