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I Samuel 1 How to Choose the Better Blessings? 撒母耳记上 1 – 如何选择上好的福分

Tuesday, 9th March 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

I Samuel 1 How to Choose the Better Blessings?

From the books of I and II Samuel, we see it happened in a generation of wilfulness. These 2 Books recorded how the Israelites moved from a generation of judges to a generation of kings.

Section One: V1-8 The Choice that Belongs to the World

At the beginning of the Book, it talks about Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. Elkanah and his forefathers were chosen to serve the Lord. The men of Israelites were required to go up to the mountain (God’s chosen place of worship) three times a year, but Elkanah only went up once a year.

Furthermore, as a person who served the Lord, Elkanah should not have two wives. It was a generation of wilfulness and people did whatever they seemed fit. From what Elkanah said to Hannah (V8) we can see that he did not value the promise from God – children are the inherence given from the LORD. Elkanah’s wife Hannah did not have any children so he used his own way to have children from another wife.

The same thing happened for Abraham, when Sarah was unable to give birth, he had Ishmael through the maidservant. Children are our inheritance, but when we try to obtain the inheritance with man’s ways, not with God’s way, then blessings will turn into curses.

When we use man’s way to do things, we are telling God that we can do anything by ourselves, not relying on God. When Elkanah decided to have two wives, quarrels came to his family.

Section Two: V9-11 The Choice that Belongs to God

Hannah was a contrast to Elkanah. She knew that the children are God’s inheritance, and she knew her responsibility was to gain inheritance from God for her family. Even though she was loved by her husband and she had everything she needed, but she knew her position and duties as the wife. She cherished at God’s promises for her family. Even in a generation of wilfulness, Hannah was able to not follow the world, but set apart and seek to receive God’s promises.

If we want our church and our family to be blessed, then we must value the positions that God has given us in the church and in the family. If we want to be blessed then we must cherish our current position, not overdo or underdo what we are called to do!

Section Three: V12-28 Respond with God’s Way

Hannah knew her husband’s wilfulness and she knew she was not blessed by God, so she chose to fast and pray. She still carried on with her life, but did not stop praying. When we fast, do we also pray? We can see Hannah did not stop praying, she spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.

What is our attitude towards our fasting and praying? Do we just want to lose weight and still enjoy the entertainment from the world during our fasting? Or do we come to God with a broken and contrite heart to be convicted of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment? Do we show people that our God is the Great and Almighty God? Our sins have stopped us to come before God, but our hearts are blind and we cannot see it, so we need to ask God for His mercy and to help us know deeper about our life.

V16, We would become anxious when the devil attacked us, and if we listened to the devil and reacted with our way, then we will be defeated, and our enemy would accused us saying that we are not worthy to receive God’s promise. Hannah was able to respond with God’s way, not with her own way, even though people may accuse her and treat her wrongly. We should learn from her, and let God be our Refuge.

V17-20, From the beginning God did not say a word to Hannah, but she was willing to listen and believe in Eli, the high priest, and responded with her action. She humbled and listened to the authority God gave her on earth, chose to believe and receive joy.

The secret is that she put her faith not on Eli this person but on God. She knew when Eli said the word, if it was not from God, then Eli will pay for the price. Therefore we should also listen to our authority because all authorities are from God.

V22, Hannah was a noble woman, she knew what the things she should do to please God are. Even when her husband was not aligning with God, she was able to make the right decisions as she listened to God. Husband and wife should both align with God, not forcing one to align and listen to the other. Husband needs to take up the position and responsibilities as the covering, but wife also needs to always align with God! When one is weak, the other should seek God even more earnestly with fasting and prayers and let God make things happen.

Pursuit & Respond

Lord Jesus, we want to respond to You in Your Way! You rule and reign in our lives and Your promises for us are all true! Please give us the heart of Hannah to pray to You, to seek You, to follow You and to pursue Your Promises!

In our lives, we face many problems, troubles, hardship, and we tend to use our own ways to respond. We forgot to seek You first, Lord, and we gave up too easily. Forgive us for not praying and fasting in Your Way, but in our wilfulness. Bind the lies, attacks and accusations from the devil, we long to live in Your Promises and Blessings!

Thank You Lord, help us to cherish Your Promises for us and to see lightly the things of this world. May the LORD bless us and keep us, may His face shine upon us and be gracious to us. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon us and give us peace. Shalom. In the name of Jesus our Lord, Amen!

2021年3月09日 星期二

-潘锡安牧师-

撒母耳记上 1

如何选择上好的福分

在之前的士师世代各人任意妄为,与我们现在的时代也很类似。撒母耳记的记载(在圣经原文中没有分上下,是合在一起的一卷书)让人看到以色列如何从士师世代转入王朝世代。

一、属世界的选择(v.1-8)

V1, 本书一开始提到的以利加拿其实是利未人可拉的后裔,住在以法莲山地。在这一节提到他和父辈的5代人,都是在以法莲被拣选的服事神的人。

V2-3,按着律法,以色列的男子当时每年都要登耶和华的山去朝拜神,但以利加拿一年只上去一次。并且,他作为利未人还娶了两个太太,由此可见当时的世代的人非常的混乱和自以为是。

V4-5, 妻子哈拿不怀孕,丈夫以利加拿就娶了第二个太太来帮生孩子,同样的故事也发生在亚伯拉罕和撒拉的身上。儿女是神给我们的产业,但当我们用自己的手段尝试要得到这些的时候,反而没有给自己带来祝福。

V6-8,用人的方法去拿神的应许- 就好像亚伯拉罕当时从夏甲生儿子,结果夏甲就轻看了主母撒拉,最后是家里没有和平。V8 – 从以利加拿对哈拿说的话可以知道,他没有看重神给人的应许 – 就是儿女是神给他们的产业,觉得是靠自己可以有小孩。他身为利未人,却没有照着神借摩西传讲的教导而行,任意妄为 – 每年本来要3次去朝拜神,但他只上去一次,妻子不生育,他就娶另外一个女人来生。这没有带来祝福,反而是咒诅。

二、属神的选择(v.9-11)

哈拿与她的丈夫是一个很大的对比 – 她是一个才德的妇人,知道儿女是从神而来的产业,知道自己位份的责任是为丈夫家留产业,而不只是留恋在丈夫的爱。哈拿看重神给她的应许。虽然她活在一个混乱和任意妄为的世代,但是她愿意分别为圣,不随波逐流,我们能够像她这样知道自己的位份,以神为乐吗?我们若想让我们的家庭和教会蒙福,就要看重神所给我们在家里或教会的位份,忠心尽责,也不要想做超过我们现在需要做的。

三、以神的方法回应(v.12-28)

V12-15, 哈拿遇到了生活、家庭上的问题 – 她知道她的丈夫在任意妄为,所以她选择禁食祷告。在禁食祷告时,我们一样也是在像平时一样生活,但要不断祷告。V13-哈拿“心中默祷,只动嘴唇,不出声音”-她禁食的时候是祷告的,我们禁食的时候是否只是不吃东西而没有祷告?我们是否能为罪为义为审判用一个忧伤痛悔的灵来面对禁食祷告?还是在禁食祷告期间仍然开心出去玩乐?我们禁食祷告的时候是否能让人看出我们在敬畏神?不是带出忧愁的灵,而是让人感觉到神是大而可畏的。要来求神给我们指引知道如何禁食,更多省察我们的生命,让神的怜悯来到,使我们与神之间没有罪的阻挡。

V16,“。。。我因被人激动,愁苦太多,所以祈求到如今。”哈拿面对问题,没有用人的方法去解决。仇敌会用尽方法来激怒我们,我们不要轻易被打倒,要让神成为我们的避难所,即使这很不容易。当我们靠着血气来回应恶者的激动时,我们就会被打败,他就会反过来控诉我们,说我们不配得到神的应许。然而哈拿就是选择用神的方法-禁食祷告-来回应。

V17-20,神没有跟哈拿讲任何一句话,但是她愿意谦卑相信她的权柄大祭司以利说的话,以行动来表明自己的信心,就开心回去吃饭了。她相信的不是以利这个人,而是神,因为她知道,如果这不是出于神,以利就要负责任。所以我们也要听从地上的权柄,因为没有权柄不出于神。哈拿单纯相信以利给她的祝福,开心地回去吃饭,与丈夫同房,就生了一个儿子,又在孩子断奶时把他献给耶和华。

V21-28,哈拿作为一个才德的妇人不是只有祷告。她在丈夫叫她上示罗献祭时知道时候还没有到(孩子那时还没有断奶),她知道自己的丈夫混乱,所以她只听神的话。丈夫和妻子是二人成为一体,不是谁一定要听另一个人,因为我们不要对准人,而是对准神。丈夫作为家庭的遮盖,就要勇于承担责任。丈夫或妻子若软弱无力,另一半就更要对准神,用禁食、祷告、祈求来让神出手。

求神帮助我们选择那上好的福分,有勇气面对我们的黑暗,出黑暗入奇妙光明,重新建立我们与神的关系。

*追求

感谢主引导我们,让我们不靠自己的方法回应你,而是用你的方法。让我们看重你的应许,活在你里面。让我们有一颗哈拿寻求神的心,按照神的方法来得着神的应许。帮助我们祷告的时候不看重自己的需要或是从世界来的一切,而是看重神的心意,与神的关系,和从神而来的应许。让我们在祷告中鉴察自己的心,我们是活在世界还是神的心意里?祷告时是否有为罪为义为审判的心,还是任意妄为?是否对神渴慕?

主啊,当我们遇到各种问题、磨难、羞辱,我们好像先用自己的方法而忘记先来寻求你。当祷告没有马上蒙应允时我们轻易放弃。我们没有如同哈拿一样去禁食祷告,求主饶恕我们这样的任意妄为和混乱。求圣灵光照我们,打破我们一切与这个混乱世界不敬虔的连结,打破我们倚靠自己没有倚靠神的这些属世界属肉体的罪恶,捆绑恶者攻击我们的谎言,宣告我们是属于主的,求主释放我们,让我们用神的方法得着属天的祝福,活在神的恩典中。

求主帮助我们看重你给我们的应许,轻看这个世界。奉主的名祝福弟兄姐妹:愿耶和华赐福给我们,保护我们,愿耶和华使他的脸光照我们,赐恩给我们,愿耶和华向我们仰脸,赐我们平安。Shalom! 奉耶稣基督的名祷告。阿们!