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Proverbs 4 – Live Out a Life of Honor 箴言 4 – 活出尊荣的生命

Monday, 30th August 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

The Book of Proverbs was compiled by king Hezekiah of the proverbs of king Solomon. There were only 31 chapters in Proverbs, but when we read the Book of I Kings, it tells us that’s Solomon made over 1,000 proverbs. Therefore the Proverbs we read today are not all the Proverbs Solomon wrote. So why Hezekiah only picked these 31 chapters? Because he wanted to turn the situation around, to let his people turn back to God from sinning.

Section One V1-9 Be Humble to Receive Wisdom

There were a lot of things influenced our lives, our education, our families, our past experiences… many things stop us to walk in the path of Grace. Our identities in the heaven are princes and princesses but on this earth we should learn from Jesus to be like a servant of God.

At the beginning of the chapter, Solomon was talking to his children, who were going to inherit his kingdom. Today it is also speaking to us. Solomon told his sons to hear his instructions. What does it mean by instruction? When the word instruction first appeared in the Bible, it was in Deuteronomy 11:2, which means chastening from God. The chastening might not directly come from God, but may be from our authority. When we make a decision or face a problem, we usually do research and gather information to justify and support our decisions. But this also causes people to have doubt in everything, to question everything and to follow our own research instead of our authority. Therefore when we read the Bible, we also have doubts in what it says.

Solomon told his sons that they must hear then they will receive understanding. We see the words ‘wisdom’, ‘understanding’, and ‘knowledge’ a lot in Proverbs. We all have our own understanding, it’s like our being. When we listen to God’s teaching then we’ll receive understanding from God. It’s easy for us to use our logical thinking and own belief to do things. But here we learn that we must receive the chastening and teachings form God and from our Authority.

Deuteronomy 32:2 says we should not depart from the teaching of God. Solomon is also saying here that before the Heavenly Father, he’s only like a child, simply listening to His chastening. Being like a child is the highlight in Proverbs 4, because it tells us the attitude we should have before God. When Solomon’s mum Bathsheba heard the words of the prophet Nathan, she went to king David and asked why he didn’t fulfil his promise to make Solomon king. In front of his mum, Solomon simply just learnt to be a child, he was humble and did not fight for himself.

We need to receive wisdom and understanding, do not forget the teaching from God and from our authority. The fear is the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, stop being proud but fear God always, then the wisdom will keep us. When we fear God, He will promote us and let us receive honor. He will also put on us a crown of Grace, something that people will see and we don’t need to boast ourselves.

Section Two V10-19 Take Firm Hold of the Instructions

Solomon told his children when they take firm hold of his instructions, then the years of their lives will be many. They will live longer on this earth, this is such a good blessing! When we humble and firmly hold onto God’s instructions, then the days of our lives will be many! This is a choice for us, do we want to keep the instructions or not. When we keep the instructions, not only we receive honor, but our lives on earth will also be long.

On the other hand, we also must avoid the path of the wicked, to turn away from it, to not enter into temptation. What are the wicked people? Those who don’t know God and who don’t seek God. They don’t know the way before them and they don’t realize they are walking further and further away. They will stumble, and become weaker. This is why sometimes we say that the end of a person is the beginning of God. People often walk by themselves until they have no strength then they will start to seek God. May God help us not entering the wicked way

Section Three V20-27 Keep our Hearts

We must keep our hearts with all diligence for out of it springs the issues of life. Do not turn our eyes to the left or right but to make straight the path of our feet. In Israel, when they build the road with stone tablets, the builders need to kneel down to pave the path. We must be humble, every step we take we must surrender to God. When we completely surrender to God then there will be path again in front of us. Our honor comes from God, not by how hard we work but by how humble we are, how we have kept our heart and kept the commandments. Do not live in the world but in Jesus Christ.

Worship: Abiding in You https://youtu.be/F6LFd0l9ADQ

Prayer and Pursuit

De we really receive that we are protected in God when we surrender? Do we really see that we are blessed by God when we humble? Let us pray with a pure heart, be simple and be willing to let go of our own complicated thinking. Let us return like a child start a new life of honor and blessings.

Lord, we only want the wisdom, understanding and knowledge from You. Give us strength to stay away from all temptation and show us the righteous path in You. Amen.

2021年8月30日 星期一

潘锡安牧师

在列王纪上说到所罗门王很有智慧,“他作箴言三千句,诗歌一千零五首。”(4:32)他的王位传到希西家王那一代时,整个国家已经败落,希西家的父亲、臣仆都在拜偶像。希西家王为了知道如何做一个好的君王,要从罪恶的环境中将国家翻转过来,就从所罗门王留下的著作中精挑细选,编撰成我们现在读到的30篇章的箴言。我们可以从今天的第4章学习如何活出尊荣的生命。

一、谦卑得智慧(v.1-9)

V1 我们知道我们是神的儿女,在天国有王子公主的身份,但主耶稣教导说,我们在地上是仆人的身份。这一节里所罗门告诉他的儿女要听父亲(也就是我们地上的权柄)的“教训”。“教训”这个词在圣经原文第一次出现的时候是在申命记11:2, 指的是从神而来的“管教”,让我们一定要听从的。我们现代的教育让我们对所有的资讯都持怀疑的态度,甚至影响了我们不去听从我们权柄的吩咐。然而,当我们愿意听从这教训的时候,我们就能得到“聪明”- 箴言所讲的“聪明”有点类似一个人的能力、功能,当我们有从神而来的智慧,这个聪明就能发挥出美好的功效;但我们心里若只有邪恶,我们的聪明发挥出极坏的功用。

V2 这节所说的“教训”在圣经原文第一次出现在申命记32:2,指的是摩西所说的“教训”,教导百姓怎样一步步行事的指示,相当于我们现代的标准操作规范。我们是否愿意谦卑听从我们权柄对我们的指示呢?

V3 “我在父亲面前为孝子”一句的原文的意思是指“我在父亲面前是一个孩子”,正如主耶稣所教导的,我们要回转成小孩子的样式才能进天国。我们在神和神给我们的权柄面前愿意谦卑像一个孩子那样接受他们的教训吗?“娇儿”的原意是指一个非常柔软、甚至柔弱到需要保护的孩子。在列王纪上第一章讲到所罗门的母亲去跟大卫王提醒他要立所罗门为王的承诺之后,所罗门才得以登基,一个如此有智慧的王族后代在这里都承认自己需要母亲的保护,我们是否也愿意承认自己需要神的保护而不为自己去争去抢呢?

V4 我们不仅要耳朵听神的话语,更要听进我们的心里,记住并遵守神给我们的教训,这样我们就能在主里面得到更新和修复。

V5-8 敬畏耶和华是智慧的开端。当我们敬畏神,听从并谨记他的教导,我们就得到他的智慧,就能收获益处,被“护卫”、“保守”、“得聪明”、被“高升”、得“尊荣”。

V9 尊荣的冠冕是神亲自戴在我们头上的,不需要我们靠着嘴巴去跟别人说,别人就可以看见。我们或许很有能力,很会说话,但我们是否愿意谦卑顺服于神给我们的指示,让神将华冠加给我们而不是靠自己去说给别人听呢?

二、持定守训诲(v.10-19)

V10, 13 当我们愿意听从领受神的话语,持定谨守他的训诲,我们便有“延年益寿”的祝福,就是我们在地上的日子能够增加。我们愿意做这样一个蒙福的选择吗?

V14-15 这里所说与主祷文耶稣教导的“不叫我们遇见试探,救我们脱离凶恶”遥相呼应。若我们所面对的事情不是我们在这里学到的该做的事,就不要去做,以免自己陷入试探。

V18 我们来参加晨祷,就是在一天开始的时候有神的话语成为指引我们的亮光,让我们从早到晚能专注在当行的路上。

V19 “恶人”并非什么大奸大恶之人,而是不认识神的人,他们靠着自己走在恶道上离神越来越远,就会越走越软弱无力,直至最后“跌倒”。

三、 要保守你心(v.20-27)

V23-25 我们要保守我们的心“胜过保守一切,因为一生的果效是由心发出”,不要骄傲自夸,要朝着神给我们的路向前看就不会偏左偏右。

V26 “修平你脚下的路”- 在过去的以色列,他们修路是搬来大石板一块一块地铺在地面上,所以修路的人不能站着,只能跪在地上小心谨慎地用手将铺路的石头慢慢放在前面。我们每走一步路都要有这样对神完全降服的态度。

我们的尊荣来自于神,不是我们有多厉害,而是取决于我们是否谦卑自己,是否愿意持守训诲、保守己心。让我们不要倚靠这个世界而是活在耶稣基督里!

*追求与回应:

我们是否真的领受我当我们降服的时候,我们是被神保护的?我们是否看见,当我们谦卑的时候,我们是蒙神祝福的?让我们单单向神祷告,使我们愿意放下我们一切复杂逻辑思考,用单纯的心回转像小孩子一样,来到他面前,得着尊荣而蒙福的生命!

主啊,我们愿意单纯像个孩子一样向你求你的智慧、聪明、和知识。不叫我们遇见试探,救我们脱离凶恶,给我们加添力量,让我们走在你的义路上!奉耶稣基督的名祷告,阿门!