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When God gets mad, it is because it is warranted!

Sept 11, 2011

When God gets mad, it is because it is warranted!

Matthew 21:12-13

“Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.  13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

 

This morning we come to a passage I scripture where we see our peace loving Lord Jesus getting mad!  For many it is hard for them to grasp Jesus reaction because they think of Him only as the Immanuel, God in flesh who is calm, peace loving and as a sheep lead to slaughter, but here we see a different side of our Lord!  We see our Lord who does care how we conduct ourselves and especially in the place where worship of our living God is practiced or at least supposed to be practiced!

 

This is also a very practical scripture on a day when we all think back to 9/11 when the USA was shocked that we could see such an awful event on our own soil.  We said that happens in other countries and places but not in the USA!

 

May our Lord bless us with deeper understanding of why bad things may be happening and that our God does get mad when His creation goes against His will!

 

Let us start with our portion of scripture that we are up to in our study working through Matthew…

Matthew 21:12-13

“Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.  13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

 

We clearly can see that this morning’s scripture shows us that Jesus does not put up with worship that is not centered on Reverence towards God and His greatness!

 

“Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.” 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

 

Let us draw some truths from this passage…

  1. Jesus enters the Temple, that is the Temple area where the court of the Gentiles is, a large area covering several acres on the temple mount that one entered before going into the areas just for the Jews.
  2. People were selling doves probably for extra high prices to those who had to travel far and were not able to bring their offering along.  Highway robbery where higher prices out of greed on those who were forced to use their goods.  This is also clearly the problem because in the next scripture Jesus said, “you are making it a robbers’ den!” that is opposed to a worship place, “House of prayer!”
  3. Now we see why Jesus was mad, yes mad at the way the people were treating God’s Temple areas, which were to be places of real worship!  The statement “House of Prayer” clearly tells us the worship problem.  Prayer = communion with God by talking with Him and worshipping Him in a reverent manner!  God wants us to come to Him and focus on Him with a desire to have meaningful time of fellowship with Him.  It is to be personal and intimate with God and that is why He tells us to call Him, Abba Father (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6)!
  4. Jesus was really mad…He drove out those who were selling doves and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling.  He wasn’t passive with the situation but aggressively dealing with their sin to get them back on track! Showed the people they were off base they were offending God Almighty in their actions!

 

If Jesus was to enter our churches today would He say you are worshipping just fine or would He deal with us aggressively to get back on track?How well does our worship line up with Biblical worship!

Is our focus on worshipping God or pleasing ourselves?

Is our focus on being in the presence of God or something else?How well do we worship God, in God’s eyes?

 

Understanding that God gets mad when we don’t worship correctly, can we also say that God gets mad when we don’t live correctly?What about looking at this in a broader way, can God get mad at a Nation that is out of His will?Could 9/11 been judgment on a Nation that does not live for but instead offends God everyday in our actions?Does Abortion, Gay Marriage, Sex outside of Marriage, Paganism, lawlessness offend holy God in such a way that He reacts?

 

After 9/11 some did say that 9/11 was God’s judgment on America and were pressured to recant their words.I will say we cannot say emphatically that 9/11 was God’s judgment on America and yet I can say that it would be in character with God’s past dealings with His people to judge those who live as we do as a Nation today!Everyone says, “God Bless America” but can they say God has every right also to “Judge America?”We can say God can bless us, but God forbid He would ever think of judging us for our actions!

 

RC Sproul made a pretty accurate statement when he said, “What is most tragic is that when we were given a wake-up call ten years ago on 9/11, we pushed the snooze button and went back to sleep!”

 

God’s Dealings in the past with His People…

We can look all over the Bible and see how God dealt with Nations against His will, especially His own people.  When we look in the Old Testament we get so many examples on the National level how judgment was towards His rebellious people!  It is also very clear that it is by the very hand of God!

 

Isaiah 45:7

“The One forming light and creating darkness,

Causing well-being and creating calamity;

I am the Lord who does all these.”

 

We know of course all things God does is with purpose and reason saturated in His Holiness!  We saw this in the very beginning in our Bibles when Adam and Eve rebelled and caused the Fall of the whole human race.  Sin is dealt with by our Holy God and that is why He sent His Son to die for our sins so we can be freed from our sin debt!

 

But when looking at God’s Judgment as a nation I find the book of Judges very helpful because there is a clear cycle through that book.  It starts with Apostasy, that is God’s people sin by taking other god’s and practices into their own lives and God judges the people for this!  Over and over we see the words, “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes “ all the way to the very last verse (Judges 21:25). 

 

When God’s people commit Apostasy He gets there attention through causing calamity by His own Hand!  We read words like…”He sold them into… (3:8, 4:2)”, “LORD gave them into… (6:1, 13:1)”, another great example is “Judges 10:6-9

6 Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the Lord and did not serve Him.

7 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the sons of Ammon.

8 They afflicted and crushed the sons of Israel that year; for eighteen years they afflicted all the sons of Israel who were beyond the Jordan in Gilead in the land of the Amorites.

9 The sons of Ammon crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was greatly distressed.”

 

Hopefully you can see with me that the rebellion of the people caused the hand of God to afflict His people!  We cannot forget GOD IS HOLY and WILL DEAL WITH OUR SINS!

 

John MacArthur said it well, “Merely reciting the slogan “God bless America” will do nothing for us until it becomes a heartfelt prayer for spiritual renewal and regeneration!”

 

I see in Judges a clear picture that when the people once again repented God showed His favor on them.  So back to our original point about God not being pleased with His people may be shown in His judgment on them!

 

Can God show judgment on America?  Are we a people who have a heart for God and His ways?  Do we deserve the Hand of God to be against us?  I think we can look at our Nation and answer that question ourselves.

 

A Last Thought for those Living for God, in an Ungodly Nation…

 

Psalm 46:1-11

1 God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change

And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

3 Though its waters roar and foam,

Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  Selah.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;

God will help her when morning dawns.

6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;

He raised His voice, the earth melted.

7 The Lord of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our stronghold.  Selah.

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,

Who has wrought desolations in the earth.

9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;

He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;

He burns the chariots with fire.

10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our strongholdSelah.

 

May Our Trust Be In The Lord God Almighty!  And as Jesus said in, John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

 

Are we the people of God?  If so we are Born-Again of the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord!  To Be His is to live for Him!  We are united by Grace to the Glory of God!  AMEN!