A Name In My House
Spelunking through the gospels, and learning about the prophecies and laws fulfilled by Christ is a very eye-opening experience for both believers and non-believers alike. Isaiah 56:1-8 outlines important concepts of instructions of obedience, rewards for obedience, and promises for the foreigners and outcasts. Isaiah 56 starts with a word that is directed to God’s people, who have fallen behind in obedience and stifled their righteousness. God awakes them out of this by calling them to “keep justice and do righteousness” in order to keep them aligned for what He is about to do.
As believers, we live Christ-like lives in anticipation of what God will do and in obedience to His commands. We do not treat Him like a magical genie or simply pick up the pace in our faith only when we need Him, we build that relationship and invest in it.
Another aspect of this passage is the concept of the foreigner and outcast/eunuch. These two personalities represent feelings of being cast out or “utterly separated” from God’s people. These concepts represent how we ourselves feel like foreigners or outcasts. We are to remember to neglect these feelings and trust in God’s promise that His family is big enough for all of us and if you belong to it, then you belong. God commands those who feel outcasted to live in obedience and focus on pleasing the Father. As a reward, they will be blessed with “a place and a name in my house”, one far greater than that of man.
Far too often is it easy to be tempted with upholding a place and name among men, but in doing so prevents a sense of contentment only given from
God that leads to unfulfillment. To further drive the significance of this place and name that God gives us, He promises the eternality of such a blessing, “They shall not be cut off”. God makes it abundantly clear that whether it is Israelite, foreigner, or outcast, if they follow hard after God
in obedience, He will receive them into His house of prayer for all nations.
Switching gears to the gospels of Luke and Matthew, Jesus is read cleansing out the temple from the merchants and cursing a fig tree. The fig tree cursed by the Savior is a reminder to us that not only can faith in our Lord whither fig trees and move mountains, but that we may know that Christ not only rewards obedience but can punish those who fail to uphold their obedience.
Furthermore, Jesus is quoted “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves”. (Matthew 21:13) Jesus is not pleased with the merchants polluting the purpose of the temple and disrespecting its meaning and significance. Isaiah 56 mentions the temple is to be a “house of
prayer for all nations” but these merchants were explicitly soliciting within the area where the Gentiles went to worship, therefore, this place of prayer was made into a marketplace, and a dishonest one. Those who sought to worship God were being prevented from the very people of God’s House. Not only does this prevent all nations from worshipping the Lord, but it reveals the wickedness that can be exemplified if seeking to establish a name and place among men instead of that with the Lord.
Once Jesus fulfills the task of re-establishing the temple as a place of worship for all, He is then seen utilizing the temple to perform wonderful things. However, the chief priests and scribes were “indignant” about these wonderful works. The religious leader’s hypocrisy is incredibly clear, greed and theft in the temple didn’t bother them, but praise to the one true Messiah did.
As Christians, we are granted the gift of a relationship with our Father. This gift is extended to all and is kept from no one. Our job is to communicate the value and ease of access to this gift to all nations. When the gift of salvation is communicated, the outcast can find a home, the attention seekers can find hope, and the obedient can be rewarded.
Today’s Easter Bible Reading Plan:
Isaiah 56:1-8 | Luke 19:41-48 | Matthew 21:12-19