Day 21 March 20




Day 21 March 20

Passage: Isaiah 45: 9 - 13
It is a matter of fact that God commissioned Cyrus to accomplish His will. This was a very controversial action indeed. The speeches began from Chapter 40 onwards, but Cyrus' name was only mentioned towards the end of Chapter 44. This delayed revelation was an intentional arrangement. After all, the prophet's revelations were beyond common sense. On one hand, there was the feeling of being abandoned by God for 50 years; on the other hand, many could be equally skeptical about Persia after undergoing the violence of Assyria and Babylonia. However, the most difficult part was to accept a Gentile as God's anointed shepherd instead of a descendent of David. How did Isaiah convince them? Simply by reminding them that He is the indisputable God.

The prophet emphasized that if they argued with God's revelation, it meant that they were against God Himself. His thoughts are different from our thoughts; His ways are different from our ways. Therefore, one who argues with his Creator is like the clay questioning the potter (verse 9), or like the baby challenging the parents (verse 10). Can't God discipline His own children? Can't the potter shape the clay as he wishes? Since God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth (verse 12), He is sovereign in His judgment on the Babylonians as well as the restoration of the Israelites. We may be uncertain about the destiny of a piece of clay, just like we are unsure about the future of a growing child. The mind of the potter is to transform the clay into a worthy and a useful vessel. As long as God continues to mold us, there will always be the possibility of becoming a special vessel. History is shaped like clay, so is man. No matter Jews or Gentiles, noble or lowly, all are like clay in God's all powerful hands.

In the Jewish political, racial and religious thinking, Cyrus might not be the ideal candidate of God. It might even appear ridiculous. However, the prophet solemnly reminded them of the importance of God's sovereignty and at the same time challenged them to expand their perspectives. "How dare you question me about my children! How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my hands!" (verse 11). Can you imagine? Cyrus was God's child too. Cyrus' achievement was also God's accomplishment. God's deeds are wonderful and immeasurable by human ways.

Prayer: God, we often dare to argue with you and forget how great you are. Your hands stretched out the sky and created the universe. We humbly acknowledge that you are the Divine Potter to do whatever you want with us, the clay.

第二十一天 Mar 20

经文:以赛亚书 45:9-13
事实上,耶和华重用古列来完成自己的旨意是非常争议性的作为。从40章一直到44章结尾才公布古列的名字,这样的铺陈是刻意的。毕竟先知的想法有点超乎常理。一方面是感觉被抛弃了50年;另一方面,经历了暴烈的亚述和巴比伦,难以想象波斯会如何不同。但最困难之处,是难以接受神恩膏的牧人会是外邦人,而不是大卫的子孙。以赛亚如何扭转他们的想法呢?就是提醒他们,这是一位毋庸置疑的神。

先知强调如果他们与神的启示争辩,那就是抗拒神本身。人与神有认知上的巨大差别。所以人与神的争辩,就有如瓦器与陶匠争辩(参45:9),婴儿与父母争辩(参45:10)。耶和华难道不能教养自己的子女吗?陶匠不能决定自己想要雕塑的意思吗?耶和华既然是开天辟地的创造主(参45:12),那么怎么审判巴比伦,怎么复兴以色列,也都是耶和华的主权。一堆泥巴的命运也许是难以断定。就如一个孩子的成长和未来一样。陶匠的心意在于使泥巴成为器皿。只要耶和华还在用心琢磨,不停地塑造,那永远有成为器皿的可能。历史是这个泥巴,人也是。外邦人,犹太人,不论贵贱,都是。

古列也许不符合犹太人的政治、种族、宗教理想。也许在他们的认知里面是荒谬的。先知却严厉提醒他们神主权的重要。同时也挑战他们,扩大他们的视野。你们竟敢问起我的儿女!你们竟敢教我亲手所作之工!”45:11)想不到吧!古列也是神的孩子。古列的功业也是神的工。神的作为微妙,难以测度。

祷告:上帝我们经常斗胆与祢争辩,没有认识到祢是亲自铺张诸天的上主。我们今天明白了。

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