Thursday, 21 May 2020

Proverbs 21:3, 27

What does it mean to live for God? The list goes on and on and it will never end. There are many ways which we can live for God. But in these two verses that we will be reading today, the author helps us to see how one ought to truly live for God in light of one’s worship towards God. To phrase it differently, how are we to live our lives in order for God to say “I approve?”

The one thing in common for these two verses is on the topic of sacrifice. The Old Testament Christians worshipped God through sacrifices. Unlike us today, sacrifice is one of the biggest act of devotion and piety towards Yahweh. They are to do so in faith, trusting and revering Him as their Lord who brought them (and their fathers) out of Egypt and also making them His own people. Sacrificing animals have their basis on the final plague, where the sacrificial lamb becomes their “substitute.” So that was the worship instituted to them by God.

However, these two verses was a wisdom saying with a reminder to the Israelites of what it is to truly worship God as they bring their sacrifices. Verse 3 says “To do righteous and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” From the first glance, it seems to give the idea that sacrifices are “bad” and it is useless. But if we are to examine it carefully, the aim of this proverb is to help them see that a genuine sacrifice (or worship) towards God would lead one to do righteous and justice. To put it in more modern day terms, there is no point if we lift our hands during worship when we do not do righteous and justice.

The reason is because Yahweh is a righteous God, and He is a God that is just. True worship for the Old Testament believers was not just limited to bringing sacrifices to Yahweh. Rather, it involves every area of their lives, like doing righteous and justice. If they only worshipped God with sacrifices and do not do what is right, they are merely going with the motions. Of course, Solomon calls us to exercise wisdom and not to allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking we are worshipping God while our lives speak the total opposite.

Verse 27 also says “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.” This verse helps us see how an evil person’s sacrifice is an abomination to the Lord. It is basically saying God abhors or hates worship that is not genuine. This is because this is not how worship should be. But not misunderstand this as God does not desire sacrifice as a whole. Rather, genuine worship and piety require one’s acts within daily lives to be aligned with their act of worship. In other words, the worship we give towards God must be aligned with the way we live our lives. It cannot be separated from one another and it should never be.

In conclusion, are we offering true worship before God? Do we lift our hands and sing aloud on the weekends while our lives throughout the week is lived differently, where we do not display any signs of holiness and love for God by loving those around us? There are many more examples, but we know ourselves best. It is easy to just worship God on weekends and live another set of lives throughout the weekday. This form of worship and piety is unacceptable before God. As we take some time to reflect on our lives and pray, may we ask His Spirit to work in us to examine our lives.

Hon Sir Neng

xxx

每日灵粮
21/5/20
作者:韩思能弟兄

箴言21:7; 7
3 行仁义、公平比献祭更蒙耶和华悦纳。
7 恶人的强暴必将自己扫除,因他们不肯按公平行事。

为上帝而活意味着什么?例子不胜枚举,清单永远不会结束。我们可以有很多方式为上帝而活。但是,在我们今天将要阅读的这两节经文中,作者帮助我们从敬拜的观点来看一个人该如何真正为上帝而活。換句话说,为了让上帝说 “我赞成” , 我们该如何生活?

这两节经文的共同之处是关于献祭的话题。旧约时期的基督徒通过祭物敬拜上帝。与我们不同的是,献祭在当时是对耶和华的爱和虔诚最大的行为之一。他们凭着信心如此行,信靠和尊崇祂为主,因祂曾带领他们(与祖先)出埃及并使他们成为祂子民。牲祭是因最后一灾而开始的,在那里,牺牲的羔羊成为它们的”替代品”。此后,他们以这方式敬拜上帝。

但是,这两节经文是明智的,提醒以色列人何谓在献祭时真正敬拜上帝。第3节说: “行仁义公平比献祭更蒙耶和华悦納”。乍一看,似乎可以认为献祭是 “不好的“,沒有用的。但是,如果我们仔细地硏究,那么这句箴言的目的是帮助他们看到向上帝真正地献祭(或敬拜) 会使人们行仁义和公平。用更现代的话來说,如果我们不行仁义和公平,那我们在敬拜中举起双手是毫无意义的。

原因是因为耶和华是公义的上帝,也是公平的上帝。对旧约信徒而言,真正的敬拜不仅限于为耶和华献祭。相反,敬拜包含生活的各个方面,例如行仁义和公平。如果他们只以献祭敬拜上帝,却沒有做对的事,那他们就是在敷衍了事。当然,所罗门呼吁我们运用智慧,不要自认为是在敬拜上帝,而生活却完全相反。

27节还说 : “恶人的强暴必将自己扫除,因他们不肯按公平行事。” 这节经文帮助我们看到上帝恨恶恶人的祭物。基本上,这是在说上帝厌恶或憎恨不真实的敬拜。因为这不是敬拜应有的方式。但请不要误以为上帝不喜悦我们献祭。真正的敬拜和虔诚是需要人们在日常生活中的行为与他们的敬拜行为保持—致。換句话说,我们対上帝的敬拜必须与我们的生活方式保持—致。两者不能被分隔,也永远不该被切割。

总结,我们有在上帝面前献上真正的敬拜吗?在这整个星期,我们是否在周末举手,大声唱诗,平日却过着完全不同的生活?没有透过爱护我们周围的人而表现出対上帝的圣洁和爱的迹象?还有更多的例子,但我们最了解自己。在周末敬拜上帝并在工作日过着另一套生活很容易,然而这种敬拜和虔诚的形式在上帝面前是无法被接受的。当我们花一些时间反思自己的生活并祷告时,让我们祈求圣灵在我们里
面工作,监察我们的生活。

胡赐良 译

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