Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Sanctuary

Psalm 15 “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts.Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.”

I call this Psalm the pathway to intimacy. In these verses God gives us the steps to having an intimate relationship with him. Intimacy is defined as "being thoroughly acquainted through study or experience, in a close manner, touching, connected." My guess is that is the kind of relationship with God your heart longs to have. One where He knows you and loves you anyway, one where you know Him and are completely at home in His presence. 

The word “sanctuary” is used here. Sanctuary is defined as the “holiest part of a sacred place.” When you are invited into that place, that is intimacy. David is asking God in the Psalm, how do I get there with you? How do I develop intimacy with you? 

In the time of King David when this Psalm was written, the people understood the idea of sanctuary very well. No one was permitted to enter the sanctuary except for the high priest. And even he was only permitted inside once a year to make sacrifice and intercede for the people. The sanctuary was a holy and inviolable site.

Historically, a sanctuary was a place where fugitives were entitled to immunity from the law or from arrest. It is a place of refuge, a place of shelter, a place of protection. In the scientific world, a sanctuary is a place where predators are controlled, and hunting is illegal.

That’s what King David was asking God for in this Psalm – immunity from the law, refuge, shelter, protection from the enemy. He wanted to know how to get to that place of intimacy in his relationship with the Lord. I don’t know about you, but that’s the place I’d like to live too! 

“He is intimate with the upright.” Proverbs 3:32

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