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Chinese9/12/2006English
經文:耶利米書三十一至三十二章
鑰節:「……我要將我的律法放在他們堶情A寫在他們的心上。」(31:33)
提要

        正如第三十一章所記載耶利米的信息,有關帶給被擄之人的希望一樣,也有關今天活在「末後的日子」屬上帝的子民(從五旬節開始,30:24;31:1;參徒2:16~17)。我們現在看到藉著亞伯拉罕的後裔──耶穌,上帝對亞伯拉罕所說全地要因他蒙福的預言得以應驗,祂要使凡靠著耶穌、信祂的人,成為應許的兒女,並得屬靈的福份(31:1;創12:3;17:7:22:18;加3:7~9,16;羅9:8)。

        耶利米鼓勵被擄的人,包括那些從北國以色列(「以法蓮」)擄去的在內,說他們雖然不配得上帝的愛,祂仍然愛他們,像祂今日愛我們一樣。上帝無條件的愛最高的表現,在於祂差遣耶穌──祂使人「在曠野蒙恩」,並藉著祂使祂的子民得享安息,並吸引他們親近祂(31:2~3;約3:16;約壹4:8~10,15~16;羅5:8)。耶利米預言上帝所要賜奇妙的平安和幸福,那時以色列和猶大不再分裂,他們要一起到錫安敬拜上帝(31:4~6)。主耶穌是上帝兒女合一的中心,雖然今日未見那麼多合一的情形,但是當主耶穌再來統治全地時,將可看到所應許的合一得到完全實現。

        耶和華的百姓也就是「以色列的餘民」,有一天將來到錫安「慈愛的上帝」面前排成大群、歡樂又哭泣,表現他們悔改的心(31:9,12)。像詩人的夢想一樣,耶利米告訴約瑟(以法蓮)的母親拉結,叫她停止哭泣,因她將有得到失喪兒女的希望(31:15~16)。這個希望惟有從主耶穌才可得到,祂要使勞苦愁煩的人滿足及更新(31:14,25;參賽58:11)。當希律王殺害男嬰時,馬太看到這段經文一部分的應驗,可是在這悲痛的情況中有一個希望出現,那就是耶穌的的性命得了保全(太2:17~18)。

        耶利米預見一個新日子的曙光,當上帝藉著責罰改正曾經離開祂的以法蓮,當他們前來為自己的背叛悔改感到慚愧時,上帝不必再用「拔出、拆毀、傾覆」來責罰他們了(31:18~19,28)。那一件「新事」就是上帝要與祂所建立和栽植的百姓另立新約。他們就是基督的新婦(屬靈的以色列人,也就是教會),她現在要與她丈夫──她的主親近,圍繞祂,全心全意地愛祂(31:22)。他們不會再託辭說,他們乃因祖先的罪而不是自己的罪受苦(誤解摩西的話,出20:5)。每個人都應該為自己的行為和罪負責(31:29~30;結18:2~4;申24:16;加6:5,7;約9:3)。

        耶利米和以西結二人都看出要防止人類犯罪的傾向,需有更進一步的幫助(2:22;13:23)。以色列人對上帝在西乃山所頒的舊約,很不幸地不能遵行。因此,他們得不到那約的福,也得不到藉著那律法可得到的義。惟有藉著上帝的恩典和耶穌基督代罪所立的新約,才可以得到;在祂的新約堙A祂的律法要寫在那些得祂赦罪和教導之人的新心上,(31:33~34;結18:30~31;約6:45;太26:28;來7:22;8:7~13;9:15;10:15~22)。

        第三十二章記載耶利米對上帝要實現祂的應許,復興祂的百姓所表現偉大的信心和交託。當時耶路撒冷在巴比倫人圍攻之下,耶利米所做的事證明他實在是上帝的一位真先知。可是,惡王西底家不留心耶利米的警告,不肯謙卑悔改,反而為耶利米對他判罪的預言大發雷霆,將耶利米下到監堙C同時,耶路撒冷城由於被圍攻數月遭遇饑荒之苦。

        耶路撒冷周圍的地方,包括耶利米的家鄉亞拿突在內,都被巴比倫人攻佔和搶奪。當時的土地已不值分文,可是由於信心和順從上帝的表現,耶利米從他喪失希望的親戚購買土地。耶利米藉此說明耶路撒冷雖然要淪落、百姓要分散,上帝要帶回百姓歸回購買荒涼了七十年的土地;因此,耶利米大膽地祈禱說:「在你沒有難成的事」(32:17,27)。

禱告

        主啊,求您使我們這些屬於您的子民在您的靈帶領下能夠連結合一。我們盼望有一天清晨您回到地上來,那時我們要在完全合一和平安的情況下與您一同作王。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Jeremiah 31 &32
Key Verse:"...I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts".(Jeremiah 31:33)
Overview

        Just as Jeremiah's message, recorded in chapter 31, was relevant to the exiles, giving them hope, so too it is relevant to the people of God today who are living in "the latter days" (beginning at Pentecost, 30:24; 31:1; cf. Acts 2:16-17). We are now seeing fulfilled the prophecy to Abraham concerning the whole earth being blessed through his Seed; that is Jesus, through whom all, by faith in Him, are children of promise and will be spiritually blessed (31:1; Gen. 12:3; 17:7; 22:18; Gal. 3:7-9,16; Rom. 9:8).

        Jeremiah encouraged the exiles, including those from the Northern Kingdom of Israel ("Ephraim"), that God still loved them, even though they did not deserve it, just as He loves us today. God's unconditional love was expressed in the greatest way when He sent Jesus, His "grace in the wilderness", through whom He has given rest to His people and has drawn them nearer to Himself (31:2-3; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-10,15-16; Rom. 5:8). Jeremiah prophesies about the wonderful peace and prosperity the Lord will bring, when the division of Israel and Judah will no longer exist and when they will worship the Lord together in Zion (31:4-6). The Lord Jesus is the source of this unity among the children of God, and although there does not appear to be much unity today, this promised unity will be fully realized when Jesus returns to rule upon the earth.

        The Lord's people, "the remnant of Israel", will one day come in repentance as a great throng, weeping with joy "to the goodness of the Lord" in Zion (31:9, 12). With poetic imagery, Jeremiah tells Rachel, the mother of Joseph (Ephraim), to stop weeping, for there is hope for her lost children (31:15-16). That hope is found only in Jesus who satisfies and refreshes the weary souls (31:14, 25; cf. Isa. 58:11). Matthew saw a partial fulfillment of this passage in Herod's killing of the boy babies, but even in this sad situation a hope emerged, for Jesus' life was saved (Matt. 2:17-18).

        Jeremiah foresaw the dawning of a new day when the Lord would no longer have to "pluck up, break and throw down" His people in order to chastise them; yet through this correction Ephraim, who was once far from God, would come to repentance and be ashamed of his rebellion (31:18-19, 28). That "new thing" will be the institution of God's New Covenant given to a people whom He will build up and plant. They are the Bride of Christ (spiritual Israel/the Church) who will now draw near to her husband the Lord, to encompass Him and love Him with all her heart (31:22). They will no longer make excuses, saying that they were suffering for the sins of their fathers and not their own (misunderstanding Moses, Ex. 20:5). Every individual is to be responsible for his own actions and sins (31:29-30; Ezek. 18:2-4; Deut. 24:16; Gal. 6:5, 7; John 9:3).

        Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel saw that something more was needed to help restrain mankind from their tendency to sin (2:22; 13:23). Israel had miserably failed to obey the Old Covenant given from Mount Sinai. Therefore, they were deprived of the blessings of the covenant, and they did not attain righteousness through the law. The answer came through the New Covenant of God's grace instituted through the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ, in which His law would be written upon the new hearts of His people who have been forgiven of their sins and taught by Him (31:33-34; Ezek. 18:30-31; John 6:45; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 7:22; 8:7-13; 9:15; 10:15-22).

        Chapter 32 gives evidence of Jeremiah's great faith and trust in God to restore the people in fulfillment of His promise. The fact that Jerusalem was presently under siege by the Babylonians should have proven to everyone that Jeremiah was indeed a true prophet of God. Wicked King Zedekiah, however, had not heeded Jeremiah's warnings, nor had he humbled himself and repented; rather he was angered by the doom that Jeremiah had prophesied against him, and he threw Jeremiah into prison. Meanwhile, the city was greatly distressed with famine because of the siege which by that time had gone on for many months.

        All the land around Jerusalem including Anathoth, Jeremiah's hometown had been taken and plundered by the Babylonians. Such a piece of land at that time was worthless, but in an act of faith and in obedience to God, Jeremiah purchased the land from his relative who had lost all hope. Through this, Jeremiah illustrated that although Jerusalem would fall and the people would be scattered, the Lord would bring the people back to once again buy the fields which had lain desolate for seventy years; for as Jeremiah boldly prayed, "There is nothing too hard for You" (32:17, 27).

Prayer

        Lord, make us people who are bound together in unity by Your Spirit. We anticipate the dawning of the day You return to earth, when we will reign with You in complete unity and peace.


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