By Lisa Wilmore
Scripture Reading: And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
I thank God for you and pray that you are enjoying His blessings. It is truly an honor to greet you in the only name that matters and that name is Jesus the Christ.
As I read and study God’s Word, I am always excited when the Holy Spirit illuminates a passage that I have either read at some point in my life or heard a message from God’s preacher. A few weeks before this past Sunday morning service, the aforementioned text captured my attention as I perused through the book of Matthew.
Interestingly, in the text, merchants, and others had taken God’s House as a marketing place for selfish gain. Scholars and historical writers noted that even the priest were a part of this deception. They received kickbacks by denying certain potentially sacrificial animals so that the people would purchase the merchants’ high priced animals.
Jesus witnessed this mistreatment of the Temple. For this reason, He became angry and cast them out who sold, bought, and exchanged money in the Temple. He made certain they understood His house was for prayer.
My friends, How are we using the Lord’s House? Is God’s House used for the purpose in which it was designed? Are there practices in our churches that interfere with our worship? If so, we must think about how Jesus felt when religious people allowed certain practices in the Temple and indulged in them.
Of course, we may not be guilty of selling in the church, but there may be other practices or distractions that would hinder our worship. Namely, texting, monitoring social media pages, gossiping during service, disturbing others when they are trying to hear the Word, etc.
Interestingly, the psalmist recorded songs which are called songs of degrees that were sang by the Israelites as they went up to Jerusalem to worship God. Songs such as “I was glad when they said unto me…” (Psalms 122), “If it had not been for the Lord on our side…” (Psalm 124). Worship was on their minds even on their way to church. Is worship truly on our hearts and minds. If so, we must treat God and His House with respect and honor.