Thursday, 9 July 2020
Title: Forsaken, but not forsaken
Author: Hon Sir Neng

Psalm 37

The year 2020 has taken a different direction than we expected. Australia bushfires, COVID-19 pandemic, rumours of World War 3, as well as the chaos happening in the United States now. Here in Malaysia, the disbanding of our government led to much political turmoil and instability that we are facing (and many other consequences!). This naturally raises a question: has God forsaken us to all the evil in this world?

Psalm 37 is a psalm written by David, about God’s faithfulness to His people of all ages. As we read how God is faithful, we also learn about God’s faithfulness displayed to His church through Christ Jesus. Before you jump right into this devotion, I’d encourage you to read through the whole psalm and meditate upon it before reading this devotion. This devotion is only a guide; it is not the Word of God.

This psalm contrasts wicked with righteous men. Throughout this psalm, we read that the wicked ones are on their way to judgment. This psalm tells us that they will fade like grass (v2), they will be cut off (v9), they will be no more (v10), their arms will be broken (v17), and they will perish and vanish (v20). These are all acts of God’s judgment. God will definitely bring judgment upon them, at His appointed time. It is decisive and definite.

However, the righteous have a different outcome. Their outcome is one of security and safety. Throughout this psalm, the righteous will dwell in God’s Promised Land (v3, 11, 22, 29), delight in abundant peace (v11), are upheld by the Lord (v17, 24), have a heritage that remains forever (v18), will not be put to shame and will have an abundance (v19, 25, 26), and they will not be forsaken, but preserved (v28). Most importantly, verse 39 and 40 tells us that God is their salvation, stronghold and refuge because God will deliver them!

How should we respond? This psalm calls us to trust in God (v3 & 5). As cliché as it sounds, this is the only antidote to all our worries, especially when we feel forsaken. Would we rather pray or dwell excessively in our worries? This does not mean we do not do our part. But in doing our part, we trust in His outcome (v5: commit your way to the Lord).

In trusting Him, we find our delight in Him (v4). There is no better way to delight in God than praying, reading and meditating on God’s Word. Reading news is helpful, but dwelling in it negatively will only fix our eyes on the situation instead of on God. We are to also be still, wait upon Him (v7 & 34) and not fret (v7b) over all the evil around us. God will bring His judgment soon!

Lastly, we are to refrain from anger in order to forsake wrath and prevent us from evil (v7). At the same time, we are to turn away from evil and do good (v27). It is bad enough living with all the evil in this world. Doing “evil” to right an “evil” will not solve the problem of evil. The only way is for us to trust in God’s judgment and to do what we, Christians, are called to do: to let our good works shine (cf. Mt. 5:16 Rom 12:21).

Prayer

God will never forsake His people. Those whom Christ died for will ultimately find their home in heavenly Zion (the true Promised Land). Though we might face problems now, we can be assured that we can trust in Him because He will NEVER forsake us. God has sent the ultimate blow to evil: the cross. As we pray, may we take some time to search the worries (especially if we feel forsaken by God) of our hearts and ask God to help us fix our gaze on Christ and to respond according to this passage.

每日灵粮
星期四,2020年7月9日
标题:被抛弃但未被抛弃
作者:韩思能

诗篇37

2020年的发展方向与我们预期的不同。有第三次世界大战,澳大利亚丛林大火,新冠肺炎,以及目前在美国发生的混乱情况。在马来西亚,我们政府的解散导致我们面临着许多政治动荡和不稳定(以及许多其他后果!)。这自然会引起一个问题:上帝离弃了我们吗?

诗篇37是大卫写的诗篇,讲述了上帝对各个年龄段的子民的信实。在探索神如何忠实的同时,我们也可以了解神通过基督耶稣向他的教会表现出的信实。在您全神贯注于此之前,我鼓励您通读整个诗篇,并在念诵此诗之前对其进行沉思。这种奉献只是一个指导; 这不是上帝的话语。

这诗篇与恶人与义人形成对比。在整篇诗篇中,我们读到恶人正在走向审判。诗篇告诉我们,他们会如草快被割下(第2节),必被剪除(第9节),归于无有(第10节),膀胱臂必折断(17节),他们会灭亡和消失(20节)。这些都是上帝的审判行为。上帝一定会在他指定的时间对他们进行审判。这是决定性的和确定的。

但是,义人有不同的结局。他们的结果是安全保障之一。在整个诗篇中,义人将承受土地(第3、11、22、29节),以丰盛的平安为乐(11节),被耶和华扶持(17和24节),产业要存到永远(18节),必不致羞愧(19、24和25节),不被撇棄,而永蒙保佑(第28节)。最重要的是,第39和40节告诉我们:义人得救是出于耶和华,在患难时耶和华作他们的避难所。

我们应该如何回应?这诗篇呼吁我们相信上帝(第3节和第5节)。听起来陈词滥调,这是我们所有忧虑的唯一解药,尤其是当我们感到被抛弃时。我们宁愿祈祷还是过多地担心?这并不意味着我们不尽自己的本分。但是在尽自己的本分时,我们相信他的结果(第5节:当将你的道路交托托耶和华,并倚靠他,他就必成全)。

相信他,我们就会在他与获得喜悦(第4节)。没有什么比在神的话语上祈祷,阅读和沉思更好的方法来获得喜悦。阅读新闻是有帮助的,但消极地关注新闻只会使我们而不是上帝关注局势。我们也要静止不动,等候他(第7节和第34节),不要为周围的一切烦恼而恼(7节)。因为上帝很快就会带来他的审判!

最后,我们要避免发怒,以免发怒并阻止我们犯罪(第7节)。同时,我们要远离邪恶,去做善事(27节)。生活在当今世界,拥有所有的邪恶已经够糟糕了。用邪恶纠正邪恶并不能解决邪恶问题。唯一的方式是让我们相信上帝的审判,并做我们基督徒所应做的事情:让我们的善行样照在人前(马太福音5:16,罗马书12:21)。

祷告

上帝永远不会放弃他的子民。那些为基督而死的人最终将在天堂的锡安(真正的应许之地)找到自己的家。尽管我们现在可能面临问题,但我们可以放心,我们可以相信他,因为他永远不会抛弃我们。上帝给邪恶带来了最终的打击:十字架。当我们祈祷时,愿我们花一些时间去寻找我们内心的忧虑(尤其是那些被上帝抛弃的忧虑),并祈求上帝帮助我们仰望基督,并根据这段话作出回应。

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