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Chinese5/21/2006English
經文:詩篇第八一、八二、八三篇
鑰節:「甚願我的民肯聽從我,以色列肯行我的道。」(81:13)
提要

        詩篇第八一篇也許是大衛王同時代的,利未人詩班領袖亞薩所撰。這一詩篇是一首在宗教儀式中唱的聖詩,例如以用在逾越節,住棚節、或是吹角節的禮式中。我們讀到,依照陰曆,在特殊節日時,慶祝儀式開始,由混合樂器組成的樂隊奏樂,還有喇叭或羊角吹奏。亞薩宣稱,一切按照既定方法進行,因為它是上帝的律例(81:4;民10:10)。

        亞薩以預言的方式傳說上帝的話語,指出上帝如何拯救祂的百姓脫離埃及地為奴之家,以及在米利巴時,使石頭中流出水來,解他們的渴(81:7下;出17:6~7)。他警告他們不可去敬拜偶像,因為我們的上帝已證明祂就是全能的上帝,在祂的裡面我們可以得到我們所需要的。就像一隻有信心的羊,他們祇要張開嘴巴,好牧人就會餵飽他們。如果今天的人都能聽祂的話(81:8),也順服祂,那麼他們就可以得到他們所要的一切,來填滿他們空虛的心靈和靈魂。我們的上帝的確是全備的上帝!

        悲哀的是,耶和華不斷地指出,祂的百姓根本沒有聽祂的話語。他們一心想要行惡,因而受到最可怕的懲罰──祇有讓他們隨著他們的罪而行,不將恩典賜給他們(81:11、12;羅1:21~28)。耶和華盼望,他們會再度來到祂的面前,因為如果他們回頭了,他們就可以享有祂的祝福和勝利,而非受到咒詛和失敗。

        在詩篇第八二篇中,亞薩譴責他那一時代中的士師。他警告他們,耶和華會監督每一所法庭(代下19:6~7)。那些被稱為「上帝的」士師都要受到上帝的審判,因為他們都成為一方的霸主(比較約10:33、34~38)。士師性喜邪惡,對平民不公,也就是說,他們會接受賄賂。一位以色列的士師就是上帝在地上的代表,所以他們都有很重大的責任。就像上帝一樣,他們有責任為人民辯護,施行公平審判,以及拯救貧民脫離壓迫者(82:3~4;申1:17)。祇有耶穌才是公正廉明的審判官,可以代表上帝。誠然,這些不公的、腐敗的士師都行走在黑暗中(82:2);亞薩覺得,他們的罪深孽重,足以動搖社會的基石(82:5);這話不假,因為如果公平的司法系統一旦崩潰,邪惡就會橫行無忌。

        亞薩進一步警告他們,雖然他們都很重要、很富有、也很有聲望,到最後他們會像任何其他人一樣死去,也會像「王子中的一位」墮落(82:7)。一位「王子」經常象徵地上的暴君,所以如果一個人行為有叛逆性,他們最後就會嚐到叛逆行為所結的果子(來9:27)。不過,在未來指定的日子仍有希望,因為上帝會起來審判世人,以及這位偉大的君王,我們的主耶穌基督,要得萬邦為業,並且以公義統治世界(82:8)。

        詩篇第八三篇是屬於禱告的詩篇,求上帝保護祂的百姓,不受鄰近各國的攻擊。它寫成的時候最可能是在約沙法統治的時代,也即其時強敵摩押人與亞捫人(「羅得的後裔」,83:8;創19:37~38)聯合起來,侵略南國猶大的時候。與他們結盟的還有以東人,敘利亞人,還有其他的人,歷代志沒有全部提及,但本詩把許多國名都提出來了(83:6~7;代下20:1~2、10~11)。有趣的是,亞薩的後裔之一叫雅哈悉,受耶和華的靈感動宣稱,這是主的戰爭,所以他們不必恐懼(代下20:14~17)。他也許是這一詩篇的亞薩後裔作者群中的一人,因為深信上帝必施行拯救,他也許會花更多的時間禱告,祈求上帝「不要閉口」(83:1),而是要「追趕」、「恐嚇」(83:15),以及要「他們羞愧驚慌、慚愧滅亡」(83:17)。正如代下歷史所記錄,他的禱告已得到上帝的回答,因為上帝已使他們陷入混亂之中,相互殘殺,以致滅亡(代下20:22~24)。

        在詩人的禱告中,他提到上帝在士師時代使以色列人獲得很多次的勝利,例如像戰勝迦南人與米甸人的聯軍(士4:15~24;7:25;8:12)。如果上帝能贏得這些勝利,詩人就會受到鼓舞,並且相信,上帝還會贏得勝利,因而使仇敵受到羞辱。詩人說出上帝最後的目標就是要消滅惡人:使所有異教的國家都知道,以色列的上帝是至高的神,所以他們都要來求靠祂,並且要得到祂的救恩(83:16、18)。

禱告

        哦,上帝啊,您是我們的全備的上帝;如果我們聽您的話,也順服您,您就要祝福我們,並且拯救我們。然而我們是如此的冥頑。上帝啊,我們祈求您今天就使用我們作您的器皿。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Psalms 81, 82 &83
Key Verse:"Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!"(Psalm 81:13)
Overview

        Psalm 81 was likely composed by Asaph, the musical Levitical choir leader who was a contemporary of King David. The psalm is a liturgical hymn that may have been used on the occasion of one or more feasts, such as the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Trumpets. We read a descriptive account of the opening ritual of the feast that was accompanied by an assortment of musical instruments, as well as the blasts of the trumpet, or ram's horn (shophar), at specific times according to the lunar calendar. Asaph declared that it should be done in the prescribed way, for it was a law of God (81:4; Numbers 10:10).

        With a prophetic utterance, Asaph speaks the words of God, who declares how He had freed His people from bondage in Egypt and gave them water from the rock at Meribah (81:7b; Exodus 17:6-7). He warns them not to turn to idolatry, for He has proven Himself to be their all-powerful God in whom they have all they need. Like trusting sheep, they need only open their mouths and the good Shepherd will feed them. If people today would only listen to Him (81:8) and obey Him, then they too would have all they need to fill their empty hearts and souls. God is truly our all-sufficiency!

        Sadly, the Lord continues to tell how His people did not listen to Him. They persisted in doing evil, and so they suffered the most fearful of punishments — being given up to their sins without the restraint of His grace upon them (81:11,12; Romans 1:21-28). The Lord longed that they would return to Him, for if they had, they would have enjoyed only blessings and victory instead of curses and defeat.

        In Psalm 82 Asaph rebukes the corrupt judges of his day. He warns that the Lord God stands to oversee every courtroom (2 Chron. 19:6-7). He brings judgment upon the judges, who are called "gods" because they are overlords in lofty positions (cf. John 10:33, 34-38). The judges were favouring the wicked and not giving justice to the common person, which implies that they were taking bribes. A judge in Israel was to represent God, so theirs was a great responsibility. Like God, they were to defend, give justice, and save the needy from the oppressors (82:3-4; Deut. 1:17). Only Jesus was one just Judge who rightly represented God. Truly these unjust, corrupt judges walked in darkness (82:2), and their sin was so great that Asaph felt it shook the very foundation of society (82:5); this is so true, for if the justice system fails, then wickedness goes unchecked.

        Asaph further warns that although they are important, wealthy, and prestigious, in the end they will die like any other man and "fall like one of the princes" (82:7). A "prince" often symbolized the tyrants of the land, so if one behaves treacherously, they will ultimately suffer the treacherous conquences (Hebrews 9:27). There is hope, however, for on an appointed day in the future, God will arise to judge the earth, and the great King, our Lord Jesus, will inherit all nations and rule righteously (82:8).

        Psalm 83 is a prayer for God's protection from hostile neighbouring nations that were conspiring together against Israel. The most probable occasion was during the reign of Jehoshaphat when Moab and Ammon ("the children of Lot", 83:8; Gen. 19:37-38), the principle powers, formed a coalition and invaded the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Allied with this coalition was Edom, Syria, and others that are not mentioned by name in the Chronicles account but likely include some or all of the nations mentioned in this psalm ( 83:6-7; 2 Chronicle 20:1-2, 10-11). Interestingly, one of the sons of Asaph named Jahaziel, was moved upon by the Spirit of the Lord to declare that the battle is the Lord's and they need not fear (2 Chron. 20:14-17). He may well have been the Asaphite author of this psalm, for to have such faith in God's deliverance he likely spent much time in prayer that God would not "keep silent" (83:1) but "pursue", "frighten" (83:15), and "let them be confounded and dismayed" (83:17). As the history in 2 Chronicles records, this prayer was indeed answered, for God put the enemy in such confusion that they fought against each other and perished (2 Chron. 20:22-24).

        In the psalmist's prayer, he referred to the many victories that God had given Israel during the time of the Judges, such as those against the Canaanite and Midianite coalitions (Judges 4:15-24; 7:25; 8:12 ). If God could win these victories, the psalmist was encouraged that God would do it again, and in so doing He would shame the enemies. The psalmist voiced God's ultimate goal in the destruction of the wicked: that these heathen nations may know that He alone is the Most High God and that they might seek Him and experience His salvation (83:16, 18).

Prayer

        You, oh God, are our all-sufficiency, and You long to bless and deliver us if we will but listen to You and obey. We yield our stubborn wills to Your leading. Use us today, we pray.


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