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I Samuel 6 – The Glory of the LORD, the Ignorance of Men 撒母耳记上 6 – 耶和华的荣耀 人的无知

Wednesday, 17th March 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

I Samuel 6 The Glory of the LORD, the Ignorance of Men

In I Samuel 5, we saw the Ark of God brought disaster and destruction to the Philistines. They tried to avoid this problem but at the end, after seventh months they decided to face it. For seven months, they were in pain and sickness. The Philistines thought they were on the winning side, who defeated the Israelites and captured the Ark of God, but in fact, without Israelites having to do anything, they became defeated.

The actions of the Israelites showed they did not know God, they did not know the Torah, the Word of God, and they became ignorant. The Israelites used the Ark of God as a ‘weapon’, and thought as long as they brought it along, they would win the battle. But here we see that no matter how ignorant men are, our Lord our God will still be glorious. He does not need us to glorify Him for Him to be glorious.

Section One: V1-9 The LORD at the Place of the Philistines

The LORD is not the God of Philistines, therefore when He was at their place, fear came upon the Philistines, the people worshipping idols. They did not want the God of Israel to be with them and they wanted to send Him back to Israel. They saw their god fell and became broken, but they still rejected the God of Israel, because they worshipped the idols and they were fearful.

So the Philistines consulted their priests, who did not worship God but somehow they knew what to do. They knew they offended God and had to repent by giving a trespass offering. They were on the winning side but at the end they had to repent! God does not want us to be fearful, but by love, we can offer the best of us to God and people can see our love for God is real!

A lot of time when we fast and pray, we request God to tell us the answer straight away, to fulfil our needs and to right our wrongs. But we had the wrong motive, just like the Philistines, who wanted to get rid of the Ark of God and to have their problems solved. God is a glorious God and cannot be hidden, no matter for the people of God or Gentiles.

Are our hearts hardened like the Philistines? Are we worshipping God, at the same time, worshipping the world? The priests of the Philistines worshipped the foreign gods but they knew what God had done to the Egyptians. Do we know our God is strong and powerful? God revealed His glory among the Philistines, not because of how good Israelites are, but because Him Himself is glorious!

Section Two: V10-16 The LORD at Beth Shemesh

What the Philistines priests instructed was to take two milk cows, and lock away their calves, so if they didn’t look for their calves and walked straight to Beth Shemesh, then it would be a miracle. The milk cows carried and Ark of God, they were wailing while they walked, so people of Beth Shemesh were notified about this by the wailing. Beth Shemesh was the place of the Levites, who served the LORD in the Temple of the LORD. In the book of Numbers, Moses clearly instructed that no ordinary people were allowed to touch the Ark of God. The people in Beth Shemesh knew this so they did not touch the Ark but just split the wood of the cart. Only the Levites took down the Ark.  They rejoiced for having the Ark back so they made offerings for the LORD.

Section Three: V17-18 The Reponses of Philistines to the LORD

The Philistines offered the golden rats and golden tumours as a response to God. They did not worship God but they knew they needed to respect and make offering. How about us? Do we have sickness and ‘tumours’ in our lives? Have we repented before God? During the praying and fasting, a lot of things will be revealed in our lives, God allowed these things to be revealed and can we be convicted of sins, of righteousness and of judgement? When we are in sin, we often don’t see it, so God will reveal our sins through signs in our bodies so we will repent and return to Him.

Section Three: V19-21 The Responses of Beth Shemesh to the LORD

In Numbers 4:20, it says “But they shall not go in to watch while the holy things are being covered, lest they die.” The people in Beth Shemesh knew they could not touch the Ark of God, they split the cart and waited for the Levites. But they had double standards and despised God by looking into the Ark.

They thought they did the right thing, but they actually displeased God. We often have double standards, we thought we did something right, but we didn’t realise that what we did displeased our God. The people at Beth Shemeth faced problems but they did not face their lives, they did not repent and return, instead they sent the Ark of God to another place, Kirjath Jearim.

Are we like them? When we sinned against God and face problems, we may be afraid of God so we would choose to run away, to stop serving Him and to give up on following God. Do we wear a nametag of ‘Christians’ but still lead our own lives? God wants us to make an effort to repent and return so that we can have life. We need to trust that He rules and reigns, and He is abundant in His mercy.

Pursuit & Respond

Lord, we see Your glory is above all else, we know You rule and reign, but we are like the Gentiles, we thought we need to do a lot of things to glorify You. Reveal to us the problems in our lives and the issues that we refuse to face. Forgive us, Lord, for our unbelief and hardened hearts. We doubted You and we doubted our authorities. Forgive us, for being fearful but also disrespectful. We thought we can rely on ourselves instead of relying on You. When You reveal our sins, we choose to run away because of fear.  

Thank You, Lord, You have overcome this world and we are in You. May You blood cleanse all our sins because You are a God Who forgives sins. Thank You for giving us Your salvation so we can set free from our sins. In the name of the Lord we declare the power of God to wash away all unrighteousness and to restore our connection to God. We are the children of God and all Your blessings are with us! Amen!

2021年3月17日 星期三

-潘锡安牧师-

撒母耳记上 6

耶和华的荣耀 人的无知

非利士人面对惊慌、死亡,用逃避来解决。神的约柜在非利士地转了7个月,以色列人不费一兵一卒就让原本战争得胜的一方哀声满地,害怕以色列的神。人不认识神,就会做很多愚昧的事,因为他们没有神的话。以色列人将约柜变成“神器”,神就没有与他们同在,使他们一败涂地。但耶和华的荣耀不会因为人的失败而改变。神要的不是我们去做什么来荣耀他,而是我们谦卑跟从他。

一、耶和华在非利士人那里(v.1-9)

V1-2, 耶和华神不是非利士人的神,所以带给他们的是恐惧,因为神是荣耀的神,是不能被拜偶像的外邦人轻慢的。非利士人不要以色列人的耶和华神,就算他们亲眼看见自己的神像扑倒,仍然要送走耶和华。

V3-4,非利士人找来自己的祭司和占卜的人, 这些人提供了他们一些似是而非的解决方案。他们知道自己得罪神了。“赔罪”- 就是悔改的意思,而且还要给礼物,唯有全能的神能够让一个战胜国悔改献礼。我们很多时候想要很努力做事使神得荣耀,结果做得很苦毒,连我们周围的人都被影响。我们做事是靠着爱,将最好的献给我们最爱的神,才能荣神益人。我们知道自己做错事,是否悔改?做错事悔改了,我们是否用宗教仪式来要挟神,觉得神应该听我们的禁食祷告?我们要谦卑,让神的光照进我们里面,知道我们哪里有问题,无法亲近神。

V5,拜大衮偶像的民族、曾经战胜的国民竟然说出“…并要归荣耀给以色列的神…”这样的话,赐他们丰收的神不能保护他们,唯有耶和华是大有能力、大而可畏的。耶和华的荣耀没有办法被遮盖,遍布全地。

V6,“你们为何硬着心…”非利士人之前看不见以色列的神是众神之上的神,不知道以色列是耶和华神所拣选的民族。心硬会带来很多问题。我们是否敬拜神又敬拜世界?我们是尊荣还是攻击神所拣选的人?外邦人也知道耶和华是保护以色列的,我们是否知道我们的神是保护我们的?神的荣耀不会因他百姓的战败而被影响。

二、耶和华在伯示麦(v.10-16)

伯示麦的意思是太阳之家,是利未人(就是在会幕服事神的人)所居住的城市。

V10-12,母牛生了小牛后,一定会回去找自己的小牛,不会离开的,但是当非利士人用这个方法去试一试的时候,“牛直行大道,往伯示麦去,一面走一面叫,不偏左右”(v12)。我们作为神所拣选君尊的族类,是否走回属肉体的地方,还是能一路向前走,不偏左右。不仅走,还要“叫”,因为要大家都看到,这是以色列的神所行的神迹奇事。

V13-14,“举目”- 因为田间的伯示麦人原本是弯腰的。他们看见约柜,就知道神的同在。在民数记中摩西清楚指示,约柜不是普通人可以去碰的。伯示麦人有利未人住在当中,所以知道规矩,没有碰约柜,而是把车子劈开。

V15,利未人亲自将神的约柜拿下来,而不是让一般的伯示麦人来做。于是他们献祭给耶和华,因为很感恩,他们神的约柜终于回来了。

三、非利士人对耶和华的回应(v.17-18)

非利士人用金痔疮和金老鼠来作为向神悔改的献祭,见证了神的荣耀。不是非利士人做什么,而是耶和华的荣耀彰显后人做出的回应。连外邦人都懂得悔改,那我们呢?我们身上是否有不属于我们的“痔疮”?我们要鉴察自己,向神悔改、赔罪。特别在禁食期间,很多我们生命的问题会彰显出来,所以我们要有一颗警醒的心,为罪为义为审判立刻回转过来。我们在罪中无法鉴察自己,神可能会让一些迹象出现在我们身体上来提醒我们,我们要对罪敏锐。

四、伯示麦人对神的回应(v.19-22)

V19,因为擅观约柜而被神击杀,这很让人惧怕。然而,在民数记4:20,摩西律法清楚指明:“ 只是他们连片时不可进去观看圣所,免得他们死亡”。“他们”就是利未人,连利未人都不可观看约柜,更何况这些伯示麦人。他们虽然知道不能碰,却去擅观神的约柜-就是看里面有什么,说明他们有双重标准,轻慢神。他们以为神不知道,就好像亚当夏娃当年那样,以为犯罪了“不一定会死”。我们是否也这样有双重标准,以为自己的做法不会有问题?

V20-21,伯示麦人的反应跟非利士人一样,遇到问题,没有面对自己的生命,没有去向神认罪悔改,只想到神太圣洁了,要把神送走。我们是否也像他们这样遇到问题却没有认罪回转,而是因为觉得神很可怕而选择离开服事,以为做个什么都不碰的普通的基督徒就好了。

神希望我们能悔改、得到生命。当我们遇到问题,遭遇自己所不期待的事,是否就轻易放弃跟从神,还是愿意悔改,相信耶和华坐着为王,在他有丰盛的怜悯?

*追求:

主,我们看到你的荣耀高过诸天、作王掌权。可是我们不知道你的荣耀永存,以为要做很多事来荣耀你。求主帮助我们看到自己生命的问题,看到过去、今天、未来你都要在我们生命彰显荣耀。让我们为自己的生命祷告,看我们的生命中有什么拦阻我们看到神荣耀彰显,不愿意面对问题的地方。

感谢圣灵的光照,我们知道你大有能力、作王掌权,可是心里还有很多不信、小信,有很多罪拦阻了我们。我们心硬,我们对权柄对你有惧怕。我们看到神迹还是惧怕,害怕我们因为表现不好让你的荣耀无法彰显。我们也有很多骄傲,以为靠自己是可以的。在禁食祷告时,我们的罪浮现出来了,但我们不想面对,怕被定罪,怕一直在罪中打转。主啊,你已经胜过世界,我们是住在你里面的。求你的宝血涂抹遮盖我们一切的罪,因为你是赦罪的神。感谢你让我们分别为圣,当我们愿意悔改回转时,帮助我们脱离罪的捆绑。奉主的名宣告,当我们每个弟兄姐妹愿意认罪悔改,神的大能洗净一切不义,我们能与神建立关系。单单相信我们是神的儿女,神的祝福与我们同在!阿们!