ADDRESS

20 Norman Spencer Dr
Auckland 2104, NZ

I Kings 8 – Return, Repent, God Listens 列王纪上 8 – 回转 悔改 神垂听

Friday, 3rd September

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

According to the previous chapter, we come to know that Solomon brought the Ark of God to the Temple of God 20 years after Solomon started building the Temple. Solomon had been doing what he thought he should do as a king. He was observing David and preparing for what he wanted to do when he became king. The first thing Solomon did when he became king was to marry the daughter of Pharaoh because he was afraid of Egypt. Then he built walls around the city to protect himself. He also used the first few years to gather the people he trusted to become his officials. In the first four years, Solomon was using his own knowledge and wisdom to do the things he thought are important to do.

Solomon used 7 years to build the Temple of God, and 13 years to build his and his wife’s palace. After these 20 years, even though people came and praised the glory of the Temple, but somehow Solomon knew something was not right. The Temple was built by foreigners, it was glorious and splendid from the outside but empty on the inside. We know Solomon asked God for wisdom, because he wanted to be able to judge the people. He knew even though at the time there was no enemy from outside, but there were a lot of things regarding people he had to deal with. When we are at work, we might be very successful, but when we face issues of men, the problems will emerge. We might be very good at talking about what we can do, but fail when facing the issues of people.

When Solomon realised he needed the wisdom to deal with people’s problems, he asked God for it. And when God gave him wisdom, then he started the building of the Temple of God. After he build the Temple, he then started building palace for himself and for the daughter of Pharaoh. After building everything, Solomon finally remembered the Ark of God and he decided to dedicate the Temple to God.

Section One V1-11 Humble and Let God Come

Solomon brought up the Ark of God from Zion during the Feast of Tabernacles. It was a festival to commemorate Israelites living in the tents in the wilderness. And Solomon chose this day to dedicate the Temple of God, God’s dwelling place. After 20 years, Solomon returned and repented from doing things in his own ways. No matter how glorious the Temple was, without God’s dwelling, it would only be a building. 20 years there was no dwelling of God in the Temple, people praised Solomon’s wisdom, but it was only the outward behaviour.

When we are willing to humble before God, to return and His presence will be with us. When His glory comes, nobody can do anything anymore, but to stand and be filled with the Spirit of God. We must stop doing what we think is important, because when God’s glory comes, He will do the Work, not us.

Section Two V12-21 Humble and Admit God’s Establishment

Solomon talked to the whole Israel that it was God’s promise for David. It was God, who established the Temple, for the sake of David. Finally after 20 years Solomon learnt this lesson, he humbled in front of the people and admitted it was all God’s doing because of David. 436 years after the Israelites entered into the Promised Land, David had the heart to build the Temple of God. God was pleased with David but he didn’t want him to do the work. Humility means to follow God’s instructions, not doing what we think we should do. God didn’t let David build the Temple and David humbled himself and passed down this job to his son Solomon. 20 years after the building of the Temple, Solomon humbled himself and uplifted his father David.

Section Three V22-53 Humble and Admit the House of Prayer is Crying out for Mercy

Solomon knew God didn’t have to live in a physical building, but the Temple of God created a place where men encounter with God. God has chosen a place for us to commit and to have encounters with Him. Therefore we should not be like a pot, which will never grow up and is always being moved around. Instead we should be like a tree, planted in the soil, never be moved and never be shaken. We come to church not just to look for a place of comfort, but to believe that when God leads us to a church, He wants us to take roots, be buried like seeds, and grow into a forest.

Solomon finally returned 24 years after he became the king, and God’s presence was with him. Solomon talked to God as well as to the Israelites that even though we fell, when we turn back, God will give us a second chance. God has mercy, grace, and compassion. We must know the importance to be in the Presence of God, do not let it go!

When we are willing to humble and pray for ourselves, our family, our church, our nation, and God will surely listen! Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow but we know God’s promise will never change, as long as we are willing to raise our hands in front of the Temple of God. God knows our hearts and will respond to our prayers.

Section Four V54-66 Humble and Respond to God by Action

Let our hearts be loyal to God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments. Solomon totally humbled himself before God, he was willing to surrender and make offering to God. Solomon made a great offering willingly because he wanted to show his response by action. When we take the action of faith, to surrender totally before God, then God’s favours will come to us.

The fruits we are bearing show our hearts, what fruits do we bring to people? Not fear or burdened but joy and thankfulness. God is a good God, He is full of mercy and grace. Let God give us this faith to be willing to stay in His presence and live for Him all our lives!

Worship: All of My Days https://youtu.be/WU29vMFH1Vw

Prayer & Pursuit

Dear Lord, we want to seek You, to dwell in You all of our days. Lord we are Your beloved children and You are the God, who keeps Your covenant and promises for us. Lord, we come before You, to humble ourselves and admit our sinful nature. Listen to us oh Lord, get rid of our past mistakes and heal us. Let us receive this unchanging love from You. Bless us and bless this land, God defend New Zealand, let our nation experience Your glory again. Amen.

2021年9月3日 星期五

潘锡安牧师

本章开始讲到的“那时”原文也有“二十年”的意思(8:1)。所罗门登基后的头4年先是用自己的聪明知识做了许多他自己觉得重要的事(王上3:1-4)才来建造神的殿。他知道凭自己的能力只能做到如此,若要真正治理好以色列,唯有谦卑求神帮助,给他智慧。他用了7年时间建立宏伟的圣殿,让人在看到圣殿后赞叹所罗门很厉害,之后又花13年的时间造自己的宫殿,前后花花了共20年。所罗门心里其实是虚的,到这时他知道要遵行父亲大卫王吩咐他的话才能有神的同在和祝福。圣殿建好后,虽然外表辉煌,里面却还是空的,直到第二十年才将神的约柜运上来(8:1)。

王上3:7讲到所罗门跟神说自己是“幼童,不知道应当怎样出入”,虽然前面提到他用尽自己的能力行事,但在第9节讲到他需要神的智慧来治理国民,不然民众不服他,可能会推翻他的政权。很多时候人在职场上做事很成功,但当他面对人的问题时,他就跌倒了,因为没有从神而来的智慧。所罗门知道神智慧的重要,才跟神求,就开始建圣殿,却顺便把建圣殿的材料和人工也用来建自己的宫殿。当我们有从神而来的智慧能力资源的时候,我们是否也会顺便用来完成自己的事情?

一、谦卑让神进场 8:1-11

V1-2 建殿二十年后的“那时”,所罗门把圣殿和自己的宫殿都建好了,他就把以色列的长老和首领在住棚节前招聚上耶路撒冷来。住棚节记念以色列人出埃及后在旷野中扎营的日子,代表神的主权、同在和大能。所罗门选在在这个时间将约柜请进圣殿。

V3-5 会幕是圣殿建造之前代表神同在的地方。对比王上第三章4节的记载的所罗门在“丘坛”所献的祭物的数目,现在建殿之后所罗门和会众一同献祭,“多得不可胜数”。当所罗门用自己的聪明行事时是跟着这个世界的方式来做事,而有了神的智慧后才知道要回到神的约柜献祭。所罗门在二十年后也学到了谦卑。

V6-11 一个无论多宏伟的地方,若没有神同在,它就只是一个建筑物。“约柜里唯有两块石版,……除此以外,并无别物”(V9)- 其它的东西其实不重要,最重要的是神跟以色列所立的约。 当我们愿意谦卑让神进场,除他以外,并无别物,才能经历神荣耀的同在。我们的身体是神的殿,我们是否能被神的云彩充满,还是一直在做自己的事情?当神的荣光进来的时候,连祭司都无法做事了!让我们不要只是埋头做自己觉得重要的事,因为在神荣耀的同在中,他会亲自为我们动工。

二、谦卑承认神的建造 8:12-21

所罗门跟以色列全会众说:“耶和华以色列的神是应当称颂的!因他亲口向我父大卫所应许的,也亲手成就了”(V15 )。他承认是神亲手成就他向大卫所应许的事情。所罗门在建殿二十年后才愿意在人的面前承认这一切是神亲手所做。他也才开始跟民众解释事情的来龙去脉(V17-19)。神喜悦大卫要为他建圣殿的心,但大卫不被允许这样做,所以建殿的使命才传到所罗门这里。我们不要按照自己的意愿来为神做事,要谦卑跟随神的话。如今因所罗门愿意在人前承认是神的成就,人就不再看到所建圣殿是所罗门个人的荣耀。我们要谦卑承认神的建造。

三、谦卑承认是祷告的殿 是呼求怜悯的 8:22-53

V27 所罗门有从天上来的智慧,所以他知道天上还有天,在地上所建的殿其实是不够神居住的,但在地上所建的殿是神与人会面的地方。在神为我们拣选与他相会的地方,我们不要成为一个盆栽被人搬来搬去 – 盆栽永远长不大,只能留在屋子里被人观看,我们要成长为像千年巨木一样,不惧怕外面的狂风暴雨,甚至被人刻一下也没关系。我们来到教会不是选择一个我们自己觉得舒服的地方,而是愿意选择埋在这里,生根发芽,长成千年巨木,最后彼此成为不畏风吹雨打的森林。

登基后二十四年的所罗门知道当人谦卑回转,耶和华就与他同在,垂听他的祷告:

V33-34 当人失败了,回转寻求神的时候,神就垂听他们的祷告。我们来到教会不只是唱唱歌交朋友,我们还要在这里经历神的医治和恢复。我们要谦卑呼求神的怜悯,得到神的同在和祝福,不轻易放手。

V37-40 我们现在所经历的新冠疫情就是“瘟疫”。或许我们现在来参加晨祷的只有十几个人,但在圣经里说哪怕是“一人”向神认罪悔改,神会垂听我们的祷告。我们在封城期间不是每天坐在家里没事做,而是要更谦卑来为着我们个人、家庭、教会、国家向神祷告。没有人知道明天如何,但我们知道神的应许千古不变,只要我们向神的殿祈求,神“是知道人心的,要照各人所行的待他们”。我们要谦卑,不要欺骗自己,不要等到好像约拿被抛在海中那样危机的情况才来悔改。

三、谦卑用行动回应神 8:54-66

V58-61 “所以你们当向耶和华我们的神存诚实的心,遵行他的律例,谨守他的诫命,至终如今日一样”- 所罗门在说这句话的时候,完全降服在神的主权之下。

V62-66 当我们愿意降服在神面前时,我们要与“众民一同在耶和华面前献祭”。所罗门在二十四年前献的祭物只是一千只。现在献的牛羊都是上万只。当所罗门在神面前用行动完全谦卑、回转的时候,在“第八日,王遣散众民,他们都为王祝福”。民众没有看不起所罗门,反来爱他。谦卑悔改带来的是平安祝福。当我们走在生命树的道路,结出的果子会让人“心中喜乐”,充满感恩。

神是有怜悯有恩慈的,求神给我们信心在神的同在中生活,不是一段时间,而是一生一世住在神的殿中。