每日诗歌: 主啊差遣我 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvDGLoLOLXU)
以赛亚的时代是犹大王国非常困难的时期，因为神的选民正在经历着内忧外患。此外，以赛亚的预言勾勒出一幅他们将被掳到巴比伦的阴郁画面。这时的犹太人肯定为他们将来的幸福焦虑，这是可以理解的，因为他们几乎看不到任何希望。但这正是神的百姓需要被一个重要的事实 --“我是耶和华”-- 提醒的时候。
“你不要害怕！因为我救赎了你，...你是属我的”（43:1）。这个完成的时态清楚地表明救赎已经完成，并且这些他为自己的荣耀所创造的的犹太余民是属神的（43:7）。他们不需要担心从水中经过或从火中行过（43:2），因为与他们同在的是耶和华，就是能在旷野开道路，在沙漠开江河的那位（43:19）。“我是耶和华” 这古老的诫命其实是对神的百姓一个安慰的提醒，以至他们可以确信那脱离敌手的最终拯救。尽管这条窄路将充满苦难，但他们已经得到了所有一切中最宝贵的东西 – 盼望。
Isaiah 43 [Read]
Isaiah 44 [Read]
Colossians 2 [Read]
“I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior” (43:11). This is the first commandment given by God to his people, and it’s also the main theme of the entire Bible. In today’s OT reading, it is particularly prominent. This saying was repeatedly prophesized by Isaiah. It’s easy to read this with a negative tone, in which the LORD is harshly defending his identity as Israel’s God. However, this may not be the only way, or even the right way, to understand this.
Isaiah’s time is a difficult time for the Kingdom of Judah, for the chosen people of God were experiencing external invasion and internal issues. Furthermore, the prophecy by Isaiah gave them a gloomy picture of future exile to Babylon. Jews of such time must be understandably anxious for their wellbeing, for they could hardly see any hope. But such is the time for God’s people to be reminded about an important truth: I am the LORD.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you…you are mine” (43:1). The perfect tense shows that the redemption has already taken place, and the Jewish remnant is owned by God who created them for his own glory (43:7). They don’t need to worry about passing through the water or walking through fire (43:2), for he who is with them is the LORD, the one who can make a way in the desert and stream in the wasteland (43:19). The ancient commandment of “I am the LORD” is meant to be a comforting reminder for God’s people, so that they can be sure about the ultimate deliverance from the hands of the enemies. Although the passageway will be filled with affliction, they have been given the most precious thing of all – hope.
We all live for hope, either given by God or set by ourselves. We all need hope to go forth with our lives. The saddest thing for a person is to lose all hope, for there will be nothing to live for in this life. For Christians, Paul prayed that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you” (Eph 1:18). Our most valuable inheritance is that we have been given a hope which cannot be taken away by anything in this world, and such hope is rooted in “I am the LORD”. Let us start living like one who has that kind of hope.
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