0703 – The True Character of God 神的真实属性

There is a tendency for us to relate to Job whenever we go through a period of suffering, be it sickness, financial ruin or tragedy. Just as Job questioned God at the lowest point of his suffering, and thought that God was punishing him for reasons he did not understand, we too can be confused about God’s character with so much ruin around us in this time with COVID19 affecting and destroying lives on so many levels.In Job’s time, the knowledge of God was transmitted by oral tradition. Job and his friends did not fully understand the character of God during the period of his sufferings. His friends spoke out of ignorance and brought more misery to Job than ministering to him. We, however, have the counsel of the whole Bible and we know that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son Jesus to save the world, not destroy it. Jesus paid the great price of Sin for us and made us righteous before God so that all who believe in Him will be saved from certain death and have eternal life with Him in Heaven. He wants to restore us to Himself, to give us an abundant life.

Luke 9:55-56a NKJV But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.

John 10:10 NKJV The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The devil works at deceiving us to think that God is the source of the problems that befall us. He accuses and reminds us of our sins to condemn and shame us, causing us to be bitter and ultimately give up our faith in Him. We also need to know that the devil has been given the right to sift our faith through tribulations where he can steal our health, wealth or relationships at any time. How will we speak of God’s character then?

Job 42:7-8, 10 NKJV And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. ”….And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

At the end, we see God’s generous restoration to Job and His forgiveness of Job’s three friends despite them having spoken wrongly of Him. This reveals the true character of God as merciful and compassionate. Just as with Job, He builds a hedge of protection around us even during our suffering; as He works in us when we trust in Him to be patient in persevering to the end and also through us, to reach out to the lost and those that call upon His name, to restore them to Himself.

Sermon Series: Resurrection Sunday – Job & I (Part 1)


每当经历疾病、经济崩溃或悲剧的痛苦时期时,我们就倾向把自己的处境与约伯建立联系。也正如同约伯在苦难的最低点时向 神发出过质疑,并认为自己是因某些不明了的原因被 神所惩罚;同样,这次新冠肺炎对生活众多方面产生了影响和打击,面对周围充满的损毁,我们可能也会对 神的属性有所困惑。

在约伯时代,关于 神的知识都是透过口耳相传的。在他受苦期间,约伯和他的朋友们并不完全了解神的属性。他的朋友出于无知的言语,非但没有帮助,反而为他带来更多的痛苦。但是,我们有整本圣经的话语作为指引,并且我们知道 神爱世人,甚至差派祂的独生爱子耶稣降来救赎世界,而非毁灭世界。耶稣为我们,付上了极大的罪的代价,让我们在 神面前得以称义,并且凡信祂的人,都蒙得救,脱离死亡,并在天堂与祂共享永生。祂要我们与祂相和,要赐给我们丰盛的生命。

路加福音9:55~56a 耶稣转身责备两个门徒,说:“你们的心如何,你们并不知道。 人子来不是要灭人的性命,是要救人的性命。”

路加福音10:10 盗贼来,无非要偷窃,杀害,毁坏;我来了,是要叫羊得生命,并且得的更丰盛。

魔鬼会欺骗我们,让我们认为所遭受的一切苦难都是源自于 神。牠指控、提醒着我们所有的罪:为要定罪我们、让我们羞耻、使我们苦毒并最终放弃对 神的信心。另外,我们还需要知道:魔鬼已被允许透过磨难来筛我们的信心,这是牠可以随时窃取我们的健康、财富或人际关系的时候;那我们要怎样议论神的属性呢?

约伯记42:7-8,10 7耶和华对约伯说话以后,就对提幔人以利法说:“我的怒气向你和你两个朋友发作,因为你们议论我不如我的仆人约伯说的是。 8现在你们要取七只公牛,七只公羊,到我仆人约伯那里去,为自己献上燔祭,我的仆人约伯就为你们祈祷。我因悦纳他,就不按你们的愚妄办你们。你们议论我,不如我的仆人约伯说的是。”….10 约伯为他的朋友祈祷。耶和华就使约伯从苦境转回,并且耶和华赐给他的比他从前所有的加倍。

最终,我们看到神慷慨地恢复赐给约伯,并饶恕约伯的三个朋友,尽管他们曾经对 神妄加置喙。这显明出神的真实属性,就是慈爱与怜悯。神对待我们就如同对待约伯,即使在苦难时,祂也提供我们保护。当我们存心忍耐到底来信靠祂的时候,祂就在我们中间动工; 也借着我们, 神触及那些失丧并且呼求祂名的人,让他们与祂自己重新和好。

讲章系列:复活主日– 约伯与我(第一部分)