April 1, 2007 through . . .
by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts
Copyright © 2007 by Mark D. Roberts
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April 1, 2007
He was teaching and saying, “Is it not
‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?
But you have made it a den of robbers.”
Jewish people believed that the temple was
their guarantee of Your blessing and protection. After all, You
had chosen to make Your presence known in the temple in a truly
unique way. So the people figured that this was their insurance
policy. They would be safe from their enemies and even from Your
judgment on their sin. So, with this presumption of immunity,
then they disobeyed You, failing to do works of justice and even
chasing after other gods.
Through Jeremiah, You confronted Your people
with the truth of their ways. You accused them of turning Your
holy temple into a "den of robbers," a hideout from
the implications of their sin. You called Your people to repent
and act justly, or else You would destroy both their nationa
and the temple. Sadly, they failed to heed Your warning, and
the temple was destroyed when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem.
Six centuries later, Jesus echoed the words
of Jeremiah. And, once again, Your people failed to hear Your
words. And, once again, the temple was destroyed, this time by
the Romans. The "we have the temple" safety net of
Your people failed once and for all.
So I wonder, Lord, do I have a "den of
robbers"? Where do I hide from accountability for my actions?
What in my life keeps me from a transformational encounter with
You? Could it be my tendency to embrace "cheap grace" rather
than true discipleship? Could my "den of robbers" be
my reliance upon the promise of forgiveness when I choose to
sin? Do I hide in my version of comfortable Christianity rather
than taking up my cross to follow You?
Lord Jesus, even as You once entered the temple
in order to cleanse it, so I invite You to enter my life. Show
me my sin. Reveal the ways I have created a "den of robbers" to
keep me from dealing with You. Help me to be a pure temple for
Your Holy Spirit.
For Your sake and in Your name, Amen.
A model of the
temple in Jerusalem. This model has been located at the
Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem, but is being moved to a museum.
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from
the LORD: 2 Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house,
and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD,
all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship
the LORD. 3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of
Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with
you in this place. 4 Do not trust in these deceptive
words: “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the
LORD, the temple of the LORD.”
5 For if you truly amend your ways and your doings,
if you truly act justly one with another, 6 if
you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow,
or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not
go after other gods to your own hurt, 7 then I
will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave
of old to your ancestors forever and ever.
8 Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will
you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal,
and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come
and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We
are safe!”—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has
this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your
sight? You know, I too am watching, says the LORD. 12 Go now to
my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see
what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And
now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I
spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you
did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called
by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and
to your ancestors, just what I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast
you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinsfolk, all the offspring
12 “All things are
lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All
things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated
by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach
and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one
and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for
the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God
raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15 Do
you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I
therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of
a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that whoever
is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is
said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17 But
anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun
fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body;
but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19 Or
do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your
own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore
glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
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