by 鍾卓權牧師 (Rev. Bernie Chung)
上帝並沒有沉默也沒有隱藏祂自己。祂派先知哈該在大利烏王第二年從六月起至九月都在宣講耶和華的信息，先知撒迦利亞在同年的八月 (即哈該結束前一個月) 就開始見到一連串八個異象。撒迦利亞懇切地呼籲新一代回歸的 猶大以色列子民要悔改，這些百姓已經清楚地看到他們的祖先因遠離上帝，其後果是遭受敵國的入侵，這些敵人的入侵仍是上帝 懲罰 他們的棍，結果是以色列子民被擄、聖殿被毀，現在上帝再次藉著先知去警告這些年青的一代，就如同祂以前警告其先祖一樣。上帝一直都沒有離棄祂的百姓，祂與亞伯拉罕和大衛所立的約也從未改變。上帝是按照自己的形像造人其目的是要與我們建立密切的關係，雖然我們遠離了上帝，但祂仍然愛我們，希望我們能回轉，從而恢復我們與祂的關係。希伯來書 2:3節提醒我們說：「我們若忽略這麼大的救恩、怎能逃罪呢？」
如果神對我們在 某些狀況下 保持沉默，可能是祂已經給了我們足夠的提示，因此無需要加添任何新的啟示，我們只需要記住祂所說過的話，除非祂想讓我們知道祂更多的心意。好像撒迦利亞書第二章所記，那天晚上上帝繼續讓撒迦利亞見到第三個準繩的異象，看見一個人手裏拿著繩子去量度耶路撒冷城。拿著繩子去量度耶路撒冷城的界線，顯然是計劃要重建耶路撒冷城。但另一位天使出現，並指出無需量度邊界。因為新城將會擴展到現有的範圍之外。撒迦利亞書2:4-5 節說：「… 路撒冷必有人居住、好像無城牆的鄉村、因為人民和牲畜甚多。耶和華說、我要作耶路撒冷四圍的火城、並要作其中的榮耀。」意味著無必要建造城牆，上帝自己就是耶路撒冷四圍的火城」，成為百姓的保障。
當我們把目光僅僅是注視著目前的困境，我們很容易會被當下的困境所蒙蔽而灰心，看不到上帝的旨意。是的，今天我們仍然需要居家抗疫，保持社交安全距離，另加上多處的示威活動，抗議非洲裔George Floyd 在警察暴力執法下喪失生命的慘劇，接續近一週的抗議目前仍未見停息的徵兆、示威、搶劫, 動盪... 疫情尚未能控制，失業人數又急速上升。鑑於目前的動盪不安，讓我們心情沉重，只有上帝的話語才能給我們真正的安慰與力量，只有祂才是我們的倚靠我們的山寨，上帝必實現他的目的。在異象中的那人拿著繩子自告奮勇去量度耶路撒冷城，沒有察覺到上帝的計劃，其實我們須要順服在上帝的旨意之下，成為祂計劃中的一部分，好像以色列子民憑信心，首先重建他們與上帝的關係，繼而專心參與上帝的計劃並成為神計劃中的一部分。我們要知道上帝有其絕對主權，我們必然將見到上帝計劃的完成。撒迦利亞書 2:15 說：「凡有血氣的、都當在耶和華面前靜默無聲．因為他興起、從聖所出來了。」弟兄姊妹們，我們要忍耐，要安靜等候，祂奇妙的作為必將臨到。阿們！
God was not silent and did not hide Himself from the Israelites. Jehovah sent the Prophet Haggai to preach His message from June to September in the second year of Darius. In August of the same year, a month before Haggai finished, Prophet Zechariah saw a vision consisting of "four horns and four craftsmen". Zechariah earnestly appealed to the new generation of Israelites who returned from Judah to repent before it is too late. The returning people should have clearly seen the suffering of their ancestors when they were invaded by enemies, and these invasions were God's punishments because they turned away from Him. The people of Israel were exiled and the temple was destroyed. Through the prophets, God once again warned the young generation just as He had warned their ancestors before. God has never forsaken His people, and His covenant with Abraham and David has never changed. God created man according to His own image with the purpose to establish a close relationship with human. Even when we are far away from Him, God still loves us and hopes that we will turn back to Him and restore our
relationship with Him. Hebrews 2:3 reminds us: “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?.”
If we sense God is silent toward us under certain conditions, it may be that He has given us enough hints so there is no need for new revelations. We only need to remember what God said to us, and trust Him to let us know more when necessary. As recorded in the second chapter of Zechariah, one night God let Zechariah see a man with a measuring line in his hand to measure the city of Jerusalem. The man held the line to demarcate the boundaries of the city of Jerusalem--apparently he planned to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. But another angel appeared and pointed out that there was no need to measure the boundaries because the new city will expand much greater. Zechariah 2:4-5
says: “‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’” God will give us the protection we need.
With the turmoil that surround us, we can be easily blindsided and get discouraged by what is happening. As we practice shelter-at-home and social distancing to combat the pandemic, we are also consumed by the social injustice of police brutality. The tragic death of African-American George Floyd due to police violence in law enforcement has started week -long protests across the nation. We see demonstrations, civil disobedience, looting, and arsons in many US cities. Meanwhile, unemployment and death due to coronavirus rise as the pandemic is still not fully under control. We are heavy hearted and helpless indeed, and only the words of God can bring us comfort and strength. God is our fortress in this tumultuous time. Trust and obey God, and His will be done. The man, in Zechariah’s vision, held the line to demarcate the boundaries of Jerusalem, the Lord stopped him for he failed to see God’s plan. We need to be part of God's plan by being close to Him. We must submit to God's absolute sovereignty, and we shall serve Him loyally to further God's Kingdom beyond boundaries. Brothers and Sisters, we have to be patient and be still. One day soon, God's wonderful work will come. Amen!