Friday, 1 May 2020

Proverbs 1:1-4 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Beginning of Knowledge
1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—

Dear brothers and sisters, We have been locked down for the last 45 days. It is my joy and privilege to daily pray for all of you and to share from Proverbs. Since the beginning of April, Pastors Wallace Ong, Cheong Cheng Cheung, Soong Kok Kee and Hon Sir Neng helped to write once a week. I am very grateful to Pastor Yang Siew Choo, of Bethel Seria, Brunei and her translating team members, Shirley Moo, Sharon Moo, Tan Yueh Fei, Jed Yong and Fu Fui. I am ever grateful God is encouraging us to learn from Proverbs to live wisely for His glory and praise. We are back to Proverbs Chapter 1. One of our church goals this year is to read a chapter of Proverbs a day.

It is amazing God created us and now teaching us how to live and what to pursue in life. The primary purpose of Proverbs is to teach WISDOM which guides us to live meaningful and purposeful lives. Proverbs is a book of comparisons between common observations of nature, concrete life images and profound truths for living. Proverbs provide simple, moral statements or illustrations, that highlight and teach fundamental realities about life. These Proverbs are short and catchy sayings which express timeless truth and wisdom. They capture our imagination and cause us to reflect and apply these divine principles to our daily living. King Solomon seek and received wisdom and knowledge from God which led him to wealth, honour and fame.

Solomon reveals to us two key principles to obey in order to be wise. The first one, is to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart’ (Pro. 3.5), and the second is, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pro. 1.7, 9.10).
The book of Proverbs 1.1-4, will teach wisdom, justice, judgement and equity.

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise. Pro. 1.2

Wisdom is the keyword in the Book of Proverbs. Here Wisdom refers to living a successful life. It is the ability to make the right judgement. Wisdom looks beyond the surface of things to go to the real nature of a thing or a given situation.
Discipline or instruction refers to moral values.

Understanding means the capacity to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, foolish or wise, what matter matters most, and what does not matter at all. To the Hebrew mind, wisdom was not knowledge alone, but the skill of living a godly life as God intended for man to live. To be wise, we need knowledge that enables us to have spiritual discernment. The book of Proverbs is not about lofty theological truths. Preverbs deal with how one makes moral choices. In the light of God’s truth, we must think, live and manage all of our daily affairs as God intended.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. Pro. 1.3

Generally, those who are wise or righteous, live longer, prosper, and experience the goodness of God and fools will suffer shame and death. However, this general principle must be balanced by the reality that the wicked sometimes prosper too, at least temporarily. The life of Job shows us that the righteous or wise or godly can experience disaster and suffering too.

Justice is translated as “doing what is right”. Justice always condemns the wicked and justifies the righteous. It knows what is right and lives it out with faithful integrity. In Proverbs, the writer teaches justice by defining what is right and wrong.
Judgment is closely linked with justice. The wise simply has the ability to make good judgment. He has the ability to differentiate right from wrong; and what is true or false.

Equity or fair: it means thinking and acting without bias, fair, impartial and even-handed. A man who is fair is not easily moved by emotions, friendships, or compensation to compromise. He doesn’t practice double standards.

You notice there are some overlapping and repetition in these four goals. It is interesting these important ethical aspects of wise living are not taught or emphasized in the world. Wise living always brings us back to the fear of God. By doing so God gives us the power to think and live rightly before God and man. DO NOT STOP reading Proverbs!

Prayer for today

Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 10.12
I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel;

For He is the living God and enduring forever,
And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,
And His dominion will be forever. Daniel 6.26

O Lord, God, let all the earth fear the Lord, Let all the people of the world in awe of You. Lord, we want to ascribe to You all glory and praise due to your Holy Name. We stand in awe in your Holy presence.

We confess to you that it takes us a long time to recognize you as the Lord of the universe and as the Lord of our lives. We have so quickly forgotten what miraculous grace you have showered on our lives. We ask for your forgiveness. Help us to remember daily to count our blessings and name them one by one.

Lord, we come to beg of you to teach us to fear you. With humility, we come to you with fear and you promise us that is the beginning of knowledge that makes us wise. Lord, our pride and arrogance often stand in the way, to seek you. We go into wandering in the desert of life. Fools ignore you but Lord we seek after you. Grant us your wisdom and strength to follow you closely today.

Lord, we bring before you all our senior citizens. Many feel the loneliness of isolation from children, and grandchildren and friends. Some of them are facing health issues, Lord, stretch out your hands and heal them. Grand them your peace and comfort, may they experience your presence daily.

Lord, we want to bring before you many of our single moms. Pray that you will give them added wisdom, strength and patience as they carry the heavy load of being both dad and mom in the home. Give them good rest that they can carry on day by day. Lord, you invite them, “Come unto to me and I will give you rest”.

Lord, I thank you for the church where we try to be on the lookout for one another during this lockdown. We are thankful you have given us the burden to look beyond our walls to see the many poor and needy in Malaysia and beyond. We thank you for those who are serving the poor among our people in the remote areas and villages in Sabah, Sarawak and in West Malaysia. We are grateful for mission partners together we are able to meet the needs of many of the poor and needy. (Mission Board and Benevolent are working with El-shaddai, HISTEAM, foreign students, mission partners in Sabah etc)

We thank you for all the dedicated frontline medical personnel and other essential workers, Lord, protect and provide for them and their families.

We want to just thank and praise you. “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good”. Psalm 107.8-9

Pastor Isaac Yim

xxx

每日灵粮
1/5/20
作者:严以撒牧师
箴言 1:1-4

1:1 以色列王大卫儿子所罗门的箴言.
1:2 要使人晓得智慧和训诲.分辨通达的言语.
1:3 使人处事.领受智慧、仁义、公平、正直的训诲.
1:4 使愚人灵明、使少年人有知识和谋略.

亲爱的兄弟姐妹们,目前为止已经是封城的第四十五天。每天能够为你们所有人代祷并分享箴言是我的荣幸和喜乐。自四月初以来,张祯祥传道, 王振威传道,韩思能弟兄, 宋国基牧师,都各自每周一次分享灵修。我也非常感谢文莱伯特利教会的杨秀珠牧师及翻译团队梁玉萍,陈月妃,巫惠如,杨仕涵和胡斐。我非常感神鼓励我们从箴言中学习,用智慧来荣耀祂及赞美祂。我们回到箴言书第一章。今年我们教会的目标之一是每天阅读一章箴言。

上帝创造了我们,现在也教我们如何活,以及在生活中要追求什么,这真是何等奇妙。箴言的主要目的是教导我们智慧,好叫我们能够活出有个有意义和有目标的生命。箴言是一本用了比拟自然界的常见事物,具体生活形象和生活真理之间的对照书。箴言提供了简单的道德陈述或比喻,并教导了有关生活的基本现实。这些箴言简短并引人注目,表达了永恒的真理和智慧。箴言也启发了我们的想象力,使我们反思这些神圣的原则并运用在我们的日常生活中。所罗门王寻求并从上帝那里获得智慧和知识,这使他也因此而获得了财富,荣誉和名望。

所罗门向我们揭示了要有智慧的两个关键原则。第一个是“你要专心仰赖耶和华”(箴3:5),第二个是“敬畏耶和华是智慧的开端(箴1:7、9:10)。箴言1:1-4节将教导我们智慧,正义,判断和公义。箴言的目的是要使人晓得智慧和训诲,分辨通达的言语 (箴1:2)。

智慧是箴言中的关键词。这里的智慧是指着活出一个成功的生命,并可以做出正确判断的能力。智慧可以看过一个事物的表面,反而智慧可以看透一个事情或事物的本质。
纪律或指导是指道德价值观。
理解是有能力区分真与假、好与坏、愚蠢或智慧、最重要的是什么、不重要的是什么。在希伯来人的心中,智慧不单单是知识,而是一个能够活出上帝所旨意的敬虔生命。若要得着智慧,我们需要有属灵洞察力的知识。箴言书不是关于崇高的神学真理。箴言涉及人们如何做出一个道德的选择。我们必须按照上帝的真理来过我们的生活和管理我们的所有日常事务。
箴言使人处事.领受智慧、仁义、公平、正直的训诲(箴1:3)。

一般来说,那些有智慧或有公义的人,寿命更长,成功,并能够经历上帝的恩典。相反的, 愚昧人通常会蒙受耻辱和死亡。可是,也不能完全这么说, 因为那些作恶的人虽过得繁荣,但只是暂时的。约伯的生命也向我们表明,义人、智慧者或虔诚的人也可能遭受灾难和痛苦。公义被定义为“做正确的事”。公义总是谴责恶人,为正义辩护。它知道什么是对的,并以诚实正直地活出来。在箴言中,作者通过定义对与错来教导公义。
约伯的生活告诉我们,义人或聪明人或敬虔人也可以经历灾难和痛苦。

审判与公义息息相关。有智慧的有能力做出明智的判断。他有能力区分是非,什么是真什么是假。
公平或公正:这意味着没有偏见,不偏不倚的思考和行动。一个公正的人不容易因情感、友谊或妥协而动容。他没有实行双重标准。 您会注意到这四个目标存在一些重叠和重复。有趣的是,世界并没有教导或强调这些重要的属灵道德和有智慧生活。智慧的生命总是使我们回到对上帝的敬畏。这样,上帝就会赋予我们能力在上帝和人类面前活得有意义。千万不要停止阅读箴言!

今日祷告

以色列阿、现在耶和华你 神向你所要的是甚么呢、只要你敬畏耶和华你的 神、遵行他的道、爱他、尽心尽性事奉他。申命记10:12
现在我降旨晓谕我所统辖的全国人民、要在但以理的 神面前、战兢恐惧、因为他是永远长存的活 神、他的国永不败坏、他的权柄永存无极。 但以理 6:26

耶和华啊,我的上帝啊,让全地都敬畏祢耶和华。让世界上所有的人民敬畏祢。主啊,因祢的圣名,我们要把荣耀和赞美都归于祢。在祢的至圣所,我们站立敬畏你。

主啊,我们向祢承认,我们花很长的时间才认清祢是宇宙之主和我们生命的主宰。我们很快的忘记了祢给我们生命带来的奇妙恩典。我们请求祢原谅。帮助我们每天能够记住和数算我们的恩典,并一一列举。

主啊,我们求祢教我们怎样来敬畏祢。我们带着敬畏的心来到祢面前因经上记着说敬畏耶和华是智慧的开端。主啊,很多时候我们因着自己的骄傲而妨碍了我们来寻求祢。我们走进了生命的沙漠。愚人无视祢,但主我们寻求祢。求祢给我们智慧和力量来跟随祢。

主啊,我们把长辈交在祢手中。他们因着要与孩子、孙子和朋友隔绝而感到的孤独。主啊,其中一些的人也在面临健康的问题,求祢伸出手来治愈他们。给他们祢的的平安与安慰,让他们每天可以经历到祢。

主啊,我们也要把我们中间许多的单亲母亲带到祢面前。祈求祢多给她们智慧,力量和耐心,因为她们在家中要担任父亲和母亲的双责任。给她们良好的休息,好叫她们可以过每一天。主啊,祢告诉她们,“到我这里来、我就使你们得安息”。

上帝,我感谢祢在这次封锁期间我们有不同的教会可以互相守望。我们很感谢祢给我们的负担,让我们能够看到在马来西亚及其他地区的许多贫困者的需求。我们感谢祢为着那些在在沙巴,砂拉越和西马的偏远地区村庄中服事的人祷告。我们也很感恩我们的差传合作伙伴可以满足许多穷人和有需要的人的需求。

我们感谢所有在前线的医务人员和其他重要工作人员,上帝求祢保护并提供给他们和他们的家人的需要。
我们要感谢和赞美祢。

但愿人因耶和华的慈爱、和他向人所行的奇事、都称赞他。因他使心里渴慕的人、得以知足、使心里饥饿的人、得饱美物。(诗篇 107: 8-9)

奉主耶稣的名祷告,阿们。
胡斐译

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