Wednesday, 14 April 2021
“….My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." -Isaiah 56:7
God was always considerate about the nations around Israel; when God called Abraham, He called him to be father of many nations and a blessing for all nations (Genesis 22:18).
Down the centuries when the tabernacle was made in the desert as it was told by God to Moses, it was the house of prayer for the Israelites. They used to assemble outside it, while the Levites under the leadership of Aaron the chief priest carried out the sacrifices on behalf of them for their sins, at the appointed occasions. Later when the Jerusalem temple was constructed by Solomon we see that the nations were also allowed to come to pray (1Kings 8:43). But the glory of God was not seen by any of them since it was covered by the veil.
Finally during the time of Jesus, when He came to the Temple, He had to call it a den of thieves (Matt. 21:13) by seeing the ungodly things happening in and around the temple which was supposed to be the light of God to the nations around it. He cleared the Temple, driving out the merchants, the sacrificial animals and birds - they were no more required (as a man of God put it) – since the real Lamb of God stood amongst them, ready to be sacrificed once and for all. Then He declared that the temple is a house of prayer for all nations, quoting from the book of Isaiah. But the Temple still had the veil which separated the holiness of the presence of God from the sinful world.
For this presence of God to be accessible to all people and at all times without the mediation of a priest (unlike in the old times, once a year the Chief priest went inside and sprinkled the blood of sacrifice for the remission of all of Israel’s sin) the Righteous God’s wrath against the sin of mankind needed to be quenched and this was possible only by the greatest of Sacrifice ever- the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7). By the time Jesus was crucified the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom and the grace to look unto Him was made possible to all people!
Hence the importance of the temple of Jerusalem was lost and Jesus Himself became the Temple as He prophesied (John 2:19). Now this Temple stands accessible to all the nations, all the time as a house of prayer. Anyone can come to this Temple anytime and whoever comes to this “Temple” for the remission of their sins, it is granted immediately provided the request is sincere and is made with a real repentant heart.
It is very sad that majority of the world still doesn’t know about this house of prayer or the “way” to eternal life. They are still in darkness. Now we who have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, have Christ residing in us through the Holy Spirit— all of us who were baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27). Therefore anyone who sees us should be able to see Christ in us. And we will be used by God for the building of His Kingdom, causing us to spread the good news about this “house of prayer for all the nations.” Let it be our first priority.
Think on: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)