“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, (13) And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12-13)
For the natural man (the lost man), it is hard to believe that the same Minister of God that said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35), is the same Minister of God that hath done this deed as you see in our text.
Though Jesus Christ of Nazareth was a Minister of love, compassion, mercy, and longsuffering; He still had boundaries which He stood for, and would not compromise for anyone.
The Book of Luke says that the people marveled at the gracious words that proceeded from His mouth. Jesus was the very nature of God manifest in the flesh in all His Fulness (Colossians 2:9), for He received the Spirit without measure (John 3:34).
This brings us to the topic which I would like to discuss: The Lion in the Lamb.
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Revelation 5:5)
God, in all His Magnificent Fullness, is not only a God of Love, who can kiss His enemy on the cheek; but He is also a God who shall unleash the fullness of His wrath on a lost and dying world. Jonathan Edwards preached a great sermon that we are all too familiar with as saints, called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Would to God that sermons with such a message were still being preached today; then might a revival break out all over America. America is too familiar with the message of love; she has taken the grace of God and used its liberty as a cloke for her sin. True liberty, if not resisted, has restraint that will govern the life of a child of God, and will lead him into a more abundant life full of peace, contentment, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
For the love of God, child of God, do not forget the wrath of God. Know you not that God has drawn multitudes under His Great Arm of Love through the fear of His Almighty Wrath? “And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:22-23). Sinners who have never come to a saving knowledge of the Lamb of God will one day meet the Lion in the Lamb. We, as ambassadors of peace, must warn our enemies that if they do not submit to the Lord Jesus Christ’s Lordship, they shall suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.
This vengeance is exactly what Israel’s covetous and greedy ministers met in the text verse. They did not meet the gracious words of Jesus; but they met a whip that was held in the hand of our Savior, a whip which was used because of fiery indignation. He respected no man’s person, for He knew what was within man. And that which is within man is sin; sin that will be judged by the Lion, if you haven’t been judged with the Lamb.
The ministers of Israel could not obey that which was commanded, because the Word of God did not abide within them. They looked every man to his own gain and ran after their own covetousness.
In closing this devotion, I would like to ask you, “Who are you going to meet?” The Lion, who will open the seals of His divine wrath on His enemies; or the Lamb, who has taken away the sin of the world? He who knew no sin became a sin offering on the cross so that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Without His Righteousness, you can’t stand before a Holy God; you will not enter into the Holy Kingdom that is without end.
You may ask me, “Brother Shane, how do I get that Righteousness?” My answer, friend, is simple, “… The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8).