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Chinese7/11/2019English
經文:撒母耳記下廿四章
鑰節:「我願落在耶和華的手堙A因為祂有豐盛的憐憫。我不願落在人的手堙C」(24:14)
提要

        撒母耳記下最後記載了一件因罪而起的悲劇。上帝的怒氣可能是因以色列人而發,因為他們悖逆上帝的受膏者,大衛(即押沙龍和示巴事件)。但同時上帝也在試驗大衛的信心,要看他心埵陬L悖逆之意。

        上帝容許大衛興起核算全國人數的意念(24:1;參代上21:1)。核算民數本身並不是罪,因為上帝以前曾經兩次吩咐以色列人核算總人數(民1:2;26:2)。錯誤的是大衛的動機。大衛可能被驕傲所試探,想追求自我的榮耀,信任軍隊的力量勝過上帝的幫助。約押試著說服大衛取消此不必要之舉,他很有智慧的告訴大衛,人數的多寡實在沒有關係。如果上帝與他們同在,祂就能使以色列人得勝,不論他們的數目與敵人比起來有多寡少。約押是以色列軍隊的元帥,他一定多次經驗以上的事實。

        雖然約押並不同意大衛的舉動,但他仍順服大衛的命令。在不到十個月之內,約押就回到耶路撒冷向大衛報告數點的結果。以色列中能爭戰的勇士將近一百五十萬人,而以色列的總人口大約有六百萬至八百萬。

        數點人口的行動一結束,甚至在先知迦得還未來見大衛之前,大衛心奡N開始自責了。他的良心責備他,使他瞭解到他犯了罪。大衛真心的認罪悔改了,但這件事仍然導致以色列人集體受罰,其目的是要使以色列人回轉歸向上帝。大衛在三種災禍──饑荒、戰爭、和瘟疫──中選擇了最後一項。他知道上帝比任何人更有憐憫、有赦罪之恩(路1:50、54~55;詩25:6;28:6;箴28:13)。

        大衛看見滅命的天使站在耶路撒冷城牆外,亞勞拿的禾場上。這個地點正是後來所羅門建殿的場址(代下3:1)。亞勞拿並非以色列人,而是一位敬畏以色列之上帝的耶布斯人。他願意無條件奉送土地和牛的心意可嘉,但大衛的拒絕也值得稱讚。如果大衛不花任何代價,那麼所獻的祭就不是真正出於他,但上帝要求的是大衛的祭。真正的犧牲必然要付出一些代價。

        僅僅一天之間,瘟疫就造成了七萬人死亡,但在大衛獻上贖罪祭並為民代求之後,上帝就制止了滅命天使的手。想想看,如果大衛不順服上帝,或沒有為他的百姓代求,以色列民中喪亡的人不知會有多少。

        雖然大衛並不完美,他如同任何人一樣會被罪所勝,但他的心從來不對上帝剛硬,而且他總是誠心的悔改。上帝看出大衛有一顆柔軟的靈,以及願意服事上帝的心,所以他尊崇大衛,並稱大衛是合祂心意的人(徒13:22~23)。

禱告

        主啊,幫助我們的心在您面前柔軟。保守我們在沒有仔細察驗您的心意之前,不冒然作決定。謝謝您賜給我們自由意志的恩賜。願我們所有的選擇都討您的喜悅。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read 2 Samuel 24
Key Verse:"Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man."(2 Samuel 24:14)
Overview

        The book of second Samuel closes with a tragedy that came because of sin. The Lord's anger may have been aroused against Israel because they rebelled against His anointed one, David (under Absalom and Sheba). This was really a rebellion against God, since He had chosen David to be king. At the same time, God was testing David's faith to see if he had any rebellion in his own heart.

        God allowed David to be tempted into taking a census of the whole nation (24:1; cf. 1 Chronicles 21:1). The taking of the census itself was not the sin, for twice before a census had been ordered by God (Numbers 1:2; 26:2). It was the motivation behind taking the census which was wrong. David was probably tempted with pride, self-glory, and trust in his military strength rather than God. Jaob, trying to convince David that a census was unnecessary, wisely suggested that their numbers did not matter (24:3). If God was with them, He would give the victory, no matter how outnumbered they might be. Joab, as the commander of the army, had probably experienced this many times.

        Although he did not agree with David, Joab obeyed him. In just under ten months, the count was brought before David. There were close to a million and a half fighting men, and the total population of Israel would have been about six to eight million.

        Immediately after the census, and even before the coming of the prophet Gad, David was already feeling guilty. His conscience condemned him with the realization that he had sinned. His genuinely repented and confessed his sin, yet it gave rise to a collective punishment, the purpose of which was to bring Israel back to God. Rather than suffering from famine or war, David chose the last of the three punishments — a plague (24:13). He knew that God was forgiving and merciful, more than any man (Luke 1:50, 54-55; Psalms 25:6; 28.-6; Proverbs 28:13).

        David saw the death angel by the threshing floor of Araunah (cf. 1 Chronicles 21:16), just outside the city walls of Jerusalem. On this same site, Solomon later built the Temple (2 Chronicles 3:1). Araunah was not an Israelite but a Jebusite-Canaanite who feared the God of Israel and probably served Him. His desire to give the land and oxen were commendable, yet it was also commendable for David to refuse. If he did not pay for anything, the offering would not really be his own, but God required the offering to come from David (24:23-24). A true sacrifice has to cost the worshipper something.

        Within just one day, the plague killed seventy thousand people, but with the atonement made by the offerings and the intercessory prayers of David, the Lord stayed the hand of the death angel. Imagine how many more would have died if David had not obeyed God or interceded on behalf of his people.

        Although David was imperfect and tempted with sin like any human, his heart was never hardened toward God, and he sincerely repented. Because God saw David's tenderness of spirit and his desire to serve Him, He honoured him and called him a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22-23).

Prayer

        Lord, help us keep our hearts tender before You, Keep us from the presumption of making decisions which we have not thoroughly checked out with You and Your wise counsellors. Thank You for Your gift of free choice. May all our choices be pleasing to You.


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