#20──米爾.瑪伊姆──水上──Meal Mayim – Overwaters

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第二部分:可見的創造系統

三、眾水:第二十章 米爾.瑪伊姆──水上

「你們要過去得為業的那地,乃是有山、有谷,喝天上的雨水。」276 啊,從天而降的清新之雨。要記得,第一層天被描述為天空,我們都可證明,有時雨有如天堂般。 約伯記5:10說:「祂降雨在地上、賜水於田裡.」277──是上帝降雨使人精神煥發。「(神) 用雲遮天。為地降雨、使草生長在山上。」278 上帝是降雨和豐足的好神,祂給大地帶來雨水。耶穌教導說:因為他叫日頭照好人、也照歹人、降雨給義人、也給不義的人。」279 所以上帝按照祂的習慣,照祂對挪亞的應許,賜下生命,並為生命降下雨水。 280

猶如天上的窗戶曾經敞開,降大雨滅絕人,以潔淨大地,現在我們明白天上的窗戶如今只保留作為上帝的祝福。瑪拉基3:10告訴以色列人:「萬軍之耶和華說、你們要將當納的十分之一、全然送入倉庫、使我家有糧、以此試試我、是否為你們敞開天上的窗戶、傾福與你們、甚至無處可容。」281上帝賞賜那些祝福利未人的人,以及那些服事祂並及窮人、孤兒和寡婦的人。

雨是上帝、我們的主所賜的福282,當它在對的時間和對的方式降臨時,它被視為雙重的祝福。「你們若留意聽從我今日所吩咐的誡命、愛耶和華你們的 神、盡心、盡性、事奉他、 他〔原文作我〕必按時降秋雨春雨、在你們的地上、使你們可以收藏五穀、新酒、和油.」283 從天而降的清新之雨對那些需要它的人來說是件好事,它是上帝之手在那個人身上的記號。

當惡人對自己和他們的主人盡職盡責時,缺乏雨水對他們來說是一種詛咒。「以利亞與我們是一樣性情的人、他懇切禱告、求不要下雨、雨就三年零六個月不下在地上。他又禱告、天就降下雨來、地也生出土產。」 284 「基列寄居的提斯比人以利亞、對亞哈說、我指著所事奉永生耶和華以色列的 神起誓、這幾年我若不禱告、必不降露不下雨。」285上帝因人的惡而多次不降雨來咒詛許多人。其中一個例子,就是耶利米書50:38所說,當人不遵守第一和第二條誡命時:「有乾旱臨到他的眾水、就必乾涸.因為這是有雕刻偶像之地、人因偶像而顛狂。」286

上帝降雨、也停雨;上帝是好的、雨也是好,為此我們心存感激。上帝建立的生態系統包括雨水,其最大的貢獻是將水灑到未澆水的地區,上帝的計劃──雨水──並不總是如此。當我們回顧前幾章所提及的挪亞洪水,我們記得自世界形成的那刻,就從未下過雨──有一段時間還沒有降雨,但有霧氣從地上騰、滋潤遍地。287洪水過後,上帝告訴挪亞這一切都改變了,如今我們有雨降下,而彩虹的形成是作為洪水過後、雨水過後的立約──雨,本身並不邪惡,但沒有止盡的雨水卻是邪惡的;雨停了,祝福就看到了。 288

雨從雲而來,雲從大地上的水而成。耶穌以雲彩為例,談到祂的創造及宗教領袖們的頑固:「耶穌回答說、晚上天發紅、你們就說、天必要晴。早晨天發紅、又發黑、你們就說、今日必有風雨。你們知道分辨天上的氣色、倒不能分辨這時候的神蹟。」289多可悲啊!在我們所有的科學中,我們常常忘了什麼才是重要的?在我們所得的一切中,我們忘了去得智慧。智慧說:「因為尋得我的、就尋得生命、也必蒙耶和華的恩惠。 得罪我的、卻害了自己的性命.恨惡我的、都喜愛死亡。」 290

因此,我們要用智慧來解釋我們頭頂上的雲、雨和眾水。讓我們來明白這點:我們頭頂上的水比起我們能立即看到的還要多。第一層天裡的一切都有水,海洋之下的水、泉水、地下水,以及雲、雨、雪、冰雹、雨夾雪、冰以及其他任何形式的降水和攜帶它的雲和霧,都包含在第一層天之內。但在蒼穹之上有水,它們有多高?上帝不讓我們知道:「天之高、地之厚、君王之心也測不透。」291 但穹蒼之上確是有水,正如詩人所宣稱的:「天上的天、和天上的水、你們都要讚美他。」 292 我們怎能忘卻創世記第一章中的那段話呢?「神就造出空氣、將空氣以下的水、空氣以上的水分開了.事就這樣成了。」293 這些水就是洪水時所釋放出來的水。洪水以先,大地上的水比較少,必須有很多的水才會發生洪水──水降下、水上漲──它們覆蓋了整個旱地。

這些來自天上窗戶的水消退之後,究竟發生了什麼事?它們是怎麼消退的? 看起來像什麼?這是另一章的討論。

276 申命記11:11 NHEB

277 NASB

278 詩篇147:8 WBT(括號內是我的)。

279 馬太福音5:45b

280 創世記9:8-17,上帝應許,不再以洪水滅絕人類。在這個立約中,祂以彩虹作為記號。雨帶來生命,而不是死亡。

281 和合本

282詩篇 65:9 「你眷顧地、降下透雨、使地大得肥美. 神的河滿了水.你這樣澆灌了地、好為人預備五穀。」

以西結書34:26 「我必使他們與我山的四圍成為福源.我也必叫時雨落下.必有福如甘霖而降。」

283 申命記 11:13-14

284 雅各書 5:17-18

285 列王紀上17:1同上

286  和合本

287 創世記2:6

288 創世記8:2

289 馬太福音16:2-3

290 箴言8:35-36

291 箴言25:3

292 詩篇148:4

293 創世記1:7

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Part Two: The System of Visible Creation

III: Waters──Chapter 20: Meal Mayim – Overwaters

“But the land, where you go over to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys which drinks water of the rain of the sky”1 Ah, the refreshing rain that comes down from heaven. Remembering that the first heaven is described as the sky, we can all attest that sometimes rain is heavenly. Job 5:10 says: “He gives rain on the earth And sends water on the fields”2 – It is God who sends the rain that refreshes. “[God] covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.”3 God is the good God of rain and abundance. He brings the rain to the earth. Jesus teaches that: “For He makes His sun rise on evil and good, and He sends rain on righteous and unrighteous.”4 So God gives life to all, as is His custom, as was his promise to Noah. He brings rain for life.5

Just as the floodgates once were poured out on man to kill him and cleanse the earth, we now understand the that floodgates are now only reserved for the blessing of God. Malachi 3:10 tells Israel: “Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things.”6 God rewarded those who blessed the Levites who served Him as well as the poor, orphan, and widow.

Rain is a blessing from God,7 our Lord, when it comes in the right time and the right way, it is seen as a double blessing. “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.”8 The refreshing rain from the sky is good for those who need it, and it is a sign of God’s hand on that person.

When the wicked are dutiful to themselves and their master, lack of rain is a curse to them. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”9 “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, ‘As the LORD God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!’”10 God cursed many peoples many times with lack of rain for their wickedness. One example is the disobedience of the first and second commandment as spoken of in Jeremiah 50:38 “A drought against her waters. They’ll dry up. For it’s a land of idols, and they go mad over their terrifying images.”11

God causes the rain and God stops the rain. God is good. Rain is good, and we are grateful for it. The ecosystems that God has set up include rain as the largest contributor of spreading water to unwatered areas. The plans of God to include rain hasn’t always been so. As we look back on the flood of Noah, mentioned in previous chapters, we remember that it did not rain since the formation of the world. There was a time where there was no rain, for a mist came up out of the ground to water all life.12 After the flood, God told Noah how this had been changed and now we have rain today. The formation of the rainbow as a covenant for this was specific to rain having an end. Rain, in and of itself, is not evil. Rain with no end is evil. When rain ends, the blessing is seen.13

Rain comes from clouds. Clouds are made by water on the earth. Jesus used the clouds as an example to talk about His creation and the stubbornness of religious rulers: “He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”14 How sad it is, that in all of our science, we often forget what is important? In all of our getting, we forget to get wisdom.

Wisdom says: “For the one who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but the one who misses me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”15

So we must interpret the clouds, the rain, and all the waters above us, with wisdom. Let us understand this: There is more to the waters above us than what we immediately see. Everything inside the first heaven has water. The underwaters of the ocean, and springs, and water tables, as well as the clouds, rain, snow, hail, sleet, ice, and any other form of precipitation, and the clouds and fog that carry it, are all inside the first heaven. But there are waters above the firmament. How high are they? God won’t allow us to know. “The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings [is] unsearchable.”16 But there are waters above the firmament, to be sure. As the Psalmist declares: “Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!”17 How can we forget the passage in Genesis 1? “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”18 These are the same waters that were released during the flood. There was less water on earth before the flood. There had to be more water for there to be a flood. The waters came down, the waters came up. They covered all of the dry land.

What happened to these waters from the floodgates of the sky when they subsided? How did they subside? What did that look like? That’s a discussion for another chapter.

Footnotes

1 Deuteronomy 11:11 NHEB

2 NASB

3 Psalm 147:8 WBT (brackets mine)

4 Matthew 5:45b BLB

5 Genesis 9:8-17 God promises to never flood the world to kill man, when the rains come. In this covenant, He gave us the rainbow as a sign. Rain brings life, and not death.

6 GNT

7 Psalm 65:9 NIV “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.”

Ezekiel 34:26 NIV “I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.”

8 Deuteronomy 11:13,14

9 James 5:17,18 HCSB

10 1 Kings 17:1 ibid

11 ISV

12 Genesis 2:6

13 Genesis 8:2

14 Matthew 16:2,3 ESV

15 Proverbs 8:35,36 CSB

16 Proverbs 25:3 KJV

17 Psalm 148:4 NASB

18 Genesis 1:7 KJV

──Biblical Cosmology by Pauly Hart
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