Sunday June 21, 2020
Running For Cover
In this psalm, the writer, Asaph, struggles to understand the disconcerting prosperity of the wicked and their apparent easy life. He contrasts the plight of the righteous with the wicked, finding it woefully unfair. According to Asaph, the problem of the lifelong prosperity of the wicked is aggravated by the apparent lack of reward for those who live righteously. But then, he finds solace and truth which he discovers in the sanctuary of God.
There really is something special about going to the sanctuary. Throughout the scriptures the sanctuary offered those in need a place where they knew they could encounter the presence of the Lord. It was more than just a building…it was the very dwelling of God.
And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. (Ex.25:8)
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! (Ps.150:1)
In that special place the Lord could be seen in His awesomeness (Ps.63:2). It is from there that He heard the cries and prayers of His people and sends help from it (Ps.28:2, Ps.20:2). Strength and beauty are found in His sanctuary (Ps.96:6). (See WORD WISDOM for a deeper study of beauty)
According to Webster’s Dictionary, sanctuary is defined as “a place of refuge or protection; an asylum.” It also notes that a sanctuary offers immunity from punishment. The Bible defines is as “a holy, sacred place.” To those who believe, it is both…a holy place and a refuge.
And just as Asaph ran to the sanctuary needing solace and understanding, we too can run there to seek God. But just where is this place? Is it a building? Though we can find God anywhere and everywhere, there really is something very special and powerful about His presence in the church…not the building, but the people. We don’t go to church, we are the Church!
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. (Matt.18:20)
The Holy God now lives within us and dwells in our midst when we gather together. The body of Christ, the Church, can and should be that safe haven of refuge to which hurting people can run. We should be that holy place where they can encounter the presence of God. To where did Asaph run? To the sanctuary. Where do we go? We run to the covering of the fellowship of believers…the holy refuge of the body of Christ.
There was a popular song a few years ago that had the church prayerfully singing, “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary pure and holy, tried and true.” We should make that our prayer again. Amen.