Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage begins with the twenty-eighth verse of the nineteenth chapter and continues through to the nineteenth verse of the twentieth chapter of this New Testament book. “And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Beth-phage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying, Go ye into the village over against you: in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? Thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:28-40).
“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou. Hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because the knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 10:41-44).
“And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him” (Luke 19:45-48).
“And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, and spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? OR who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things” (Luke 20:1-8).
“Then began he to speak to the people this parable: A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a certain to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be outs. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, Go d forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them” (Luke 20:9-19).
ENTERING INTO THE CITY! WEEPING OVER THE CITY! ENTERING INTO THE TEMPLE! ENTERING INTO THE CITY, ENTERING INTO THE TEMPLE! BEFORE JESUS CLEANSED THE TEMPLE HE WEPT OVER THE CITY! WHAT TYPE OF KING CHOOSES TO ENTER INTO THE CITY MEEK AND LOWLY RIDING ON A DONKEY? THE SAME KING WHO ENTERED INTO THE CITY MEEK AND LOWLY RIDING ON A DONKEY IS THE SAME KING WHO CALLED ON THOSE WHO WERE WEARY AND HEAVY LADEN TO COME UNTO HIM AND HE WOULD GIVE THEM REST! THE SAME KING WHO WOULD ENTER INTO THE CITY MEEK AND LOWLY WOULD ALSO DECLARE THAT HE WAS MEEK AND LOWLY OF HEART! “COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU, AND LEARN OF ME; FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART: AND YE SHALL FIND REST UNTO YOUR SOULS. FOR MY YOKE IS EASY, AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT” (Matthew 11:28-30). THE WHOLE MULTITUDE OF THE DISCIPLES BGAN TO REJOICE AND PRAISE GOD WITH A LOUD VOICE FOR ALL THE MIGHTY WORKS THAT THEY HAD SEEN! BLESSED THE KING THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! PEACE IN HEAVEN, AND GLORY IN THE HIGHEST! MASTER REBUKE THY DISCIPLES! IF THESE HOLD THEIR PEACE, THE STONES WOULD IMMEDIATELY CRY OUT! STONES CRYING OUT, STONES BEING REMOVED! BECAUSE THOU KNEWEST NOT THE TIME OF THY VISITATION!
When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the third of three accounts of the narrative of Jesus instructing two of His disciples to go into a specific place with a very specific assignment. If and as you read the words which are found in this portion of Scripture you will find another account of Jesus drawing nigh unto Bethany and Bethphage while He was on His way to Jerusalem. In all reality, it’s quite interesting and unique when reading these words, for within this passage we find the beloved physician Luke writing that when Jesus had spoken such words He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of these words and how absolutely incredible they are, for they bring us face to face with the tremendous resolve and purpose of Jesus to journey up to Jerusalem. If and as you read the words which are found within and throughout the gospel narratives you will find that Jesus not only knew that He would be betrayed by one of His own into the hands of sinners, as well as the religious, but Jesus also knew and understood that He must needs journey up unto Jerusalem. You cannot read the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous reality that Jesus knew that He did indeed and did in fact need to journey up unto the city of Jerusalem, for it would be in Jerusalem where He would begin to accomplish that for which He had sent. With this being said, it’s important that we understand and recognize that in all reality, Jesus’ journey unto the city of Jerusalem—particularly and especially as it pertains to a means of sacrifice—is a continuation of a pattern that began in the days of the Old Testament. In fact, as you turn and direct your attention to the Old Testament books of Genesis, Second Samuel and First Chronicles you will find the narratives and accounts of Abraham and David making their own journey unto Jerusalem. With this being said, however, it’s important for us to recognize that not only did Abraham and David make their way unto what was Jerusalem during their own day, but they also made their way to a specific place within that region which was known as Moriah.
I am absolutely and completely convinced we have a great need to pay attention to the narratives surrounding Abraham and David, for both of these men would be called by God to journey unto a specific region—and not only unto a specific region, but also unto a specific mountain within that region. What would begin as a tremendous journey within and during the days of Abraham would continue during the days of David when the sword of the LORD was present within the city of Jerusalem and wrought the deaths of countless men and women within the walls of the city. What’s more, is that what makes this particular location so incredible and interesting is when you think about the fact that there would be another king who would go up unto this place, yet this king would not go up for the same reasons as Abraham and David. If you read the words found in the book of First Kings, as well as Second Chronicles you will find the narrative of Solomon the son of David, and how Solomon himself would go up unto this same region and same mountain within the city of Jerusalem, for it would be in that place where the Temple of the LORD would be built and established. Oh how absolutely wonderful it is to read the Old Testament narratives and find this journey which would be taken unto this particular region within the earth—and not only unto this particular region, but unto this particular mountain. What’s more, is that what Abraham and David would do personally during their days and within their generation would essentially be fulfilled and accomplished during the days of the generations after them. Abraham would be called unto this region and unto this mountain to offer his one and only son Isaac upon the altar in the place the LORD would show him, while David would be called unto this region and to this particular mountain for the purpose of sacrifice. The distinction between these two men is that Abraham being called into this place to sacrifice was God’s means of testing him, while David’s call unto this place to sacrifice was in response to his own transgression and the consequences and implications it had on the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem. David would sin and transgress against the LORD, and through the prophet the LORD would give David three options to choose from in response to his iniquity. David would choose to fall into the hands of the living God. Knowing that the LORD was merciful, gracious and relenting of evil. It is with this in mind I would like to invite you to the twenty-second chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis and the narrative of the LORD God Almighty testing Abraham by calling him into the region of Moriah to sacrifice his one and only son Isaac:
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee. Into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the word of the bunt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the poace which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said,A braham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed by voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba” (Genesis 22:1-19).
The words which we find here in this particular passage of Scripture bring us face to face with Abraham—the patriarch of the Hebrew people and the Jewish faith, as well as the patriarch of all those who name the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior—being tested by the living and eternal God to take and offer his one and only son Isaac whom he loved as a bunt offering. What’s more, is that not only would Abraham be called by the living and eternal God to take and offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering before and unto Him, but he would be instructed to do so in the place the LORD would show him. What makes this particular narrative and account so incredibly interesting when you take the time to think about it is that the region where Abraham would take the young lads who were with him, as well as his son was indeed the region of Moriah. Not only this, but I would even dare say the exact mountain where Abraham would take and bring his one and only son Isaac whom he loved would be the same mount Moriah where David would later be instructed by the prophet to offer a burnt offering and sacrifice that the plague within the city of Jerusalem might be stayed and the sword of the LORD which was present in the hand of the angel would be put into its sheath. It is truly something worth thinking about this particular truth, for the same journey which Abraham himself would take unto the region of Moriah—even the very purpose of sacrifice which Abraham would be called and instructed by the living God to do—would be the very same thing David the son of Jesse would be called and instructed by the living and eternal God to carry out. You cannot read the words which are found in the Old Testament books of Second Samuel and First Chronicles and not encounter the tremendous and powerful truth surrounding David as king over the nation of Israel, and how he was the one whom the LORD called and instructed to journey unto a specific place, and in that place offer and present a sacrifice before the LORD that the plague which was ravaging the city of Jerusalem and claiming the lives of countless individuals might be stopped and stayed. Oh it is truly astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider this, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth that David king of Israel—a descendant of Abraham himself—would be called into the same region, which was at that time in Jerusalem, and even unto the very same mountain where Abraham was called of God. Not only this, but David would be called unto that particular region and unto that particular mountain that he might offer and present a sacrifice before and unto the LORD. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament books of Second Samuel and First Chronicles concerning the life of David and the call of God to go up unto the mountain of Moriah for to sacrifice before the LORD:
“And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD< I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? Or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? Or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? Now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto God, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of men. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-Sheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? Let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house. And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear and altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebuiste. And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded. And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To but the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and the threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed” (2 Samuel 24:10-25).
“And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the l and, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? Even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? Let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebuste. And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Nor Ornan was threshing wheat. And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and said David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And the king said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God: he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 21:7-30).
“Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel. And David commanded to gather the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God” (1 Chronicles 22:1-2).
We must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these two passages of Scripture, for the words we find here present us with a powerful call and invitation given unto David by the angel of the LORD which had the sword in his hand through the prophet Gad to go up unto the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. What’s more, is that not only was David instructed to go up unto the threshingflood of Ornan the Jebusite, but he was also instructed to build an altar there, and there in that place offer a burnt offering for sacrifice. It would be in that place of Ornan the Jebusite which we will later learn was indeed the region and land of Moriah—and not only the land of Moriah, but also mount Moriah itself. The exact location where David would build an altar before and unto the LORD, and the very place David would offer a burnt offering would be the very same region where Abraham had centuries earlier been commanded and instructed by the LORD to take his one and only son Isaac whom he loved and offer him as a burnt offering before the LORD. Abraham would journey unto the region of Moriah together with Isaac his son and two of his servants as he would prepare to obey the command of the LORD and carry out that which He had commanded and instructed him. Oh it is truly intriguing when you consider this particular reality, for it would be there in the region of Moriah, and there on mount Moriah itself where Abraham would build an altar before and unto the LORD. It would be there in the land of Moriah, and it would be there on mount Moriah itself where Abraham would build an altar, arrange the wood, bind his son Isaac, lay his son upon the altar, and would raise the knife for to slay his son. Were it not for the intervention of the angel of the LORD calling unto Abraham from heaven he would have carried out the very command given and spoken unto him by the LORD. What makes this all the more intriguing when you think about it is when you consider the fact that David the king of Israel would be called unto this very same place and unto this very same mountain for to build an altar unto the LORD, and to offer a burnt offering before and unto the LORD.
It is something worth thinking about and paying close attention to when you consider the narratives and lives of both Abraham and David, for both men would indeed and would in fact be called of the LORD to go unto the region and land of Moriah for to sacrifice unto the LORD. Although the angel of the LORD would call unto Abraham and thus prevent him from slaying his one and only son Isaac whom he loved, Abraham would still offer a burnt offering there in that place in the stead of his son. The scriptural narrative reveals how Abraham would look up and see a ram caught in the thickets (thorns), and how he would deliver and set the ram free from the thickets and would slaughter it in the stead of his son. Not only this, but Abraham would also take the ram and lay it upon the altar and offer it up as a sacrifice before and unto the LORD. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely captivating it truly is, for the same region and place Abraham would in fact be called unto to offer a burnt offering before and unto the LORD would be the same region David would be instructed by the LORD through the prophet Gad to build an altar and offer a sacrifice unto the LORD. What makes both of these narratives so incredible is when you think about and consider that not only did each of these men have to make their journey unto this particular place in the region and land of Moriah, and not only would they have to build an altar in that place, but they would also have to offer up a sacrifice before and unto the LORD. While it was indeed true that the LORD would not answer and respond to Abraham by fire from heaven upon the altar and upon the burnt offering, the LORD would indeed respond to David by sending fire down from heaven upon the altar and upon the sacrifice. It is this concept of the LORD responding to and answering David by fire from heaven, for if you turn and direct your attention to the book of Second Chronicles you will not only find David’s son Solomon coming unto this mountain of Moriah where Abraham and David his father had both come, but it would be in that place where Solomon would build the Temple of the LORD. What’s more, is that it would not only be in that place where the Temple of the LORD would be built, but it would be in that place where the altar of bunt offering for all the people would be placed and set up that the priests might offer the sacrifices and offerings of the people before the LORD upon the altar.
The more I think about and consider this the more I can’t help but be brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that when David built an altar before the LORD, and when David offered the burnt offering as a sacrifice before the LORD—not only would the LORD answer and respond to David by sending fire down from heaven upon the sacrifice, but the angel of the LORD would also put the sword back into his sheath. It is important that we recognize and pay close attention to this, for just as David would offer burnt offerings and sacrifices in that place, so also would Solomon his son offer burnt offerings and sacrifices in that very place. What’s more, is that just as the LORD would answer and respond to David by sending fire down from heaven upon the altar and upon the sacrifice, so also would the LORD respond to and answer Solomon by sending fire down from heaven upon the altar. Not only this, but the LORD would also completely and utterly fill the Temple with His shekinah glory. So thick and so tangible was the glory and presence of the living God in the midst of the Temple that neither the priests nor the Levites could enter into the Temple and thus carry out and fulfill their duties. Oh it is truly something worth thinking about and considering that here on the very same mountain where Abraham and David would build altars and offer up burnt offerings as sacrifices unto the LORD, Solomon the son of David would not only build the Temple, but would also offer up burnt offerings and sacrifices before and unto the LORD. It would be here in the very same place and upon the very same mountain Abraham and David would build altars and offer burnt offerings Solomon would himself offer burnt offerings and sacrifices unto the LORD in the company and presence of all the people. As if this weren’t enough, we must needs recognize and understand that it would be here on this mountain and here at this altar it would be not be Abraham who would offer a burnt offering, nor would it be David who would offer a burnt offering, nor would it even be Solomon who would offer a burnt offering, but the altar which would be present here in this place would be an altar for the people—and altar where they could come and worship the LORD together with their burnt offerings and sacrifices. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles, as well as the words which are found in the second chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah:
“Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign” (2 Chronicles 3:1-2).
“Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up. Also king Solomon ,and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the wark of the covenant of the LORD unto his palce, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves wer eseen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day. There was nothing in the ark save the two. Tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (For all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait be course: also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets) It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LOR, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:3-14).
“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).
We must needs pay close and careful attention to the words which are found here in these portions of Scripture, for not only would Solomon the son of David king of Israel build the Temple unto the LORD in the region of Moriah and upon the very mountain of Moriah where David his father had built an altar, where his father David had offered a burnt offering unto the LORD, and where the LORD had appeared unto him and answered by fire from heaven, but Solomon would also offer burnt offerings and sacrifices before and unto the LORD. What makes this all the more astonishing when you think about it is that during the days of Solomon after the Temple had been completed, the glory of the LORD would completely and utterly fill the house. So thick and so all consuming was the divine glory of the LORD in the midst of the house of the LORD that the priests could not enter into the midst of it, and could not fulfill or carry out their duties or responsibilities. Imagine the scene as outside the Temple of the LORD in the outer court offerings and sacrifices would be burnt and offered upon the altar, and the Levites and singers would be offering praises with their lips and with instruments before and unto the LORD. OFFERINGS UPON THE ALTAR, PRAISES OF GOD UPON THE MOUTHS OF THE PEOPLE! There outside the actual Temple of the LORD burnt offerings were being offered upon the altar, and an offering of worship and praise was being offered by the Levites, the singers and the people. What’s more, is the LORD would answer and respond to the offerings upon the altar and the offerings upon the mouths of the people by filling the house of the LORD with His glory and His presence. Immediately after this we find Solomon offering up a prayer of dedication before the people on behalf of the Temple of the LORD which would stand in that place. What’s more, is that not only would Solomon offer up a prayer of dedication there in that place before the altar, but his prayer would indeed be one that would entreat the LORD’s attention be affixed upon His people who would call upon His name—whether they were in a strange and foreign land, or whether they would be present within this land. Whether they were defeated before their enemies, or whether the heavens were shut up from giving forth rain, or whether there was famine in the land, or whether there was plague and pestilence in the land, Solomon entreated of the LORD that if His people prayed toward this Temple and even in this place, He would hear from heaven and His eyes and ears would be attuned and attentive unto that place.
What makes Solomon’s prayer so incredibly captivating when you take the time to think about the fact that the LORD would respond to Solomon’s prayer with words which are and have been famous throughout the years. The LORD God would appear to Solomon that night by dream as He had done in Gibeon, and the LORD would pronounce such incredible and powerful words concerning His people. In order to understand this we must first recognize and understand that it would be here in this particular place where sacrifice and offering would be made by David king of Israel on behalf of the people—not because of their sins and transgressions, but because of his own iniquity and transgression. David would build an altar and offer a burnt offering before and unto the LORD as a means of atonement for and on behalf of the people that the plague might be stayed, that the city of Jerusalem might not be destroyed, and that the LORD would pardon and forgive the iniquity of His servant David. This is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to, for Solomon’s prayer would be in direct alignment with the sole purpose David went up to the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite and unto mount Moriah in the first place. David would go up unto the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite to build an altar and offer burnt offerings in repentance and atonement before the LORD on behalf of his iniquity and on behalf of the people, and the Temple of the LORD would not only be used for gifts, offerings and sacrifices, but it would also be used as a place where atonement would be made for the people, and where the people would and could bring their sacrifices and burnt offerings before the LORD. As if this weren’t enough, it is absolutely remarkable and astonishing that the Temple of the LORD and this place in mount Moriah where the altar of burnt offering would be built would have a direct connection to repentance and forgiveness.
If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand about the Temple, about the altar of burnt offering, and even about Solomon’s prayer, it’s that they were all directly connected to prayer, to repentance, to turning and returning, and even to forgiveness of iniquity and transgression. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for centuries later Jesus would return unto this very mountain and unto this very place to fulfill in wonderful and awesome measure that which Solomon had prayed generations earlier. Not only this, but Jesus’ journey up to Jerusalem centuries later would be a direct fulfillment of the LORD’s response to Solomon concerning His eyes and ears being attentive unto this place and this house—and not only unto this place and unto this house, but also unto the cries, the prayers and the petitions of His people. With this in mind, I would like to first invite you to consider the words which Solomon prayed at the dedication of the Temple, for the words which Solomon prayed would be a passionate entreaty and plea before the LORD that He would hear His people when they prayed, returned, turned, cried out to Him, called upon His name, and prayed before and toward the Temple. In order to understand the response the LORD gave unto Solomon we must first understand Solomon’s prayer before and unto the LORD there at the dedication of the Temple of the LORD. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles:
“And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands: For Solomon ahd made a brazen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits braod, and three cubits long, and five cubits braod, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and dupon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven, and said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts: Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David. But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built. Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: that thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israle, which they shall make toward this palce: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive. If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in t his house; then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness. And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sins of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers. When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance. If there be a dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore of whatsoever sickness there be: then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men) that they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name. If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou from the heavens their prayers andtheir supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near; yet if they bethinkin themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; if they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee. Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in th is place. Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy preists, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. O LORD God, turn. Not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant” (2 Chronicles 6:12-42).
Please do not miss the incredible importance of what is being prayed here, for in addition to building the Temple of the LORD upon the mountain where David and Abraham offered burnt offerings and sacrifices, Solomon would also pray a prayer concerning the people of God and their desire and intention to seek His face. If you take the time to read the words which are found in this portion of Scripture you will find that at the very heart of Solomon’s prayer is the people of God returning and turning unto the LORD once more. What’s more, is that Solomon entreated the LORD on behalf of the people—and not only on behalf of the people, but also on behalf of the house of the LORD itself—and entreated the LORD that His eyes and ears be attentive to the prayers which would be prayed in that place. Solomon prayed and asked the LORD concerning the people and their relationship to the house—not only within the land itself while the people still dwelt in the midst of it, but also if the people of God were ever taken out of and removed from the land. Solomon’s prayer was that the house which he built would be a place where the people could pray, interceded and seek the face of God, as well as a prayer for the people themselves that they would have the wherewithal and the sense to devote and commit themselves to the LORD in prayer. Solomon’s prayer was for the people that they would turn to the LORD in prayer, in humility, in supplication, in repentance, in turning, in returning, and in seeking His face while He might be found. What’s more, is that Solomon would pray that the people would turn and return to the LORD in prayer, in supplication and repentance while in the land and while having access to the Temple, but he also prayed that even when they were removed from the land and no longer had access to the Temple they would still turn and return to the LORD through prayer, through supplication and through seeking His face. In all reality, the words which Solomon prayed before and unto the LORD centered around and centered upon the turning and returning of the people to the LORD when they had transgressed and trespassed against His Law and commandments, and were living in a place where His judgment(s) were upon them.
It is truly something worth considering when reading these words, for Solomon did more than just build the Temple of the LORD, and he did more than dedicate the Temple of the LORD unto the LORD, but Solomon also prayed a prayer of dedication—and not only dedication, but also a prayer of consecration and remembrance for the people. You cannot miss and lose sight of the fact that at the very heart of the Temple of the LORD was this turning and returning to the LORD, and doing so through gifts, offerings and sacrifices. As you read the words which are found in this portion of Scripture you must needs acknowledge and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that at the very heart of Solomon’s prayer—and not only his prayer, but also the Temple of the LORD together with the altar—was the prayer(s) of the people, as well as turning and returning to the LORD. It is perhaps for this reason why in the text which is before us we find Jesus so adamant regarding the Temple of the LORD not being a den of thieves and house of merchandise and being a house of prayer, for that was what Solomon built and dedicated it for, and that what was it was originally intended. The Temple of the LORD was intended to be a place where the people of God could turn their hearts and their minds toward the LORD once more, and humble themselves before Him in His sight. This is what makes the narrative in the gospels so incredibly unique, for when we find and speak of Jesus journeying unto Jerusalem we find Him journeying to that place to fulfill and carry out that which the LORD had promised and spoken unto Solomon by dream at night. Not only this, but in the place where Abraham built an altar and offered a burnt offering, in the place where David built an altar and offered a burnt sacrifice, in the place where Solomon built the Temple and offered burnt offerings and sacrifices, Jesus not only bring cleansing within that place, but Jesus would also restore the purpose and original intention for the Temple, for the courts of the LORD, for the altar, and for the people coming unto the house of the LORD there in Jerusalem.
I find it absolutely astonishing and remarkable to read the words found in the sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles, for in this chapter we find Solomon not only praying a prayer of dedication for the Temple of the LORD, but also for the people of the LORD as well. What’s more, is that within this chapter we find Solomon praying a prayer of consecration for the Temple of the LORD as well as a prayer of consecration for the people. At the very heart of Solomon’s prayer on the day the Temple was finished was the people turning and returning to the LORD—the people of the LORD seeking the face of Almighty God and crying out to Him through their worship, through their prayers, and through their humility. The Temple was about so much more than just the burnt offerings and sacrifices, for the Temple of the LORD was also about the people of God coming before the LORD in prayer and supplication. This was the very heart of Solomon when he prayed his prayer, and it is something which Jeremiah understood during the days in which he prophesied. It would be in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament prophetioc book of Jeremiah we find this prophet speaking unto the people concerning the Temple of Solomon which would still stand in the midst of the city at that time. Jeremiah would speak unto the people concerning the Temple—and not only concerning the Temple, but how it was to be a house of prayer unto and for all nations, and yet they had made it into a den of thieves. We must needs recognize and understand this, for I am convinced that what we find in this gospel narrative written by the physician Luke is not only a fulfillment of the words which the LORD spoke unto Solomon concerning forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation, mercy and grace for the people of God, but we also find a fulfillment of the prophetic words which Jeremiah had prophesied as well. In fact, the words Jesus would use when cleansing the Temple would not only be directly connected to the prophetic words spoken by Jeremiah, but also Isaiah. It would be there in the Temple and on the Temple Mount Jesus would bring cleansing to the house of the LORD before He would ultimately bring redemption atonement and forgiveness. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus would journey unto Jerusalem to ultimately lay down His life as a sacrifice and atonement for sin, however, He before the sacrifice would come the cleansing. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles, as well as the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah:
“Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the lucusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually” (2 Chronicles 7:11-16).
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye. Not in lying words, saying, The Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD, The Temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; if ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come and stand before me in this house which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abmonations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me; for I will not hear thee. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Do they provoke me to anger? Saith the LORD: Do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched” (Jeremiah 7:1-20).
IF MY PEOPLE, WHICH ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES, AND PRAY, AND SEEK MY FACE, AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS! AMEND YOUR WAYS AND YOUR DOING! IF YE THROUGHLY AMEND YOUR WAYS AND YOUR DOINGS! It is absolutely necessary that we draw our attention to the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles, as well as the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah, for in both cases we find the language of turning and returning, repenting, and even repentance before the LORD. In all reality, the whole entire purpose for the Temple of the LORD and for the altar was for a people to be able to turn and return to the LORD. The Temple of the LORD was to be a house of prayer where men and women from all nations could gather together and present their offerings and sacrifices, yes—but also offer up their prayers before and unto the LORD. Perhaps this is why after Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem He entered into the Temple and brought cleansing to it, for He sought to restore the Temple to its original intent and purpose. Just as man had forfeited his rightful place and purpose in the garden through transgression and iniquity, so also did Jesus come to restore man unto His rightful place, position and purpose. What we see with Jesus cleansing the Temple is a truly wonderful and powerful picture of Jesus seeking to restore the Temple to its original intention and purpose—as a place for the glory of the LORD of hosts, and as a house of prayer unto all nations that they might seek the face of the LORD. What’s more, is through Jesus cleansing the Temple and seeking to restore it to its original design, intention and purpose we also see a powerful picture of what Jesus came and sought to do when He took upon Himself the form of human flesh and the seed of Abraham. Jesus’ journey unto Jerusalem was not only to restore the Temple as a house of prayer, but also a people as a people and house of prayer. Jesus would enter into Jerusalem and cleanse the Temple, thus seeking to restore it to its original design and purpose, and Jesus entered into Jerusalem to offer Himself as a sacrifice and atonement for mankind that they might be restored unto their original design, intention and purpose before the living and holy God.
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I can’t help but think about the fact that Jesus would make the same journey which Abraham and David would make—not to build an altar and offer a burnt offering as they had done, but to carry the altar, present His body as a living sacrifice upon the altar, and ultimately die upon that altar. CARRYING THE ALTAR, HANGING ON THE ALTAR, DYING ON THE ALTAR! Jesus would make the journey unto the city of Jerusalem—not only to present and offer Himself as a living sacrifice, but also to make atonement for the people who were caught up in their sins, their iniquities and transgressions. Jesus would enter into the city of Jerusalem to restore the Temple of the LORD unto its original design, intention and purpose, which was to be a house of prayer unto all nations. Jesus would first seek to cleanse the Temple that He might restore it as a house of prayer unto and among the nations, and Jesus would also seek to bring cleansing and restoration unto a different temple—namely, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that when Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem—not only was He the ultimate fulfillment of the forgiveness, grace and mercy the LORD promised unto Solomon if His people which were called by His name would humble themselves, pray and seek his face, but He would also be the means whereby men and women could enter into and experience that forgiveness. Oh how absolutely wonderful and beautiful it is to think about this, for it brings us face to face with the awesome and wonderful truth of Jesus’ journey unto Jerusalem—not only to fulfill that which the living God had spoken unto Solomon, but also to fulfill that which Jeremiah had prophesied concerning the Temple of the LORD being a house of prayer unto all nations.
There is a great need for us as the temple of the Holy Spirit to be a habitation of the glory and presence of the LORD, as well as to be a house of prayer, supplication and intercession before the LORD. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it forces us to acknowledge that which the LORD our God has called us to—namely, that we would be a people who turn their hearts to the LORD, and a people who truly seek His face while he may be found. It is absolutely wonderful to think and consider the tremendous truth surrounding that which the LORD Jesus Christ came to accomplish and fulfill, for He came to restore a people as holy and acceptable before and unto the LORD, and to restore a people unto the glory and presence of the living God. Jesus would make the journey unto the city of Jerusalem and would cleanse the Temple as a sign, as a picture, and as a symbol of that which He desired to do within our hearts and lives—namely, restore us unto and as a people and house of prayer. Not only this, but it would be through the cross and His sacrifice that He would also make a new and living way whereby we can approach and draw near to God. Through His cleansing of the Temple we come face to face with the cleansing that might very well be needed within our hearts and lives that we might be a house and people of prayer. Through His death and sacrifice upon the cross Jesus would create a new and living way whereby we as the Temple and house of God might be able to draw near and approach Him having received redemption, atonement, forgiveness, grace and forgiveness before and in the presence of a just and holy God. Oh that we would truly and undeniably be a people who are willing to be a house of prayer and habitation of the glory and presence of the LORD. Oh that we would allow ourselves to be fully and completely restored to that which the living and eternal God has called us to—a habitation and dwelling place for His glory, and a house of prayer whereby we draw near unto Him and seek his face while He may be found.