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I Kings 21 – Return to God 列王纪上 21 – 回转归向神

Tuesday, 28th September 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-3 Naboth’s Vision

Ahab was not happy when he heard something he did not like to hear, this was how he responded to God’s Word for him. He did not like what God’s prophet told him, so instead of changing his way, he put his focus on something he wanted, the vineyard of Naboth. Ahab was king for so long, but why until this time Ahab saw this vineyard? When we don’t want to face the problems of our lives, we tend to change our focus and look at the things that we don’t normally look at. Ahab said it himself that he had even better vineyard, so why was he so determined to take Naboth’s vineyard? Because he was angry at God and what the prophet told him.

Naboth feared the Lord, he must have sought God about selling the land to Ahab, and he knew it would not please God to give up on the land, even when Ahab was willing to pay for it. Naboth treasured the inheritance from God, he knew it could not be bought with any money. Do we also treasure the spiritual inheritance we have from God? Do we put God first, people next then the earth? Naboth was not afraid of people, even the king! He chose to fear the Lord even if it would cost his life.

Section Two V4-16 Ahab’s Vision

Through Naboth, God was talking to Ahab, to let him know what he did would displease God. Again and again, God gave Ahab opportunities to return, but again and again Ahab was upset about God’s teaching. Ahab lay down on his bed, turned away his face, and would eat no food. He let his emotions influence him, instead of doing what a king should do, he chose to not face his own problems. His wife Jezebel came along with another temptation, she told Ahab that as a king he should be able to do whatever he wanted.

Jezebel represented a controlling spirit, she told Ahab he was the king but instead she made herself king over Ahab, she allowed Ahab to believe that she could solve his problems. Ahab thought his problems were solved, but Jezebel actually used this opportunity to act on behalf of Ahab and plotted to kill Naboth. When the king of the nation was wicked, the people under them would also become wicked. The elders and nobles who were inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them. The people knew what Jezebel did was wicked, but they were afraid and was willing to come under the controlling spirit. So nobody came up against Jezebel and Naboth.

Section Three V17-29 Jehovah’s Vision

Ahab could have just taken over the land of Naboth by force, but he didn’t because he knew from the beginning it was not right. It seemed that even though Naboth took courage and rejected Ahab’s offer, he was still killed. But did Naboth really die in vain? We saw many people died in the Bible because of their righteousness, and we felt it was unjust. But do we believe that God always reigns in this life and afterlife? Even though Naboth died but his name was remembered even until now as a righteous person. Jesus Christ only lived on earth for 33 years, but His Name will be remembered forever. If we hold onto our lives too tightly, we will lose life, whereas if we are willing to let God take over our lives, we will receive it.

After Naboth died, God talked to Ahab again through Elijah. Even though Ahab was upset, but at the end he did not kill the prophets of God. He was upset about Elijah and Naboth, but he did not kill them because in his heart he feared the Lord. But he listened to Jezebel and allowed her to carry out her wicked plans, even though he knew it would displease God. Adam did the same, he chose to listen to Eve instead of God, he did not put God first in his life. In the Garden of Eden, Adam saw the tree every day and he must have wanted to eat the fruits, but he did not dare to because he knew it was not right. However, when Eve gave the fruit to him, he accepted it instead of taking the responsibility as the authority and correct Eve’s actions.

God rules and reigns to the end. Ahab could have inherited the blessings of Abraham, but because of his decisions to allow Jezebel’s wicked ways, his descendants were cursed. We must see how many blessings and favours we have from God, do not take them for granted. When we don’t listen to the Word of God, the curses will also come to us, because of our rebellious and wicked way. When Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. He changed his attitude completely, not only he repented by mouth, but also but action. As a king, Ahab’s actions would be visible to the people of the entire nation, therefore by humbling before God and before people, he showed his attitude of true repentance and God’s mercy came upon him.

Sadly, Ahab’s wickedness still affected his future generations. We must always examine our ways, don’t take God’s blessings for granted. So, God’s favours will continue to be with us and our future generations.

Worship: Live for Revival https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjeC1HCkuZE

2021年9月28日 星期二

潘锡安牧师

无论高山低谷,神都在我们身边,只是我们是否愿意去看神。

一、拿伯的看见 v.1-3

V1-2“这事以后”指的是20章41-43节所讲的事,亚哈听了那个先知的话之后就“闷闷不乐”回到他的宫殿(20:43),他没有问先知如何悔改,而是离开先知,因为他不想去面对神要他看的,只看到自己想要的东西。一波未平一波又起,亚哈这时看中了拿伯在耶斯列的一个葡萄园。当我们选择逃避神的时候,试探就来了。亚哈作王这么多年,偏偏这个时候才看到一直在他王宫附近的葡萄园。亚哈自己有更好的葡萄园,却想要拿伯的葡萄园,其实是因为他对之前跟他预言的先知生气,不开心为什么神要用他去代替别人的命(20:42)。亚哈于是要跟拿伯用更好的的东西来交换自己想要的葡萄园。

V3 对拿伯来说,他的王亚哈这样跟他说话,既是一个诱惑,也是一个威胁。拿伯有询问神,所以他的回答在圣经原文是说“耶和华禁止我将我先人留下的产业给你”。当年约书亚带领以色列人进入迦南地后,他们在分地时特别规定后人不可挪移地界,因这些是先人留给他们的产业。我们都是蒙召的人,又是如何对待我们属灵的产业?我们是否像拿伯这样先神后人再大地?拿伯面对可以处死他的以色列王,他选择敬畏神而不是惧怕人。

二、亚哈的看见 v.4-16

V4-7 神已经借着拿伯对亚哈说话,让亚哈知道这是一件神不喜悦的事。神一直在给亚哈机会。之前神借着一位神人跟亚哈说话,他就闷闷不乐,现在他在听到神借着拿伯给他的教导后,他的反应还是“闷闷不乐”,并且选择逃避(“转转脸向内”),没有过一个国王该过的生活(“也不吃饭”),陷入悖逆和忧郁里面。这个时候,试探就来了。王后耶洗别过来找他说话,似乎是关心他,于是亚哈就告诉她自己心里的想法。耶洗别就提醒亚哈自己作为国王的权力,让他振作起来,又说“我必将耶斯列人拿伯的葡萄园给你”,意思是说她可以拿走亚哈的烦恼。亚哈虽然是王,但耶洗别却做了亚哈的王。耶洗别的灵就是操控的灵,她让我们以为我们只要听她的就可以将我们对神、对权柄的不满解决。

V8-14 耶洗别“托亚哈的名写信”,背着亚哈召聚“与拿伯同城居住的长老贵胄”来陷害拿伯。“耶斯列”城名字的意思是神的审判官,然后当地掌权的人听到之后,没有看重神的审判,反而二话不说就与耶洗别同流合污。“宣告禁食”的人本来该是祭司,且应该是为了懊悔死行,表示人对神的降服,然而现在这些人用禁食来论断拿伯,又将拿伯以莫须有的罪名处死。拿伯被打死后,那些人就回去跟耶洗别汇报,其实他们都知道这件恶事是从耶洗别而来,但他们怕她,不想得罪这个在背后操纵的王后。

V15-16 如果亚哈真的要这个葡萄园,以他的身份,他可以直接取走,但他没有那么做,因为他知道拿伯是敬畏神的人,所以他知道这件事情是不应该做的。神纪念亚哈,一直在提醒他,但亚哈一次又一次的拒绝神,以致招致对自己后代的咒诅。

三、耶和华的看见 v.17-29

敬畏神的拿伯被冤死,这看似不公不义,但他在地上的死从神国度的角度看是否真的是咒诅呢?耶稣基督、司提反以及其他使徒都是殉道离世,我们是否相信神有更好的安排?我们看重的是地上的好处还是神在永恒里为我们存留更好的?当年在以色列国的人最后都会灭亡的,但是否每个人的死都有意义?在圣经中很多“神人”都没有名字,然而这个耶斯列人拿伯的名字被记载下来,正如我们的主耶稣基督虽然被钉死在十字架上,但几千年来一直被众人记念、学习。当我们愿意放手的时候,神反而给我们生命。亚哈不愿意放手他生命中的享受,反而失去他最在乎的东西。

V17-20 神差派先知以利亚来跟亚哈王说话。亚哈一看到以利亚就说他是“我仇敌啊”,因为以利亚常常讲不让亚哈王开心的话。亚哈心里其实是敬畏神的,他一直没有动用自己的权力把这些属神的人杀死。亚哈知道自己所要的是不对的,然而,他选择随从自己的情欲,听耶洗别的话,让耶洗别替他行出那些邪恶的事。这就好像亚当在伊甸园时,没有选择神而是选择听妻子夏娃的话。亚当其实每一天都看到分辨善恶树,他肯定想吃上面的果子,但他不敢直接违背神的命令,直到夏娃诱惑他吃的时候,他就去吃,因为这样就可以将责任推到神赐给他的妻子身上。一个丈夫作为一个家的遮盖,面对试探的时候,要选择站出来做该做的处理,而不是被耶洗别的灵胜过。我们每一天来到晨祷的时候,是否觉得我们的牧者讲的话都是在针对我们,也将我们牧者当作我们的“仇敌”?不要因为自己不能行出神的教导而产生负面情绪就把责任推到别人身上。

V21-22 神给亚伯拉罕的应许是后裔多如海边的沙、天上的星,然而在这里神对亚哈说他要将对亚伯拉罕的应许从亚哈家收回来。神是慈爱的,但他也是公义的。在伊甸园里的分辨善恶树是属于神的,不属于人。分辨善恶树不是对我们的诱惑,而是代表神掌权。孩子是神给我们的产业,是神应许给亚伯拉罕的祝福。我们怀孕的时候,是否愁眉苦脸?是否想到怀孕后没有流产、能生出健康的宝宝其实是神的恩典?耶和华宣判他会“从以色列中剪除”亚哈王所有的男丁,使他绝子绝孙,就像“尼八的儿子耶罗波安的家,又像亚希雅的儿子巴沙的家”,因为亚哈所做的事是抵挡神的,惹他发怒。

V23-26 对于耶洗别,神也说“狗在耶斯列的外郭必吃耶洗别的肉”,其他属于亚哈的人 – 包括那些耶斯列城的长老贵胄 – 都死无葬身之地。这样惨烈的结果,连耶罗波安和巴沙都没有,因为他们两个还不认识神,但亚哈认识神却选择听王后耶洗别的话。亚哈因为放纵自己的情欲,就“行了最可憎恶的事,信从偶像”。

V27-29 亚哈听了这些话,心里敬畏神,就“撕裂衣服,禁食,身穿麻布”,在行动上表明自己的认罪悔改。一个王,不穿紫色外袍,却在众人面前穿奔丧的“麻衣”,一个属神的人是不害怕在神和人面前认罪的。当他这样回转时,耶和华就对以利亚说:“亚哈在我面前这样自卑,你看见了吗?”“自卑”的原文是完全的死去, 于是神说,当亚哈“还在世的时候,我不降这祸。到他儿子的时候,我必降这祸于他的家”。很可惜,亚哈虽然救了自己,但因为他一次又一次选择不听神借着先知跟他说的话,选择自己的情欲,失去了神给亚伯拉罕的祝福。

我们要常常鉴察我们所走的道路,不要将神的恩典视为理所当然。神并非要操控我们,而是他知道,他所给我们的路是祝福我们一代又一代直到万代的路。

*追求与回应

主啊,我们这一生就要为你而活。很多时候我们知道我们所想所做的是不对的,我们在态度上得罪了你,我们一方面想要事奉你,一方面又想要事奉人。我们觉得只要做这一点点就好了,但主你里面是没有黑暗的,求主光照我们,让我们将心底深处的黑暗完全交给你,定意单单为你而活。让我们一起祷告,将我们里面一切的黑暗都交给神。

主,感谢你的怜悯一直与我们同在。我们将一切的黑暗交到耶稣的十字架前,求主的宝血洁净我们,我们愿意谦卑回到你面前,不放弃,求帮助我们眼目定睛在你身上,昼夜思想你的话语,活出你的话语,让我们更多像你!