7月7日靈修禱文

They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

Malachi 3:17-18

Thought

The Book of Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament, while the Book of Zechariah is the second last. In the era of Zechariah, the reconstruction of the temple brought hope of a revival. But in the time of Malachi, the Israelites had complaints and questioned God because His promise was not fulfilled. Over the past 5 years, we have had renovation experiences similar to the Israelites' reconstruction of the temple. We not only encountered tons of difficulties: spending that was way over the budget; we were dragged into a court case... After our great efforts, the renovation project was almost complete. But the pandemic broke out. We were unable to use the church for gatherings. These experiences may make us discouraged. They may even make us question God's love like the Israelites, like what's said in Malachi 3:14: "It is futile to serve God."; "What do we gain by carrying out His requirements?"; "What do we gain by fasting and repenting?" In the verses that follow, however, God provides a different view to these experiences. He does not explain why these things happened. He just stresses how precious in his eyes those who follow him are.  "...those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.";  "... they will be my treasured possession.";  "I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him." God values those who fear him. Fearing of God motivates us to trust and obey Him. The change from full of hope for revival to "it is futile to serve God" did not happen in one day. It was a regression that happened gradually without one's conscious knowing. One gradually lost his fearful heart towards God.

Prayer

Oh Lord, in today's most turbulent and unsettled times, we may be confused by not seeing your work behind. Oh God, please teach us to face the difficulties and confusion in awe of you. Let us value what you value, and fix our eyes on you. Amen.
Elder Henry Leung

萬軍之耶和華說、在我所定的日子、他們必屬我、特特歸我.我必憐恤他們、如同人憐恤服事自己的兒子。那時你們必歸回、 將善人和惡人、事奉神的和不事奉神的、分別出來 。

瑪拉基書 3:17-18

思想

瑪拉基書是在撒迦利亞書之後舊約的最後一卷書。在撒加利亞時,重建聖殿帶來復興的盼望。但在瑪拉基時代,以色列人對神的應許仍未實現產生埋怨,並對神質疑。過去五年,我們也有着以色列人重建聖殿相似的修建經歷。不單遇上重重困難、嚴重超支、甚至陷入官司。經過很多努力,到差不多完成之際又出現了疫情,令我們不能使用教會聚會。這些經歷可能令人氣餒,甚或好像以色列人般對神的愛感到疑惑,像在瑪3:14 「事奉神是没有用的」,「遵守神的誡命是没有益處的」,「禁食或悔改是没有益處的」。在後面幾節經文,神卻對這些經歷提出不同的看法。祂没有解釋這些事為何發生,祂只强調跟從祂的人在祂眼中何等寶貴。「敬畏耶和華的彼此談論。耶和華側耳而聽」,「他們必屬我 、 特特歸我」,「我必憐恤他們 、 如同人憐恤服事自己的兒子」。神看重的是敬畏祂的人。敬畏是一種動機使我們去信靠並順服神。從對復興充滿盼望到感到事奉神是没有用的改變不是發生在一日的。這是一個不經意慢慢的倒退,慢慢的失去了敬畏神的心。

禱告

主啊,在现今充滿了動盪和不安的時代,我們可能因看不清你在背後的工作而感到迷惘。神啊,求你教導我們以敬畏你的心去面對前面的困難及迷惘,讓我們看重你所重視的,將眼光固定在你身上。阿們。
梁季怡長老
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