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Chinese11/28/2006English
經文:哈該書第二章
鑰節:「……你們都當剛強做工,因為我與你們同在。這是萬軍之耶和華說的。」(2:4)
提要

        第二章的信息是在第一章的一個半月後說的,之後再一個月,耶路撒冷人就開始動工,預備蓋聖殿的材料。當百姓在守住棚節時,有些老人回想所羅門時代所建那個華美的聖殿,在七十年前被巴比倫人毀掉了(參拉3:12~13),就十分傷心。上帝關心這些老人的感覺,從祂詢問他們對新聖殿的意見時,可以看得出來(2:3)。

        然而,所羅門的時代是正當以色列國力最雄厚的黃金年代,他們的能力當然可以用最貴、最高品質的材料,包括銀子和黃金去建聖殿。但現在從被擄之地剛回來,當然沒有從前那種能力。所蓋的聖殿必無法像舊的那麼雄偉。但主希望百姓不要灰心,祂所在意的是人的心,而不是外在的聖殿。即使新殿不如舊殿那般華麗,只要他們願順服祂,祂保證要與他們同在。

        在守完住棚節後,百姓可能還是很失望,因他們沒有看到上帝的顯現,像他們的祖先在出埃及後所經歷到的那般壯闊。為此,上帝又要來安慰勉勵他們。上帝還是與他們同在,像從前一樣。又有些人擔心建造聖殿會招惹別人的反對,事實上也真的有人反對。但上帝勸那些首領和百姓「當剛強」、「不要懼怕」(2:5)。上帝會管這件事,所以他們必不會停工。果然,在上帝的掌管下,大流士王發現塞魯士王的詔書,他不只允許還鼓勵人民去重建聖殿(拉5:1~5;6:1~3)。

        在上帝保證要與百姓同在之後,祂又說了一些話論到未來的事。祂說要震動萬國,可能指上帝要使政治有戲劇性的變化,以便為彌賽亞的降生預備道路。不過這也可以指耶穌基督第二次再降臨時才完全的應驗。到那時,祂必成為「萬國所羨慕的」,這位和平之君要來統管全地,而且榮耀的聖殿將由所有的信徒所組成,上帝自己成為殿的房角石。那麼這座殿,必要比歷代物質的殿更加榮美(2:7、9;參弗2:19~22;太12:6)

        兩個月後,哈該又從上帝得到話要告訴百姓,為甚麼過去上帝的祝福遲遲不來,現在卻可以得到。因為大約有十六年之久,百姓是在未完工的祭壇上獻祭給上帝(參拉3:1~3),但因著他們不順服上帝,獻祭的過程隨便而不潔淨,所有的祭物都是枉獻,不為上帝所接受。上帝不悅納的後果,是使他們生活中日用所需匱乏不足。現在先知哈該的信息使百姓願意順服上帝,並可預期將要蒙上帝賜福,下一季物產的豐收足以為證(2:15~16)。

        在同一天,上帝給哈該另一段預言,是特別指著所羅巴伯説的。作為一個猶大的首領,他當然擔心上帝怎麼「震動萬國」,對猶大又有何影響。上帝再次啟示祂要掌管人的事情,以及地上的屬靈爭戰,要造成「列國寶座」的傾覆。撒旦坐在這寶座上統管地上的列國,但牠和牠的跟從者,有一天都要被將來的彌賽亞所擊敗(2:21~22;帖後2:8~12)。第二十三節雖在對所羅巴伯這位大衛的後裔講,但實則預指到彌賽亞。這節對所羅巴伯是很大的榮耀,因為世人的希望--彌賽亞耶穌,將成為他的後代子孫(太1:12~13;路3:27)。所羅巴伯要被稱為上帝的「印璽」,這是代表珍貴、有權威的保證--彌賽亞必定要來。

禱告

        親愛的主,我們渴望看見彌賽亞的再來,成為和平之君統治全地。我們這些信您的人,要成為您榮耀的聖殿,主自己要成為頭塊的房角石。奉主耶穌基督的名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Haggai 2
Key Verse:"... 'be strong ... and work; for I am with you,' says the Lord of hosts."(Haggai 2:4)
Overview

        Haggai's message in chapter two was given about one and a half months after his first message (ch. 1), and almost one month after the people of Jerusalem had begun to collect materials for the Temple. It was the last day of the seven-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, which commemorated their wilderness experience after the Lord mightily delivered them from Egypt (3:1; Lev. 23:34-43). During this time of remembrance, the oldest people in the congregation were likely saddened as they remembered the glories of Solomon's beautiful Temple that had been destroyed seventy years earlier by the Babylonians (cf. their reaction some years earlier when the foundations were laid; Ezra 3:12-13). The Lord's care and concern for the feelings of these elderly ones are evident in His question which voiced their low opinion of the new Temple under construction (2:3).

        In Solomon's day, Israel was in its golden age of prosperity, and they could afford to build the Temple with the most costly and high quality materials, including much silver and gold. Now, however, such materials were not available to these returned exiles. Therefore, it was to be expected that the new Temple would be less beautiful. The Lord, however, did not want the people to get discouraged. His words showed them that He was not as concerned with externals as He was with the condition of their hearts. Even though the new Temple would never reach its former beauty, He assured them that He would still be present there because of their obedience to Him.

        After celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, the people may also have been disappointed that they did not see such manifestations of God's presence as had their forefathers at the time of the Exodus. Yet the Lord comforted and encouraged them by telling them that His Spirit was with them, just as He had been before. There may have been some who were afraid of renewed opposition when the Temple began to be erected, and indeed opposition did come, but God had exhorted the leaders and the people to "be strong". He told them "do not fear!" (2:5). The Lord would intervene so they would not have to stop building. In God's providence, Darius found the decree of Cyrus which not only allowed the Temple to be built but encouraged it (Ezra 5:1-5; 6:1-3).

        After God gave the word of assurance that His presence would be with them, another word of encouragement was given based on future events. The shaking up of nations may refer to the drastic political changes that God would make, and His activity in preparation for the Messiah's birth. However, it seems to have its complete fulfillment in an even more distant future — the second coming of the Messiah Jesus. At that time He will be "the Desire of All Nations" and He, the Prince of Peace, will reign over the earth. In that day the glorious Temple (the dwelling place of God) will be made up of the body of believers, with the Lord Himself being the chief cornerstone. It will be more glorious than any material temple could ever be! (2:7, 9; cf. Eph. 2:19-22; Matt. 12:6).

        Two months later, the prophet Haggai had another word from the Lord which would explain to the people why God's blessing, which had been withheld from them in the past, could now be expected. For about sixteen years the people had been sacrificing to the Lord on the altar in the unfinished Temple (cf. Ezra 3:1-3), but because of their disobedience to God all those offerings were done in vain, for they were not acceptable to Him. Haggai illustrated this through the priest's answer to the question concerning the transmittable nature of ceremonial uncleanness (2:11-14). The Lord's displeasure resulted in His withholding of blessings, including their necessities of life. This should have caused them to turn and seek God, but it did not. Now, however, through the prophet Haggai's message, the people obeyed the voice of the Lord and could expect His blessings upon them, which was to be evident in the next season of sowing and reaping (2:15-19).

        On that same day, the Lord gave Haggai another prophecy addressed specifically to Zerubbabel. As the ruler over Judah, he may have become worried about how the shaking up of the nations, prophesied earlier (2:6-7), would effect Judah. Once again the Lord reveals how He will intervene in the affairs of men and in the spiritual warfare upon the earth, causing the overthrow of "the throne of kingdoms". Satan is the one on the throne over the kingdoms of this earth, but he and all his followers, who have rejected Jesus Christ, will one day be defeated by the coming Messiah (2:21-22; 2 Thess. 2:8-12). Haggai's prophecy in verse 23 refers to the Messiah, and yet he addresses Zerubbabel, the descendant of King David, and gives him great honour. The reason for this is that his descendant would be Jesus the Messiah (Matt. 1:12-13; Luke 3:27), the hope of the world. Zerubbabel, then, was called the Lord's signet ring, signifying something precious and authoritative, for he was a guarantee that the Messiah would surely come.

Prayer

        Dear Father, we long to see the return of the Messiah, when He will reign over the earth as the Prince of Peace. We as believers will be a part of the glorious Temple in which the Lord Himself will be the Chief Cornerstone.


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