2023-03-26 “Escaping from God’s Face Really Jeopardizes Our Life/Security”(Jonah 1)

Escaping from God’s Face Really Jeopardizes Our Life/Security 逃避神的面真的危及我們的生命/安穩“(Jonah 約拿書 1)

…But Jonah … sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea … the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. … But Jonah … fell into a deep sleep…. Then the sailors … cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. …He answered, ‘I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.’ …‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea,’ he replied, ‘and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.’ …Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord …

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

… 可是約拿 … 上船 … 往他施去,離開耶和華。但是耶和華在海上忽然颳起大風 … 船幾乎要破裂了。水手都很懼怕,各人向自己的神大聲呼求 … 可是約拿卻 … 熟睡了 … 水手就 … 抽籤,結果抽中了約拿 … 他回答說:“我是希伯來人,我敬畏耶和華天上的神,就是那創造海洋和陸地的。” … “你們把我抬起來,投在海裡,海浪就會平靜,因為我知道,這場大風暴臨到你們,是為了我的緣故。”… 於是他們把約拿抬起來,投在海裡,怒濤就平息了。那些人就大大敬畏耶和華 … 耶和華卻安排了一條大魚,把約拿吞下。約拿就在魚腹中三日三夜。

What a curious and tragic story of Jonah’s life contradicting his knowledge of God! Even a non-believer who knows some truth about God can rightly rebuke a Christian who is resisting God. All the sailors were religious men, devout in their prayers to their gods. Yet their gods were really nothing and could do nothing. There was one man on board who had a relationship with the true God, who knew His word, and who worshiped Him – yet he was asleep! Even a believer who is in a state of rebellion can give glory to God if he will only tell the truth about God. The sailors moved from fearing the storm to fearing God at last. It is presumptuous to think that in the moment of crisis we will be able to call upon the true God if we have not dealt with Him before. Instead it is better to think about why we do not do what God tells us to do. Every Christian has the same Great Commission; we have even less reason than Jonah for our disobedience!

約拿的生命與他對神的知識相矛盾,真是一個稀奇古怪又悲哀的故事!就算一個曉得有關神某些真理的非信徒,也能夠公正地遣責一個在抵抗神的基督徒。所有水手都是信教的人,在向他們的神明禱告上是虔誠的。然而,他們的神明算不得甚麽,也不可以作甚麽。在船上有一個人,與真神有關係,曉得祂的道,並敬拜祂 – 卻睡著了!就算一個在叛逆中的信徒,若他必定只說有關神的真理,也能將榮耀歸給神。水手們至終從懼怕風暴,轉變為敬畏神。若我們以前未曾與神打交道,想到在危機當中也必能求告真神是冒失的。反而更好去思想,為何我們没有作神告訴我們要作的。每位基督徒都有同一個大使命;對於我們的不聽從,我們比起約拿有甚至更少開脱的理由!

Prayer: Sovereign and Merciful Lord, thank you for the example of the reluctant prophet Jonah reminding us of the danger of doing things solely on the basis of mere impulse or feelings within ourselves. An impulse may be very brave, appear to be self-denying, lay claim to freedom or make us do to God or others what we would never want to be done to ourselves, yet wrong. Help us not to be ‘running away’ Christians or ‘sleeping’ Christians like Jonah but to be your obedient and faithful children. Amen.


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