It was on Monday, Nisan 10 that Jesus returned to Jerusalem from Bethany, a village at the foot of Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:7). The day before on Palm Sunday, He had entered into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people spread their cloaks out on the road, and cut branches which they laid out before Him in reverence and honor.
Once Jesus returned into Jerusalem and as a part of prophesy, He pronounced a symbolic judgment upon the irreverence for the Lord’s house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11), saying instead of a house of prayer for all nations, some of the people had made it into a "den of robbers." In Jeremiah 7, the prophecy describes the "den of robbers" as those who do not listen to The Lord, or follow His ways (laws) - pouring out drink offerings to other gods, or serving others by stealing, committing adultery, or making offerings to Baal.
Much of the injustice spoken of reminds me of the theft and adultery that went along with the commercial sex industry. But, the symbolic judgment Jesus showed distain over, was what was happening right outside the temple, or within the Church.
Jesus' extreme dislike of the wicked actions reminds me of the strong dislike we must have towards what fuels perversion, theft or adultery in our culture. We know that Jesus flipped the tables because people were buying and selling. It's very possible there was stealing, maybe even jacking up the prices of the "animal offering," which back then, people needed to bring into the courts as their offering. The perfect and spotless Lamb of God had not yet been offered as the sacrifice. It's likely, some of the people couldn't afford the animal sacrifice. Perhaps, the focus had become making money by those who sold the animals. It's evident the actions of the people were not just. Perhaps, they lost the focus.
In Jeremiah 7:23 a solution is given, much like a solution is given in Isaiah 56, a correlating chapter with the events that took place today, Holy Monday. It's not necessarily just about prayer itself, but the lifestyle that is lived. This morning the Lord impressed on my heart the shaking that is happening in our culture, and especially within the Body of Christ. What matters most, is the lifestyle, everyday. I love what singer, songwriter Beckah Shocklee recently stated: "The Law should point us to Love, and Love should point us to the Law."
"But this command I gave them, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be me people. And walk in all the way that I command you [emphasis added], and it will be well with you." (Jeremiah 7:23)
It is well with us, when we allow and welcome the leading of the Holy Spirit to walk in the way God is leading. This is why I continue to pray, "Lord, refine me, and define me as your daughter. Whatever it takes, that my life be pleasing to You. Create and plant within me, a desire to do what is right, and what is just. Give me a hunger for the Living Word."
Furthermore in the scriptures, we can find another reference to what the Prophet Jesus was speaking to: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil . . . (Isaiah 56:1-2)
. . . for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations. (Isaiah 56:7)
When I ponder these scriptures, the meaning of Easter, and the hope that is offered, as well as the strong dislike that Jesus showed towards what was happening in the temple, my own love for justice, and dissatisfaction with injustice becomes confirmed.
Thankfully, we have been given a solution.
The Lord is saying, “I am cleaning up my bride. She will not be enmeshed with what is vile or perverse. She will not see or view what is fueling the trafficking of souls - that being pornography. This is a time of tears, tears that wash away injustice.”
Furthermore, there is a strong focus and highlight in this season that money be called back to it’s rightful place. Not that we focus on the money, but that it is being handled properly, especially within the Body of Christ. We must not sow pennies into what is perverse or vile, and we must be wise stewards with what we have.
I recognize that when I get upset over the injustices I see in the world, or I look at my own life, past or present, and find myself unsatisfied when I've fallen short in some way, I know that I can look to Jesus. He felt, and knew, the same kind of displeasure with injustice. And then, He took it to the cross. When I look at Him, He is the One who empowers me to do what is right through the Holy Spirit, and to truly love justice.
A declaration - My house, my life, family and ministry – May it be A House of Prayer. This week, today, and always, may we seek justice and do what is right. Any place where there is a Den of Robbers, may it be exposed and flipped over! May we be those who keep the focus. And may we not make any place whether it's within our own lives, ministries, or Churches, a den of robbers. Refine and define me Oh Lord, whatever it takes. And when I see injustice in the world, lead me to respond as you would. Thank you, that You love justice and that You've placed within me an extreme dislike of injustice.
May my house be a house that maintains justice.
Tonight, at Sundown we move into the Hebrew date Nisan 11. Tonight, Jesus spends the night in Bethany.