Exhortation for 1/8/04 - Reading Jeremiah 18 - Bro David E.
讲道辞 2004年8月1日 阅读耶利米书18章 大卫弟兄

Before we share together the bread and the wine today to remember the loving way our Lord laid down his life that we might be reconciled to God we will take some lessons from the example of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was the prophet God sent to the people of Jerusalem and Judah in those last days before God brought His final punishment upon the them for their wickedness. We read of the period that he prophesied in Jeremiah 1:1-3: "The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month". 今天,在我们聚在一起掰饼喝酒来纪念我们的主对我们的爱和以他的牺牲使我们得以和神和好以前,我们来从先知耶利米的旁样学习一些教训。耶利米是神为耶路撒冷和犹大的百姓送去的先知,他在神为这百姓的邪恶做出最后的惩罚之前的日子说预言。我们在耶利米1:1-3读到:“便雅悯地亚拿突城的祭司中,希勒家的儿子耶利米的话记在下面。犹大王亚们的儿子约西亚在位十三年,耶和华的话临到耶利米。从犹大王约西亚的儿子约雅敬在位的时候,直到犹大王约西亚的儿子西底家在位的末年,就是十一年五月间耶路撒冷人被掳的时候,耶和华的话也常临到耶利米。”

From this we realise that Jeremiah continued to warn and exhort the people for 40 years - nearly his whole life was spent in this work.. For those last 40 years of the kingdom of Judah Jeremiah had faithfully been telling the people to repent and turn to God or God would send the Babylonian army down to destroy Jerusalem and the temple and take the people captive into Babylon. The sad fact is that as we have been reading through the prophecy we see that the people, in the main, did not listen to the warnings God was giving them through Jeremiah. 从这些我们了解到耶利米一直警告和劝诫人们有40年-他几乎终其一生都在做这项工作。在犹大国的最后40年,耶利米总是敬虔的告诉人们要悔改归向神,否则神会派巴比伦军来毁灭耶路撒冷和圣殿,并把百姓虏到巴比伦。通过预言,我们知道令人悲伤的事实是,大部分的百姓没有听从神通过耶利米给他们的劝告。

As we have read through Jeremiah 18 to 20 this past week we have seen God show Jeremiah how thorough the destruction would be on Jerusalem. We have also seen the way the people ill-treated Jeremiah as he gave this message to the people in Jerusalem. Let us just look again at what we have read and think about the lessons in this incident. 我们在过去的一周里读过耶利米书18至20章,看到神向耶利米显示了将会在耶路撒冷发生的彻底的毁灭。我们也看见了人们在耶利米传神的话给他们时怎样陷害他。让我们再读一次,并思考其中的教训。

In chapter 18 Jeremiah was told, "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words" (v2). God was going to use the example of the potter as he moulded the moist clay into the shape that he wanted to show how He had tried to mould the people of Israel into following His ways. Jeremiah watched the potter as the clay was skilfully shaped by his hands. I think we have all been impressed by the potter's skill if we have seen one at work. 在18章,神对耶利米说:“你起来,下到窑匠的家里去,我在那里要使你听我的话。”(18:2)。神通过窑匠制器的例子来说明他想按他的方式来对待以色列百姓。耶利米观察到窑匠怎样熟练的在手上摆弄泥土。如果我们曾看过窑匠的工作,一定会印象深刻。

Jeremiah saw that if the clay did not go into the shape the potter wished then he would patiently rework the clay and remake the vessel. Having seen this, Yahweh said to Jeremiah: "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel" (v6). God was trying to shape Israel to walk in His ways but they were continually rebellious to His moulding and shaping. 耶利米看到如果泥土没有成为窑匠希望的形状,他会耐心的重新用这泥做别的器皿。。看到这个,耶和华对耶利米说:“以色列家阿,我待你们,岂不能照这窑匠弄泥吗?以色列家阿,泥在窑匠的手中怎样,你们在我的手中也怎样。”(18:6)神想塑造以色列来按他的道来行,但他们继续违背神的对他们的塑造。

The message to Israel was very clear: "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them" (v7-8). God had pronounced his judgment upon Israel because of their sins - Babylon was coming as God's way to punish them. However if they responded to Him through His word then He would turn from His judgment upon them. Having seen the lesson of the potter Jeremiah was told to now go to Judah and tell them of the judgement to come upon them if they did not "return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good" (v11). 神对以色列的话更为清晰:“我何时论到一邦或一国说,要拔出,拆毁,毁坏。我所说的那一邦,若是转意离开他们的恶,我就必后悔,不将我想要施行的灾祸降与他们。”(18:7,8)神宣布了因以色列的罪的惩罚-巴比伦会按神的意来惩罚他们。然而,如果以色列听从了神的话,神会重新审判他们。看过了窑匠制器,耶利米被派往犹大,告诉他们如果他们不“回头离开所行的恶道,改正你们的行动作为。”神会惩罚他们。

In all this we see the mercy of God extended to the nation. He had been pleading through Jeremiah for many years, calling upon them to repent. If only they had listened God would then mould them into the shape He desired. 从这些我们都看到了神对这个民族的丰厚的仁慈。他让耶利米多年召唤他们,希望他们悔改。如果他们听从了,神就会按他所希望的方式来塑造和对待他们了。

There is a very clear lesson in this for ourselves. We too are called by God to be moulded to a shape. We read of this in Romans 8:28-29: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren". Through God's Word we are to be shaped into the replica of the Son of God. Our character is be be like his. At times pressure is placed upon us to shape and correct us. If we allow this to happen then we will be shaped as God wants us, into the image of His Son. 这对我们也是很明白的一课。我们也被神召唤要被他塑造。在罗马书8:28-29:“我们晓得万事都互相效力,叫爱神的人得益处,就是按他旨意被召的人。因为他预先所知道的人,就预先定下效法他儿子的模样,使他儿子在许多弟兄中作长子。”通过神的话,我们会逐渐变得和他得儿子相象。我们得品性会变得像耶稣。不时会感到有种压力在塑造我们规范我们。如果我们遵从了,我们就会变成神所希望的模样,成为他儿子的形状。

When Jeremiah gave his message to the people they said: "There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart" (v12). They would not respond to the guidance from God. They were determined to do their own will. They would not be moulded by God. Because of this they would be cast out of the land and taken into captivity. Thus God said: "Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up...I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy" (v15-17)- the clay would not respond and therefore it was to be cast aside by God. This carries a very sober warning for us all. Will we examine ourselves now and see if we are allowing ourselves to be moulded by God to conform to the image of Christ or are we determined to "walk after our own devices", and "do the imagination of our evil heart"? 当耶利米把神的话传给百姓的时候,他们却说:“这是枉然。我们要照自己的计谋去行。各人随自己顽梗的恶心作事。”(18:12)他们并不听从神的指引。他们决定按自己的心意而行。他们不想被神塑造。正因如此,他们被驱逐出以色列被虏他乡。因此,神说:“我的百姓竟忘记我,向假神烧香,使他们在所行的路上,在古道上绊跌,使他们行没有修筑的斜路,......我必在仇敌面前分散他们,好像用东风吹散一样。遭难的日子,我必以背向他们,不以面向他们。”(18:15-17)这泥不按神的方式,它就要被神丢弃。这对我们大家也是严肃的一课。现在我们是在检测自己看我们是否让自己被神塑造变得接近基督的样式?还是“照自己的计谋去行”,去做我们邪恶的心所愿意的?

Instead of the people listening to Jeremiah they planned to persecute him: "Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words" (v18). Not only did this evil people reject the word of God that Jeremiah spoke, but they also wanted to persecute him. What Jeremiah did next is a wonderful example for us all to follow. He did not argue with them, but rather turned to Yahweh in prayer: "Give heed unto me O Yahweh" (v19). He called upon God to judge them for their wickedness in rejecting the words that he spoke. When we suffer persecution for speaking God's word, let us turn to God in prayer and He will hear us. 这些百姓不听从耶利米的华话反而计划去谋害他:“他们就说,来吧。我们可以设计谋害耶利米。因为我们有祭司讲律法,智慧人设谋略,先知说预言,都不能断绝。来吧。我们可以用舌头击打他,不要理会他的一切话。”这邪恶的百姓不仅不听从神通过耶利米传给他们的话,反而想谋害他。耶利米接下来是怎样做的,对我们大家而言是非常好的榜样。他没有和他们争执,而转求耶和华去祷告:“求你理会我”(18:19)。他求神因百姓拒不听他的话而惩罚他们的邪恶。当我们因传讲神的话而遭到了陷害,让我们也用祷告转求神吧,他会听我们的!

As we move into the next chapter Jeremiah is now told: "Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests; And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom" (19:1-2). The Valley of Hinnom is on the south side of the city of Jerusalem outside the city wall. It was in this valley that the wicked practices of idolatry were committed. Here the people even burnt their children to the god Molech. We read of this in 2 Chronicles 33:6: "He caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of Yahweh". 我们看到下一章神对耶利米说:“耶和华如此说,你去买窑匠的瓦瓶,又带百姓中的长老和祭司中的长老,出去到欣嫩子谷,哈珥西(哈珥西就是瓦片的意思)的门口那里,宣告我所吩咐你的话,” 欣嫩子谷位于耶路撒冷城城墙外的南面。那些拜偶像的人常到这里来做邪恶的事。人们甚至到这里来焚烧自己的孩子来献祭给假神摩洛。

Notice the contrast here. In the previous chapter Jeremiah went to see the clay being moulded in the hands of the potter-it was soft clay that could be moulded. Now he was told to take a bottle that had been shaped from clay and then dried in the heat so that it no longer could be moulded-its shape was fixed and final. 注意到这里有一个区别。在前一章,耶利米去看窑匠手中的泥-那时它事软的,可以塑造的。现在他被叫去买一个已经从泥经过烘烤加热的瓦瓶,这瓦瓶是不能再被塑造,它已经成型,不能再改变形状了。

So Jeremiah took the elders and priests and the clay bottle out to the Valley of Hinnom and spoke these words: "I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them" (v8-9). His message was that because they had not allowed themselves to be moulded by the hand of God but had set themselves to do evil they were to be destroyed. To impress the utter hopeless destruction that would come upon them he smashed the earthen bottle that he had in his hands. As he did this he said: "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury" (v11). 所以耶利米带上百姓中的长老和祭司中的长老,和瓦瓶到欣嫩子谷讲了话:“我必使这城令人惊骇嗤笑。凡经过的人,必因这城所遭的灾惊骇嗤笑。我必使他们在围困窘迫之中,就是仇敌和寻索其命的人窘迫他们的时候,各人吃自己儿女的肉和朋友的肉。”(19:8-9)他传这些话是因为百姓不让自己被神的手来塑造,坚持行会令他们毁灭的邪恶的事。为了强调这毫无希望将要临到他们的毁灭,耶利米打碎了在他手中的瓦瓶。当他这么做的时候他说:“万军之耶和华如此说,我要照样打碎这民和这城,正如人打碎窑匠的瓦器,以致不能再囫囵。并且人要在陀斐特葬埋尸首,甚至无处可葬。”(19:11)

The message was clear. Because they refused to be moulded by the word of God they were therefore of no value and would be smashed, never to be used again. God was showing the leaders of the nation that final judgement was certainly coming. Jeremiah then returned into the city and "stood in the court of Yahweh's house". His message was: "Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words" (v15). 这里意思表达得很明白了。因为他们拒绝按照神的话来塑造自己,他们就不再有价值将会被打碎,永远不再有用。神向这个民族的领袖显明最终的审判必然要来临。耶利米“回来站再耶和华殿的院中”说:“万军之耶和华以色列的神如此说,我必使我所说的一切灾祸临到这城和属城的一切城邑,因为他们硬着颈项不听我的话。”(19:15)

These people were living at the end of the age for them. God's judgment was about to violently break forth upon them because they refused to hear His Word and do it. There is a warning in this for us today. We live at the end of the age. Jesus Christ is about to return, bringing the judgments of God on this evil world. Are we keeping separate from the world and striving to be moulded by God's Word, or are we walking in our own ways and following the imaginations of our own heart? These are the questions we must ask ourselves as we prepare to take the bread and wine. 这些百姓生活在他们那个时代的末期。神要给他们一个审判猛烈的打击他们,因为他们拒绝接收神的话。这也是对我们今天的警告。我们生活在这个时代的末期。耶稣基督就要回来,带来神对这个邪恶世界的审判。我们是继续保持不和世界的邪恶同流合污,让自己被神的话来塑造;还是按照我们自己的方式行自己的心意呢?我们必须在准备掰饼喝酒前问自己这些问题。

The incident in chapter 20 shows what happened next. We are told: "Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of Yahweh, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of Yahweh" (20:1-2). What a wicked thing to do! Instead of humbly listening to the words Yahweh spoke they refused to hear, and then punished Jeremiah for telling them the truth. Here again is a test for us. What do we do if a brother or sister comes to give us some guidance because we need it. Do we get angry and refuse to hear or do we humble ourselves and thank them and try harder to follow the right ways? 20章告诉了我们接下来发生的事。“祭司音麦的儿子巴施户珥作耶和华殿的总管,听见耶利米预言这些事,他就打先知耶利米,用耶和华殿里便雅悯高门内的枷,将他枷在那里。”(20:1-2)这是多么邪恶的事啊!不去谦卑的听取耶和华对他们说的话,他们甚至这样对待给他们讲真理的耶利米。这里又是一个对我们的检测。如果有弟兄姐妹因为我们需要到我们面前给我们指导,我们会怎样做呢?我们是生气的拒绝听,还是谦卑的感激的努力使自己接受正确的方式?

As we read through Chapter 20 we see that when Pashur released Jeremiah Jeremiah told him what punishment would befall him for refusing the Word of God. He said: "Thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies" (v6). These false prophets refused to believe that God would punish "His people" or "His city Jerusalem". They believed that God would never do that, but Jeremiah told Pashur straightly that Babylon would come and he and his house would go into captivity there. Just as Jeremiah prophesied so it came to pass- Babylon came, destroyed the city and the temple and the Jews were taken away into captivity to Babylon. 当我们读完20章,我们看到巴施户珥释放了耶利米后,耶利米向他宣告了他因拒绝神的话将要受到的惩罚。他说:“你这巴施户珥和一切住在你家中的人都必被掳去。你和你的众朋友,就是你向他们说假预言的,都必到巴比伦去,要死在那里,葬在那里。”(20:6)这些假先知不相信神会惩罚“他的选民”和“他的城耶路撒冷”。他们相信神永远不会那样做,但耶利米很直接的告诉巴施户珥,巴比伦会来,他和他的家都会被虏去。正如耶利米所预言的,事情真的发生了-巴比伦来了,毁灭了这个城和殿,而且犹太人都被虏到了巴比伦。

We have looked at three chapters and seen the way Jeremiah faithfully preached the words God gave him to speak. We see that he suffered persecution for doing this. Sometimes it was verbal criticism and bitter condemnation and other times it was physical persecution like when he spent the night in the stocks. What strengthened him to keep faithfully preaching for those 40 years? Did he find it easy? Certainly not. Let us finish by looking at Jeremiah's prayer from verses 7 to 18. Here we really understand how Jeremiah felt because of the suffering he endured as he faithfully served his God. We will look at just a few expressions that tell of the stress he suffered. 我们已经读了三章,看到了耶利米怎样敬虔的传讲神临到他的话。我们看到他因此遭受了很多迫害。有时是言辞上的批判,或是仇恨的谴责,有时却是身体上的迫害,就像他被枷在高门内整个晚上。是什么给了他力量能够40年都这样敬虔的传讲神的话?他觉得这样做容易吗?当然不是。让我们看看耶利米在20:7-18的祷告吧。通过这祷告我们会理解到耶利米在敬虔的侍奉神所忍受的苦难时的真实感受。我们就节选其中的一些来看看他受的苦难。

He told God: "I am become a laughing-stock all the day, every one mocketh me" (v7). He felt the ridicule that was heaped against him for preaching the word of God to this evil people. Do we ever refrain from preaching because we think some may mock or laugh at us? He became so depressed by this that he said: "I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name" (v9). But he found he could not do this for the power of the word of God was so strong in him that he felt constrained to preach. He said; "But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay" (v9). He found he just had to tell the people what he knew from the word of God. Do we feel compelled to speak because we know the gospel? 他对神说:“我终日成为笑话,人人都戏弄我。”(20:7)。他因为传讲神的话给这邪恶的百姓受到了嘲弄。我们是否因为想到可能会受到嘲笑而控制自己不传讲福音?他为此感到很沮丧:“我不再提耶和华,也不再奉他的名讲论”。(20:9)但是他发现他不能这样做,神话语的力量如此强烈的燃烧在他的心中,使他很难受。他说:“我便心里觉得似乎有烧着的火闭塞在我骨中,我就含忍不住,不能自禁。”(20:9)他发现他不得不告诉百姓他从神而来的话。我们也会为自己认识福音有这种迫切传讲的感觉吗?

Let us never think that these faithful men of God found the work they were given easy. There were times when he wished he had not been born as he expressed it in verses14-15: "Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad". These are the words of a man who deeply feels the suffering he endures for the word of God's sake. He concluded his prayer with these words: "Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?" (v18). 我们千万不要认为那些对神敬虔的人们会觉得他们的工作那么容易。我们看到耶利米数次希望他没有出生来到这个世界,比如20:14-15:“愿我生的那日受咒诅。愿我母亲产我的那日不蒙福。给我父亲报信说你得了儿子,使我父亲甚欢喜的,愿那人受咒诅。”这些是出于一个为神的话语深深忍受苦难的人的话。他总结了他的祷告:“我为何出胎见劳碌愁苦,使我的年日因羞愧消灭呢?”(20:18)

As we have considered the example of Jeremiah we are moved by his faithfulness under trial, his desperate desire to help his people who would not listen. We have his example to follow. Yet as we now partake of the bread and wine our eyes look upon a greater sufferer than Jeremiah. We have come to remember our Lord and all that he endured that we might be saved through him. Let us examine ourselves and strive to follow the example of Jeremiah and our Lord in the coming week. 当我们学习榜样耶利米的时候,我们为他在试炼下的敬虔所感动,他不顾一切的帮助并不听他的百姓。我们要以他为榜样跟从他。现在我们在分享这饼和杯时,让我们的眼看到比耶利米所受的更大的苦难。我们来纪念我们的主和他所忍受的苦难,可以使我们得救。让我们在将要来的一周检测我们自己,努力跟从耶利米和我们的主。

Discussion Points 1. The word for "potter" in 18:2 is the same word "formed" in Genesis 2:7 where God "formed man from the dust of the ground. God was like a potter shaping and making man. Here are some other places where God is spoken of as our maker like a potter. Isaiah 45:9-11; Isaiah 64:8. 2. Look at Romans 9:21-24 and consider how Paul speaks of us as clay in God's hands. 3. In Jeremiah 19:2, Jeremiah was told to go to the "valley of the son of Hinnom". Look at the map in the back of your Bible and see where this valley is just on the south side of Jerusalem. It may have "the valley of Hinnom". The Greek for "valley of Hinnom" is "Gehennah" from "Ge which means valley and the Greek form of Hinnom which is Hennah. It is used in Mark 9:43,45 &47 and Matthew 10:28. Gehennah became the rubbish dump outside the wall of Jerusalem where the rubbish of the city was burnt. This is why it was a figure of destruction where the fire continually burnt. The people of Jerusalem knew that when the Lord used this word he spoke of destruction. 4. You may like to colour in the places where the word "Gehennah" occurs in your Bible. They are - Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,34; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6.

1. 在耶利米书18:2的词“窑匠”和创始记2:7里神“用地上的尘土造人”的“造”。神就像这个窑匠在塑造人。我们在其他的章节也可以看到神被称为像窑匠一样的创造者。以赛亚45:9-11;以赛亚64:8
2. 看看罗马书9:21-24,思考为什么保罗称我们为神手中的泥。
3. 在耶利米书9:19:2,耶利米被召到欣嫩子谷。查看圣经后面的地土,这谷就在耶路撒冷的南边。希腊文的“欣嫩子谷”是“Gehennah”(地狱),Ge 是谷的意思,Hennah是欣嫩子。这个词在希腊文圣经中也在马可福音9:44,46,47,马太福音10:28出现过。Gehennah后来成为耶路撒冷城墙外倾倒和焚烧垃圾的地方。这就是为什么它给人一个火焰持续燃烧的毁灭之地的印象。耶路撒冷的百姓都知道当主用这个词时,意思是毁灭。
4. 你可能愿意把圣经中出现过“Gehennah”(地狱)的地方划上颜色标记。它们在马太福音5:22,29,30;10:28;18:9;23:15,34;马可福音9:44,46,47,;路加福音12:5,雅各书3:6