Friday, January 10, 2014

instant sanctuary

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 

Psalm 63:1-2

Where was David when he looked upon God in His sanctuary? The temple had not been built, so it was not the Jerusalem sanctuary. The Psalm's title informs us that David wrote Psalm 63 while "in the wilderness of Judah". That rules out even the tabernacle as the candidate for the "sanctuary", since David was in hiding and that would have been a public exposure too risky to take.

Actually, I think that David found out that God is with us wherever we are. And in that nearness of God's care for him, the very wilderness itself was God's sanctuary. Anywhere that David could bow and worship became a holy place of communion with God where God could be gazed upon. The wilderness was a place of fear and danger. David was only there because he was hiding from Saul's army and running for his life. Yet even in that painful place, God was in His sanctuary. And David could trust that!

God can be worshiped anywhere that I come to Him. That does not mean that churches or public worship services are worthless. They are important. But the important principle to practice is the reality that worship is personal. It is expressive for me. God's grandest cathedrals are often the places we find Him one on one. I know of such a spot not far from my back door. It is located a few miles away on a wooded dirt hiking trail. I sometimes stop there along an old stone wall and pray or meditate on God's Word. It is a blessing to know that holy places are that near to us... because God is that near to us.

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