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Chinese5/25/2005English
經文:民數記八至九章
鑰節:「亞倫也將他們奉到耶和華面前,為以色列人當作搖祭,使他們好辦耶和華的事。」(8︰11)
提要

        利未人已經被揀選、數點、組織起來,現在他們要被潔淨,好辦會幕的聖工。潔淨禮在以色列全會眾面前進行,以色列人按手在所有利未人頭上,象徵他們代替了所有以色列人的長子(3︰12~13)。這是一個莊嚴、神聖的時刻,因為將生命奉獻給上帝是一件非常嚴肅的事,應要公開表示,證明上帝已經潔淨他們的罪,並在他們的生命埵野D權。將利未人當作搖祭(8︰11、21)很清楚的是指把他們完全奉獻給上帝作活祭,使他們蒙悅納,好服事上帝,遵行祂的旨意(羅12︰1~2)。上帝將利未人賜給祭司,在特定的事工上協助他們,同時也派利未人看守會幕,保護會幕的神聖,以防上帝的憤怒臨到以色列人中(8︰19)。

        利未人的成聖禮主要是潔淨他們,包括用剃頭刀刮全身、洗衣服、用除罪水彈在他們身上(8︰7)。祭司的成聖禮則不太相同,因為祭司被潔淨是特為在聖所內服事;他們除了用水洗身,還要穿上用油膏抹、用血彈過的聖衣(利八章)。為利未人獻祭是要贖他們的罪,表示他們內心的潔淨。今天,做主工的人首先必須要藉著耶穌基督的代罪之功來潔淨自己。

        按照拉比(猶太律法師)傳統的解釋,在利未人可以真正服事之前,他們有五年的預備期(從廿五歲開始),作學徒學習上帝的事(8︰24)。到三十歲(4︰3)才真正開始服事。到五十歲時,他們要從這份辛苦的工作上退下來,但仍然可以協助較年輕的利未人;當然,那些經驗豐富、年長又有智慧的利未人可以擔任顧問和教師,並繼續看守會幕內的聖物。

        從第九章可明顯看出上帝的仁慈,上帝在此答覆了摩西如何處理那些因不潔淨(9︰6)而錯過第二次逾越節(出十二章;利23︰4~5)的人。在這以前,摩西很有智慧的告訴那些人等他去求問上帝的意思。當我們對一件屬靈的事有疑問時,我們也應該尋求上帝的心意,查考祂的話作為引導。上帝用一個滿有憐憫的辦法回答摩西;不過,並非妥協。那些在指定的日期錯過逾越節的人可以在一個月後過節(9︰10~12)。即使是在以色列人中寄居的外邦人,只要他們守主的道,都可以一同過逾越節(9︰14);但若是以色列人存心不守節,則要被「剪除」(驅逐或處死)。

        上帝用遮蓋會幕的雲柱來引導、保護祂兒女的壯舉,也彰顯了祂的恩慈。那並不是普通的雲彩,因它代表上帝的同在。夜間,雲柱如火;當上帝要以色列人遷往另一營地,祂就移動雲柱。我們也要永遠跟隨上帝的引導,不是靠肉眼能見的雲柱,因為我們「行事為人是憑著信心,不是憑著眼見」(林後5︰7)。跟隨上帝是人生之旅最安全的途徑。偏行己路引向滅亡(箴14︰~12),但耶穌說︰「我就是道路、真理、生命」。藉著相信耶穌,我們就找到與上帝和好之路,並得著永遠的生命(約14︰6)。

禱告

        主啊,我們尋求您的引導;您應許說,只要我們在凡事上認定您,不倚靠自己的聰明,您就必指引我們的路。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Numbers 8 & 9
Key Verse:“Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord, as though a wave offering from the children of Israel, that they may perform the work of the Lord.”(Numbers 8:11 )
Overview

        The Levites had already been chosen, counted, and organized; now we see their consecration for ministry in the Tabernacle. The ceremony was done in the sight of all the congregation of Israel, who ceremony was done in the sight of all the congregation of Israel, who put their hands on the heads of all the Levites, symbolizing their substitution for all the first-born (3:12-13). It was a solemn and sacred time, for the dedication of a life to the Lord ids very serious and should be publicly expressed, testifying that God has cleansed them from sin and has authority and lordship over their life. Clearly, the wave offering of the Levites (8:11, 12) indicated that they were given over totally to God as a living sacrifice, that they might be acceptable to His service and do His will (Rom.12:1-2). The Lord then gave the Levites to the priests to help them in certain capacities of ministry, as well as serving as guards to protect the sacredness of the Tabernacle, thereby preventing any outbreak of God’s wrath upon the Israelite community (8:19).

        The ceremony was mainly one of purification as was evident in their shaving the hair off their bodies, washing their clothes and being sprinkled with water (8:7). The ceremony of consecration for the priests was different from that of the Levites, since the priests were especially consecrated to holiness for service within the sanctuary. As well as being washed with water, the priests had special garments that were anointed with holy oil and had the blood applied (Lev.8). The various sacrifices for the Levites were to atone for their sins, signifying inner cleansing. Those who work for the Lord today must first be made pure through the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ.

        Chapter nine expresses the graciousness of God. His gracious provision is evident in His reply to Moses concerning the men who had to miss the second Passover celebration (Ex.12; Lev.23:4-5) because of being ceremonially unclean (9:6). Moses wisely told the men to wait while he went and sought the Lord. When we are in doubt about a spiritual matter, we too should seek the Lord and search His Word for guidance. God answered Moses with a merciful solution and yet He did not compromise; those who had missed the Passover celebration on the prescribed date could celebrate it one month later (9:10-12). Even the stranger or gentile among them who followed the ways of God might join in the Passover (9:14), but the Israelite who intentionally disobeyed and neglected it was to be “cut off” (excommunicated or killed).

        The graciousness of God is also seen in the magnificent was He guided and protected His children with the pillar of cloud, which hovered over the Tabernacle. This was no ordinary cloud, for it represented the presence of God among His covenant people. It had the rightness of fire by night, and God moved it when He desired to lead them to another campsite. We also would do well to always follow God’s leading; not by a visible pillar of cloud, since “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7). This is the safest way to travel along life’s paths. Following our own way leads to death (Prov.14:12), but Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. Through faith in Him we find the only way to peace with God and everlasting life (John 14:6).

Prayer

        Lord, we seek You for guidance and claim Your promise that if we will acknowledge You in all our ways and lean not into our own understanding, You will direct our paths.


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