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A House Of Prayer For All Nations


 Isaiah 56:1-8
Thus says the Lord:
“Keep justice, and do righteousness,
For My salvation is about to come,
And My righteousness to be revealed.
Blessed is the man who does this,
And the son of man who lays hold on it;
Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
Do not let the son of the foreigner
Who has joined himself to the Lord
Speak, saying,
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”;
Nor let the eunuch say,
“Here I am, a dry tree.”
For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off.
Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—
Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant—
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“Yet I will gather to him
Others besides those who are gathered to him.”
 
God has made a promise and openly declared that His house will be a house of prayer for all nations. Yes, He is calling the Gentiles living inside and outside Israel to be a part of His House! A promise that extends beyond the borders of Israel.
 
Firstly, this desire of God for His House to be a house of prayer for all nations is a call for righteousness. Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
 
Why righteousness first? Because the people of God were living in unrighteousness, and disobeying God and His commandments! Slacking in their testimony, the people of God, both Israel and the Church, failed to be the salt and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16)! As the salt lost its saltiness, how could it be made salty again? It was no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. As the light failed to shine, it could not give out any light and shine before others so that they might see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.
 
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” God is calling us to seek His righteousness and be righteous in His sight! This is of utmost importance before what God is about to do! The salvation of all nations! A revival that the world has never seen before! A revival that happens when His House becomes a house of prayer for all nations. The calling of all nations to be part of His House and to be His children dwelling together with Him.
 
Secondly, God desires to build His kingdom worldwide and He is calling all nations to be involved. This will surprise the peoples of all nations. Some had committed themselves to the LORD but in their hearts, they are having this fear: “The LORD will never let me be part of His people.” Even the eunuch had said: “I’m a dried-up tree with no children and no future.”
 
But this is what the LORD says:
“I will bless those eunuchs
who keep My Sabbath days holy
and who choose to do what pleases Me
and commit their lives to Me.
I will give them—within the walls of My house—
a memorial and a name
far greater than sons and daughters could give.
For the name I give them is an everlasting one.
It will never disappear!
I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the LORD,
who serve Him and love His name,
who worship Him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest,
and who hold fast to My covenant.
I will bring them to My holy mountain of Jerusalem
and will fill them with joy in My house of prayer.
I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices,
because My House will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
For the Sovereign LORD,
who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says:
I will bring others, too,
besides my people Israel.”
 
The eunuch is listed herein because he was an outcast. Eunuchs were denied any participation in the temple (Leviticus 21:18-20): “For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch.”
 
God had included the eunuchs to be part of His House! In fact, the gospel of Christ is for all the outcasts of the world (Luke 4:18-19):
 
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
 
The outcasts are no longer outcasts because God had accepted them by what Christ had done on Mount Calvary. By His grace and by the blood of the Lamb, sinners had become saints and outcasts had become beloved in the LORD, having a memorial and a name far greater than sons and daughters could give. And the name God gives them is an everlasting one. It will never disappear! They are no more foreigners or outcasts, but have become our brothers and sisters in Christ! If God says that they belong to Him, then they belong to Him! God has the final say!
 
God will bring them to His holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in His house of prayer. God will console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:3). God will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because His House shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.
 
Interesting so, as God is bringing back the outcasts of Israel into His House, He is also drawing all nations. He said, “I will bring others, too, besides my people Israel.” God does not care only for the people of Israel, He cares for every person in all the nations of the earth! The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1). For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). God says that His House will accommodate all nations including Israel! Nobody is excluded!
 
However, the Israelites did not understand or comprehend the desire of God. They violated God’s plan and turn the outer court where the Gentile nations could come and pray into a marketplace. When Jesus came to His Father’s House, He was angry as He saw there was no place for the foreigners to pray as the people of God had swapped a house of prayer for all nations into a den of thieves! Zealously and fearlessly, He drove out all those who bought and sold in the Temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:12-13).
 
Sadly, this is the same scenario today. Many Christians don’t pray. Many churches are not houses of prayer but have become marketplaces where Christians come to transact, buy and sell - even Christian resources and merchandises in the name of God! We have become self-centred and preoccupied with the works of our own hands, interested only in selling and promoting our own ministries, books, CDs, DVDs etc. in the name of ministry and in the name of the LORD! But we are spiritually dead because we have forsaken the calling of God that His House shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.
 
God is now raising up unknown seekers of His heart and unsung heroes hidden somewhere singing His praise, worshipping Him and interceding for the nations of the earth secretly in His house of prayer.
 
The Spirit is now raising up His house of true worshippers who will spend time alone with God, shut up in His holy presence, hearing His voice, and praying for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Whether alone, two or three persons or a community of passionate worshippers and intercessors gathering together to praise and worship God, offering prayers and intercessions for the nations and preparing the way for the return of the King.
 

Written on 9 Feb 2012