Thursday, 2 July 2020
Title: “The Lord Reigns” So what?
Author: Hon Sir Neng

Psalm 97

When it concerns God, we tend to ask “so what?” Often times, we do not voice it out, but its reflected in our lives. We live the “so what” attitude; we take God for granted, despite knowing Him and all He has done. We hear things such as “God is great” or “God is the God of the whole universe” and we tell ourselves that it is cliché. It shows that we do not respond to Him rightly. However, this psalm calls us to think, to sing, as well as to respond appropriately.

Verses 1-5 describe God’s rule. Because of His rule, the earth rejoices and the coast lands are glad (v1)! In verses 2-5, we see vivid descriptions used to describe God. We see righteousness and justice as the very foundation of His throne (v2), fire burning all around (v3), God’s lightning that lights up the world and causes the world to tremble (v4), and even mountains would melt before God’s presence (v5)! I would encourage us to imagine these descriptions so that we can better understand what the psalmist is telling us.

Verses 6-9 speak about the response by God’s creation. “The heavens proclaim His righteousness and all the peoples see His glory.” (v6) Those who worship idols are put to shame, because all idols are worthless. They are nothing more than what God created them to be (i.e. stones, metals) (v7). If all of creation display and showcase God’s glory, why is it that we, as His people, do not do the same?

Zion, the City of God and a place where God’s people dwell, alongside with God’s people are glad and rejoice over God’s righteous judgment over all the earth (v8). This speaks about the response by His redeemed people over God’s act of decisive judgment throughout history. God’s people can be rest assured that God is protecting them from harm by His acts of judgment against those who oppose His people.

Verses 10-12 then end with a call for God’s people to live in light of this reality. They are to hate evil. God also preserves the lives of His saints and delivers them from evil (v10). This is the response that we ought to have. At the same time, God also fills His people with light and joy. Here we are reminded of God’s protection and blessings for His people. Though God’s protection for us might not be what we expect most of the time, we can be assured of our ultimate security. Just as the people of God in the Old Testament rejoiced and gave thanks to God for their security in the physical Promised Land (Zion), likewise, we rejoice and give thanks because of our security in the heavenly Zion.

Prayer

Here are a few points for us to consider and to reflect as we pray. Do we take God for granted, by thinking/saying “so what” toward all of His greatness? Here we are called to celebrate and rejoice His rule over creation and His protection over His people. No matter how bad our current circumstances are in this current life, we can be assured that our security is found in Christ, where we will never be separated from His presence! This is the reality that we live in. Yet, are we taking this for granted and saying “so what”? If this is our attitude, may we also ask God for forgiveness and ask Him to restore to us the joy of His salvation in our lives.

每日灵粮

星期四,2020年7月2日

标题:“主统治” 又怎样?

作者:韩思能

*诗篇97*

我们认为上帝是理所当然的吗?通常,我们不说出来,而是反映在我们的生活中。尽管知道他和他所做的一切,我们本着将上帝视为理所当然的态度生活。我们听到诸如“上帝是伟大的”或“上帝是整个宇宙的上帝”之类的话,我们告诉自己这是陈词滥调。它表明,我们没有正确向他回应他。但是,这篇诗篇呼吁我们思考,唱歌以及做出适当回应。

第1-5节描述了神的控制。由于祂的控制,愿地快乐,愿众海岛欢喜(第1节)!在第2-5节中,我们看到生动的描述被用来描述上帝。我们读到公义和公平是他宝座的根基(第2节), 烈火在他前头行(第3节),他的闪电光照世界,大地看见就震动(第4节),甚至诸山见耶和华的面,就是全地之主的面,就如蜡熔化(第5节)。我们可以想象这些描述。我鼓励我们所有人想象,以便我们可以更好地了解诗篇作者所表达的。

第6到9节谈到了上帝所创造的回应。诸天表明他的公义,万民看见他的荣耀(第6节)。那些崇拜偶像的人将蒙羞,因为所有偶像都一文不值。因为它们只不过是上帝创造它们的东西(即石头,金属)(第7节)。如果所有的创造物都彰显上帝的荣耀并彰显上帝的荣耀,那为什么我们作为祂的子民却不这样做呢?

锡安,神的城市,是神的子民居住的地方,与神的子民一起感到高兴,他们为神对全地的公义审判感到高兴(第8节)。这是关于他的救赎子民对神在整个历史上的果断审判的反应,这保护了他的子民免受伤害。上帝的子民有保障,上帝通过对那些反对祂子民的人的审判行为来保护他们。

然后,第10到12节以呼吁神的子民根据这一现实生活为结尾。他们要恨恶。上帝还保留了圣民的生命,使他们脱离邪恶(第10节)。这是我们应有的回应。与此同时,散播亮光是为义人,喜乐归于心里正直的人。上帝也使他的子民充满光明与喜乐。在这里,我们想起了上帝对他子民的保护和祝福。尽管在大多数时间里上帝对我们的保护似乎并不像我们期望的那样,但我们可以放心我们的终极安全。正如旧约中的上帝百姓欢喜并感谢上帝在有形的应许之地(锡安)中为他们的安全一样,由于我们在天堂锡安的安全,我们同样欢喜和感谢。

*祷告*

这是我们祈祷时要考虑和反思的几点。我们经常把上帝视为理所当然吗?在这里,我们被召唤来庆祝和庆幸他对创造的控制和对他子民的保护。不管我们当前的状况有多糟,我们可以放心,我们的安全是在基督里找到的,我们将永远与他的同在分开!这是我们生活在现实中。但是,我们是否将这些视为理所当然?如果这是我们的态度,我们是否也可以祈求上帝的宽恕,并祈求上帝使我们重获他生命中救赎的喜悦。

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