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I Kings 15 – The God, Who is Clear in Giving Reward and Punishment 列王纪上 15 – 耶和华是赏罚分明的神

Thursday, 16th September 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

When we repent and return to God in front of men, no one can accuse us anymore, and we do not have to be afraid to come to God anymore. Repentance is a powerful way to overcome the accusation of the enemy. God has already provided us the way out because He wants us to be willing to come before Him

Section One V1-8 Abijam, who was Stubborn

In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. He only reigned for three years, and his mother was Maachah the daughter of Abishalom. Jeroboam’s wife was Abishalom’s daughter, which meant he married his own cousin, and it was already a wrong start. Everything we do comes from the heart; God examines into our heart and our hearts determine our actions. Abijam’s heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. God still allowed him to reign as the king, but only for three years, whereas Jeroboam reigned for 17 years, and Solomon reigned for 40 years.

God was waiting for David’s sons to repent, but somehow, they still chose to follow the world, despite all the wicked things happening among the people. When our hearts are willing to return to God, then He will surely help us, we just need to take the first step by faith.

Section Two V9-24 Asa, who Set Apart for God

God gave Abijam three years to repent, but he didn’t do what was pleasing in God’s eyes, so very soon his son Asa took over. Asa was willing to return to God, and God allowed him to reign as king for 41 years. Asa’s grandmother was Maachah the daughter of Abishalom, if Abijam only reigned for three years then Maachah must have had great power in the kingdom during that time after Abijam passed.

Asa did not blame his forefathers for the wickedness of the kingdom, he only did what pleased God. We tend to blame others for all the wrong things happening to us, but do we declare the peace and power of Jesus and rebuke all the family curses? Do not see the power of the darkness more than the power of Jesus. Jesus has already overcome, and can we overcome this world with Him? God’s blessings left the household of Asa but when he was willing to follow David, God was pleased with him, and the breakthrough came to the kingdom of Judah. God can break all the curses from our family and forefathers, do not think we have no way out because of the sins of our family, even though Asa might not have the wisdom so great like Solomon, but God allowed him to reign in Judah for 41 years.

When we read the Bible, we must walk under the fragrance of the Tree of Life and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Asa had the heart and he acted out by faith. He banished the perverted persons from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. Also, he removed Maachah his grandmother from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah. And Asa cut down her obscene image and burned it by the Brook Kidron. Maachah had taken control of the kingdom and it would be difficult to remove her, but Asa was willing to set himself apart for God and God opened a way for him to remove Maachah and her wickedness.

Asa believed in God despite all the challenges. At the time the people in Judah were all worshipping idols and all these things Asa did would surely upset the people, especially when he removed the idol of Ashera, the idol of richness. But he did what pleased God by following what David did. We must not be tempted by the devil, don’t allow the sins of our past and of our ancestors to influence us and stop us from receiving the blessings of God. When we are weak in spirit, it’s easy for us to have self-pity and blame everything on our childhood hurts.

Asa was not perfect, there were still idols he did not get rid of, but he brought into the house of the Lord the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which he himself had dedicated: silver and gold and utensils. Men will sin and have weaknesses, if we always see the good things, we have done then we will fall. Why is it so important to repent and make atonement to God? Stop being prideful and remember that everything we do is for God and by God’s strength.

Section Three V25-34 Nadab, who Walked into a Dead End

Now Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin. Nadab followed his father and walked into a dead end, he was a great contrast to Asa, who got rid of the idols. God gave a chance to Jeroboam’s household, but Nadab did not treasure it. Nadab also had a good example of Asa, who reigned before him, to follow.

At the end, Nadab caused his own destruction. Life and death, blessings and curses have already been laid out before us. What do we choose? Do not think there is nothing we can do to change the situation around, do not blame others for our difficulties in life. God is giving us a second chance, but we must step out, declare the Name of resurrected Jesus, stay in the Temple of the Lord and love God with all our heart.

Worship: With All My Love一生愛祢 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpj6_Ivs-EM

Prayer & Pursuit

Lord, thank You for the opportunity for us to return and repent. Despite all the problems in our lives, You still love us unconditionally, let us follow You and receive the blessings of Abraham. Amen.

2021年9月16日 星期四

潘锡安牧师

在敬畏十日的最后一天,我们若能在神和人面前认罪,仇敌就不能控诉我们。当我们谦卑的时候,神就祝福我们。

一、执迷不悟的亚比央 V1-8 

亚比央在父亲罗波安死后在犹大作王,他的母亲是押沙龙的女儿玛迦,是大卫的孙辈,说明他父母是近亲结婚,由此看出他的出生已经有问题。玛迦对亚比央的负面影响很大。我们一切所做的事都是由心而发,亚比央的心“不像他祖大卫的心,诚诚实实地顺服耶和华他的神”(V3),反而像他的父亲罗波安。耶和华因着大卫的缘故,没有灭绝他的灯光,让亚比央还能做王三年。大卫也并非一生完美,神什么都知道,正如我们每个人生命中都有不好的东西,但我们若能懊悔死行,神就赦免我们,帮助我们。亚比央看到自己的国家经过那么多事情,没有悔改,还是步父亲罗波安后尘,他的恶行都被记录在历史书上了。

二、分别为圣的亚撒 V9-24

亚比央登位三年后就死了,于是儿子亚撒继承王位,“在耶路撒冷做王四十一年”。在一个越来越衰弱的国家、家族,亚撒却能比他的祖先作王时间还久,这是值得我们思考的。亚撒的“祖母名叫玛迦,是押沙龙的女儿”(V10),然而他“效法他祖大卫行耶和华眼中看为正的事”。我们的家族确实是有问题,但我们是否都把责任推到他们头上,而不会自我反省,努力改正?我们如果整天责怪我们的祖宗害我们有罪,我们其实是在藐视神给我们的权柄。我们要靠着耶稣基督的宝血得胜。基督徒软弱无力是因为只看到恶者的能力,没有看到神的大能。亚撒出生在一个充满问题的家庭,他仍然愿意分别为圣,不效法他的父亲和爷爷的恶行,而是选择效法他祖大卫。我们若能诚实认罪,就能将从小在家族中受到的负面影响从我们生命中破除。我们不仅要愿意认罪,也要活出来。亚撒虽然没有所罗门那样的智慧,没能把国家统治得像所罗门时代那样辉煌,但他愿意效法大卫的善,神就让他能作王四十一年,因为神看人不像人看人。亚撒不仅心里愿意,也在行动上悔改。他“从国中除去娈童,又除掉他列祖所造的一切偶像”,就是从所罗门的外邦妃嫔流下来的偶像;“并且贬了他祖母玛迦太后的位”,这是非常不容易的,因为“太后”的地位比王还要高,然而亚撒没有让太后继续操控自己,而是收回她的位份。

亚撒当时做这些事是很艰难的,因为那时的人都在拜偶像,他当众拆毁,可想而知会面临多大的群众压力。然而,他没有向恶势力妥协,毅然跟随他祖大卫,将几代人为了财富而拜的偶像亚舍拉都砍下(V13)。我们是否愿意定意拆毁生命中从我们的祖辈、父母、童年而来的罪和阴影?当我们愿意的时候,神会帮助我们拆毁这些历代传下来的咒诅。我们要愿意高举耶稣,不妥协于仇敌的攻击。

V14-15 人还是有软弱之处,亚撒虽然很好,“只是丘坛还没有废去”(V14)。亚撒在经过前两代的问题之后,看到圣殿的重要性,便“将他父亲所分别为圣与自己所分别为圣的金银和器皿,都奉到耶和华的殿里”。我们这些金银是要分别为圣归回给神的。

V17-24 亚撒为了跟巴沙争战,将圣殿里本来分别为圣的金银又拿出来送给“住大马士革的亚兰王”,想让亚兰王帮忙。此举成为他一生的败笔,到晚年的时候,他“脚上有病”,无法行动自如,这都被记载在圣经中(V23)。我们不要只看到自己过去做过的好的事,我们若是骄傲,就很容易跌倒。我们若愿意谦卑悔改,神会继续对我们说话。神是赏罚分明的,当我们愿意回转,他就既往不咎,饶恕我们。

三、走向末路的拿答 V25-34

耶罗波安的儿子拿答只做了以色列王两年,就结束了耶罗波安整个家族的王朝。对比当时的犹大新王亚撒除去偶像,拿答跟随的是自己的父亲的恶行。我们选择的是死亡还是复活的道路?神给拿答看到犹大王亚撒这一个很好的反败为胜的范例,他却不去学习,结果才做王两年就被巴沙谋杀篡位。不仅如此,“巴沙一做王就杀了耶罗波安的全家,凡有气息的没有留下一个,都灭尽了,正应验耶和华借他仆人示罗人亚希雅所说的话。 这是因为耶罗波安所犯的罪使以色列人陷在罪里,惹动耶和华以色列神的怒气。”(V29-30)

神给我们机会,他将生与死都陈明在我们面前,我们的选择是什么?我们很容易为自己找借口,指责我们的家庭、成长背景如何不好,但我们愿意相信耶稣基督复活的大能吗?我们是否愿意像大卫一样愿意住在神的殿中?我们愿意爱神吗?求神帮助我们警醒回转。

*追求和回应:

奉耶稣基督的名,砍断破除一切我们生命中的亚舍拉偶像,让我们不再倚靠假神求财富祝福。求神帮助我们勇敢地认罪,让从亚伯拉罕而来的祝福毫无保留的传到我们!

主 我们谢谢你给我们机会悔改、回转,我们虽然有这么多的问题,你仍然爱我们到底。让我们一起进入到你给我们从亚伯拉罕而来丰盛的祝福!