最新訊息
更多...
 

以撒與以實瑪利的命定 / 戴冕恩牧師

 
 

以撒與以實瑪利的命定

為列國守望事工/戴冕恩牧師(David Demian)

 

了解神的心意

我心中最深的負擔之一,便是將神心中關於以實瑪利(Ishmael)與以撒(Issac)後裔的啟示表明出來。我注意到,通常關心以撒後裔的人,大概不會對以實瑪利的後裔賦予相同的注意力,其兩者總不是平等相對的。其實,重要的並不是你選擇支持哪一方或與哪一方敵對,而是在這其中,確實有些關乎我們的事,神的心意也不只單純帶領我們去了解雙方而已。

摩西去世後,主興起約書亞得地為業,而約書亞生平的首次戰役就發生在耶利哥。約書亞繞行該城,見此堅固城,就知道只有神才能贏得這城。之後,約書亞與主的使者面對面,這次會面全然改變了約書亞對他身邊事物的觀點。

約書亞,這位神所立的以色列軍隊的元帥,發現他必須去面對這位使者。所以他問:「你是幫助我們呢?還是與我們敵對呢?」使者回答:「我來不是幫助你也不是與你敵對,我來是為著神。」(參閱約書亞記5:13-14)約書亞有生以來,第一次了解到自己並非真正的關鍵,在他以上有一位更高的元帥。所以約書亞立刻俯伏在地下拜。

同樣地,我們也面臨這個問題:「神究竟是站在以撒這邊或以實瑪利那邊?」

除非我們明白神的心意,否則我們就只能停留在魂的領域。你可以說你愛猶太人或阿拉伯人,但這種從魂出來的訊息會成為障礙。中東普遍瀰漫著這種氛圍(spirit),當你一進入這個地區,馬上面臨「你究竟是支持還是反對我們?」的問題,這樣的壓力通常也會要求你選邊站。

然而真正重要的是:神對祂的僕人說些什麼。主正在興起新的子民來作祂的僕人,他們是能夠不陷入這種「選邊」漩渦中的一群人。祂正在呼召一群願意來聆聽祂的聲音,並真正渴望了解祂心意的人。

 

以實瑪利的命定

在末後的日子裡,我們都必須知道以實瑪利的命定。

以實瑪利的母親夏甲是埃及人,我們都知道她被迫離家的故事。當她離開時,有一位天使向她顯現,並賜下從神來的應許:「我必使你的後裔極其繁多,甚至不可勝數。」(創世記16:10)神為夏甲的兒子取名以實瑪利,意思是「神聽見」。 神聽見並看見夏甲的苦楚,並藉著她兒子的名字,賜下主永遠會聆聽她哭求的應許。直到今日,神仍未將那個聆聽哭求的耳朵閉上,因為祂不斷地以實瑪利的名字提醒著。

阿拉伯人內心的呼求來自於很深的傷害,這傷害深植於期待以撒出生的應許,甚至早在以撒出生之前就開始了。當以實瑪利出生時,亞伯拉罕相信以實瑪利是神所應許給他的那一個兒子,因此將所有的焦點都放在他身上。可是十三年之後,出乎亞伯拉罕意料之外,神告訴他從撒拉而出的兒子,才是「應許之子」。一年後,撒拉果真產下一子,從此一切隨之改變。突然間,大家的焦點完全轉移到這個新生兒身上。一直以來,以實瑪利被視為是要承受應許的兒子,但轉眼間,他不再是大家所關注的對象。當他所習慣的一切都被轉移到剛出生的小弟身上,我們可以想像以實瑪利是如何在羨慕、嫉妒與爭競中落敗。以實瑪利當時已經十四歲,他開始能體認到已發生的事將為他的人生帶來的衝擊,並且,在情感上也難免感到極大的困惑。

那時,由於家中劇變,夏甲第二次離家。以實瑪利成為一個無父、無愛,而且完全被拒絕的孩子。這個傷害深深打擊了以實瑪利,並且繼續傳承到他的後裔身上。伊斯蘭教中,共有九十九種對神的稱呼,但獨缺「父」與「愛」這兩個名字。為什麼呢?因為在以實瑪利的根中,仍然存有那種無父的悲哀,以及在情緒上對愛的痛苦呼求。

從那一刻起,以實瑪利和以撒的子孫皆飽受這種局面的傷害。以實瑪利再次見到亞伯拉罕時,已經是在他父親的告別式上,在希伯崙的墳洞裡,以實瑪利和以撒終於再次見面。因此,這就不難瞭解為什麼到現今,阿拉伯人與猶太人之間對希伯崙這塊地仍有這麼多爭議。

所以,你可以想像,當猶太人在羔羊寶血中被洗淨,開始歡迎他的兄長以實瑪利的後裔回到神的國度中,將會帶出何等奇妙的震撼。

 

以撒的命定

教會也誤會了以撒的命定。

保羅在羅馬書十一章1-3節中提到:「我且說,神棄決了祂的百姓了嗎?斷乎沒有!……」以利亞在抵擋那群拜巴力的假先知後,感到孤單氣餒,便在神面前控告他的以色列同胞,因為他們沒有一個人與他一同站立,因此他要求神對付以色列。之後,主就把以利亞的外衣轉移給以利沙。

不幸的是那個敵對以色列的靈仍然存留至今。甚至在「取代神學」的影響之下,有些人認為教會已經完全替代了以色列的地位。讓我們仍存著敬畏神的心,以免主祂挪開我們的外衣。

但「他們失腳是要他們跌倒嗎?斷乎不是……若他們的過失,為天下的富足,他們的缺乏,為外邦人的富足,何況他們的豐滿呢?」(羅11:11-12)

如今主為我們的隔閡分裂而憂愁傷心。祂渴望祂的家中有真平安。想像當猶太人與外邦人合而為一時,將會帶給神的心何等大的喜樂。天父也會釋放出這世上從未見過的神蹟奇事。

保羅在以弗所書二章14節提到基督的奧秘。那使猶太人與外邦人彼此隔閡分裂的幔子與中間隔斷的牆,將會被祂拆毀移去(因祂是我們的和睦)。祂把我們帶進以色列的國度,為要將兩下歸為一體,藉著祂自己創造出一個新人,不再區分猶太人或外邦人。主正等待著我們(猶太人與外邦人,)確認我們是彼此需要的。

我們渴望神同在的榮耀與彰顯。但羅馬書九章4-5節提到這一切,全都是屬於以色列人的,包括:兒子的名份、榮耀、諸約、律法、禮儀、應許都是他們的。舊約的列祖就是他們的祖宗,按肉體說,基督也是從他們以色列人出來的。當我們(在無知中)撇棄了猶太的根,就成為無父的教會,也使我們所收的是許多宗派之間的隔閡與分裂。我們確實需要祂「使父親的心轉向兒女,兒女的心轉向父親,免得我來咒詛遍地。」(瑪拉基書4:6)

我們種什麼,就必收什麼。雖然我們的列祖種下拒絕猶太人的種子,但有一天,當來自世界各國的教會聚集在一起,為我們列祖所作的向神悔改時,我們將成為那被接上的橄欖枝,與猶太人產生真正的連結。接著,當我們繼續關注在猶太人之中所發生的事,並注意當外邦人(包括阿拉伯人)的數目添滿了【補充說明】,就會為以色列人打開救贖的門。幔子將被掀開;這個新造的人的生命,在基督裡所帶出的能力,將使得從前在教會所發生的一切神蹟奇事,如同死亡一般遜色。

 

 

【補充說明】

關於:當外邦人(包括阿拉伯人)的數目添滿了……

「弟兄們,我不願意你們不知道這奧祕、(恐怕你們自以為聰明),就是部份的以色列人是盲目的,直等到外邦人靈性成熟(聖靈充滿)時,於是以色列全家都要得救……」(羅11:25-26;欽定本聖經);不只是「等到外邦人的數目滿了」,更是「外邦人成熟了」,重點是基督徒的品質使猶太人留下深刻的印象,而非基督徒的數量。(摘自《為何關懷以色列》一書,珊卓‧泰普林斯基著)

本文翻譯轉載自Watchmen for the Nations《為列國守望事工》,特此致謝。

 

THE DESTINY OF ISHMAEL AND ISAAC
By David Demian

Knowing God's Heart

One of the deepest journeys in my heart has been the revelation of God's heart for the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac.

I have discovered that most people who have a heart for the descendants of Isaac, do not have the same heart for the descendants of Ishmael and vice versa. It is not important who you are for or against, rather, there is something in God's Heart that He wants to impart to us, something far deeper than simply understanding.

When Moses died, the Lord raised Joshua up to take the land and his first battle was at Jericho. Joshua walked around, saw the fortified city and realized that God alone could take the city. Then he had a face-to-face encounter with the angel of the Lord that changed his whole perspective to the realities around him.

Joshua, God's appointed commander of the army of Israel, found himself having to cope with this angel, so he asks, "Are you for us or against us?" The angel replied, "Neither!" He was saying, in effect, " I am not for you, or against you. I am for God." Joshua realized for the first time in his life, that he was not the commander-in-chief, but there was a higher Commander-in-Chief. He fell flat on his face.

Likewise, we too, are faced with the question, "Is God for Isaac or for Ishmael?"

Unless we understand God's heart, we will always be moving in the "soul-ish" realm. You can say you love the Jews or the Arabs, but if you are transmitting something from your own soul, it will be a hindrance. This is the spirit you will find over the Middle East. As soon as you enter the region, you will be faced with, "Are you for or against?" and the pressure is on for you to take sides.

The real issue is: what does the Master want to say to His servant. The Lord is raising up a new people who are not drawn to sides anymore. He is calling for those who long to hear His voice and truly desire to feel what is in His Heart.

The Destiny of Ishmael

It is crucial to know about the destiny of Ishmael in these End Times.

Ishmael's mother, Hagar, was an Egyptian. We know the history of Hagar and how she was forced to leave. When she ran away an angel appeared to her and she was given a promise in Gen. 16:9, "I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count." Then the Lord named her child Ishmael, which means "God hears." God saw and heard Hagar's desperation. In her son's name was the promise that the Lord would always hear her cry. Today the Lord has not closed His ears to that cry, because He is continually reminded of the name, "Ishmael."

This cry in the Arab's heart comes from a deep wound that began as early as the promise and prospect of Isaac's birth. As soon as Ishmael was born Abraham focused all his attention on him thinking that he was the promised one. But then thirteen years later, to Abraham's surprise, God came to him and spoke to him that Sarah would have a son and that he would be the promised one. A year later, Sarah had a baby and everything changed. Suddenly, the focus shifted from Ishmael to the new child. He had lived all his life thinking he was the promised child only to discover one day that he was not. Ishmael must have retreated in envy, jealousy and competition, as all the attention he once enjoyed was now turned to his baby brother. At 14 years old, he was old enough to sense the dynamics of what was happening, but must have been confused in his feelings.

Then, because of the strife in the household, Hagar leaves for the second time. Ishmael is now fatherless, without love, and totally rejected. A deep wound has struck him that will be passed on to his descendants. Did you know that there are 99 names for God in Islam, but two names are missing: father and love. Why? Because deep in the root of Ishmael is that tragic sense of fatherless-ness and the agonizing cry for love.

Since that time, the descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac have been struggling over this deep-rooted wound. Ishmael did not see his father again until the day of Abraham's funeral, and both Ishmael and Isaac met again over Abraham's tomb in Hebron. Is it any wonder then that Hebron today is a site of contention between Arabs and Jews?

Watch out what happens when Jews who are washed in the Blood of the Lamb begin to welcome their older brother, Ishmael, back into the Kingdom.

The Destiny of Isaac

The church has also misunderstood the destiny of Isaac.

In Romans 11:1-3 Paul writes, "I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be…" Paul tells us about Elijah and how he felt discouraged and alone, standing with God against the false prophets, and that none stood with him. He complained about his brethren and pleaded with God against Israel. The Lord transferred his mantle to Elisha.

Unfortunately, the same spirit exists today against Israel, even to the point where some say the church has replaced Israel. Let us fear God so that the Lord will not transfer our mantles.

But "they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? …Now if their transgression be riches for the world…how much more their restoration will be."

Today the Lord grieves over the division. He longs for peace in His family. Imagine the joy that will come to His heart when Jew and Gentile come together. The Father will release signs and wonders that the world has never seen before.

Paul writes about the mystery of Christ in Ephesians 2:14. He says the veil, partition and division between Jew and Gentile will be removed. He brought us into the commonwealth of Israel, marrying us as one new man, neither Jew nor Gentile. The Lord is waiting for us to recognize our need for one another.

We long for the Glory, the Shekinah of His Presence. But it is to Israelites to whom belong: the adoption, the glory, the fathers, the covenants, the giving of the law, the promises, and the services of God (Romans 9:4,5). When we separated ourselves from our Jewish roots, we became a fatherless church, and we have been reaping denominational divisions since that time until now. We need the restoration of the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers or else we are under a curse (Malachi 4:6).

We reap whatever we sow. Our early fathers sowed seeds of rejection against the Jews. But one day, we will have the church from every nation of the world coming together and saying we stand on behalf of our forefathers in repentance. We will return to the Jewish people as the part grafted in. Then watch out what is going to happen to the Jews. Watch when the Gentiles (Arabs included) come into the fullness, unlocking the key for Jews to come in. The veil will be lifted and all the wonders the church has witnessed in the past will seem like death compared to the power of this new life of the One New Man in Christ.

 

(http://www.watchmen.org/docs/ishmaelisaac.html)