Tag: den of robbers

Thankful for a God who Watches!

Scripture reading for August 18th:  Jeremiah 5-8

Key Scriptures:  Jeremiah 7:9-11  “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house, which bears My Name, and say, “We are safe”–safe to do all these detestable things?  Has this house, which bears My Name, become a den of robbers to you?  But I have been watching!” declares the Lord.”  

Jeremiah was called as a young child to be a prophet to the nations.  In fact, before God formed him in the womb, this call was on his life! Jeremiah had a hard message for his own people, the Jews.  Many of them were going through the motions of religious activity, but their daily lives were a mess of sin and rebellion against God’s Law and loving character.  God sent Jeremiah with a message of what He saw!

Thankful for a Watchful Savior:  “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.  He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  And as He taught them, He said, “Is it not written: “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations/? but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’  (Mark 11:15-17)

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A House of Prayer for all Nations!

 

Scripture reading for February 24th:  Mark 11

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Mark 11:15-17  “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.  He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  And as He taught them, He said, “Is it not written: “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’?”  But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”

Jesus was beginning His last week ministering on earth as a man.  He went to the temple the first evening and just observed what was going on and then quietly left.  (Mark 11:11)  The next day Jesus returned to the temple and began to drive out the money-changers and those who bought and sold sacrifices.  He upset their tables and their “apple cart!”  His problem was with the purpose of the temple:  God designated it a place of prayer for all nations!  (See 1st Kings 8:23-61)  The activities of buying and selling were hindering people in their sincere approach to God!  God desired to give all people joy in His house of prayer as they received answers and forgiveness through drawing near to Him.  (Isaiah 56:6-8)  Jesus used this cleaning of the temple again to emphasize and teach His desire for all nations to commune with Him and the Father.

Observations for over-comers:  Jesus is zealous for His house and has designated it a “house of prayer for all nations.”  His Church must joyfully allow the Spirit freedom to direct them in prayer for the nations!   “And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve Him, to love the name of the Lord and to worship Him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to My covenant–these I will bring to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer.”  (Isaiah 57:6-7)

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Confronting church-goers!

Scripture reading for August 6th: Jeremiah 7-10

Jeremiah was sent to preach to his people and told up front that they would not listen!  (Jeremiah 7:27)   He was told on several occasions not to pray for his people because their sins had removed them from God’s grace!  (Jeremiah 7:16) (Jeremiah 9:22-23)   He was known as the “weeping prophet” because of his many tears over God’s people!

“Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord.  This is what the Lord Almighty, The God of Israel, says:  Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.  Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”  If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, and in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever.  But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” Jeremiah 7:2-7

God’s people were going through the motions of religion and were deceived!  Jeremiah’s words struck to the heart of the matter without beating around the bush.  God was not interested in religious activities, but in each heart!  Their trust was in their attendance at the temple.  God was calling for a change in their daily walk with God.  He cared about orphans, widows, the alien, and the poor.  His heart was broken when innocent blood was shed and people deal unjustly with one another.  He hated adultery and lying.   He loved His people enough to confront them through Jeremiah!

Six hundred years later, Jesus Christ went to the temple and saw the same things with the money changers.  He quoted from Jeremiah:  “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’.”   (Mark 11:17)  (Jeremiah 7:11)  He then cleansed the temple!  He stands at the door of our heart, which is now His temple.   What will He say to us?

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A House of Prayer!

Scripture reading for March 3rd: Mark 11:1-25, Psalms 46:1-11, Proverbs 10:23

When Solomon dedicated the temple about a thousand years before Jesus visited it, he had dedicated the temple as a place where people could seek the Lord for healing, forgiveness, and deliverance.  The presence of the Lord was in the midst of the nation, with God dwelling there in the Holy of Holies.  People were to come there with their needs and seek God in humble prayer. “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.  I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that My Name may be there forever.  My eyes and my heart will always be there.” (2nd Chronicles 7:14-16)  God watched over the temple and it was consecrated as a place of prayer!

When Jesus came into the temple on the first day of Passover week, He came riding on a colt of a donkey with the people crying out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!  Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10)  He entered the temple as the Son of God and with His eyes He saw and observed what was happening there.  The sight must have grieved Jesus for He went away to pray overnight.

The next day He returned, entered the temple, and began driving out those who were buying and selling sacrifices and changing money.  He overturned tables and caused quite a stir with His righteous anger.  He taught them, “Is it not written: “‘My House will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of robbers.'” (Mark 11:17)  Jesus quoted from Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11 where the prophets had re-emphasized the role of God’s house and rebuked the people for using it for their own selfish purposes.

Now we are the temple of God and God dwells in our midst!  Take a moment to think about your life.  Is your life marked by prayer, not only for yourself, but all nations?  Let your house be marked by prayer!  Remember, the same God lives in you today!

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Preaching at the church door!

Scripture reading for August 4th: Jeremiah 7-10

Jeremiah was told to preach to his people and warned they would not listen!  (Jeremiah 7:27)   God told him on several occasions not to pray for his people because their sins.  Jeremiah wept rivers of tears for them anyway!  (Jeremiah 7:16) (Jeremiah 9:22-23)  His preaching was straight and he used interesting object lessons in 40 years of ministry!

He stood at the door of the temple and preached as God instructed him.  “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord.  This is what the Lord Almighty, The God of Israel, says:  Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.  Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”  If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, and in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever.  But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” Jeremiah 7:2-7

His people were going through the motions of religion and were deceived!  They were using religious activities to justify selfish lifestyles.  Their trust was in their attendance at the temple.  God called for a change in ways and actions that would align the people’s hearts with His.  God cared about orphans and widows.  He cared about the alien and the poor.  His heart was broken for injustice and innocent bloodshed.  God wanted His people to reflect His heart of love. They were in idolatry to their own selfish ways!

God was watching over His word!  He saw hypocrisy and used Jeremiah to call them to repentance.  600 years later,  Jesus Christ went into the temple of the Lord and saw similar things with his people and the money changers.  He quoted from Jeremiah:  “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’.” (Mark 11:17)  (Jeremiah 7:11) He cleansed the temple and drove them out!   Do we need more preaching at the church door?

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