God and Chinese New Year
02 Feb 2014 Chinese New Year Service – Kong Hee
China has a 4,500-year history. For the first 2,000 years, the Chinese worshiped only one supreme Creator God.
The Chinese race is the descendants of Shem, one of Noah’s three sons.
13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— Gen 7:13
Chuan means boat in Mandarin. Here the eight mouths (kou) refer to people, hence eight people.
This boat which Noah constructed was massive. It was a three-level vessel, with over 100,000 square feet of floor space. It would be rightly called a SHIP (chuán). This word pictures EIGHT PEOPLE on a BOAT. What ship has only eight people onboard? Huge ships are built to carry thousands of people and have dozens of personnel onboard. Surely this pictures the ark Noah was commanded to build. God said that eight people would be saved in the ark.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
The Chinese referred to God as “Shang Di”, which later on became “Tian”.
“Shang Di is another name for Tian. The spirits do not have two Lords.” – Historical Records, Vol.28, Book 6, p.624
Means he is above everything, the greatest. Similar to El Elyon, The Most High in Hebrew.
The first Chinese dynasty was the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BC). This was roughly the same period of time from Exodus to Judges in the Bible. It was when Moses led the Israelites out of bondage to the promised land. (Exodus 12)
The night of the freedom was called The Passover. This period is similar to Chinese New Year!
3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. V3,8
Roasted flesh and herbs refer to the meat and vegetables we eat during our reunion dinner. The unleavened bread is akin to “nian gao”.
Red scrolls on door posts
7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. V7
We do the same during Chinese New Year as well! During the New Year, we would greet each other with positive sayings, such as good health, or prosperity etc.
Just like Hebrews applying blood on lintel and confessing positive things.
But why ? In the Passover there was a..
Nian The Destroyer
The Nian was a destroyer beast coming to kill the firstborn in Egypt.
23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. V23
But he can’t come close to the blood of God!
It is scared of the color red (the blood of God)
It is scared of loud sounds. Hence the use of firecrackers (Your praise and prayer!)
Which leads us to…
Guo the Nian
Over the “Nian” beast! We have overcome it! The Israelites called the night The Passover. The Chinese called it Guo Nian. We went over the beast.
God has set us free from Satan who came to destroy us!
In ancient times elders will give 100coins tied on a red string (压岁钱, Ya Sui Qian).
Ya Sui Qian literally means “suppressing age money,” which is supposed to stop children from getting older. It symbolises that you live to a hundred years old.
It was also because the character “岁”, which means “year”, pronounces the same with the character “祟”, which means “evil spirit”. The ancient Chinese believed children were generally weaker than adults and as a result easier to get hurt by the evil spirits. Ya Sui Qian symbolized an amulet that could hold down the evil spirits.
The red string is symbolic of the bleeding blood of Jesus Christ.
18 unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. Josh 2:18 – Through a scarlet cord they were saved, it was symbolic of their salvation.
He shed his blood so we can live forever !
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 Jn 1:7
But today we don’t tie up money with red string, but put them in red packets. The traditional “ya sui qian” (压岁钱, 压祟钱) refers to the cash that’s inside a red envelope (hongbao, 红包) on New Year’s day.