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12/27/2020 Praise the LORD! (讚美主!)

by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)


As we look towards 2021, I am sure we are all happy to stop writing 2020 and rid ourselves of any unpleasant memories. It has surely been a trying time for us all for most of the year. From protests and riots, to COVID-19 and the freedom to wear masks, to a troubling election… these trials make any delayed Christmas gifts appear trivial. Conversely, I am certain there are those who have still had an active and productive year, as new skills have been honed and family relationship have been tightened. What we need to be aware of is, all of this is trivial before God. We must look to God in all circumstances, for that is what the Scriptures proclaim.


Psalm 146 is a wonderful testimony to this important truth. The first three verses state: “Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation” (Psalm 146:1-3 ESV). No matter what happens, we praise the Lord. For he is the one who ultimately provides salvation, not any person who rules or governs on earth.


In verses 7-9, we see this theme described again. “Who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; 8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin” (vv.7-9). The Lord is the one who protects and rules. He is the one who provides our sustenance, our freedom, and even our sight. He is the one who metes out justice, while lifting up the downtrodden. The Lord is watching over the foreigner, the widow and orphan. He does not forget. He will provide for the righteous. Therefore, we must live righteously, as the wicked will be brought to ruin. This means that we are not to live selfishly, but to act in ways that assist in the Lord’s work. We are to be “bowed down”, which is another way to say that we should be living humbly.


For, in the end, our lives really mean little. We are but a single generation. And as v.10 states, “The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!” The wisdom from this Psalm is the reminder that we are not to live for ourselves. That is not what God purposed us for. It is to worship and praise the LORD! Remember this Thursday night as you bring in the New Year.


Translation:


當展望2021 年的時侯,相信我們所有人都會很樂意不用再書寫2020 這個年份,從此亦可擺脫任何與這一年有關的不快回憶。 這一年之中大部分的時間肯定是我們眾人所曾渡過最艱難的日子。 從抗議到騷亂,從COVID-19 到戴口罩的自由,再經過一個麻煩的選舉……這些試練比任何一份姍姍來遲的聖誕禮物都顯得非常之微不足道。 反過來說,我肯定有些人今年過了個既活躍且收穫滿滿的的一年,皆因他們都被鍛練過,得了新技能,家庭關係亦得以牢固。 我們需要意識到,這些所有的在上帝面前其實都是微不足道的。 我們必須在任何情況下都要仰望上帝,因為這是聖經所說明的。


詩篇146 章對於這個重要的真理有著很美好的見証:「你們要讚美耶和華!我的心哪,你要讚美耶和華!我一生要讚美耶和華!我還活的時候要歌頌我的神!你們不要倚靠君王,不要倚靠世人;他一點不能幫助。亅(詩篇146:1-3)無論何境況我們都要讚美主。因只有祂是唯一能给予我們救贖的一位,所有地上執政掌權的都不能夠做到。


在第七至第九節的時候這個主題又再次重複:「他為受屈的伸冤,賜食物與飢餓的。耶和華釋放被囚的;耶和華開了瞎子的眼睛;耶和華扶起被壓下的人。耶和華喜愛義人。耶和華保護寄居的,扶持孤兒和寡婦,卻使惡人的道路彎曲。亅上帝保護人亦統治萬民。 祂供應我們的生計,給我們有自由甚至賜我們有視力。 祂提拔正義的人,同時亦扶助被壓迫的人。上主看守異鄉人,還有寡婦和孤兒。 祂不會遺忘人。 他供應給義人。 故此,我們必須在生活裡行公義,要知道惡人將會被毀滅。 這意味著我們不能自私地過活,並要常常抱著為要輔助主,為祂作工的心而行事。我們要「聽命遵從亅,換句話說,我們要謙卑地生活。


要知道我們的生命在最終其實都是意義不大。我們只不過是一代的人。就如第十節所講:「耶和華要作王,直到永遠!錫安哪,你的神要作王,直到萬代!你們要讚美耶和華!亅這詩篇的智慧就是要提醒我們不要為己而活,這並非神所為我們而定的人生目的。我們乃是要敬拜和讚美上主!當星期四晚新年到臨的時候,請記住這教導。



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