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2018-6-26    

自墮陷阱

粵語 國語

第26天


讀經:   

約書亞記九章3至15節

3基遍的居民聽見約書亞向耶利哥和艾城所行的事,

4就設詭計,假充使者,拿舊口袋和破裂縫補的舊皮酒袋馱在驢上,

5將補過的舊鞋穿在腳上,把舊衣服穿在身上;他們所帶的餅都是乾的,長了霉了。

6他們到吉甲營中見約書亞,對他和以色列人說:我們是從遠方來的,現在求你與我們立約。

7以色列人對這些希未人說:只怕你們是住在我們中間的;若是這樣,怎能和你們立約呢?

8他們對約書亞說:我們是你的僕人。約書亞問他們說:你們是甚麼人?是從那裡來的?

9他們回答說:僕人從極遠之地而來,是因聽見耶和華─你神的名聲和他在埃及所行的一切事,

10並他向約但河東的兩個亞摩利王,就是希實本王西宏和在亞斯他錄的巴珊王噩一切所行的事。

11我們的長老和我們那地的一切居民對我們說:你們手裡要帶著路上用的食物去迎接以色列人,對他們說:我們是你們的僕人;現在求你們與我們立約。

12我們出來要往你們這裡來的日子,從家裡帶出來的這餅還是熱的;看哪,現在都乾了,長了霉了。

13這皮酒袋,我們盛酒的時候還是新的;看哪,現在已經破裂。我們這衣服和鞋,因為道路甚遠,也都穿舊了。

14以色列人受了他們些食物,並沒有求問耶和華。

15於是約書亞與他們講和,與他們立約,容他們活著;會眾的首領也向他們起誓。

我們成為基督徒之後,必須認識到的其中一個事實,就是撒但會用盡各種詭計,來誘騙我們犯罪,或至少導致我們不能完全享受神的賜福。而且,撒但的伎倆往往是我們意想不到的。

以色列民已經先後攻破耶利哥和艾城,我們很容易便會以為,他們將繼續節節取勝,把敵人徹底殲滅。誰不知有些敵人卻明知勝不過以色列人,於是,他們便想出一個詭計來保住自己的性命。同樣地,當撒但知道他不能再用硬攻,他便會改變策略,用其他巧計把我們騙倒。一幢能夠承受暴風吹襲的房子,卻可能被白蟻侵蝕而倒塌。

基遍人的確想出了一個巧妙的詭計。他們穿上破爛的衣服和草鞋、身上攜帶了發黴的餅,假裝從遠方而來。他們在第9節甚至顯示了對神的信心。他們提出的立約要求似乎是合情合理;然而,一切都全是謊話。約書亞因為沒有求問神便答應他們,於是便被他們騙倒。

撒但總是想盡辦法來使我們下錯決定。我們若忽略禱告和尋求神的帶領,至終便會像約書亞一樣,一時糊塗地下錯了決定。箴言第三章的總意是教導我們:「不可倚靠自己的聰明,在你一切所行的事上,都要認定他[神],他必指引你的路。」

以色列民既與基遍人起誓立約,神不會讓他們背棄誓言。請看第18至19節。我們若然許下承諾,就必須守信。例如,基督徒與未信者結婚,在神眼中已經是一項錯誤的決定;然而,神不會要我們離婚,因為我們要尊重婚約。即使日後的生活發生多大的磨擦,他仍然要堅守自己的承諾。以色列人為了守住自己的誓言,將要付上沉重的代價;不過,約書亞在往後的日子,卻再沒有犯下同樣的錯誤。因此,我們若然知錯能改,長遠來說,我們的基督徒生命仍會繼續成長和進步的。

 

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ACTING WITHOUT GOD'S GUIDANCE


Bible Reading:   

Joshua 9: 3-15

3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,

4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended,

5 old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy.

6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.”

7 Then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?”

8 But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”
And Joshua said to them, “Who are you, and where do you come from?”

9 So they said to him: “From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt,

10 and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan—to Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.

11 Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, “We are your servants; now therefore, make a covenant with us.”’

12 This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and moldy.

13 And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey.”

14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.

15 So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.

One of the first lessons we need to learn as Christians is that Satan has all kinds of tricks he will use to trap the people of God into sin or into a position where we cannot know the full blessing of God. The unexpectedness of Satan's methods are often as big as trap as the methods themselves.

The Children of Israel had been victorious at Jericho and later at Ai. It would be easy to think they could go on in the same way. In each place they had met the enemy head on, or out in the open, if you want to put it that way. But some of Israel's enemies realised that they would need to try something different if they were to remain alive. Satan also sees that when he can't defeat us by his strength, possibly he can still gain the victory by tricking us. A house may withstand the force of a cyclone only to be brought down by white ants eating their way through.

This is a most interesting story with a sad lesson in it. The Gibeonites had worked out a plan. They made themselves appear as if they had come a long way. They wore old clothes, patched old clothes, patched sandals and had old stale bread. In verse 9 they even expressed some kind of faith in God. It all sounded very good. But it was a lie and Joshua failed to ask God for guidance when these Gibeonites asked him to make an agreement with them.

Satan likes to rush us into wrong decisions. Neglect of prayer and failure to ask God for guidance will put us in the same place as Joshua---bound by an agreement with someone with whom we should never be linked. What does Proverbs 3 say? 'Lean not on your own understanding. In all, your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.'

God would not let the Children of Israel back down on their agreement. See verses 18-19. If we make a promise we have to keep it. A Christian who marries an unbeliever is doing wrong in the sight of God. But God does not say to that Christian, 'Leave him or her'. That one is bound by the marriage vow. Although life may be very difficult, before God they have to keep the promise they have made. Israel learned their lesson the hard way. But during Joshua's lifetime that mistake was never repeated. If we learn these lessons along the way, it will all be for our lasting good as we walk with God.

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