Story of Joshua约书亚的故事（3）
Do you always keep YOUR promises？It’s very disappointing when people break their promises to us, but there are many reasons people don’t, or can’t, keep their promises. What about God？God’s Word, the Bible, is FULL of promises He has made. Does He always keep His promises？YES!!
小朋友们, 你是一个说话算数的人吗？如果别人说话不算数, 一定会让我们很失望。那神呢？圣经就是神的话, 里面都是神的应许。神总是成就他的应许吗？是的!
Because God not only knows but also controls the future, He has never made a promise He cannot keep. When God promised the people of Israel He would give them the land of Canaan for their new home, He kept that promise. It was 700 years in coming, but it was God’s perfect timing!
因为神不单单是知道未来, 他也掌握未来。当神应许以色列人, 他要给他们迦南地做为他们的新家, 他就要照他的应许答应。虽然从应许到实现有700年的时间, 但是它最终按着神的时间成就了。
Captain Joshua had been very encouraged by the two spies who had returned from Jericho with the good report, “God has given us the land! The people are very afraid of us!” Early the next morning, Joshua led the people to the bank of the Jordan River, the only thing that separated them from the Promised Land. There they camped for 3 days. After the 3rd day, Joshua sent officers throughout the camp to instruct the people还记得吗？两个探子带着好消息回到约书亚那里说：“神真的是把那全地交在我们手中, 那地的一切居民在我们面前心都消化了!”以色列人的新领袖约书亚很受鼓励。第二天一早, 约书亚带领以色列百姓来到约旦河边。现在, 这是他们进入神的应许之地的唯一障碍。他们在那里住了三天。过了第三天, 约书亚派人到营中对百姓说：
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing the ark, then be ready to leave and follow after it. Only you must keep a certain distance between you and the ark. You must not come near it.”
“你们看见耶和华你们神的约柜, 又见祭司利未人抬着, 就要离开所住的地方, 跟着约柜去。只是你们和约柜要隔开一段距离, 不可与约柜走得太近。”
What was so special about this gold covered box that had the blue cover on it？Perhaps some of the children in the camp asked their parents that very question! Forty years earlier, God had given Moses careful instructions for making this sacred piece of furniture. It occupied the most important, the most holy place
那么, 小朋友要问：这个包着精金的盒子有什么特别呢？也许, 营中的一些以色列人的孩子们也在问他们的父母这个问题。四十年以前, 神仔细地吩咐摩西来制作这件神圣的柜子。它被放在会幕里面最神圣最重要的地方。会幕是以色列人敬拜神的地方。现在, 你闭上眼睛来想一想, 这个被叫做约柜的柜子到底是个什么样子。
On the lid of the ark were two angel-like figures that faced each other. They were called cherubim. In Exodus 25：22, God said, “There I will meet with you….from between the two cherubim which are on the ark.” God’s holy, perfect presence would be there! That’s what made the ark of the covenant such a special place! Therefore, it was to be handled only by certain priests, and no one else was to come near it.
在约柜的上面, 有两个天使相对。他们被叫做基路伯。在出埃及记第25章22节, 神说：“我要在那里与你相会, 从法柜施恩座上二基路伯中间”神圣洁的同在使法柜施恩座成为一个特别的地方。除了祭司以外, 谁都不能接近。
There was another reason the people of Israel were to travel a distance from the ark. They had never traveled this way before, and the ark would show them which way to go.
以色列人不能接近约柜, 还有另外一个原因。他们从来没有走过这条路, 约柜要走在他们前面, 指示他们怎样走。
Joshua said, “Sanctify yourselves：for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you!” Sanctify means set apart for the Lord. The people were to purify themselves, and think about the Lord their God, and remember all His goodness and His promises. As they looked back, they could see God had never failed in keeping one of His promises to them. Thinking about what God had done would help them trust Him in the future.
约书亚吩咐百姓说：“你们要自洁, 因为明天神必在你们中间行奇事。”自洁就是把自己分别为圣归给神。人们要洁净自己, 并思想神, 纪念他的慈爱和应许。当他们回想起神所成就的每一件事, 他们就知道神从来不误事。
This would prepare them to trust God tomorrow for the seemingly impossible task of crossing the Jordan River! Joshua spoke to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people.” Then God spoke to Joshua, “This very day I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” Another promise! And Joshua knew with all his heart God would keep it! God continued, “Tell the priests to move into the water at the edge of the Jordan.”
纪念神在以往加给他们的恩典使他们更加相信神, 使他们在看起来不可能的事上来全心倚赖神：那就是过约旦河。约书亚又吩咐祭司说：“你们抬起约柜, 在百姓前头过去。”然后, 神对约书亚说：“从今日起, 我必使你在以色列众人眼前尊大, 使他们知道我怎样与摩西同在, 也必照样与你同在。”这是神的又一个应许。约书亚从心底里相信神的应许一定成就。神又说：“你要吩咐抬约柜的祭司说：‘你们到了约但河的水边上, 就要在约但河水里站住。’”
Joshua went to the people：“Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God!What you are about to see will make you KNOW the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out our enemies：the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Now look!
约书亚对以色列人说：“你们往前来, 听耶和华你们神的话。你们所将要看见的会使你们知道, 有永生神在你们中间。并且他必在你们面前赶出迦南人、赫人、希未人、比利洗人、革迦撒人、亚摩利人、耶布斯人。看哪!
The ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing before you into Jordan.” Boys and girls, did you hear what Joshua called God？THE LIVING GOD and THE LORD OF ALL THE EARTH. You can call Him that too when you bow to your head to pray and thank Him, and to remember all His promises!
普天下主的约柜正在你们前头过去。”小朋友们, 你有没有注意到约书亚是怎样称呼神的？永生神, 普天下的主。当你祷告感谢神的时候, 你也可以这样称呼神。
Joshua went on：“As soon as the bottom of the priests’ feet stand in the water of the river, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters upstream shall stand in a heap.” About two million people watched attentively. The Jordan River was at its flood stage and overflowing its banks. It would seem to be a dangerous thing to step into that water. Do you suppose there might have been a sound of powerful rushing water, and then, a sudden strange stillness？
约书亚继续说：“等到祭司把脚站在约但河水里, 约但河的水, 就是从上游往下流的水, 必然断绝, 立起来堆在一起。”两百万以色列人在注意地看着。这个季节是收割的日子, 约但河水涨起来, 涨过两岸。把脚踏进约但河水里看起来是很危险的。想象一下, 湍急的河水突然一下子静止了。
Perhaps! For just as soon as all the priests carrying the ark of the covenant stepped into the water, the waters did exactly as Joshua had said! The waters that came downstream suddenly stood up on a heap, and the other water just ran on down, leaving DRY GROUND! Not slippery mud, but DRY GROUND! As the astounded people watched, the priests went right on walking to the middle of the Jordan, then they stopped, still holding up the ark on the poles. Quickly the people began to cross over, the grandmothers and grandfathers, the moms and dads, some carrying babies, and here come the teens and the children hurrying across!
是的, 当所有的祭司把脚站在约但河水里, 就象约书亚说的, 那从上往下流的水, 便突然停住, 立起来堆在一起, 在他们面前出现一片干地。不是很滑的泥泞, 而是一片干地。抬约柜的祭司在约但河中间的干地上站定, 仍然扛着约柜。很快地, 以色列众人开始过河。有祖父祖母, 有抱着孩子的爸爸妈妈, 有儿童, 青少年。
There was plenty of room for even two million people to cross and still stay a distance from the priests, for the Bible says the waters that stood on a heap were far away. Was God doing wonders？Just think! Not only did He open up a path through the flooded river, but it was a completely DRY one! Is God faithful？Yes! Did He keep His promise？Yes!
虽然有两百万人在过河, 他们仍然可以和抬约柜的祭司隔开一段距离, 圣经说约但河的水从很远的地方就停住了, 使他们有足够的空间。神在行神绩吗？想一想, 神不但在奔腾的河水中开了一条路, 神还使它成为一片干地。神信实吗？当然!神有没有成就他的应许呢？当然!
If you know the Lord Jesus, remember! He is faithful and He keeps His promises! Let’s think of another wonderful promise God gives you as His child：Philippians 1：6 “He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God began His good work in you the day you believed on the Lord Jesus!
如果你相信主耶稣, 记住：神是信实的, 他的应许他一定成就!作为他的孩子, 神在腓立比书第1章6节有一个应许：“那在你们心里动了善工的, 必成全这工, 直到耶稣基督的日子。”当你相信主耶稣的那一时刻起, 神就开始在你心里动善工。
But day by day He is working to make you more and more like Jesus. Does it bother you when you sin？That is because God’s Holy Spirit is working in you, just as He promised!God wants you to come to Him as His child every day and confess that sin so He can keep another promise! I John 1：9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us…” So many wonderful promises our loving God makes us, and remember! He is faithful to keep His promises!
一天天, 他在你心里作工, 使你能更象主耶稣。当你犯罪的时候, 你是不是开始觉得难过了？这是因为神的圣灵在你的里面工作, 就象神应许的那样。神愿意你每天到他的面前来, 承认你的罪, 因为他还有一个应许给你。约翰一书1章9节说：“我们若认自己的罪, 神是信实的, 是公义的, 必要赦免我们的罪, 洗净我们一切的不义。"爱我们的神给了我们这么多宝贵的应许。他也一定会成就这些应许。
As the people hurried to cross the Jordan River on dry ground, they must have felt so amazed that, no matter how unbelievable it had seemed at first, God had kept His promise to them!
当200万以色列人踩着干地过约旦河的时候, 他们一定很惊奇。因为人所以为不可能实现的事, 神竟让它成就了!
But all was not finished! Joshua carried out God’s remaining instructions for this crossing：He sent the men who had been chosen from each of the tribes of Israel to get big stones from the riverbed. The 12 men set the heavy stones on their shoulders and brought them up on the bank of the Jordan River where the people were to camp that night. They formed them into a pile as a memorial.
故事还没有完!约书亚告诉百姓神的另一个吩咐：从以色列十二个支派中各选一人, 从约但河中取十二块石头。那十二个人就把石头扛在肩膀上带过去, 到他们所住宿的地方, 放在那里, 堆起来做纪念。
Joshua explained that when their children grew up and saw those stones, they would ask their parents, “What are these stones doing here？” The parents would then remind themselves and teach their children how God had opened up the Jordan River for them to cross on dry land. Joshua also set up 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan, where the priests’ feet had stood. Both sets of stones were silent reminders of God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises!
约书亚告诉他们, 当他们的孩子长大, 看见这些石头, 他们就会问：‘这些石头是什么意思？’他们的父母就会记起, 并告诉他们的孩子, 神怎样使约但河的水断绝, 成为干地, 使以色列人可以过河。约书亚另把十二块石头立在约但河中, 在抬约柜的祭司脚站立的地方。这些石头都在证明神是多么信实。
Last of all, the priests baring the ark walked to the other side of the Jordan. As the last priests stepped on the bank of the river, what do you think happened？Yes! Can you imagine the sight of all that water splashing down, and once again overflowing the banks？! They were now standing on the banks of the Promised Land!
最后, 祭司抬着约柜也走到河对面。当祭司从约但河里上来, 脚掌刚落在旱地上的时候, 约但河的水就流到原处, 仍旧涨过两岸。你能想象那壮观的场面吗？现在, 他们脚掌所站的就是神的应许之地。