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Chinese5/7/2006English
經文:詩篇第四八、四九、五十篇
鑰節:「凡以感謝獻上為祭的,便是榮耀我;那按正路而行的,我必使他得著我的救恩。」(50:23)
提要

        詩篇第四八篇與前兩篇詩篇有關係,共同構成頌讚三部曲,也被視為具有啟示的本質,然而它還是有其歷史依據。這一詩篇描述上帝的偉大,以及祂用神蹟方式保存的聖城耶路撒冷的榮耀。由於祂是全地的王(47:7),所以祂為祂名所選擇的城市,也是祂聖殿的所在地,應得大榮耀。當各國聯軍兵臨耶路撒冷城下,進行圍城時,這位真神保護聖城不致淪入仇敵之手(可能是指約沙法統治時代的大事:代下20:1~9、22~24、27~30)。仇敵攻城的計劃被上帝破壞了;對上帝而言,這是輕而易舉的事,就像祂派遣東風摧毀「他施的戰艦」一樣(那是一種特殊戰艦,但不一定是來自西班牙南方的他施;王上22:48;結27:25)。

        住在耶路撒冷城裡的人都聽說,萬軍之耶和華要保衛祂的聖城,但是現在他們都親眼看到,這的確是真的。上帝才是這聖城的庇護所(48:3下、8;代下20:14~20)。由於上帝已向耶路撒冷提出要求,他們相信,上帝會將它建成祂永恆的聖城(地上的城市都會相繼消失,但是新耶路撒冷會永遠長存;來11:10、16;12:22;啟21:2)。這一詩篇一開始就敦勸人們:「在我們上帝的城中,耶和華當受讚美」,但是在想起祂的慈愛之後,敬拜上帝的人都會說,上帝應受讚美,「直到地極」(48:9~10)。祇要敬拜上帝的人一看到耶路撒冷,他們就會想起上帝如何以良善與仁慈對待他們,祂總是會帶領他們的腳步,因為祂在他們的中間。

        詩篇第四九篇是以各階層人士為對象,因為上帝的信息永遠是要傳給每個人的;同時,祂所揀選的人就有傳揚這個信息的使命與任務。詩人說:為了思想生命的奧秘,他要啟示一些有智慧的話語(49:4)。由於詩人信靠耶和華,他心無所懼(49:5),但是他警告世人,那些信靠自己財富的人,就應當小心了。金錢是不能用來救贖一個人的靈魂;金錢不能救人脫離死亡,也不能免除人在墳墓中腐爛(比較可10:24)。靈魂的救贖是昂貴的──有些東西是用錢買不到的(49:7~9)。祇有上帝自己才能救贖一個人的靈魂脫離陰間(49:15)。我們慈愛的上帝降世為人──耶穌基督──以犧牲祂的生命作為救贖人類的代價,使他們脫離永死(罪的懲罰);由於祂為我們流了寶血,我們才有永生(來9:12~15;提後1:10;林前15:20~26、55;約5:24)。

        為了鼓勵那些不服氣「惡人反而興旺」的正直人(49:16),詩人提醒他們,那些惡人死的時候,他們的財富並不能帶走,也不能用來購買救恩:「他們永不見光」(49:19)──耶穌賜給祂子民的生命之光。「人人都有一死,死後且有審判」(來9:27),然而正直人卻有盼望。「到了早晨,正直人必管轄他們(惡人)」;在那個榮耀的復活早晨,他們必定見到光,耶穌基督會降臨,賜給他們永生(約5:24~29;約壹5:12;帖前4:14~16)。

        在詩篇第五十篇中,耶和華來臨,彰顯祂的榮耀,就像正義的審判官,審判祂的立約之民(出24:3~8)。祂召集他們,因為他們需要管教。他們向祂獻上很多祭,但是問題是他們並沒有用心靈誠實來崇拜祂,因為上帝真正喜歡的是獻祭的動機與心靈。所有獻祭的動物都是屬於祂的,我們又能獻給祂什麼呢?不過,為了救贖,動物仍然是不可缺少的。上帝想從祂的子民身上得到的東西就是他們的感恩祭,以及他們信守約的規定。上帝要看到,他們首先要以感謝為祭獻與上帝(50:14;關於這個題目的進一步研究,可參看瑪1:7~8;賽1:11~17;耶7:21~23;彌6:6~8;羅6:13;12:1~2;林前6:20;約4:23;來13:15~16)。這樣做,信實的人才能榮耀上帝,同時,上帝也會向他們守信,在他們遭遇困難的時候,拯救他們。

        因此,耶和華指責以色列人,因為他們知道律法、甚至教導別人認識律法,然而他們自己卻不在生活中實踐它。他們妥協,也假冒偽善,可是上帝非常痛恨假冒偽善的罪。有一陣子,耶和華對他們的所作所為不置一詞,但是祂應許過要他們為自己行為負責。祂警告他們必須改變自己的惡行,否則他們就要滅亡,永遠得不到拯救。那些以心靈誠實讚美上帝,及走在上帝的道路過公義生活的人,必定會看到上帝的救恩(50:23)。

禱告

        主啊,您是偉大的上帝,配得我們的讚美。我們頌讚您不祇是出於我們的責任,而是出於我們心底深處的誠實的動機。願我們的行為值得您賜給我們的救恩,因為它反映出我們心裡所想的。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Psalms 48, 49&50
Key Verse:"Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God."(Psalm 50:23)
Overview

        Psalm 48 is related to the previous two psalms, forming a trilogy of praise which is also seen as being apocalyptic in nature, yet it does have an historical basis. This psalm describes the greatness of God and the glory of His city Jerusalem, which He preserved in a miraculous way. Since He was the King of the world (Psalm 47:7), the city where He chose to put His Name and the site of His Holy Temple deserves honour. He protected Jerusalem from the combined forces of several kingdoms when they came to lay seige against the city (likely referring to the events during the reign of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20:1-9, 22-24, 27-30). The enemies' plans against the city were destroyed just as easily as when God sent the east wind to destroy "the ships of Tarshish" (a particular type of ship, but not necessarily from Tarshish, south of Spain;! Kings 22:48; Ezekiel 27:25).

        The people of Jerusalem had heard that the Lord of Hosts would protect His city, but now they saw with their own eyes that it was indeed true. Jerusalem's refuge was in God (48:3b, 8; 2 Chronicles 20:14-20). Since it was clear that God had laid claim to Jerusalem, they beleived that God would establish it forever as His eternal city (the earthy city will pass away, but the New Jerusalem will remain forever, Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:22; Revelation 21:2). The psalm began with the exhortation that the Lord be praised "in the city of our God", but after considering His lovingkindness, the worshippers proclaim that He deserves to be praised "to the ends of the earth" (48:9-10). By looking at the sacred places in Jerusalem, the worshippers are reminded of God's goodness and lovingkindness to them and that He would always be their guide, because He was in their midst.

        Psalm 49 is directed to all people from all classes, since the message of the Lord is for everyone, and it is the task of His chosen people to proclaim it. The psalmist says that he will reveal some wise words for the purpose of meditating upon the mystery of life (49:4). Since he trusts in the Lord, he has nothing to fear (49:5), but he warns that those who trust in their wealth do have something to fear. No amount of money can ever be used as a ransom for the soul; it cannot rescue anyone from death and decay in the grave (cf. Mark 10:24). The redemption of the soul is costly — something money cannot buy (49:7-9). Only God Himself can redeem a person's soul from the power of the grave (49:15). Our loving God who condescended to become a man, Jesus Christ, paid the price by sacrificing His life to redeem our souls from eternal death (the punishment of sin), that by His shed blood we might have everlasting life (Hebrews 9:12-15; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 55; John 5:24).

        To encourage the upright who struggle with the age-old question of the prosperity of the wicked (49:16), the psalmist reminds them that wealth cannot be taken with anyone when they die, nor can it buy the wicked salvation: "They shall never see light" (49:19) — the light of life that Jesus gives to those who are His own. All mankind will die and be judged (Hebrews 9:27), yet for the upright there is hope. They "shall have dominion over them [the wicked] in the morning", on that grand and glorious resurrection morning, they shall see the Light when Jesus Christ comes and gives them eternal life with Him (John 5:24-29; 1 John 5:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16).

        In Psalm 50, the Lord comes with a manifestation of His glory as the righteous Judge over His covenant people (Exodus 24:3-8). He summons them together, for they are in need of rebuke. They offer him many sacrifices, but the problem is that they have not properly worshiped Him from their heart, and God is interested in the condition of the heart and the motivation behind the sacrifice. All the animals of sacrifice belong to Him, so how can they give Him anything? For the sake of atonement, however, the animals were required. What God desired from His people, as He still does today, was their sincere offering of thanksgiving and their obedience to the covenant stipulations. God wants to see that His people have first offered themselves to Him in total submission and absolute loyalty (50:14; for further study on this topic see Mal. 1:7-8; Isa. 1:11-17; Jer. 7:21-23; Michah 6:6-8; Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:20; John 4:23; Heb. 13:15-16). In doing this, the faithful people bring glory to God, and God will be faithful to them and deliver them in times of trouble.

        The Lord then addresses those Israelites that know the Law, and even teach it to others, while they themselves do not practice it. They are compromising and hypocritical, and the sin of hypocrisy is detestable to God. For a while the Lord was silent about their behaviour, but He promises to call them to account. He warns them to change their wicked ways, lest they perish and not find salvation. Those who glorify God through praise from a pure heart and live righteously by following His ways will indeed see the salvation of God (50:23).

Prayer

        Lord, You are great, and greatly to be praised. May our worship not be merely out of duty or formality but from a sincere motivation of our heart. And may our conduct be worthy of "Your salvation as it reflects that which is in our heart.


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