24 May 2021

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上帝的道日渐兴旺,越发广传。
The word of God continued to spread and flourish

Acts 12:20-25

20当时希律对推罗和西顿人怀怒在心。这两地的人因为他们的地区都需要从王的领土得到粮食,就先拉拢了王的内侍臣伯拉斯都,然后同心地去见希律,要向他求和。21到了定好的日期,希律穿上王服,坐在高台上,向他们演讲。22群众大声说:“这是上帝的声音,不是人的声音!”23他不归荣耀给上帝,所以主的使者立刻击打他,他被虫咬,就断了气。24上帝的道日渐兴旺,越发广传。25巴拿巴和扫罗完成了送交捐项的任务,就带着名叫马可的约翰,从耶路撒冷回来。

20 He had been quarrelling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.24 But the word of God continued to spread and flourish. 25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

重点学习

财富往往使人骄傲,所以这两座城市的人傲慢并不稀奇。上帝为了对付希律这狂傲之人的残暴,便选择了最具羞辱性的惩罚。倘若希律是被大军殴打致死或遭遇贫困,上帝的公义就不那么明显了,因为那些惩罚还算是高尚而尊贵的。但被虫子咬和身体溃烂侵蚀而死是他藐视真理应得的下场。

虽然上帝的话好像常被人的肆意妄为所压制,它却立刻死灰复燃。路加的用意不止是叙述希律死后的事情,而是透过这个例子使我们看到上帝在每个时代都会行同样的事,好叫福音能突破每一道拦阻。因着属天的祝福,教会越受打压反而越发兴旺。

Lessons Learn

Pride often comes from wealth; so it is not surprising if these two cities were proud.

God chose a punishment of great ignominy for repressing this proud man’s cruelty. If he had been beaten by some great army and been reduced to poverty, God’s judgement would not have been so marked; it would have been a dignified and royal punishment. But by the worms and putrefaction that devoured him and broke out of his body, he was treated as he deserved.

Although the Word of God often seems to be suppressed by human tyranny, it soon rises again. Luke’s purpose is not only to report what happened after Herod died, but also to convince us by this example that in every age God will do the same, so that the Gospel may break through every obstacle. The more the church is weakened, the more it will increase, through the heavenly blessing.