Monday, 20 April 2020

Proverbs 20
3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel. (NIV)

3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarrelling. (NLT)

Abraham avoided a quarrel with his nephew, Lot, when they reached the Negeb. According to Genesis 13, it was Abraham who reached the land between Bethel and Ai first, with his vast herds of cattle plus his accompanying herdsmen. Abraham built an altar to the Lord and worshipped. Thereafter, Lot and his herds arrived. Presumably, he set up a tent nearby. But there was a problem: The land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. So disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. Moreover, at that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land, adding to the congestion of land use.

Abraham, being the uncle of Lot, could have exercised his seniority and ordered Lot to move away and settle elsewhere. Moreover, Abraham had arrived at that location first.

Yet, Abraham did the unthinkable – Citing the fact that they were close relatives, he allowed Lot to choose the grazing pastures where he would like to settle and he offered to take his herds and resettle his entourage away from Lot’s.

Such behaviour is rare today, where a party that is clearly in the right does not insist on his rights, but instead, to avoid conflict or an unnecessary argument remains composed and chooses to settle matters amicably. The KJV put it even more broadly “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.” Here, we are advised to NOT ONLY NOT QUARREL, but TO NOT MEDDLE! lest it leads to misunderstanding and thence a quarrel.

See the warning in Proverbs 17:14

“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” (NIV)

Brother, sister, can you envisage a situation where you would behave in a similar way as Abraham? Would you do it to preserve the peace?

Proverbs 20
5 The purpose in a man’s mind is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out. (RSV)

5 A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out. (NASB)

This verse is profound indeed, but very real. Sometimes, for various reasons, a person who has a purpose or plan may deliberately throw up a smokescreen and avoid revealing the full truth. On the other hand, the person himself may not be aware of what his real plans and motives are. This is because this lies in his subconscious or he has some baggage which he has been dragging around with him for years. He himself is not aware this needs to be dealt with or needs healing. Those who care for him are in the dark how best to help him.

So, the picture is of a well whose waters are far beneath the surface of the ground so that one must use a bucket with a long rope to draw water to the surface. Thus, the person’s real motives/plans are ‘deep’ in that they are difficult to extract. BUT, “a person of understanding” and insight will draw it out.

Would you consider yourself a person of understanding? Many are trained and certified and qualified and knowledgeable, but the increasing need today is for those who possess spiritual discernment coupled with a genuine deep love for those who need help. May God give us the gift of discernment and a shepherd’s heart to help those with particular needs. It is a noble ambition to want to render help which heals the most hurting wounds.

Proverbs 20

27 The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit,
exposing every hidden motive. (NLT)

27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.

Finally, here is an encouragement to know God’s Word, so that it will work within our lives and the lives of those we want to touch using God’s Word. There are truths of the inner man (the spirit of a man) that only the lamp of the LORD can expose. For God’s Word is living and active, a lamp and a light, exposing the depths of a man’s heart.

May every deceitful and selfish thought in our hearts be laid bare by the searching light of his lamp into the darkness of our souls, so that our intentions be made pure. If the Lord reveals impure motives, let confess our sin. May the truth set us free so that the evil one no longer has a hold on us!

Prayer for Today

Father, we want to start by praying for Adriel Yim, Ps Isaac’s grandnephew. We praise you for your love for Adriel. Father, you are the Everlasting God, Who gives life. You have given new hope through bringing medical expertise together. Even the gifting of that expertise comes from You. We pray now for Doctors Sivakumar and Masni as they lead the team to operate on Adriel tomorrow.

Father, in You we have hope and Adriel has Hope. His parents, Jung Yung and Siew Hup have hope. We pray and commit them to you too. May they experience your peace. We thank you and commit Adriel’s healing to You, as You will. All glory, Lord, we give you with grateful hearts.

Father, thank you for your Word to us today. Remove all strife, contentiousness and a quarrelsome spirit from us. May we seek always to live in peace with those around us and with whom we have dealings regularly.

Our loving Heavenly Father, give us a gentle spirit of discernment in addition to spiritual insight enabled by the Holy Spirit so that we are able to minister to brothers and sisters amongst us.

Most of all, as You have commanded us, let us love one another as You have loved us first. Give us the love of the Heavenly Father for brothers and sisters. May the truth that we are but forgiven sinners, saved by grace, be embedded in our minds always, as we go forth to serve one another.

Finally, we pray the Lord’s searching light shine into the inmost recesses of our souls. May the lamp of God expose hypocrisy and selfish intention so that we may confess and deal with these sins regularly.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Ps Cheng Cheung

xxx

每日灵粮
20/4/20
作者:张祯祥传道
箴言 20:3

平息纷争就是人的荣耀;
只有愚妄人个个都爱争执。

亚伯兰避免和侄子罗得在南地争吵。根据创世记十三章,先抵达伯特利和艾城中间的,是亚伯拉罕和他所带的牲畜和牧养的人。 亚伯兰为耶和华筑了一座祭坛并在那里敬拜。此后,罗得和羊群、牛群到达那地。据推测,他也在附近搭了帐篷。随之而来的问题出现了:这片土地同时容不下亚伯兰和罗得。因此,牧养亚伯兰牲畜的和牧养罗得牲畜的,起了纷争。此外,当时迦南人和比利洗人还居住在那地,加剧了土地拥挤的状况。

亚伯兰作为罗得的长辈,大可使用他的辈分,命令罗得迁居其他地方。况且,是亚伯兰先到达那地方的。

然而,亚伯兰做了一件不可思议的事。他引用了他们是近亲的事实,允许罗得选择自己想定居的地方,并提出带走牧人并离开罗得的家。

这种行为如今罕见:显然是对的一方却不坚持自己的权利,而是为了避免冲突或不必要的争论而保持沉默,并选择友好地解决问题。英王詹姆士译本更宽泛地表明:“停止冲突是一种荣誉。但每个愚昧人都会干涉。”这里建议我们不但是不要争吵,而且不要干涉、扰乱,以免引起误会,从而引起争吵。

请参阅箴言 17:14中的警告:
纷争的开始,如同决堤的水;
所以在争执发生以前,就要制止。

弟兄姐妹,你能想象在哪个情况下,你也会和亚伯兰有相同的处理方式?你会为了维护和平而这样做吗?

箴言 20:5
人心里的谋略如同深水,
唯有聪明人能汲引出来。

这节经文确实深奥,但也很真实。有时,出于各种原因,有目标或计划的人可能会故意抛出烟幕,掩盖真相。另一方面,也有可能有些人不知道他的真正计划和动机是什么,因为被埋藏在潜意识里,或者他多年来背着一些负担。他本人并不知道这需要处理或他极需要被治愈。那些照顾他的人不知情,也不知道如何最好地帮助他。

因此,情景是一口井,水位远低于地面,因此必须使用带有长绳的水桶将水汲引出来。因此,人最真实的动机或计划是“深层的”,因为它们很难被提取。但是,有理解力和有见识的人会把它提取。

你认为自己是一个通情达理的人吗?经过培训和认证,许多人在各方面合格且知识渊博,但如今更需要的是有属灵洞察力,又真诚地爱弱势群体的人。愿上帝赐我们能力分辨是非,也赐我们牧者心肠来帮助那些有需要的人。帮助别人治愈最痛的伤口是一种崇高的志向。

箴言 20: 27
人的灵是耶和华的灯,
探照人的脏腑。

最后,鼓励大家了解上帝的话语,这样他的话将在我们的生活和那些我们想用上帝的话语触摸的生命中工作。有一些内在的事实(人的灵魂),只有主的灯才能揭发。因为上帝的话语是活泼、有功效的,是一盏灯、一道光,露出人心的深处。

愿主的光照射到我们灵魂的黑暗中,照射我们心中每一个欺骗和自私的想法。求主使我们的意图变得纯洁。 如果主揭示了不纯洁的动机,那就认罪吧。愿真理使我们自由,使恶者不再束缚我们!

今日祷告
父啊,首先我们要为严牧师侄儿的儿子Adriel 祷告。我们因你对Adriel的爱赞美你。父,你是永在的父,你赐生命。通过结合一群专业的医护人员,你带来了新希望。这些专业知识的才能也是你所赐的。我们现在为明天将为Adriel 动手术的Sivakumar和Masni两位医生及他们所领导的团队祷告。

父啊,在你里面我们有盼望,Adriel 也一样。他的父母JungYung和Siew Hup有盼望。我们祷告并将他们交托在你手里。愿他们经历你的平安。我们感谢你,并按你的旨意医治Adriel 。我们以感恩的心将荣耀归给主。

父,谢谢你今天对我们说话。除去我们所有争执、争议、和争吵的意念。愿我们常常追求与周围以及与我们经常打交道的人们和平相处。

我们慈爱的天父,赐我们属灵的洞察力,也赐我们有柔和的辨别力,使我们能够服侍在我们中间的弟兄姐妹。

最重要的是,按照你的命令,让我们彼此相爱,像你先爱我们一样。赐我们天父的爱去爱弟兄姐妹。当我们彼此服侍时,愿我们常记得,我们是被恩典所救赎,被宽恕的罪人。

最后,我们祈求主那鉴察人心的光射入我们灵魂的最深处。愿上帝的光揭发我们虚伪和自私的意图,使我们可以经常承认和处理这些罪恶。

奉主的名祷告,阿们。

巫惠如译

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