Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Proverbs chapter 26, the major theme is on the nature of a fool.

  1. Describes the nature of a fool. Pro. 26.1-12
  2. Describes the nature of a sluggard or a lazy person. Pro. 26.13-16
  3. Describes a person who stirs up controversy or quarrel. Pro. 26. 17-22
  4. Describes a hypocrite. Pro. 26.23-26
  5. Describes a fool who is caught by his own trap that he sets for others. Pro. 26.27-28

Proverbs 26:23-26 The Message (MSG)

Smooth talk from an evil heart
is like glaze on cracked pottery.
Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
all the while conniving against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice,
eventually his evil will be exposed in public.

One of the most painful experiences in my life working on mission fields, is trusting the wrong person. Directing the ministry of Friends of Pastors International for the last 20 years, has taken me to many poor countries in the region. One of the most welcome ministries we offer to the poor pastors and leaders is Micro Financing. Over the 20 years, I have encountered two distinct cases of trusting the wrong persons. Is painful!

Solomon is describing the lips and heart of this person is like the cheap clay vessel covered with lovely glaze. It looks good on the outside but is cheap clay on the inside. This was what Jesus did when he was exposing the Pharisees and the Scribes during His earthly ministry. They were hypocrites, like filthy cups, were washed clean on the outside but dirty on the inside Matt. 23.25-26. They were hypocrites, like the whitewashed tomb that appeared nice and clean on the outside but inside was a rotting corpse Matt. 23.27-28. Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of these religious leaders who put on a good holy front but the inside are all filth.

“Burning lips” Solomon illustrate the same point of hypocrisy, these men speak with great zeal and literally on fire in talking about the things of God and spiritual things or beautifully crafted words of affection, love and friendship. However, Solomon warns us that this man has a “evil or wicked heart” This evil or wicked heart seeks to sweet talk and convince people.

Proverbs 26:23-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Like a [common] clay vessel covered with the silver dross [making it appear silver when it has no real value]
He who hates, disguises it with his lips, but he stores up deceit in his heart. When he speaks graciously and kindly [to conceal his malice], do not trust him,
For seven abominations are in his heart.
Though his hatred covers itself with guile and deceit,
His malevolence will be revealed openly before the assembly.”
The Star paper reported several cases of Casanovas who cheated many women of tens of thousands of Ringgits. Solomon’s warning is very straight forward. Don’t fall for sweet, gracious, and charming talk! Don’t believe him! This man is a hypocrite; a liar; and a deceiver. Beware of preachers too!

“Seven abominations” that’s how Solomon describes the heart of a hypocrite or the wicked. Seven in the Bible is used symbolically as complete or fullness. “Abominations” means disgusting, detestable; repulsive; that which is offensive. The two words together, means the wicked heart is full of evil thoughts, intentions, designs and motives. The hypocrite will cover all these evil intentions with a lovely mask.

This hypocrisy has creeped into our lives too. We have perfected the use of a mask in our daily life. All our lives are full of scars, pains and insecurities but we have learned to hide them so well with beautiful veneer that is acceptable to the world. This is a tragedy of living. Our values are so much fashioned by the glamorous world of success. The so-called success of the world is all about the now and what meets the eyes. It is temporal and fleeting. Real life begins when we dare to take off the mask and remove the veneer and boldly receive freedom, honesty and meaning in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Way. the Truth and the Life.

Pray for today

Our heavenly Father, we thank you in spite of the dark clouds of the Corona Virus which has brought about the downturn of all the economic affairs of the world. We are grateful there is still light in you in the so- called dark time that covers the world is just a passing phase. It will not last forever.

We are thankful, for this unusual time that we are forced to take a closer look at life and it’s meaning. What is actually most precious and valuable in life. Relationship has taken on new meaning. We appreciate the intimate time we can spend with you and with our spouses and our children, which we have taken a back seat. It used to be our bank account; the mighty dollar is top priority in our lives. In just two to three months, we experienced great losses from our investments, businesses, our jobs.

Thank you, Lord, you have reminded us of who You are during this time of Covid-19. We thank you for selfless frontline workers who make such great sacrifices to save lives everywhere. The doctors, nurses, all types of medical personnel and a host of other essential workers. We have forgotten many real heroes and heroines that have contributed so much to enrich our lives of which we have taken for granted. Our fathers and mothers; our teachers; pastors/elders, farmers, police and many who serve us daily.

Lord, we are thankful, you allow us to take off our masks. It is frightening to do that. We dare to because you have accepted us as we are. You have given us confidence to be ourselves rather than trying to be someone else. We ask for your forgiveness for this sin of hypocrisy, dishonesty and living with double standards. Help us to live in confidence with the new identity we have in Jesus Christ, who makes all things new when you come in to reside in our hearts.

Lord, teach us to live with love, kindness, generosity, honesty and simplicity. We thank you for making this type of lifestyle possible through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This kind of lifestyle will result in unity and harmony in our homes and in our church.

We pray and ask in Jesus’ Mighty Name! Amen.
Pastor Isaac Yim

每日灵粮
26/5/20
作者:严以撒牧师
箴言26:23-26

箴言第26章的主要主题是愚昧人的性质。

  1. 描述愚昧人的性质。箴26:1-12
  2. 描述懒惰的人的性质。箴26:13-16
  3. 描述煽惑争端的人。箴26:17-22
  4. 描述伪君子(假冒为善的人)。箴26:23-26
  5. 描述一个为别人设置网罗却自己受害的人。箴26.27-28

箴言26:23-26
23火热的嘴,奸恶的心,好像银渣包的瓦器。
24怨恨人的,用嘴粉饰,心里却藏着诡诈;
25他用甜言蜜语,你不可信他,因为他心中有七样可憎恶的。
26他虽用诡诈遮掩自己的怨恨,他的邪恶必在会中显露。

我在宣教工场上最痛苦的经历之一就是信任了错的人。作为“国际牧者的朋友”机构(Friends of Pastors International)20年的主任,我有机会去到不少贫穷的国家。我们机构提供的筹资微化管理,是贫穷牧者领袖们最欢迎的事工之一。在过去的20年中,我遇到了两个独特的“信任错人”的案例。很痛苦!

所罗门形容一个人的嘴和心像便宜的瓦器,表面包上美丽的银渣。瓦器外表漂亮,却是低价值的陶瓷。耶稣在世传道期间也同样显露了文士和法利赛人。他们是假冒为善的,他们如肮脏的杯盘,杯盘外面洗净了,里面却盛满了勒索和放荡(马太23:25-26)。他们如同粉饰的坟墓。外面好看,里面却装满了死人的骨头和一切的污秽(马太23:27-28)。耶稣指出了这些虚伪的宗教领袖,外表虔诚,内心却全是污秽。

所罗门也用“火热的嘴”指出伪善的人,这些人热情洋溢地说话,热心的谈论上帝和属灵的事,精心制作有关爱与友善的话语。但是,所罗门警告我们这类人内心邪恶。这种邪恶的心善长利用甜言蜜语说服人。

马来西亚星报曾经报道好几个好色男人骗钱案件。所罗门的警告非常直接。不要被甜言蜜语、亲切迷人的话语而被骗!不要相信这类人!这些人是伪君子、骗子。也请小心注意传教士!

所罗门描述伪君子和邪恶的人的内心为“七样可憎”。圣经中“七”象征完整或完全。 “所憎恶的”是指令人恶心的、可憎的、丑恶的、令人反感的。“七样可憎”就说明了内心充满恶念、诡诈。伪君子会用可爱美丽的面具遮盖所有这些恶念。

这种伪善也已经渗入了我们的生活。我们在日常生活中已经完善了使用面具的技巧。我们的一生充满了疤痕,痛苦和不安全感,但我们学会了用社会公认的漂亮单板隐藏这一切。这是生活的悲剧。世界的辉煌成就塑造了我们的价值观。世界所谓的成功关乎眼前的一切。这都是短暂的。只有在我们愿意摘下面具、拆掉单板勇敢地接受耶稣基督里地自由、诚实和意义时,我们才真正开始体会生命。耶稣是唯一的道路、真理、生命。

今天的祷告

我们的天父,在这新型冠状肺炎病毒与经济衰退的乌云之下,我们仍要感谢祢。我们感恩,在这所谓黑暗时期中,在祢里面仍有光明,这只是一个将要过去的阶段。

我们为这非常时期感恩,这段时间让我们不得不仔细寻找生活及其意义,何是生命中的最珍贵。人与人的关系有了新的定义。我们感谢祢给我们机会陪伴配偶和孩子们的亲密时光,我们时常没有把陪伴家人当着最重要。我们曾经把银行帐户当成最重要;钞票是我们生活中的优先。但在短短的两三个月内,我们的投资,业务和工作受了巨大的损失。

主我们感谢祢因祢在这疫情中提醒我们祢是谁。我们为在世界各地挽救生命的前线工作人员感谢祢。医生、护士、各类医务人员和许多其他不可少有的工作人员。我们已经忘记了许多真正的英雄,他们为我们的生活做出了巨大的贡献,之前我们把他们当着理所当然。这些人包括我们的父母、老师、牧师、长老、农民、警察和许多每天为我们服务的人。

主啊,我们很感恩,祢允许我们脱下面具。脱下面具显露真实的自己是一件困难的事。我们勇敢因为祢已经接受了我们。祢赐给我们信心做自己,而不是假装做别人。我们恳求祢赦免我们虚伪、不诚实和双重标准生活的罪。主当祢进入我们的心,祢使一切更新。帮助我们以信心活出我们在耶稣基督里的新身份。

主啊,教导我们以爱、恩慈、慷慨、诚实和朴素过我们的生活。我们感谢祢通过圣灵的居住使这种生活方式成为可能。这种生活方式将导致我们的家庭和教会有团结与和谐。

我们奉主耶稣得胜的名求,阿门!

杨仕涵译

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