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II Kings 3 – Seek and You Shall Find 列王纪下 3 – 寻求的必寻得

Thursday, 7th October 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-12 To Humble and Ask

God continue to show the Israelites how He has been looking after them, even when they didn’t seek Him and pray to Him. V1 “Now Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah and reigned twelve years.” It was again, the pass of the previous generation and the rise of the new generation.

V2-3 “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father and mother; for he put away the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless, he persisted in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.” This was a similar situation to when the Israelites were worshipping the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain, they made the idol, which they thought was God, and they worshipped the idol thinking they were worshipping God. Jehoram thought he got rid of the idols and was worshipping God, but he was still sinning against God. The name Jehoram meant “the Lord to be praised” he thought he was doing what pleased God, but it was wicked in the eyes of the Lord.

We can easily give credit to ourselves, we count the things we have done for God, and we thought we are worshipping God, but God is looking at if we really know Him. Do we really know the God we are worshipping? It was the blindness of Israel during the time. This blindness began since Jeroboam’s generation when they were afraid of the people, instead of having the fear of the Lord. V6-7 “So King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. Then he went and sent to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, saying, ‘The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?’ And he said, ‘I will go up; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.’” Jehoram wanted to go fight Moab and he called Jehoshaphat to go with him. Because at the time Moab was abundant in the wool of lambs and rams.

V8 “Then he said, ‘Which way shall we go up?’ And he answered, ‘By way of the Wilderness of Edom.’” When they went to fight Moab, they also called Edom to go along with them. But Edom was not the chosen people of God, and because of their selfish desires, they built up this united army, which displeased God. A lot of times we tend to choose the path, which gives us the most benefits, and overlook what really pleases God. We thought we are walking in the path of God’s blessings, but we don’t seek God first. Very soon they came across challenges.

V9-10 “So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and they marched on that roundabout route seven days; and there was no water for the army, nor for the animals that followed them. And the king of Israel said, ‘Alas! For the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.’” When they faced difficulty, they blamed on God! They did not realise that it was them, who did not seek God in the beginning; it was them, who called Edom to go together; it was them, who chose the path of the wilderness! All along the three kings were the ones, who brought troubles on themselves, but they ended up blaming God. We are also like this, because of our sins and wicked ways, we bring troubles on ourselves, but we tend to blame on God for all the difficulties we are facing.

V11 “But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there no prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of the Lord by him?’ So, one of the servants of the king of Israel answered and said, ‘Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.’” Finally, someone remembered to seek God. Even though Jehoshaphat chose to walk in the wildness of Edom, which led to the drought, but when trouble came, Jehoshaphat did not agree with Jehoram to blame on God, but to seek the prophet of the Lord humbly.

V12 “And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.” When Jehoshaphat chose to seek God, he also influenced the two other kings, and the three of them went to see Elisha themselves. It was different to when Ahab sent his servants to inquiry from Elijah instead of going down himself. When we return to the right path and seek God, we will also influence the people around us to turn to God.

Section Two V13-20 God will Care and Remember

V13 “Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, ‘What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.’ But the king of Israel said to him, ‘No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.’” Even until this time, Jehoram still thought it was God, who brought disaster upon them. He was still in blindness and did not see it was his own wickedness, which brought them troubles.

V14 “And Elisha said, ‘As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.’” Elisha didn’t want to help them, but because of Jehoshaphat he gave them an opportunity to repent. Elisha knew the attitude of the kings were not right, they went to fight Moab because they wanted the wool of the lambs and the rams, then they went to Elisha because they faced troubles. The kings were in a ‘doing mode’, they still try to use their own way to seek God and try to control God. Therefore, Elisha called for the musician to worship with the kings and their servants together. When we worship, we bring ourselves closer to God’s Heart.

When we worship, God’s presence will be with us. God’s spirit came upon Elisha when he worshipped with the three kings and their servants. V16-17 “And he said, ‘Thus says the Lord: Make this valley full of ditches. For thus says the Lord: You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’” Can we see with our eyes of faith that even when there is no rain, we can first dig the fitches and believe they will be filled with water? Miracles are the happening of impossible things, when we are willing to humble ourselves and ask God, He will talk to us, encourage us, care for us and remember us.

Section Three V21-27 To Step Out

The Moabites were prepared for the battle, they knew they were being attacked by the three kings. But because of God’s presence with the three kings, He wanted to show His power and allowed the Moabites to see the water in the ditches as blood. V23 “And they said, ‘This is blood; the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!’” When we are willing to seek God, God will be with us, even though we made mistakes, even though our initial attitude and intention was wicked, if we turned back, God will be with us. V24 “So when they came to the camp of Israel, Israel rose up and attacked the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they entered their land, killing the Moabites.”

V25 “Then they destroyed the cities, and each man threw a stone on every good piece of land and filled it; and they stopped up all the springs of water and cut down all the good trees. But they left the stones of Kir Haraseth intact. However, the slingers surrounded and attacked it.” God did not want them to stay in the land of Moab and therefore, asked them to fill every good piece of land with stones, and stop all the springs of water, and cut down all the good trees. The land of Moab was wicked, it was filled with sins and witchcraft; they worshipped idols and sacrificed their children to the false gods. What they did was wicked in the eyes of God, and God did not want the people of Israel, Judah and even Edom to stay there.

The three kings’ initial intention was about the abundant wool of lambs and rams in Moab, but the land of Moab was wicked, and they left Moab. A lot of times we thought the failures of our enemy were the blessings for us, but we did not see the wickedness of the land and of the plunders. May God help us to walk in His path and away from all the wickedness and sins.

Worship: Be With You 永遠敬拜 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcwKA9DE84I

2021年10月7日 星期四

潘锡安牧师

以色列国虽然没有圣殿,人民也在拜偶像,但神还是给他们存留先知。以利亚被接走了,以利沙就接续先知的职分。神给以色列人看到他对以色列国的看顾。我们可以从本章的记载看到神如何与他的子民互动。

一、谦卑寻问 v.1-12

V1-3 亚哈的儿子亚哈谢在以色列做王两年,他的另一个儿子约兰则做王12年,是什么使约兰有如此大的恩典?亚哈和耶洗别拜偶像,约兰知道这是不对的,“不至像他父母所行的,因为除掉他父所造巴力的柱像”。然而,约兰还是紧紧跟着耶罗波安的罪,去拜金牛犊。这个金牛犊被造的时候被以色列人用来代表耶和华,所以拜它的人还以为自己在敬拜神。很多时候我们跟从神,却用自己以为对的模式来做事,就像耶罗波安亲手所造的金牛犊那样。约兰名字的意思是“耶和华是被称颂的”,他以为自己做的是称颂耶和华的事,然而在神眼中,“他行耶和华眼中看为恶的事”。我们是否做了很多自以为是为神摆上的事,但却没有真正的认识他?当时的全以色列所面对的蒙蔽就是没有真的知道耶和华,因为当初耶罗波安害怕以色列人会去耶路撒冷敬拜神而不顺服他,在惧怕中造了金牛犊给人来拜。

V4-8 摩押王在亚哈王死后就背叛以色列,于是约兰决定出兵摩押。临行前,他去邀请犹大王约沙法一同来打仗。约沙法王知道以色列国的问题,也亲眼见证了亚哈的灭亡,然而他还是软弱,又跟以色列王交好。约沙法王使自己的后代与亚哈家联姻,希望以此稳定两国关系,但人若尝试用自己的方法来求平安的时候,反而很容易犯罪。我们的动机如果不对,我们会陷入试探。当约兰问约沙法该如何上去时,约沙法说要经过以东,结果以色列和犹大的联盟军就包括了以东。以东王愿意参战,也是看重摩押每年能进贡的羊毛(V4)。然而,圣经上说,信与不信不能同负一轭。我们争战是在乎耶和华,而不是我们所拥有的兵马车。

V9-10 三王所带领的军队一同出征,才过了7天就遇到没有水喝的问题,由此可知,约沙法一开始选择走旷野的路就不对,他们也没带足够的水。以色列王却说这是因为“耶和华招聚我们这三王”,可是他们从来没有寻问神,所以遇到这样的光景完全是他们自己造成的问题。我们不要因为自己所行的恶使自己陷入困境时埋怨神。

V11-12 约沙法知道神借着先知跟以色列国说话,所以建议去寻求耶和华的先知。人就是这样,没有人是完全的,约沙法虽然开始也做了不对的事,但在遇到问题的时候,他没有选择跟以色列王一起抱怨,而是站出来指出对的方向。“于是以色列王和约沙法并以东王都下去见他”,他们三个王亲自去找以利沙,没有好像之前的亚哈谢王派人去抓以利亚那样。当约沙法王愿意高举耶和华的时候,生命影响生命,以色列和以东的两个王都愿意一起去寻求耶和华的先知。

二、神必顾念 v.13-20

V13 以利沙是先知,不害怕得罪人,直接跟以色列王讲真理,把约兰知道的问题说出来 – 他的父母拜偶像。约兰回答说他不会去求问那些偶像。然而他还是冥顽不灵,他在蒙蔽中觉得现在他们遇到问题是因为耶和华的缘故。

V14 以利沙知道这三王出兵目的不纯,遇到问题了才来寻求神,但他还是对以色列王约兰说,如果不是看到约沙法王谦卑带着二王来寻求,他不会理会以色列王,甚至不会在他面前出现,因为他们本来是找不到以利沙的。我们今天能够找到神不是理所当然的,能够遇见神就是恩典。

V15 我们不要用doing的心态来看待这件事,只知道用弹琴敬拜的方式来求问神。以利沙看到三王所带领的军队千里迢迢来来寻问先知是为了要有水,目的其实是为了摩押的那些“羊”,所以以利沙在做的是一个属灵氛围的转变。我们敬拜不是为了要知道更多知识,真正的敬拜是心灵与诚实的敬拜,而不是用自己的方式来操控神。以利沙带领着三王一起敬拜神,他所做的比当年以利亚在迦密山所行的还要轰动。在真实的敬拜中,神的同在就与我们在一起。

V16-20 这三王因为没有水喝就觉得天塌下来的,但在神眼中”这还算为小事”。以利沙又预言这三军要如何对待摩押。第二日早晨,神迹就发生,“有水从以东而来,遍地就满了水”。神迹是本来不应该发生的事,但在神是没有这些世上的定律的,我们是否愿意去谦卑寻问?当我们谦卑,神就顾念我们,跟我们说话。

三、要跨出去 v.21-27

V21-24 神要彰显自己的能力,当人愿意谦卑寻求的时候,他的同在就临到他们。 以色列军当时已经能够去到摩押边界,又挖了沟、喝了水,经历了神。摩押王招聚本国子民来边界应战,早上看见“日光照在水上”就以为是三王自相残杀后流的“血”,于是想去以色列营“抢夺财物”。在摩押人过来的“早晨”,以色列人已经起来敬拜神了(V20),所以能及时反击摩押,致使他们逃跑。当我们清晨愿意一早起来先寻求神,神的荣光就与我们同在。摩押王看到的如血一般的水保护了以色列,正如耶稣基督的宝血能够涂抹遮盖我们一样。

V25 以色列人所做的就是之前以利沙所说的。他们要用石头“填满一切美田,塞住一切水泉”,使摩押没有水和田可以牧养羊群。神不要他们再眷恋这些东西,以色列人愿意顺服,甚至犹大和以东王都愿意。

V26-27 以色列、犹大和以东三王当初为了羊来攻打摩押,然而神已经让他们毁坏牧羊的田地和水泉。摩押王见自己败局已定,就按本国拜偶像的仪式将自己的儿子献祭,说明摩押地充满污秽的邪术,是神极为厌恶的。原文没有说“以色列人遭遇耶和华的大怒”,而是说以色列人被激怒。他们本来要来摩押得地得羊,但如今这里已经没有价值,所以三王就离开了。我们常常做很多我们以为有好处的事情,但我们是否有先谦卑寻问神,是否有问神的仆人,知道指示后是否愿意走出去?我们是留恋看得到的好处,还是像那三王一样在该离开的时候选择离开?愿神帮助我们走在他的道路上,远离一切罪恶。

*追求与回应:

很多时候我们寻求的目的是不对的,我们以为我们寻求神的方式是对的,但我们的心态是不对。今天神说当我们愿意用心灵和诚实来敬拜他的时候,他就使“这谷必满了水,使你们和牲畜有水喝”。让我们来到神的面前,承认自己过去用错误的目的、方式来到寻求神,让我们单单用神的方式来敬拜他。

耶和华如此说:“你们要在这谷中满处挖沟。 因为耶和华如此说:你们虽不见风,不见雨,这谷必满了水,使你们和牲畜有水喝。 在耶和华眼中这还算为小事”。今天神对我们说,你的问题和不足在他眼中看为小事。当我们愿意来到神面前承认过去的错误,定意想要来认识神,神就让我们看见我们的谷里是充满水的,我们是满有神的恩典的!

祝福弟兄姐妹愿意离开摩押,“各回本国去” 。让我们离开自己的情欲,回到神给我们的应许之地,回到神给我们的祝福,经历更多丰盛和神的同在!