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I Kings 9 – God’s Mercy, Men’s Weakness 列王纪上 9 – 神的怜悯 人的软弱

Tuesday, 7th September 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

At the beginning of the Jewish New Year, God shows us hope. We’re all sinners, everyday we make mistakes, and we must understand our weaknesses, do not regard ourselves more than we should. We should not be afraid to admit our mistakes because our God is a merciful God. Again and again, God gave grace to David’s household. His patience for His beloved ones is greater than we can ever imagine.

Section One V1-9 God’s Faithfulness 

Solomon built the Temple of God as well as his own palace. He completed everything he wanted to do. Not only he married Pharaoh‘a daughter, but he also built the walls around the land and built his own palace. Even though God is merciful, He still remembers our mistakes and wants us to right our wrongs. He will not allow us to be wilful. The first time God revealed to Solomon was when he didn’t do what David asked him to do, instead, he was doing whatever he wanted to do. After four years when Solomon became king, God revealed to him and asked what he wanted.

When God reveals to us, what does He trying to tell us? Being a prophet is to help the Apostle to build churches, not for people to recognise our gifts. God appeared to Solomon for the second time, 16 years after He first revealed Himself. God was giving Solomon a second chance to return. 

V4  “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in the integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments.” God was not congratulating Solomon for his accomplishments, instead, God was reminding Solomon, how He gave Him wisdom to rule over Israel, how God was dwelling in the Temple, and how God was watching over his every action. We need to know our God hears our prayers but it’s not always good when what we asked for was given to us. When God gives us what we want, do we give back what God wants? To obey God’s Word and to keep His covenant. 

Section Two V10-25 Men’s Wickedness

In the Bible, God continues to use Solomon building the Temple to remind him to be alert and not sin against God. Solomon had an agreement with Hiram, who provided him with the materials to build the Temple. In return Solomon gave 20 cities to Hiram but Hiram didn’t like them. V13 Hiram said to Solomon, “What kind of cities are these which you have given me, my brother?” These cities were far away and Solomon thought they are useless to him. But Solomon looked down on the promised land of God. It was given by God and should not be given away to others! 

We are easily compromised by this world, we follow what the world is doing and we forgot to look after what God has given to us. We are enslaved by this world, and we cannot walk in God’s freedom. 

V15 “And this is the reason for the labor force which King Solomon raised: to build the house of the Lord, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.” Solomon even built cities for his horses, chariots, food, etc. Deuteronomy 17:16 says, “But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’”

Solomon did many things to strengthen himself and to receive security in this world. He did not remember God’s Word and put it in his heart. Deuteronomy 20:16-18 says, “But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.” God knew our weaknesses and He taught us how to stay away from the temptation of these people.

Solomon didn’t follow God’s instructions instead he let the Gentiles become his slaves. God has special plans for each one of us and we must put our flesh desires to death, do not let our wilfulness takeover what God wants us to do and miss out on the blessings God will give to us.

Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh and built a palace for her. II Chronicles 8:11 says, “Now Solomon brought the daughter of Pharaoh up from the City of David to the house he had built for her, for he said, ‘My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy.’” Pharaoh’s daughter worshipped idols, so he waited for 24 years after the palace was built so Solomon could relocate her then give offerings to God.

For 24 years, Solomon allowed the Israelites to make offerings on the hill because he knew his problem and tried to use his own way to deal with it. Solomon had wisdom, knowledge and was well respected by all. Yet he tried to use his own strength to solve his problems. We ask for wisdom but how do we use this wisdom? David left the whole kingdom for Solomon, but did he really treasure what he had?

Section Three V26-28 Blessings Remained

Despite Solomon’s blindness to his sins, God’s grace was still with him. God showed Solomon how much wealth and abundance He could give! We thought we’ve given up a lot for God, we thought we are at loss, but we didn’t use our spiritual eyes to see. God’s given us more abundantly than we can ever imagine! But can we see it? Every morning when we come to morning devotion, what is our attitude? We must treasure the time we can spend in the morning devotion and know that what a blessing it is to be able to dwell in Him!

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

Prayer & Pursuit 

The world gives us fear, but God gives us peace, let us come to God by faith.

Lord, You remind us how weak we are, we try to rely on our own understanding to solve our problems. We want people to like us and to support us, so we can feel secure. Lord, forgive us for not setting ourselves apart from the world for You. But You are gracious and You’ve already prepared abundance for us. Lord, let us dwell in You, to do what pleases You. Amen.

2021年9月7日 星期二

潘锡安牧师

列王纪这卷书不断提醒我们,人是什么样的人,神又是什么样的神。我们每一个人都是罪人,即使是基督徒也会不断犯错,我们要谦卑,不看自己大过所当看的。当我们知道神是怜悯的,我们就不怕认错。

一、上帝的信实 V1-9

神有怜悯,但圣经也很真实的记载人所软弱跌倒的地方。在第1节讲到所罗门做了“一切所愿意”的,包括娶法老的女儿和建造自己的王宫。这些都完成后,神就第二次来跟他显现。神第一次跟所罗门显现的时候,所罗门已经登基4年,做了很多自己觉得对的事,没有听从父亲大卫的吩咐,所以神来问他到底要什么(王上3)。有时候我们会很兴奋于神跟我们说话,但当神跟我们说话的时候,我们也要省察自己,神为什么跟我们说话。我们的教会是五重执事的教会,先知有能够听到神话语的恩赐,但这恩赐不是为了炫耀自己的经验或能力,而是有责任帮助使徒建立教会。神等待了16年,在给了所罗门一切智慧聪明并做完所有自己想要做的事情后,再次跟他说话,也是最后一次说话。神给了所罗门第二次回转的机会。

V3-9 神并没有恭喜所罗门。他告诉所罗门,所罗门的祷告都被神垂听了,神的“眼”(代表泉源)和神的“心”(代表他的灵)都在圣殿这里。神提醒所罗门,若他听从神的话,就有祝福;若他和他的子孙不听从,他们就会经历一系列的灾难,包括流浪各地,连所建的圣殿都被别人嘲笑,被笑话的原因是因为他们离弃神。有时候当神回应我们的祷告,我们不要得意忘形。神是怜悯、听我们祷告的,但我们是否听神的话呢?神最后这一次跟所罗门说话,所罗门没有听从,死后他的整个国家就被分裂,最后走向败亡。

二、人的诡诈 V10-25

V10-14 圣经不断提醒读者,所罗门造了圣殿后又造自己的“王宫”。我们的权柄提醒我们生命过去的问题,是帮助我们能避免再次犯错。所罗门给了推罗王希兰“二十座城”作为推罗二十年辛苦提供建殿材料的报酬。这些城邑在神的应许之地内,但所罗门觉得它们没有什么用处,连希兰都看不出这些城有什么价值。希兰很聪明,虽然接受了自己觉得没有用的城,但还是给所罗门付了价钱 – 说明他是用钱把属于耶和华的地给买走了,以后以色列人就不能把它拿回去了。这就是所罗门轻看了神所给以色列的应许之地。我们现在是如何对待我们的信仰呢?是否只是周日去教会的时候过得像基督徒,平时一周六天仍然过着为奴为仆的生活,让世界用工价买走我们的时间?

V19 所罗门王甚至建了一座城来养马,让人看到自己的“丰功伟绩”。但申命记17:16-17里神对摩西曾说:“只是王不可为自己加添马匹,也不可使百姓回埃及去,为要加添他的马匹,因耶和华曾吩咐你们说:‘不可再回那条路去。’ 他也不可为自己多立妃嫔,恐怕他的心偏邪,也不可为自己多积金银”。我们不是靠车靠马,而是倚靠耶和华方能得胜。然而,所罗门不断为自己囤积世上的财力势力,没有谨遵父亲的遗命,没有专心倚靠神。

V20-21 神给所罗门一切智慧、聪明、知识,但他没有认真读神的律法。在申命记20:16-18里说道:“但这些国民的城,耶和华你神既赐你为业,其中凡有气息的,一个不可存留, 只要照耶和华你神所吩咐的,将这赫人、亚摩利人、迦南人、比利洗人、希未人、耶布斯人都灭绝净尽, 免得他们教导你们学习一切可憎恶的事,就是他们向自己神所行的,以致你们得罪耶和华你们的神”。神并非残忍,而是神知道我们的软弱,教我们如何处理问题。所罗门不理会神的命令,没有除灭境内的那些本该被除灭的外邦人,反而留下他们当作“服苦的奴仆”。所罗门知道若用以色列人做这些服苦的事,以色列人必定反抗,所以他收买人心,让本族的人轻松。我们作基督徒是否只想要过轻松安逸的生活?我们是否能跟这个世界分别为圣,是否能与罪隔绝,还是把问题都推到别人身上?我们是重生得救的人,不要做体贴肉体的事,而是“攻克己身,叫身服我”。求神给我们智慧,走在他的教导里面,进入神应许给我们万代的祝福。

V24 法老的女儿在所罗门建造好米罗之后才从大卫城搬走。历代志下8:11记载:“所罗门将法老的女儿带出大卫城,上到为他建造的宫里,因所罗门说:‘耶和华约柜所到之处都为圣地,所以我的妻不可住在以色列王大卫的宫里。’”法老的女儿是拜偶像的,所罗门知道如果妻子住在这里,这里就不能有神的同在,所以他等到第24年在米罗建好之后才献圣殿。在这么多年间,圣殿只是摆设,众百姓也还是在各处自己烧香献祭。我们有时候知道自己的问题,是否就让这些问题留在我们生命中,想要靠自己的力量来解决之后在来到神面前?神给所罗门很多恩典,也一再提醒他当做的事,很可惜,所罗门如此有智慧,却没有听从神的教导。我们所要的聪明、智慧、知识,对我们有什么用呢?所罗门没有好好用神给他的一切恩赐,就把父亲留给的大好江山给败坏了。

三、恩典的存留 V26-28

虽然所罗门不堪、被罪蒙蔽,但神的恩典仍在。所罗门以“一百二十他连得金子”卖掉了属神的城邑(V14),神却还让他“得了四百二十他连得金子”(V28)。有时候我们不愿意为神放下我们自己看重的东西,以为我们若是放手就会有损失,但我们不知道其实神能够给我们的祝福是更丰盛的,多过我们所求所想。神知道我们是软弱的,若有一天不亲近神,我们就会跌倒。我们每天来参加晨祷是什么心态呢?是抢恩典的心态,还是满心抱怨?让我们为我们能一生一世住在神的殿中而感恩。

*追求回应

我们是否愿意一生一世住在耶和华的殿中,愿意分别为圣住在神的应许中吗?世上有很多拉扯,我们软弱,担心跟从神我们会贫穷,我们里面害怕,没有安全感,一只手抓着神又一手抓着世界。但神对我们说要尽心尽力爱主你的神。神给我们的是最好的,求神给我们信心,战胜我们的软弱,神知道我们软弱,每早晨给我们灵粮,让我们刚强壮胆。求神给我们信心拿走里面的恐惧、害怕。让我们在敬畏十日的第一天,反省自己,一起祷告。

谢谢主对我们的提醒,求神赦免我们的倚靠世界倚靠自己,赦免我们没有活出分别为圣的生命。主你是有恩典的神,在你满有丰盛的祝福。求神帮助我们一生一世住在你的里面,单单做讨你喜悦的事!奉耶稣基督的名祷告,阿门!