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Chinese11/11/2006English
經文:阿摩斯書第八、九章
鑰節:「到那日,我必建立大衛倒塌的帳幕……,重新建造像古時一樣。」(9:11)
提要

        第八章阿摩斯繼續講他看到的異象,這表示伯特利的祭司因阿摩斯的出現和其預言而緘默、害怕。在第四個異象中,他看到一筐夏天的果子,代表以色列受審的時機已成熟。主不再寬恕他們,祂的忿怒要發作了(8:2;參羅2:4~6)。阿摩斯又在描述那些貪財商人的貪心和邪惡,他們急切地等待那些空洞的宗教活動快點結束,好讓他們做生意,因為在安息日或月朔日不得工作,誘騙窮人,全不理會自己那不誠實做生意的手段(8:5~6)。

        上帝已看到他們這些欺詐的手段,而且不會坐視不管的(8:7)。當耶和華審判的日子臨到時,所有的歌曲要變成哀歌,白日要變得黑暗。人會饑餓地要上帝的話,可是上帝卻停止差派先知,也不聽他們哀告的聲音。強壯之人要落入占卜問卦的罪,而不願忠實地等候耶和華。以色列仍在仰望伯特利的牛犢,以及猶大別是巴那裡的偶像。上帝一定要除掉這些異教的神龕,任何參與偶像崇拜的人「都必仆倒,永不再起來」(8:13~14)。

        第五個和最後的異象裡,阿摩斯看見主站在伯特利拜牛犢的祭壇旁邊,要執行祂的審判。主要打碎廟柱,使其落在以色列拜偶像之人的頭上,擊斃他們(9:1),好像參孫在大袞廟裡所做的(士16:28~30)。這段信息的重點在於上帝發怒時,無人能從祂那兒逃脫。祂是無所不能、無所不知、無所不在的上帝,沒有人能從祂那裡隱遁。即或逃到外國,審判仍會追隨而去(9:2~4)。每一個罪人都要受審,面對生命的結局(9:9~10)。

        阿摩斯強調主掌權的範圍不限於以色列(羅2:11;3:29),祂是全地各國的主,甚至是他們仇敵的主。上帝能把一個民族從一地帶到另一地,祂也可以使他們變得一無所有。上帝雖能這樣做,但祂卻不想完全摧毀雅各家。上帝藉祂兒子彌賽亞耶穌所要成全的救贖之功,是無法被攔阻停止的,而祂就是要從雅各家猶大支派出來的。

        阿摩斯在本書最後一部份(9:11~15)的語調完全改變了,宛如他已看見未來的榮耀和主的得勝。他的預言不再是惡噩和毀滅,乃是希望和生命,不但為以色列人,也為所有的外邦人。他預告大衛倒塌的帳幕(9:11)要被重建,上帝不忘記賜給大衛的應許,關於他的國要存到永遠(撒下7:16),因為那永遠的王耶穌要興起,在大衛榮耀的寶座上執掌王權(參路1:31~33),阿摩斯預言將來凡呼求主名之人,無論何國籍,都要成為主的子民。使徒雅各也引用了阿摩斯這段預言,去鼓舞外邦人成為上帝的子民(徒15:8~19)。藉著信靠耶穌,所有上帝的子民要蒙祝福,並在祂奇妙且繁榮的國度中繼承產業,享有祂的和平與安全直到永永遠遠。

禱告

        主啊,我們感謝您,藉著相信耶穌我們可在您的國度中繼承產業,並因住在您裡面,使我們得著和平與安全。奉主耶穌基督的名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Amos 8&9
Key Verse:"On that day I will raise up the tabernacle [booth] of David,... and rebuild it as in the days of old."(Amos 9:11)
Overview

        Amos resumed announcing his visions as though the priest of Bethel had been silenced and terrified by Amos' presence and prophecy against him. In the fourth vision, Amos saw a basket of ripe summer fruit, signifying that Israel was now ripe for judgment. The Lord would be longsuffering no longer; the time of His wrath had come (8:2; cf. Rom. 2:4-6). Amos again describes the greed and wickedness of the money-hungry merchants who anxiously awaited the ending of their meaningless religious observance of abstaining from work on the Sabbath or the New Moon feast (meaningless because for them it had lost its spiritual significance); they wished to once again go to work on the Sabbath and prey upon the poor and defenceless with their dishonest business practices (8:5-6).

        The Lord saw their deceitf ulness and lies and would not let it go unpunished (8:7). When the day of the Lord's judgment would come, all joy would be turned to mourning and the gloom would even be evident in the darkness of the sky. Amos prophesies of a day coming when there will be a famine for the word of the Lord, when God stops sending His prophets and is silent when they cry out to Him. At that time even the strongest of people will fall into sin by seeking out other means of divination rather than trusting in the Lord and waiting faithfully on Him. Israel looked to the calves at Dan and Bethel, as well as to the idolatrous shrine at Beersheba in southern Judah. However, just as God would destroy these pagan shrines, so too anyone who acknowledges and participates in the works of Satan will "fall and never rise again" (8:13-14).

        In his fifth and final vision, Amos saw the Lord standing near the altar at the heathen temple of calf worship in Bethel, where He would execute His judgment. The Lord would bring down Bethel's temple and crush the heads of the Israelite idol worshippers (9:1); this is reminiscent of the feat of Samson whom the Lord strengthened to bring down the temple of Dagon upon the Philistine idol worshippers. The point of the message is that it would be impossible for any of them to escape the Lord's wrath. There is no place to hide from the omnipotent God, for He sees and knows all (omniscient), and He is not limited in where He can go (omnipresent). His judgment would follow them, even after going into captivity in a foreign land (9:2-4). Every individual would be judged and all of the guilty sinners would meet their end (9:9-10).

        Once again, Amos stresses that just because they are Israelites, who were supposed to be the people of God, they were no better or safer than the Gentiles. The Lord's domain is not limited to Israel (Rom. 2:11; 3:29). He is the sovereign Lord over the whole world and over all nations, even over their enemies. The God who can bring whole nations from one country to another is also able to bring that nation to nothingness. Although it was possible to do so, the Lord promised that He would not utterly destroy the house of Jacob (Israel). Nothing would stop God's plan of redemption through His Son Jesus, the Messiah, who was to come from the tribe of Judah, the house of David.

        In the final portion of Amos' book (9:11-15), his tone radically changes as he has a glimpse of future glory and of the Lord's victory. Rather than words of doom and destruction, Amos' prophecy is now words of hope and life, not only for Israel but for the Gentiles as well. He tells of the future hope and restoration of David's "fallen down booth" (a literal translation; 9:11). God would be faithful to the promise He had made to David concerning an everlasting dynasty (2 Sam. 7:16), for the eternal King Jesus would be raised up to reign on the glorious throne of David forever (cf. Luke 1:31-33). At that time, Amos prophesies that the Lord's people will be all those who call on His Name, regardless of their nationality. The Apostle James quoted from this prophecy of Amos to support the acceptance of Gentiles among God's people, without first trying to make them become Jews (Acts 15:8-19). Through faith in Jesus, all God's people will be blessed and given an inheritance in His wonderful and flourishing Kingdom, where they will dwell with Him in peace and security forevermore.

Prayer

        Lord, thank You that through faith in Jesus we will be blessed and given an inheritance from Your Kingdom, and for peace and security that You give to those who dwell in You.


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