Tuesday, 29 December 2020
Title: Trusting God In The Tumult
By: Dorothy Teoh

Psalm 46

At the start of PBC’s online Christmas service on Dec 25, our elder Bryan Lee said something that I think everyone would agree with, “What a year it has been!” A tiny virus has upended everything and nations are in upheaval, he added. 

His words brought to mind Psalm 46. “Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;” said the Psalmist in verse 6. The coronavirus has caused the entire world to be in uproar. Businesses have been ravaged and even the strongest economies have stumbled.

The virus has claimed over 1.7 million lives and the death toll continues to climb. It has upended the lives of billions. Millions of children could not attend school, and parents had to work from home. Many did not even have that privilege because they had lost their jobs, or their businesses had been forced to close. 

The world is now putting its hope in vaccines that have been rolled out in various countries. Even then, there is much uncertainty. Should I take the vaccine, you may be asking yourself. And if so, which vaccine? We seem to get contradictory reports every now and then about the vaccines available. Just when you think the ground beneath you is stable, something happens to make it shaky again.

The words of Psalm 46 suggest that it could have been written at a time of crisis, like the pandemic today. Amidst the earth-shattering upheavals, what stands out is the Psalmist’s ringing declaration of faith:

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

In whom or what do we put our trust? The Psalmist had no doubt whatsoever. God alone is our refuge and strength, he said. He alone has power over nature (verses 2-3), over the attackers of His city (verses 4-5), over a warring world (verses 8-9), like our world today which is fighting an invisible enemy.

This “God of Jacob” who helps His city “at break of day” (verse 5) is the same God who caused the Red Sea to return to its place at daybreak, sweeping away the Egyptians pursuing the Israelites who had crossed over safely when God parted the waters (Exodus 14: 27).

The words “Be still” (verse 10) remind us of the words of Jesus when He calmed the storm. “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm” (Mark 4: 39).  This caused the terrified disciples to ask each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

We who have just celebrated His birth at Christmas know who He is – Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Saviour and friend. As the year draws to a close and we look ahead to a new year, what fills our minds and hearts? Is it uncertainty and fear? Take heart, our faith may be small but our God is great. He is the LORD Almighty, our refuge and strength and an ever-present help in trouble who is just a prayer away.

Prayer

Our God and Heavenly Father, we praise You that You are a great and mighty God who has shown us such love and compassion. Help us to desire to know You and Your Word better. Be our true security and our refuge and strength. Still our hearts and teach us to trust You more so that we can say as the Psalmist did, “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea”. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

每日灵粮
星期二, 2020年12月29日
标题:在动荡中信靠上帝
作者:Dorothy Teoh
翻译:陈晓佩姐妹

诗篇46

12月25日,在班底浸信教会(PBC)的网上圣诞崇拜开始时,我们的长老布莱恩·李(Bryan Lee)说了一句我认为每个人都会同意的话:“这是多么非比寻常的一年啊!” 他补充说,一种微小的病毒颠覆了一切,多国正处于动荡之中。

他的话让我想起诗篇46。诗篇作者在第6节说道:“外邦喧嚷、列国动摇。” 冠状病毒引起了全世界的骚动。企业遭受重创,即使是最强大的经济体也步履蹒跚。

这种病毒已经夺走了170多万人的生命,而且死亡人数还在继续攀升。它颠覆了数十亿人的生活;数以百万计的孩童无法上学,父母不得不在家办公。许多人甚至没有这种特权,因为他们已失去了工作,或者他们的业务已被迫关闭。

世界现在把希望寄托在已经在不同国家推出的疫苗上。即便如此,仍存在很多的未知数。我是否要接种疫苗,您可能会问自己。若要,是哪一种疫苗?我们似乎时不时地得到关于现有疫苗的相互矛盾的报告。正当您以为您脚下的地面稳定的时候,发生了一些事情,让它又再次摇晃起来。

诗篇46的字句暗示,它可能是在危机时期写成的,就如今天的大流行病一样。在惊天动地的剧变中,引人注目的是诗篇作者响亮的信仰宣言:
1神是我们的避难所、是我们的力量、是我们在患难中随时的帮助。
2 所以地虽改变、山虽摇动到海心、
3 其中的水虽匉訇翻腾、山虽因海涨而战抖、我们也不害怕。
4 有一道河.这河的分汊、使 神的城欢喜.这城就是至高者居住的圣所。
5 神在其中.城必不动摇.到天一亮、 神必帮助这城。
6 外邦喧嚷、列国动摇. 神发声、地便熔化。
7 万军之耶和华与我们同在.雅各的 神是我们的避难所。
8 你们来看耶和华的作为、看他使地怎样荒凉。
9 他止息刀兵、直到地极.他折弓、断枪、把战车焚烧在火中。
10 你们要休息、要知道我是 神.我必在外邦中被尊崇、在遍地上也被尊崇。
11 万军之耶和华与我们同在.雅各的 神是我们的避难所。

我们要信靠谁或信靠什么呢?诗人毫无疑惑。他说惟独上帝是我们的避难所和力量;惟独祂拥有能力征服自然(第2-3节)、控制袭击他所在之城的侵略者(第4-5节),并掌控一个交战的世界(第8-9节),就像今天我们的世界正在与一个看不见的敌人作战。

这位在 “天一亮” 帮助他的城市(第5节)的 “雅各的神”,就是那使红海在天一亮回到原处、使海水淹没追赶以色列人的埃及人,让以色列人在祂分开水的时候安全地过去彼岸的上帝(出埃及记14:27)。

“要休息”(第10节)让我们想起耶稣平静风浪时的话。“耶稣醒了;斥责风,向海说:‘住了罢!静了罢!’ 风就止住,大大的平静了。”(马可福音4:39)。这让门徒惊恐不已,彼此问道:“这到底是谁?连风和浪都听从他的话!”

我们刚在圣诞节庆祝祂降生的人知道祂是谁 — 耶稣基督,上帝的儿子,我们的救主和朋友。随着一年的结束,我们展望新的一年的时候,是什么填满了我们的思想和心灵?是不确定和恐惧吗?振作起来,我们的信心虽然小,但我们的上帝是伟大的。祂是万军之耶和华,是我们的避难所和力量,在患难中随时的帮助, 祂与我们只是一个祷告的之遥。

祷告

我们的上帝和天父,我们赞美祢,因为祢是一位伟大而全能的上帝,向我们展示了如此的爱和怜悯。帮助我们渴望更好地认识祢并祢的话语。愿祢成为我们真正的保障、我们的避难所和力量。求祢使我们的心平静安稳,教我们更多信靠祢,好让我们能像诗篇作者那般说:“所以地虽改变、山虽摇动到海心,我们也不害怕。” 奉耶稣的名,阿们。

 47 total views,  1 views today