一起读经 | 希伯来书 11:32-34 因着信,软弱变为刚强

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希伯来书:32-34: 32我又何必再说呢?若要一一细说,基甸、巴拉、参孙、耶弗他、大卫、撒母耳和众先知的事,时候就不够了。33他们因着信,制伏了敌国,行了公义,得了应许;堵了狮子的口,34灭了烈火的猛势,脱了刀剑的锋刃;软弱变为刚强,争战显出勇敢,打退外邦的全军。

       这些经文里有两个地方引起我的注意。这里提到的人没有一个是完美的。读读相关故事,看看他们的罪。撒母耳可能是其中最好的,但他依然是一个罪人。“义人”只能因信称义。他们并没有活出完美的生命,他们只是在不断进步,正如你和我。

       第二个引起我注意的地方是这句经文,他们“软弱变为刚强。”上帝经常使用他们的软弱来拯救他的子民。与歌利亚相比,大卫是个弱小的牧羊人。基甸的军队只有300人,而他的对手米甸人却有135,00人。参孙是个大力士,但他面对非力士人的时候没有一个以色列人帮助他。上帝使用这些人的软弱来展现救恩是来自耶和华。

       上帝也将我们的软弱变为刚强。上帝今日使用我们,不是因为我们刚强有力,而是因为当我们软弱的时候,我们唯独倚靠神来拯救我们。我们相信上帝藉着他的话语在我们的生命里工作,当我们向别人传讲他的话语的时候,神也会藉着他的话语在他们生命里工作。保罗称呼我们为“瓦器”,是上帝用来传扬宝贵福音的。一个瓦器值不了几个钱,也很脆弱。但上帝使用我们这些器皿来传扬他宝贵的话语并建立他的国度。他将我们的软弱变为刚强,因为义人因信得生。

祷告:全能的上帝,我很软弱,你却刚强!世世代代,你使用人的软弱来成就你的旨意。你甚至差遣你的儿子,取了人类脆弱肉身的样式,把我们从罪中拯救出来。我并不求你让我刚强,我只求你赐我信心能够相信你。请使用我,即使是我的软弱之处,来成就你的旨意。阿们。

Hebrews 11:  32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

       There are two things that catch my attention in these verses. None of these people that are mentioned were perfect people. Read their stories and see their sins. Samuel was probably the best of them all, but he was still a sinner. The “righteous” are only righteous by faith. They did not live perfect lives. They were always works in progress.  So am I and so are you.

The second thing that catches my attention is the phrase, “Whose weakness was turned to strength.” How often God used their weakness to deliver his people! David was a weakling shepherd against Goliath. Gideon had an army of 300 against 135,00 Midianites. Samson was a strong man who faced the Philistines without help from the Israelites. God used their weakness to demonstrate that salvation comes from the Lord.

God turns our weakness into strength, too. God uses us today, not because we are powerful and strong, but because in our weakness, we trust in God alone for our salvation. We trust in God to work through his Word in our lives and when we proclaim it to others. Paul called us “clay pots” that God uses to dispense the treasures of the gospel.  A clay pot is worth little and very fragile. But we are vessels that God uses to dispense his powerful world and build his kingdom. He turns our weakness into strength because the righteous live by faith.  Prayer:   God almighty, I am weak but you are strong! Throughout the ages, you used people in their weakness to accomplish your purpose. You even sent your Son to take on frail human flesh to save us from our sins. I do not ask that you make me strong, but only that you give me a faith that trusts in you. Use me, even in my weakness, to accomplish your purpose.  Amen.

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