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二○一九年六月一日/六月二日                                                                                                Click here for English version

與素常一樣

伍銘懿牧師

「但以理知道這禁令蓋了玉璽,就到自己家裡(他樓上的窗戶開向耶路撒冷),一日三次,雙膝跪在他神面前,禱告感謝,與素常一樣。」(但六 10)

經文記載但以理歷經三個王權的統治,從少年時候被擄到巴比倫,至巴比倫被瑪代波斯所滅,其中有巴比倫王尼布甲尼撒、伯沙撒,以至第六章的波斯王大流士,前後幾近 70 年。然而,就在波斯王大流士極其讚賞年邁的但以理有美好靈性、超乎其餘 120 個總督之時,眾總督卻因貪婪、嫉妒、苦毒,圖謀陷害但以理,他們想出一個禁令,就是:「三十日內不拘何人,若在王以外或向神、或向人求甚麼,就必扔在獅子坑中。」(但六 7)但以理並沒有因為懼怕被扔進獅子坑而畏縮,在威嚇下他選擇敬畏神,欣然走進坑中,而驚怕他被獅子傷害的竟是大流士。這些打算殺害但以理的造神者,結果都死在自設的獅子坑裡。這段記載,除了宣告作惡者必遭懲罰,更顯示但以理強韌的生命力,他面對強權而不屈,持定敬畏神,他對神是全然的信靠,就連外邦君王大流士也佩服他,諭令全國人民要在但以理的神面前,戰兢恐懼,因為知道祂是永遠長存的活神(但六 26)。

但以理的信心,肯定是從他每日三次雙膝跪在神面前禱告感謝、日復日的操練建立起來,這習慣 70 年來一直沒變。縱使知道禁令已蓋璽,不能逆轉,但以理回到家,仍是以雙膝跪下禱告、感謝,定睛仰望神,與素常一樣。

北方一所教會的固定聚會地方,在數月前一個主日被取締了,他們第二週便在戶外進行崇拜,牧者宣講的,就是但以理書第六章。時勢變幻,令人沮喪無力,禱告,除了呼求、再呼求之外,彷彿已無甚麼可表達。然而,但以理卻在極大的危險困迫下禱告感恩,他實在信得過神和祂掌管的大能。但願但以理不一樣的信心,成為我們的激勵——憑信,仰望神、禱告感恩,如素常一樣。

「親愛的弟兄啊,有火煉的試驗臨到你們,不要以為奇怪(似乎是遭遇非常的事), 倒要歡喜,因為你們是與基督一同受苦,使你們在祂榮耀顯現的時候,也可以歡喜快樂。你們若為基督的名受辱,便是有福的;因為神榮耀的靈,常住在你們身上。」(彼前四 12-14)






Pastor's Sharing
Just As He Had Done Before
Rev Ng Ming Yee

"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before" (Daniel 6:10).

A captive in Babylon when young, Daniel witnessed three regimes in his lifetime until the fall of Babylon to Medo-Persia. The reigns of King Nebuchadnezzar, King Belshazzar, and King Darius (Chapter 6) lasted almost 70 years. The Persian King Darius found the aged Daniel who had good spirituality very impressive, and Daniel distinguished himself among the rest of the 120 administrators and satraps. Nevertheless, acting on greed, envy and malice, the administrators and satraps conspired to bring harm on Daniel. They asked the king to issue an edict that "anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions' den" (Daniel 6:7). But Daniel was undeterred. He chose to fear God despite the threat of the lions' den. It turned out that the threat was not really on the mind of Daniel, although it did act on King Darius. The other administrators and satraps who tried to use a regime to kill Daniel were trying to be God but they perished in their own lions’ den. Besides proclaiming that evil doers will not go unpunished, the passage also reveals the strong vitality of Daniel. He did not succumb to might and insisted on fearing God. His total reliance on God won him admiration even from the pagan King Darius, who issued a decree that in every part of the kingdom, people must fear and revere the God of Daniel because "he is the living God and he endures forever" (Daniel 6:26).

I am sure that Daniel's faith has come from his repeated training in getting down on his knees three times a day and praying and giving thanks to God. His habit saw no change for 70 years. Despite a decree in writing which could not be repealed, Daniel would get down on his knees and pray as soon as he got home, fixing his eyes on God just as he had done before.

A few months ago in the north, a church venue was closed. The next Sunday, the worship service moved outdoors. The message the pastor preached was on Daniel 6. The change of the times may bring frustration and a sense of helplessness. It seems nothing can be done except praying and praying. Daniel prayed and gave thanks in great danger. He trusted in God and in His sovereign power. May Daniel's extraordinary faith encourage us so that by faith, we can look unto God, pray and give thanks just as we have done before.

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you" (1 Peter 4:12-14).