每日诗歌: The Lord Is My Shepherd (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhjK6gnl1D8)
在诗篇9-10篇中，困苦这个词反复被诗人使用。 “恶人在骄横中把困苦人追得火急”（10:2），“他埋伏，要掳去困苦人；他拉网，就把困苦人掳去”（10:9）。困苦是由恶人强加的，困苦人在他们的手中似乎很无助。然而，他们的希望是耶和华。 “他不忘记困苦人的哀求”（9:12），并且“困苦人的指望必不永远落空”（9:18）。困苦似乎是无穷尽的，但神应许困苦人，“把他安置在他所切慕的稳妥之地”（12:5）。
Psalms 10 [Read]
Psalms 11 [Read]
Psalms 12 [Read]
Acts 17:16-34 [Read]
Affliction is the chisel of God to create sculpture with His Son’s image. Though it’s hard to be under the sculptor’s knife, we can be assured that every cut is carefully planned and controlled by the Great Sculptor, and every strike of his mallet is meant to create godly feature in the final masterpiece.
The word affliction was repeatedly used by the psalmist in Psalms 9-10. “In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak (afflicted)” (10:2), and “he lies in wait to catch the helpless (afflicted); he catches the helpless (afflicted) and drags them off in his net” (10:9). Afflictions are imposed by the wicked ones, and the afflicted seemed helpless in their hands. However, their hope is in the LORD. “He does not ignore the cry of the afflicted” (9:10), and “nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish” (9:18). The afflictions might seem endless, but God promised the afflicted that “I will set him in the safety for which he longs” (12:6).
As we look back to the history of Israel, we see many God’s children going through afflictions for their character-building process. Jacob was put under the hands of Laban for 20 years, Joseph was in prison throughout his youth, Moses was in wilderness for 40 years, and David was chased by King Saul and had to be constantly on the run for his life. However, every one of these afflicted individuals became a noble vessel in God’s hand to accomplish his redemptive plan for his people. The ultimate example was Jesus himself, who “learned obedience from what he suffered and…he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Heb 5:8-9). Hence, there is definitely purpose in afflictions we suffer in life.
Sometimes, afflictions are inflicted by God directly. Just look at Job. Interestingly, the unleavened bread Israelites ate during Passover was called the “bread of affliction” (Dt 16:3). The Hebrew word for affliction is closely related to being humble, implying humility is the natural result of being afflicted. No one enjoys affliction, and every cut of the chisel leaves scar. But it’s comforting to remember the promise of God’s word: “although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them” (Isa 30:20).
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