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ECBC The Bridge Fellowship Newsletter七月份靈修(一)見微知著 「見微知著」這句成語,形容有見識的人,能從觀察一件事的微小起源,看出其未來發展的趨勢。聖經中到處是這樣的故事和應許。耶穌基督在馬太福音第六章這樣說:「所以我告訴你們,不要為生命憂慮吃甚麼喝甚麼,也不要為身體憂慮穿甚麼。難道生命不比食物重要嗎?身體不比衣服重要嗎?」(26 節,聖經新譯本)「但我告訴你們,就是所羅門最威榮的時候所穿的,也比不上這花中的一朵。田野的草,今天還在,明天就投進爐裡,神尚且這樣妝扮它們;小信的人哪,何況你們呢?」(28-30 節) 耶穌基督的教導是說,如果神甚且看顧這些卑微而極易被忽略的受造物,祂必更加關注我們這些更有價值的受造物。祂教我們去觀察神對這些微小生物的關愛,是為了幫助我們相信,祂會給我們更富足的供應。依照相同的邏輯,亞伯拉罕的故事之所以如此得以色列人和基督徒的重視,是因為神連祂對亞伯拉罕的應許中的那些枝微末節都應驗了。 舉例來說,當神在創世記 12 章那裡呼召亞伯拉罕離開他父親的家時,應許說:「我必使你成為大國,賜福給你,使你的名為大,你也必使別人得福,給你祝福的,我必賜福給他;咒詛你的,我必咒詛他;地上的萬族,都必因你得福。」(2-3 節)這段應許中的每一個細節,就算不在亞伯拉罕有生之年應驗,也都在日後一一應驗了。往後在 17 章那裡,神又應許他的元配撒拉將要親自為他生一個兒子,並要給他取名叫以撒。撒拉「要作多國的母,萬族的君王必從她而出。」(16 節)這些應許也都應驗了。25 章告訴我們,神甚至成就了祂對以實瑪利所有的應許。(12-18 節)從 25 章的記載中,創世記的讀者們對亞伯拉罕的家又多了一層了解:原來亞伯拉罕還有一個妻子。她還為他生了六個兒子。雖然我們對這六個兒子所知不多,但還是可以在聖經中其他地方找到一些蛛絲馬跡。例如米甸人(或稱以實瑪利人。「這兩個名稱在這裡和士師記 8:24 節中,似乎交互使用」1)在把約瑟賣到埃及的事上有份。(創世記 37:28、 36 )從比較小的視角來看,亞博拉罕確實成了迦南地區許多民族的祖先。「見微知著」的看,如果神從比較小地方開始成就祂的應許,我們知道祂一定會兌現所有祂對亞伯拉罕的應許。也就是說,「地上的萬族,都必因你得福。」(創世記 12:3)神從一位以撒的後裔耶穌基督(原文中「後裔」是單數,指一位後裔),更大規模的成就祂的應許和祝福。(參考加拉太書 3:16)這就是為什麼保羅在加拉太書 3:7 說:「你們要知道,有信心的人,就是亞伯拉罕的子孫。」(加拉太書 3:7) 神對我們也是如此,祂必不會輕看給我們的應許。當耶穌基督在馬太福音 28:19-20 那裡呼召我們去執行大使命時,應許「我就常常與你們同在,直到這世代的終結」。祂如此應許,就一定會按自己的話語成就。而祂實際上已經藉著賜下聖靈給所有的基督徒,來成就這事了。「見微知著」,神給祂子民的應許不只如此。啟示錄 21 章說,有一天我們要在永恆裡與神永遠同在。我們知道,按著神一貫的信實,祂必要為我們成就這事。 與你的靈修夥伴分享一個神回應你的禱告。為彼此代禱,願我們常常數算神在我們生命中的祝福,以及祂對亞伯拉罕的信實。讓我們即使遇到困難險阻,也能永遠記得神對我們的恩典和愛。 1. G.J. Wenham, New Bible Commentary, P.84July Devotion Volume IA Tiny Clue Reveals the Trends of the Future "A tiny clue reveals the trends of the future" is a Chinese saying. It means that a wise person can tell how a certain event is going to progress by observing how it begins. The Bible is full of events or promises like that. Jesus Christ In Matthew 6 said these words: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (v.26, NIV) "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?" (v.28-30) What Jesus Christ teaches us is that, since God even takes care of the usually unnoticed creatures, He will pay more attention to us—the more valuable creatures. By drawing our attention to God's love for the lesser creatures, Jesus Christ is assuring us that God will provide more abundantly for us. With the similar idea, one of the reasons Abraham's stories was held in such high esteem in Israelite and Christian's minds is because God fulfilled even the tiniest details of His promises to Abraham. For instance, when God first called Abraham out of his father's house in Genesis 12, He promised that "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."(v.2-3) Everything on this list was fulfilled either in Abraham's lifetime or in the future. God further promised Abraham in chapter 17 that Sarah will bear him a son whom shall be named Issac. Sarah "will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her." (v.16) Again, everything on the list was fulfilled. Genesis 25 tells us that God even honest His promises to Ishmael. (v.12-18) Genesis 25 gives us some new information about Abraham's family which the readers didn't know earlier. He has another wife who bore him six more sons. We don't know a lot about them, but we do recognize some of them. For example, some Ishmaelites or Midianites ("The terms seem to be used interchangeably here and in Jdg. 8:24."1) were involved in the trade that sold Joseph to Egypt in Genesis 37. (v.28, 36) In a smaller scale, Abraham did become the father of many Canaanite nations. "A tiny clue reveals the trends of the future." If God fulfilled His promises in the smaller scale, we could expect that He will fulfill all His blessings to Abraham, that is: "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:3) That particular and the greatest blessing was fulfilled through the one offspring of Issac (Genesis 17:19, note that "offspring" is in singular) in Jesus Christ. (Cf. Galatians 3:16) That is why Paul says "that those who have faith are children of Abraham." (Galatians 3:7) It is the same with us. God doesn't take any of His promises lightly. When Jesus Christ called us to carry out His Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 and promised that He will always be with us "to the very end of the age," He will make it happen. In fact, He has already fulfilled it through the giving of the Holy Spirit to all Christians. "A tiny clue reveals the trends of the future." God has given more promises to His people. Revelation 21 tells us that one day we will be with God in eternity. Based on His track record, we have the confidence in mind that He will fulfill this promise for us. Share with your devotional partner about a prayer answered by God. Pray for each other that we will constantly recount the blessings in our own lives as well as His faithfulness to Abraham. So we will always remember His grace and love for us even in times of trouble. 1. G.J. Wenham, New Bible Commentary, P.84Sent on 05 July 2018
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