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Isaiah 36 – Live in the Darkness 以赛亚书 36 – 在黑暗中要活着    

Friday, 3rd June 2022

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-10 Facing Threatening

V1 ‘Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.’ This chapter talks about what was happening during the time of Isaiah, it was an era full of challenges and difficulties. We are also facing the same troubles now; the different variants of virus are attacking us like waves. The challenges ahead seem never-ending, we somehow become numb to our lives, live one day at a time hopelessly.

It was a record of history, which was mentioned in II Kings 18:9-13, ‘Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant and all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them. And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.’ King Hezekiah was facing a strong enemy, especially when he saw the nations around them being attacked and taken over. It was a time of fear, because they never knew when the enemy was coming for them.

Hezekiah was determined to follow God, he did not want to repeat what his parents were doing. Hezekiah had a strong attitude towards his belief, he took down the idols of the world, and he was very religious. Sadly, his lifestyle did not reflect his firm belief in God, because he relied on Egypt and its army. Often we are also like this, we can be very religious at church, but at work or in our family, we still seek support from this world.

V2-3 ‘Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And he stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. And Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him.’ The enemy was standing at the gate and trying to scare the people of Judah. When we face problems and challenges, we can easily become fearful and discouraged. We must remember how God has delivered us in the past, how we have experienced God and how He had answered our prayers.

V4-6 ‘Then the Rabshakeh said to them, say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: What confidence is this in which you trust? I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.’ Hezekiah’s father made alliance with Assyria, but now Hezekiah went to Egypt, therefore Rabshakeh tried to use the history they had with Hezekiah’s father to attack Hezekiah and to look down on him.

V10 ‘Have I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, go up against this land, and destroy it.’ The enemy would use everything to attack us and to weaken our mindset. It’s like how we would doubt in God and Word of God, the enemy would use the environment to challenge us and to confuse us. God would not use a non-believer to teach us or discipline, God would not send enemy to lead our ways. Do not look at the environment and do not compromise with the status quo. We must rely on the Holy Spirit, to follow the guidance of the Word of God.

Section Two V11-20 Facing Temptation

V11-12 ‘Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall. But the Rabshakeh said, has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?’ The enemy will try everything to make us afraid and to lose the peace. They are not here to bring a message only, but to take away our peace and trust in God. They want to make us stop following God and following our authority, so we will give in to the temptation of the world.

V16-17 ‘Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.’ There may be voices like this in our lives, inside of us or around us. These voices will lure us to the desires of the world, to follow the environment instead of following God. In the darkness, we would face temptation, our focus will be drawn away from the Tree of Life, to fulfilling our own needs and desires.

Section Three V21-22 Be Humble and Obedient

V21 ‘But they held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.”’ The people of Judah did not answer because their king told them to do so. They were willing to trust in their authority even when they were facing the attack of the enemy. What is in our hearts? Do we really follow the directions and instructions given by God and by our authority?

V22 ‘Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.’ They torn their clothes because they were humble before God and admitted that they could not handle it with their own strength. Furthermore, they went back to their king and fully submit to him. They knew that the king has authority over them, and no matter how big the challenge is, they knew their identity, they represented God and they represented their authority. They were willing to face the darkness together, with their authority and with God.

Let us stay humble and obedient, always go back to God and go back to the authority, who sent us. Let us remember who we are and where we come from, so we can continue to live in God’s light even when our surrounding is in the darkness.

以赛亚书 36 – 在黑暗中要活着                

2022年6月3日 星期五



一、v.1-10 面对威胁

V1 这里记载的是真实发生的历史事件。列王纪下18章9-12节讲述了这件事的背景。希西家王25岁在犹大国登位之后就把他父亲所拜的偶像全部废除,然而在位第四年的时候,他就看见北国以色列被亚述攻打,仅三年时间就被攻取,以色列落得家破人亡,甚至百姓都被掳去。从这期间到“希西家王十四年”之前,希西家和犹大国的百姓度日如年,因为不知道亚述什么时候会来攻击他们,正如我们现在不知道下一波的疫情是什么一样。希西家在宗教信仰上对己对人都非常严厉,然而,他的信仰和他的生活工作是不一样的。希西家在军事上倚靠埃及,因为埃及有马兵战车。我们的生活是否也是跟我们的信仰这样分裂呢?神借着亚述的攻击让希西家和犹大人警醒。

V2 这里提到的“上池的水沟旁,在漂布地的大路上”在以赛亚书7章也有记载。神曾差派以赛亚和他的儿子“到上池的水沟头,在漂布地的大路上”(7:3)去对亚哈斯王说话。在圣经里特别标明一些地点,就是让我们记得在那里神对我们说过什么话。犹大过去虽然面临亚兰的攻击,但仍是安然走到如今,所以现在即使面临亚述的攻击,那又如何呢?我们过去经历过神的拯救,我们都记得吗,还是只记得自己的软弱?面对环境的艰难,不要用过去的自己当作退缩的借口,而要记起神的作为。

V4 “拉伯沙基”是亚述大军的将军,只是一个头衔而不是名字,因为他说了亵渎神的话,圣经连他的名字都不记载。

V5-6 犹大国之前是跟亚述结盟的,所以现在亚述王因为希西家去找埃及帮忙而控告犹大背叛亚述,语气充满蔑视。

V7-10 希西家将自己父亲以前所拜的丘坛都拆了,犹大国民原本可以随处拜偶像,现在只能到希西家规定的地方朝拜神,所以亚述将军嘲笑他,说希西家王没有能力,只能依靠别国。仇敌时常会用环境来扰乱我们,动摇我们的信心,也让我们质疑我们权柄的决定,不愿意等候。神不会用仇敌对我们宣告审判,圣经里记载的都是神的仆人亲自对神的百姓说话。三位一体的真神会对我们讲话,我们要倚靠圣灵来明白神的话。

二、v.11-20 面对诱惑

V11-12 亚兰言语是当时最通用的语言,就好像现在的英文一样。犹大的臣宰求亚述将军不要用犹大国的语言说话,免得百姓听得懂。但是,亚述将军故意反其道而行。仇敌要给我们的不是信息,而是恐惧,为要让我们失去平安和对神的信心。

V13-18 亚述将军三番五次叫犹大人不要听希西家王的话,甚至要他们投降于亚述王,又保证他们能过上更好的生活。 仇敌也是这样对我们说话,让我们看到仇敌可以预备舒适的环境。生活中有很多诱惑,让我们不愿意谦卑顺服、不愿意舍己利他,只想着自己的“葡萄树和无花果树”,以为我们跟着权柄走就没什么好处可享受,以致不去听从权柄给我们的教导。

三、v.21-22 要谦卑顺服

V21 在面对威逼利诱的时候,百姓还是愿意听从王的吩咐,不去回答敌人任何一句话。“静默不言”只是外在的行为,更重要的是里面有一颗愿意谦卑顺服的心。我们面对神和权柄的吩咐,是否愿意无论在什么样的环境下都顺服吗?

V22 他们撕裂衣服,承认自己不行。他们是代表王的臣宰,所以当遇到问题的时候,他们不是自己去解决,也不是跑出找先知,而是跑回去找王。当我们遇到威胁和诱惑的时候,要知道,事情的发生不是针对我们的,我们能够成为“卫星网络”,因为我们是被差派出去的,要回到基地找我们的遮盖,我们才不会独自面对攻击,而是与神与权柄一同走过黑暗,这才是真正的谦卑顺服。