加载中…
个人资料
清心
清心
  • 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:36,823
  • 关注人气:29
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
相关博文
推荐博文
谁看过这篇博文
加载中…
正文 字体大小:

TTC 2011-01-12, Dr. Rolan

(2011-01-12 21:54:29)
标签:

杂谈

分类: 敬拜礼仪

Out of the Pit

Psalm 40:1-11

In her essay entitled ‘The Love of God and Affliction’ the French Christian philosopher and mystic Simone Weil describes the trauma of affliction with penetrating insight[1]

法国基督徒哲学家和神秘主义思想家西蒙娜Ÿ薇依,在她的文章《上帝的爱与痛苦》里面,以敏锐的洞察力形容不幸所带来的创伤。

Affliction, she writes, is ‘the pulverisation of the soul by the mechanical brutality of circumstances’. 

她形容痛苦是灵魂受到机械式暴虐的境况所彻底地摧毁。

In affliction the trouble or misfortune that a man faces becomes his whole existence, and ‘in every other aspect he loses significance’.

在经历痛苦时,一个人所面对的烦恼或灾难成为他生命的全部,连生命的每个环节也失去了意义。

Affliction transforms a man in his own eyes ‘from the human condition into that of a half-crushed worm writhing on the ground’.

痛苦的事情使一个人看到自己从一个有尊严的人转变成“一条被碾段的虫子那样在地上挣扎”。

The person in affliction may strain to exert his existence.

受到痛苦煎熬的人便得挣扎求存。

But he is ‘continually pushed back into nothingness, like a drowning man whose head is pushed under the water’.

但是他却不断地被推向虚无,就像有人把一个溺水的人的头推入水里一样。

Affliction is ‘a kind of horror that submerges the whole soul’.

痛苦实在可怕,在于痛苦完全吞没了整个灵魂。

For believer and nonbeliever alike, affliction ‘causes God to be absent for a time, more absent than a dead man, more absent than light in the utter darkness of a cell’.

无论信徒,还是非信徒,痛苦的事情“使上帝在一段时间内无影无踪,比死去的人更遥远,比暗无天日的牢房还要黑暗”。

 

I think many of us have experienced and suffered the trauma of affliction in one form of another.

我想我们当中的许多人都在曾经经历和遭受过不同形式的痛苦所带来的创伤。

Our psalmist is certainly no stranger to afflictions and trials.

我们这位的诗人肯定对痛苦和试炼不感到陌生。

The first ten verses of Psalm 40 is a song of thanksgiving to God for his deliverance from affliction.

诗篇40篇一开始的头10节是一首对上帝表达感恩的诗歌,感谢上帝从患难中搭救他。

We are not told the exact nature of the difficulties that the psalmist faced. 

我们不知道诗人所面对真正的困难是什么。

But in verse 3, he uses powerful metaphors to describe his predicament.

不过在第3节,他使用了强而有力的比喻来形容的他的处境。

He said that the Lord lifted him out of the ‘slimy pit, out of the mud and mire’.

他说耶和华“从祸坑里、从淤泥中”把他拉出来。

This has led commentators to speculate about the trial that the psalmist faced.

许多释经家因此对诗人所遭受的试炼作出了种种的猜测。

Based on Psalm 30, some commentators suggest that perhaps the psalmist had been seriously ill, and that the Lord had healed him.

根据诗篇30篇,一些释经家提议可能诗人患重病,耶和华使他痊愈。

Others argue that given the royal context of the psalm, the psalmist must have been referring to a military crisis.

因着诗篇有王室的背景,也有释经家认为诗人指的肯定是军事上的危机。

But whatever may have been the nature of the trial, the psalmist trusted in God and was delivered.

无论实际的情况到底如何,诗人信靠上帝而得到了拯救。

God rescued him from a situation of near disaster and death.

上帝从极危难和死亡中拯救他。

He turned it into a situation of victory and stability.

上帝将一个处境从险境转化为胜利和稳定。

Trials and distresses will come to all of us.

试炼和危难是我们大家难以避免的。

What can we learn from this psalm that would help us to respond to them?

这篇诗篇有什么方面是我们可以学习,以至帮助我们去应对试炼和危难呢?

 

The answer to this question is found in the very first verse of the psalm.

这道问题的答案就出现在诗篇的第一节。

There we read, ‘I waited for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry’.

我们看到诗人说,“我曾耐心等候耶和华;他垂听我的呼求。”

In the midst of his trial and difficulties, the psalmist turned to God in prayer and waited patiently for him.

在试炼和困难中,诗人以祷告转向上帝,然后耐心等候祂。

This attitude of waiting upon the Lord is repeatedly recorded in Scriptures, particularly in the Psalms.

这种等候耶和华的态度在圣经中反复地出现,尤其是在诗篇。

In Psalm 27, we read this admonishment: ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord’ (v 14).

在诗篇27,我们看到这个勉励:“要等候耶和华!当壮胆,坚固你的心。我再说:要等候耶和华!”(14节)

This is echoed once again in Psalm 37: ‘Wait for the Lord and keep his way’.

诗篇37篇也再次呼应:“你当等候耶和华,遵守他的道”。

Perhaps the most famous passage on this theme is Isaiah 40:31.

对于这个主题,最著名的经文或许就是以赛亚书第40章第31节了。

There, a promise of renewal and strength is made to those who would wait upon God.

那里,上帝应许凡等候祂的人必然得到更新和力量。

Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.

那等候耶和华的,必从新得力。

They will soar on wings of eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’.

他们必如鹰展翅上腾,他们奔跑却不困倦,行走却不疲乏。

The example par excellence of patient waiting in times of affliction and distress in the Old Testament is surely Job.

在旧约里面,在遭受不幸和苦难时,耐心等候的最卓越的例子莫过于约伯。

 

Waiting is an important aspect of the Christian life.

等候是基督徒生命中的一个重要环节。

But what does it mean to wait for God?

不过,等候上帝到底是什么意思?

What does it mean to wait for God in times of affliction, difficulties and distress?

怎样才算是在不幸、困境和危难的时候等候上帝呢?

Is waiting upon the Lord a kind of Stoic bravado, or is it a stubborn refusal to accept our situation?

等候耶和华是一种坚忍的虚张声势呢,还是一种顽固、不愿接受现实的状况呢?

Or does waiting upon God suggest a kind of veiled pessimism – the sense that things are not going to change for the better, and that in fact they are going to get worse?

还是等候上帝暗示着一种掩饰的悲观主义?意思是,情况是不会变好的,而且事实上,情况可能还会变得更糟糕。

Is waiting for God really a form of fatalism, a passive resignation to the vicissitudes of life, a despairing surrender to the prevailing circumstances?

等候上帝实际上是否是一种宿命论、一种消极屈从于人生兴衰的态度、一种向现状妥协的绝望?

This is not what the Bible means by waiting upon the Lord.

这并不是圣经所指的等候耶和华。

Patient waiting is not hollow, sleepy and passive resignation to the situation.

耐心等候并不是毫无意义、懒洋洋的,也不是消极地任由现状摆布。

Patient waiting is active. In fact it is much more difficult, much more demanding and exacting than certain forms of action.

耐心等候是积极的。事实上,耐心等候是更困难的,比某些行动还要苛刻和费力。

The person who waits for the Lord has therefore not drifted into a stupor of inaction.

因此,一个等候耶和华的人是不会因为没有行动而漂入昏迷的。

He is in fact wide-awake.

事实上,他是完全清醒的。

He is not someone who has given up.

他并没有放弃。

He is determined, focussed and single-minded.

他是坚定、有明确目标,又专一的。

He does not allow himself to be distracted or diverted by useless action or frenzy.

他不让自己因无用的行动和慌忙,而分心或转移专注力。

This waiting is never mindless or lethargic.

这种等候不是盲目的,也不会让人冷淡。

It is always decisive and purposeful.

它是果断的,也是赋有目的的。

Some commentators have remarked that the NIV’s rendering of verse 1 is rather weak.

有些释经家曾经表示英文圣经新国际译本(NIV)对第一节的翻译不够强烈。

According to them ‘I waited patiently’ is better translated as ‘I hope intensely for Yahweh’.

根据这些释经家,“我耐心等候”可以更好地翻译为“我极度地期待耶和华”。

They are probably right!

他们很可能是对的!

The patient wait of the psalmist for God’s deliverance is energised by his hope in God.

诗人对上帝的那种盼望,给予他力量,去耐心等候上帝的拯救。

In fact, only a person who hopes in God can wait for him. Hope is always wedded to faith.

事实上,只有对上帝心存盼望的人,才能够等候祂。盼望和信心常常是形影不离的。

And the faith of the psalmist is clearly expressed in verse 4, when he writes: ‘Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods’.

第4节清楚表明了诗人的信心,他写:“那倚靠耶和华,不理会狂傲和偏向虚假之辈的,这人便为有福”。

Faith is therefore vital for hope.

因此,信心对盼望是至关重要的。

Faith nourishes hope.

信心滋润盼望。

It is faith that determines the degree to which hope lifts us up.

就是信心决定我们盼望的程度。

 

The psalmist’s faith is also based on God’s faithfulness.

诗人的信心也是基于上帝的信实。

Verse 5 recalls the wonders that God has performed in the past.

第5节回顾上帝在过去所行的神迹奇事。

These words allude to the primal memories of Egypt and the Exodus.

这些话语间接地回忆古远的埃及和出埃及的事件。

Thus, the faith of the psalmist is established in and nurtured by Israel’s faith in God.

因此,诗人的信心是建立在以色列民族对上帝的信仰,他的信心也在这信仰中培育出来。

In waiting trustingly for God’s deliverance, the psalmist stands in solidarity with and participates in the whole saving memory of Israel.

在等候上帝拯救的当中,诗人和以色列的整个救赎回忆看齐,也参与在其中。

The psalmist can put his faith in God because he has learned to remember his mighty acts in the history of his people.

他能够相信上帝,是因为诗人已经学会回顾上帝在他的民族的历史中所行的大事。

And because he remembers the faithfulness of God in the past, the psalmist is able to entrust his life to God in the present.

也因为诗人记得上帝在过去是如何地信实,所以他能够在此时此地将生命交托给上帝。

He is able to trust in this God for his future, even when the present circumstances make that future look terribly bleak.

即使目前的情况让将来看来似乎暗淡无光,他仍然能够为着他的未来信靠上帝。

Because his hope is in God, the psalmist refuses to let the current circumstances of his life defeat him.

因为他的盼望是在于上帝,诗人坚持不让现实的情况将他打倒。

 

It is this same faith and hope that enabled the Apostle Paul to assert so boldly: ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us’ (Rom 8:35, 37).

使徒保罗也因着同样的信心和盼望,以致能够放胆坚持说:“谁能使我们与基督的爱隔绝呢?难道是患难吗?是困苦吗?是逼迫吗?是饥饿吗?是赤身露体吗?是危险吗?是刀剑吗?然而,靠着爱我们的主,在这一切的事上已经得胜有馀了。”(罗:35,37)。

Only a hope that is nourished by faith can come alive during the time of trials and suffering.

唯有在信心滋润下的盼望,才能够在试炼和苦难中成为有生命力的盼望。

Faith and hope inject into the waiting soul a supernatural peace, a peace that passes human understanding, even in the midst of great and insurmountable distress.

即使是处在极大又无法克服的困境中,信心和盼望能够为那等候的灵魂注入超自然的平安,一种出人意外的平安。

 

But more can be said about such hope.

然而,对于这种盼望,我们还可以有更多的讨论。

I think we can say that the hope of the psalmist is in a profound sense a protest.

在一个深切的意义上,我想我们可以说诗人的盼望是一种抗议。

It is a protest against the current situation.

它是一种对现状的抗议。

Hope is the recognition that things as they are, are simply not what they are meant to be.

盼望是认识到事情在目前的实况,绝不应该是事实本来的状况。

Hope is an acknowledgement of the great discrepancy between the present situation and the promise of God.

盼望是承认现状与上帝的应许之间是存有巨大的差异。

Hope is utterly dissatisfied with the present.

盼望是对目前的现实完全的不满。

But this hope is also protest against the silence and absence of God.

可是,这盼望也是抗议上帝的沉默和隐藏。

Hope refuses to accept God’s silence as basic or final.

盼望是不肯接受上帝的沉默就是根本或是终极。

In fact hope insists that the silent God is not the true God at all!

事实上,盼望坚持沉默的上帝根本不是真正的上帝!

The God who remains silent is not the one whom we call our Father.

保持沉默的上帝并不是我们称为我们的父的那一位。

Only the false gods, the useless idols of Israel’s neighbours are dumb.

只有假神,以色列周围邻国无用的偶像才是哑巴的。

Only they are mute, incapable of speech.

唯有他们是不能作声,不能说话的。

The true God is the God who speaks, the God who comforts and the God who acts.

真神是说话的上帝,是安慰人的上帝,也是有行动的上帝。

True hope is always hope in this God – the God who inclines and hears, the God who delivers, the God who is always with his people.

真正的盼望是永远期盼这样的一位上帝 – 这位侧耳细听的上帝,施行拯救的上帝,一直与祂的子民同在的上帝。

It is such hope that makes prayer possible.

这种盼望让人能够祷告。

Hope fuels prayer.

盼望将力量灌注在祷告中。

Because of his hope in God, the cry of the psalmist is not a cry of despair.

因为诗人期盼上帝,他的呼求并不是绝望的哀号。

It is the cry of faith.

那是信心的呼喊。

It is prayer.

那是祷告。

True prayer may be said to be always an expression of hope.

真正的祷告往往都可以被称为盼望的表达。

The person who can pray is someone who still has hope, however faint that hope may be.

无论盼望有多暗淡,一位能够祷告的人是一位仍然心存盼望的人。

As the French Christian philosopher Jacques Ellul has perceptively put it, ‘Prayer is the referral to God’s decision, on which we are counting. Without that referral there can be no hope, because we would have nothing to hope for. Prayer is the assurance of the possibility of God’s intervention, without which there is no hope’.[2]

法国基督徒哲学家加奎·埃吕尔敏锐地表达:“祷告是寻求上帝的决定,这决定是我们所依靠的。没有那样的寻求,就没有盼望,因为我们没有任何可以寄望的。祷告是对上帝介入的可能性满有把握。没有了这种把握,就没有盼望。”

As the psalmist waited patiently for God, the Lord rescued him with his mighty arm.

诗人耐心等候上帝,耶和华就用祂大能的膀臂搭救他。

He pulled him out of the pit of desolation. He lifted him from the miry bog.

上帝将他从悲惨的祸坑中拉出来,将他从淤泥中解救出来。

He rescued him from the quicksand of affliction and suffering and set his feet on solid rock.

上帝救他脱离痛苦与苦难的流砂,使他的脚立在磐石上。

Those who wait upon the Lord will indeed experience the epiphany of his saving grace.

等候耶和华的,的确会经历祂救赎恩典的显现。

Those who trustingly abandon themselves to God in times of crisis will indeed experience his deliverance.

完全放下自我来信靠上帝的,必然在危机中经历祂的拯救。

In the futility of his present circumstances, the psalmist cries to God.

诗人在他现状的无助中呼叫上帝。

God heard the psalmist’s cry, rescued him and gave him a future.

上帝垂听他的呐喊,搭救他,赐给他明天。

God makes possible a new beginning for those who trust in him.

上帝给予信靠祂的人一个新的开始。

As the psalmist put his trust in God, the dark night of his horrible circumstances gave way to a new dawn.

诗人信靠上帝,他恐怖的黑夜处境就转变成为新的晨曦。

 

This new beginning has put a new song on the lips of the psalmist.

这个新的开始让诗人的口唱出新歌。

In fact, it was the Lord who gave him a new song to sing.

事实上,是耶和华赐给他一首新歌。

Again this brings us back to the Exodus, to the Songs of Moses (Exod 15:1-18) and of Miriam (Exod 15:21).

这又再次带我们回到出埃及的情景,回忆起摩西(出15:1-18)和米利暗的诗歌(出15:21)

But this new song is not simply a song of celebration of the liberation, deliverance and restoration that the psalmist had experienced.

不过这新歌并不只表达诗人的经历,不是单纯一首庆祝释放、拯救和恢复的诗歌。

This new song also marks a fresh commitment to God, a new resolve to love and serve God.

这首新歌也标志着诗人对上帝的一个新的承诺,一个新的决心去爱和服事上帝。

The psalmist emerged from the pit of desolation praising God with a renewed faith and a renewed hope in Yahweh.

诗人从孤寂的祸坑中出来,以更新的信心和盼望赞美耶和华。

This new song, which marks a new beginning, therefore signals a new depth in the psalmist’s relationship with God.

因此这首新歌,标志着新的开始,也暗示着诗人与上帝的关系有了一个新的深度。

The external requirements of religion, which the psalmist has presumably observed since his youth now attain a new significance, a new theological and spiritual depth and density.

诗人应该自幼就遵从宗教的外在要求。现在这些要求有了新的意义,在神学上和属灵上有了新的深度与强度。

It is not that the rituals of sacrifice are not important. It is that their true meaning lies beyond their mere performance.

不是献祭的礼仪不再重要。它们真正的意义超越了礼仪动作本身。

Their true meaning lies in the profound covenant relationship between God and his people that they bring to expression.

它们真正的意义在于上帝与祂的子民深远的立约关系。这正是礼仪所要表达出来的。

With his renewed faith, the psalmist has penetrated the true essence of religion, which has to do with essentially and primarily with a relationship.

诗人以他更新的信心,洞悉宗教真正的本质。原来宗教的真正本质基本上就是一种关系。

Thus he says, ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require … I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart’.

因此他说:“祭物和礼物,你不喜悦;你已经开通我的耳朵。燔祭和赎罪祭非你所要。…我的神啊,我乐意照你的旨意行;你的律法在我心里”。

 

As we stand at the beginning of the New Year, we can look back with gratitude and thanksgiving to God for the way in which he been faithful to us – even though we have not always been faithful to him.

当我们处在新一年的开始,我们带着感恩的心来回顾,虽然我们没有常常对上帝忠心,但是我们可以感谢上帝如何以信实对待我们。

We may have experienced his silences and absences as we encountered trials and difficulties in the past year.

我们在过去的一年经历试炼和困难时,可能经历过祂的沉默与隐藏。

But we can with the psalmist acknowledge the fact that God’s silence is never final.

但是我们可以像诗人一样,承认这个事实。那就是上帝的沉默永远不是终极的。

He is the God who inclines and hears our prayers, the God who speaks to us through his Word.

祂是侧耳细听我们祷告的上帝,那位透过祂的话语向我们说话的上帝。

None of us knows what lies ahead.

我们没有人能够知道未来。

There may be occasions in this new year when we will like the psalmist find ourselves in the pit of affliction, difficulties, sorrow, and disappointments.

在这新的一年里,我们可能会遇到像诗人那样的处境,困在不幸、困难、悲哀和死亡的深坑中。

For some of us these experiences may be so overwhelming, so intense, and so crippling that they may lead us close to despair.

在我们当中的有些人的经历可能会极度强烈、甚至造成伤害,以至让我们差点陷入彻底绝望。

The psalmist teaches us never to despair.

诗人教导我们不要绝望。

The psalmist teaches us instead to trust.

反而,诗人教导我们要信靠。

He teaches us to hope.

他教导我们要盼望。

He teaches us to wait patiently.

他教导我们要耐心等候。

For ‘Blessed [indeed] is the man is who makes the Lord his trust’.

因为,“那倚靠耶和华[的]、…这人便[真]为有福”。

Amen.

阿门。



[1] Simone Weil, ‘The Love of God and Affliction’ in The Simone Weil Reader, ed. George A. Panichas (New York: David McKay Company, 1977).

[2] Jacques Ellul, Hope in Time of Abandonment (New York: The Seasbury Press, 1973), 272.

0

阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...
发评论

    发评论

    以上网友发言只代表其个人观点,不代表新浪网的观点或立场。

      

    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有