Thursday, 29th December 2022
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-6 God’s Trials
V1-3 ‘Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it), namely, five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath.’ God tests us and gives us trials not to judge us or to shame us, but to teach us and guide us on the right path. God’s Will for us is good, and through His trials, He wants to shine His Light on us, so we will see and know our darkness. We must learn to humble ourselves more, to deny ourselves and to benefit others, then we can truly enjoy the blessings God has given to us.
Section Two V7-31 Men’s Response
V7-9 ‘So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs. Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years. When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.’ When God tests us, we must respond to Him. Do not stay in the same place and mourn for ourselves, but to move forward. God can help us to overcome all trials, but we have to take the first step. When the Israelites cried out to God, God sent a leader to them and gave them peace. When we cry out to God, what is our intention? For our own benefit? For the enjoyment of this world? Or for walking in the destiny of God? Let God help us to pray and proclaim in the Word of God.
V12-14 ‘And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. Then he gathered to himself the people of Ammon and Amalek, went and defeated Israel, and took possession of the City of Palms. So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years.’ The repeated behviour of the Israelites also reflet in our lives today. How many times do we have to go through trials and repentance in order for us to really return? God is giving us the chance to come back to Him again and again, but do we really see it?
V20 ‘So Ehud came to him (now he was sitting upstairs in his cool private chamber). Then Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” So he arose from his seat.’ Ehud was determined to walk in the destiny of God, so he had the courage to come forward to the king of Moab and declared the Name of God. God enabled Ehud to receive the victory and gave him 80 years of peace. When we walk in the destiny of God, then we can walk in the blessings of God. Walk we proclaim the Name of God, then God’s peace will be with us.
士师记 3 – 行在命定里
当我们行在命定里的时候，神的试验就到来，让我们不再执迷不悟。神的试验不是让我们觉得失败、也不是批评审判我们，而是让我们“知道又学习未晓得的战事”。在试炼中我们或许会觉得没有盼望，然而，耶和华神所怀的意念是赐平安的意念，我们不用羞愧，只要紧紧抓住神。面对神给我们的试验，我们态度如何？是敬而远之、躲在山洞里，还是明白神的心意而起来紧紧抓住神？创世纪22章记载了人类第一次经历神的试验 – 就是亚伯拉罕献以撒，为要承受神给他的祝福。在试验中，神光照我们，要我们知道自己真实的光景，因此就更多谦卑学习、更多摆上，享受神给我们永远的福乐。神借着试验让我们看到自己是否真的愿意听从权柄的带领。当看见自己的问题时，我们不是去躲避或冷淡退后，而是去学习，愿意去进步、提升自己。我们在试验中，是否仍然能谦卑顺服、舍己利他，活出生命树的气息？
V7-11 在试验中，以色列人选择任意妄为、跟随自己的情欲，于是神就让他们服事外邦人八年。但当他们开始认识到神是他们的拯救、愿意走出自己的山洞来呼求神的时候，神就为他们差派一位拯救者 – 就是迦勒的女婿俄陀聂。当俄陀聂起来回应神的呼召，神的灵就降在他身上，于是他能胜过敌人，结束了以色列人八年为奴为仆的生活，使国中太平四十年。
V12-15 当我们在命定里跌倒了，神会因着我们的呼求而拯救、祝福我们，然而这个“祝福”并非永远不变。当我们走偏的时候，神又会给我们试验。以色列人在被压迫十八年之后才开始呼求神 – 我们是否也是这样心硬？求神帮助我们不要等那么久才苏醒过来。在新的一年，神给了我们新的名字，让我们经历他的祝福。