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Chinese10/17/2005English
經文:撒母耳記上二章
鑰節:「……尊重我的,我必看重他……」(2:30)
提要

        哈拿在將撒母耳帶到上帝面前時,也向上帝獻上一首優美的感謝、讚美詩。詩歌的歌詞表達出上帝使她得勝不孕和沮喪,也宣揚上帝勝過仇敵的大能,以及祂超越全地、至高無上、絕對的主權。這首歌也被認為含有預言的成分。「他必將力量賜與所立的王,高舉受膏者的角」(2:10下),指的是以色列人的彌賽亞盼望。我們知道,這盼望在耶穌基督身上完全實現,祂是從大衛族譜所出的王,也是路加所說的「我們拯救的角」(路1:69)。

        撒母耳與祭司以利同住。他從童年初期就開始事奉上帝,並且「漸漸長大,耶和華與人越發喜愛他」(2:21、26)。以利的兒子卻呈現強烈的對比,他們犯罪、墮落、褻瀆上帝,一點也不尊重上帝的聖潔及祭物的神聖。他們利用祭司的職位滿足一己的私慾和肉體的慾望。他們在還未履行職司責任之前就向敬拜者奪取上好的祭肉,違反了摩西所制定的規矩(利7:29~34)。為了取得想要的事物,他們還不惜使用暴力。他們「與會幕門前伺候的婦人苟合」(2:22;參出38:8),很可能也是用暴力手段。

        崇高的祭司角色竟墮落到這種地步!他們不但沒有領導百姓遵行上帝的道,反而陷百姓於罪。這是非常嚴重的罪過(2:24;參可9:42)。難怪上帝要派遣一位不知名的先知向以利宣佈祂的審判:以利家將從祭司族中被排除。在某種程度上,以利對他兒子的行為也有責任,因為他沒有嚴厲的責備他們,也沒有立刻勸阻他們。以利可能太過忙於他的服事,照顧他人靈性上的需要,而忽略了自己孩子的需要。先知的話指出,雖然以利並不贊同兒子的行徑,但卻仍然作他們的「共犯」,吃他們非法所得的祭物。所以以利和他的兒子都遭到控訴:「你們為何踐踏我的祭物呢?」這表示他們輕賤上帝的祭物。所以,儘管他們是亞倫家族的成員,但他們已不配擔任神聖的祭司職。何弗尼和非尼哈必同日而死(在4:17應驗),這將作為上帝棄絕他們的記號。

        不過,在先知嚴肅判語的最後,仍有希望的訊息:「我要為自己立一個忠心的祭司,……他必永遠行在我的受膏者面前」(2:35)。上帝為了祂救贖的目的,絕不會讓祭司職任終於以利;他已經預備了撒母耳來接續這個角色。但那也只是預言部分的應驗。最後的應驗是耶穌基督的祭司職,因為只有祂是「永遠」的祭司。

        上帝將以利家從世襲的祭司族中砍除,並引進了一條更高的律法代替對亞倫家有條件的應許:「尊重我的,我必重看他」(2:30)。以利的兒子並沒有尊重上帝,所以上帝的怒氣和審判臨到他們;哈拿和撒母耳尊重上帝,所以上帝也重看他們。我們的主耶穌說,那些服事祂的人必得天父尊重(約12:26),因為「叫人都尊敬子如同尊敬父一樣;不尊敬子的,就是不尊敬差子來的父」(約5:23)。

禱告

        主啊,我們尊崇您。謝謝您應許說您也要重看我們。您以您的愛和同在給予我們最大的尊重。求您保守我們不犯像以利二子所行的罪,也不要像以利對罪睜一隻眼、閉一隻眼。奉您的「受膏者」耶穌的名求,阿們。

English

Scriptures:Read 1 Samuel 2
Key Verse:"... those who honor Me I will honor...".(1 Samuel 2:30b)
Overview

        Hannah's beautiful song on the occasion of bringing Samuel to the Lord (2:1-10) is one of praise and thanksgiving to God. It expresses her God-given victory over depression and barrenness. It also proclaims God's great strength and victory over enemies, as well as His providence and absolute sovereignty over all the earth. This song is considered a prophetic utterance as well. "He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed" (l:10b) points to the Messianic hope of Israel which we know to be fully realized in Jesus Christ, the King in the line of David, the "anointed" One whom Luke calls "a horn of salvation for us" (Luke 1:69).

        Samuel went to live with Eli the priest. Even from his early childhood, he ministered before the Lord, and all the while he "grew... in favor both with the Lord and men" (2:21, 26). In sharp contrast, however, the sons of Eli were wicked and corrupt. They were extremely sacrilegious, having no regard for the holiness of God nor the sanctity of the ritual offerings unto the Lord. They used their priestly office for their own selfish gain and desires of the flesh. They took the choicest portions of meat from the worshippers before they performed the priestly duties. This was contrary to the prescribed way set forth by Moses (Leviticus 7:29-34). They would not hestitate to use force to get what they wanted. It may also have been with force that they "lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle" (2:22; cf. Exodus 38:8).

        How degenerate the priesthood had become! Rather than leading the people in the ways of the Lord, they were leading them to sin. This was a very serious offense (2:24; cf. Mark 9:42). It is no wonder God sent the unnamed prophet to Eli with words of judgment that his house would be cut off from the priesthood. Eli was to some degree responsible for his sons' behaviour, because he did not rebuke them strongly, nor soon enough. Sadly, he may have been too busy in the ministry and taking care of other people's spiritual needs to notice the needs of his own children. The prophet's words indicate that although Eli did not approve he still participated by eating of the wrongly-taken portions of the offerings. Thus he, and his sons were all accused: "Why do you kick at my sacrifice?". This is an idiom meaning that they held the offerings of the Lord in disrespect or scorn. Therefore, even though they were from the line of Aaron through his youngest son Ithamar, they were found unworthy of the holy priestly office and were rejected by God. The sign of this rejection would be the death of both Hophni and Phinehas on the same day (fulfilled in 4:17).

        The prophet's solemn words, however, conclude with a note of hope: "I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest..., and he shall walk before My anointed forever" (2:35). God, in His redemptive purpose, would not allow the priesthood to die with Eli, for He had been preparing Samuel to fill that role. This was only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy, as was the later priesthood of Zadok (1 Kings 2:27). The ultimate fulfillment is found in the eternal Priesthood of Jesus Christ, for only He is a priest "forever".

        In cutting off the family of Eli from the priesthood, God superceded the conditional promise of the priesthood to the family of Aaron. He introduced a higher law: "those who honour Me I will honour" (2:30). Clearly, Eli's sons did not honour God, therefore God's wrath and judgment came upon them; but Hannah and Samuel did honour God, so He in turn honoured them. Our Lord Jesus explained that those who serve Him would be honoured by God (John 12:26), since "all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him" (John 5:23).

Prayer

        We honour You, O Lord. Thank You for Your promise to honour us. You honour us most of all by Your love and by Your presence. Please keep us from the sins of Eli's sons and even from Eli's seeming approval of sin. We pray this in the name of Your "Anointed One" Jesus. Amen.


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