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Chinese6/10/2006English
經文:詩篇第一二五至一二九篇
鑰節:「凡敬畏耶和華,遵行祂道的人,便為有福。」(128:1)
提要

        耶路撒冷座落在山上,被群山圍繞,有助使聖城成為一個堅強的堡壘。在詩篇第一二五篇中,我們看到一幅美麗動人的畫面,顯示耶和華站在那裡,永不動搖,像群山一樣圍繞著祂的百姓,並賜給他們平安與保護(比較賽54:10;腓4:2)。祂會使那些信靠祂的人像山一樣的屹立,永不動搖。祂特別保護錫安山,因為祂要它作為祂自己的山(比較來12:22;珥3:17、18)。這一美麗的意境表達一個事實:我們永恆的靈魂總是被耶和華所圍繞,即使在天上也是如此。不過,當我們在地上時,仍免不了試驗與苦難,但是「惡人的杖不常落在義人的分上」。它不會永遠落在我們的身上。耶和華不會叫我們所受的試探過於我們所能忍受的:「免得義人伸手作惡」(125:3;林前10:13)。切記,在苦難中因軟弱而屈從試探,偏行彎曲道路的人,若遲遲不回頭,至終的下場和惡無異。

        詩篇第一二六篇是描述,那些被擄到巴比倫的餘民愉快地回轉錫安。當耶和華回答他們的禱告時,他們的情況就像夢變成事實一樣。這是古列王的命令到達猶太被擄之餘民時,所有的歡欣反應(拉1:1~4)。所有的外邦人都清楚地看到,猶太人的上帝為祂的百姓成就了一件奇事。結果,耶和華得到的榮耀與讚美,不祇來自祂的百姓,也還來自異教徒。那些回到錫安的人祈求,耶和華啊,求你使我們被擄的人歸回,好像南地的河水復後流。他們都是有信心的人,為遠方的禾田裡失喪的靈魂流淚。他們一定會帶著勞力所得的禾捆歡欣地回來。

        詩篇第一二七篇強調,若是沒有上帝的幫助,人類的一切努力都是枉然的。在我們個人、社會、及民眾生活的方面,我們都必須倚靠祂,才能成功。如果得不到上帝的幫助,一個人想建立自己家庭的願望都不會實現。一切都要建立在磐石上(太7:24、25;箴24:3)。就以一個人工作而言,一大早起來就擔心,於是努力工作,直到精疲力倦,然後回家又是擔心,結果,徒勞無功,甚至還嫉妒別人所有的。不過,信靠上帝提供一切需要的人就不用如此擔心了,因為上帝賜給他們平安的睡眠,他們的心性寧靜又愉快(參可4:26、27;箴10:22)。他們過的日子是既健康,又有收穫。上帝賞賜他們的有眾多的兒女,成為他們快樂的源泉,且在他們年老體衰時,成為他們力量的來源。他們的兒女會為他們帶來榮耀,因為他們會在城門前受到尊敬(那是古時處理民間事務的地方)。

        詩篇第一二八篇繼續描述第一二七篇結束時的思想。它報導我們,一個快樂及成功家庭的基礎就是敬畏耶和華。那些喜愛、順服,及尊敬耶和華,又遵守聖經中所報導的生活原則的人,都會受到耶和華的祝福,不致有任何缺乏。對古代的人而言,最大的福氣就是多子多孫(申28:1~4)。他們保證,當他們的父母年老,他們會盡心地照顧他們,以及家庭的名字要代代相傳下去。聖潔的家庭就是進步與繁榮社會的基礎。

        在詩篇第一二九篇中,作者回想以色列國自建國以來所受的種種苦難。這樣做使他有力量相信,上帝不會容許仇敵擴大他們的勢力。有一個時候,「耕者」進行「逼迫」的工作,撕裂土地,但是上帝使它成為好的,因為土地上有很多田畦,上帝使它們長出東西,就像五穀豐收。若與興旺的上帝的百姓(錫安、耶穌基督的教會)作一比較,恨惡義人的惡人就好像中東百姓家屋頂上長的草一樣;它們可以生根、成長,但是它們非常柔弱,因為它們都生長在脊土裡,很快就會凋謝枯死(比較太三:3~9)。

禱告

        親愛的耶和華啊,我們感謝您使我們的靈命成長。雖然您的栽種與除草似乎使我們感到痛苦,我們知道,您所做的是對我們有益的。當我們在您的真道中行走時,我們都不由得會受到您的祝福!但願別人也能得到您的福氣。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Psalms 125-129
Key Verse:"Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways."(Psalm 128:1)
Overview

        Jerusalem is on a hill surrounded by many other hills which serve to help in its fortification. In Psalm 125 we see a graphic picture of our Lord standing firm and strong, like a mountain range, surrounding His people with continuous, stable protection that gives peace (cf. Isa. 54:10; Phil.4:7). Those who put their trust in Him, He will cause to stand firm and strong forever. He especially protects Mount Zion since He has laid claim to it as His own (cf. Heb. 12:22; Joel 3;17,18). Such beautiful imagery expresses the fact that our eternal, undying souls will always be surrounded by the Lord, even in the heavenlies. While we remain in our earthly bodies, however, we can expect trials and tribulations, but "the scepter of wickedness shall not rest". It shall not remain on us forever. The Lord will not send trials our way that we cannot overcome, "lest the righteous cannot bear it and fall into sin" (125:3; 1 Cor. 10:13). In contrast, those who in times of turmoil were weak and succumbed to temptation, so that they turned away to walk (continuously) along the crooked paths, would not remain. They would be led away, like a suffering captive. Indeed those who live in sin, are like prisoners condemned to death.

        Psalm 126 refers to the joyous return to Zion of the remnant from the Exile in Babylon. When the answer to their prayers came, it seemed to good to be true, like a dream come true. This is the reaction that the decree of Cyrus must have brought to the exiles (Ezra 1:1-4). All the Gentiles could see clearly that it was their God who had done this great thing for them. As a result, the Lord received the glory not from only His people, but even from the heathen. Those who returned prayed that even more of their people would pour back to Zion, in the manner of the dry river beds of the south, in the Negev of Israel that suddenly overflow with rushing water during the short rainy season. These are the faithful ones who wept with a burden for lost souls in the distant harvest fields. They will not return empty handed, without fruit for their labour. There will be a harvest of lost souls brought to the Lord while in distant harvest fields.

        Psalm 127 clearly emphasizes the futility and folly of human effort without help from God. In every area of our life, personal, social, or civil, we need to depend upon the Lord to succeed according to divine standards. Even the building of a home for one's family is in vain if the Lord's blessing is not upon it. It must be built upon the Rock (Matt. 7:24,25; Prov. 24:3). In one's work, it is vain to wake up early to only worry and work hard until the point of exhaustion, and then return home to only worry some more and be envious of what others have. Those who trust in God to provide all their needs, however, do not need to worry, and God gives them a peaceful sleep which results from their peace of mind (cf. Mark 4:26, 27; Prov. 10:22). They have a much healthier and rewarding life. They are rewarded by God with children who are a great source of joy and who will become a source of strength to their aged parents. These children will bring them honour, for they will be well respected at the gate (the place where civil affairs were conducted).

        Psalm 128 continues with the same thoughts that ended Psalm 127. It teaches that the basis of a truly happy and successful home is the fear of the Lord. Those who obey, love and reverence the Lord, following the principles for living laid down in the Holy Bible, will be blessed by the Lord with provisions. For the ancients, the greatest blessing was to have many children (Deut. 28:1-4). They ensured that the parents would be well cared for all their days, and that the family name would be carried on and increase. Godly families are the foundation of a healthy and prosperous society.

        In Psalm 129, the writer recalls the past afflictions of Israel since the early stages of the nation's existence. In so doing, he is given confidence to realize that God did not allow the enemies to prevail. For a time the "plowers" did their job of persecution and tearing up the ground, but God turned it for good, for where there were deep furrows, God gave them growth, like a good crop. In contrast to the flourishing of God's people (Zion, the Church of Jesus Christ), the wicked who hate the righteous are likened to the grass that grows on the roofs of Middle Eastern houses; they may take root and begin to grow, but they are weak because they are planted in bad ground and soon they wither and die (cf. Matt. 13:3-9).

Prayer

        Thank You, dear Lord, for the growth You produce in our lives. Though Your planting and pruning may seem harsh to us, we know You mean it for our good. When we walk in Your ways, we cannot help but be blessed! May we also be a blessing to others.


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