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Thursday: Help From the Sanctuary — 12 Comments

  1. C S Lewis has a chapter entitled "The Fair Beauty of the Lord" in his little book, "Reflections on the Psalms" He reminds us that the tabernacle/sanctuary/temple had a completely different role to our modern churches. Our modern churches owe more to the Synagogue than the Sanctuary. The Tabernacle, in common with most pagan religions of the time were more like an abattoir, built for the slaughter of animals and the disposal of their carcasses. But he also points out that they also smelled of roast meat, and mixed the festive with the sacred. They were the central focus of the feasts and these were a mixture of the joyful and the solemn. Part of the tithing system was to set aside some of the produce to trade so that you could buy anything you liked to enjoy the celebration and share it with others. That last phrase is not just an add on. It was to be shared with those who were less fortunate or did not have an income.

    I mention this background because our lesson today is titled, "Help from the Sanctuary" and we Seventh-day Adventists have our own Sanctuary story which is part of our DNA. I am not dismissive of that, but there is so much more to the Sanctuary than prefiguring Christ's ministry. It was also a mechanism for inclusiveness. One of the first things to go when the Hebrews apostatized was their sense of inclusiveness for the orphans, widows, and strangers in their community. It is worth remembering that the Hebrew notion of eternal life was much less distinct than our own. Heaven, in a sense was much closer to home and the present. Perhaps our view of "Sanctuary" could do with a dose of earthly application.

    And in that sense, can I ask if we too have developed an elitist attitude towards the Gospel? Are we so concerned about purity that we have forgotten the combination of the festive, the solemn and community that makes up the Gospel.

    I have touched on only one idea that C S Lewis develops in this chapter. There are others that you may like to consider as well.

    Reflections on the Psalms

    • Yes, if we don't connect with God through Christ daily, and continue to drink of the Living Water. We soon become elitist, and will even develope elitism, if we don't turn to Him. What does it mean if it were possible to decieve the very elect? The elect here are the elite of Christ. They are those who keep the commandments of God, and have their faith in Jesus.

      I wounder what are others thoughts are on this?

  2. Prayerful father Abraham had a culture of building altars wherever he went. He built an altar in grateful response to God's activities, to enjoy God's peace and to rest in God's presence. He communed with God.
    Wherever he went he was a blessing and when he left, he left an altar as a legacy. What altars are we leaving as legacies?
    We all need to erect altars of peace and praise on our faith journey. Each day we need to build an altar of self-surrender, and self-sacrifice. Connect with God and He will reveal His plan for our lives. He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us, not to harm us, plan to give us hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

  3. For each era, God has a different revelation. And each revelation adds more information; they are always consistent. David used the sanctuary as a physical safe realm, a place to hide. But to me, in this time we're at, there is a safer place to be.

    All of the parts and contents of the sanctuary point to the same thing: the Love of God for us. The "sanctuary's prayer" can be an excellent experience for those who have tried it. And through this meditation, I realized that the best place to be in the sanctuary is out of it!

    There is a place where anyone can approach: it doesn't matter race, social position, age, distance from God, self, sinner, saint, or any human classification. We are all level at this place, and preparation is unnecessary. The most democratic place to be in the sanctuary is outside.

    This place is called the sacrifice altar! There, anyone can be! At the feet of the crucified Jesus, the rest of the earthly sanctuary loses total importance. The sacrifice altar, Jesus at the cross, is the most reliable place to be. There, the sacrifice altar demonstrates the Love of a God for His fallen creatures. The altar where Jesus was sacrificed represents the earthly sanctuary's whole meaning! Let's boldly rush to this place; it's the safest place.

    • Yes, JC - through crucifying our Lord, the enemy of man attempted to frustrate the Power of our heavenly Father to bless His people, Israel. But God used his efforts to demonstrate that the Power of His Love for all mankind is stronger than death as He made it available to all mankind, even to the ends of the earth!

      Through our Lord's willingness to lay down His life, we received the testimony of heaven's gift of eternal life for all who believe that He was send by God to show us His Way to receive eternal life by/through faith.
      Our Lord and Savior's Faith completed, finished the work given to His Prophets and the Law; Love is the victor, because Love has conquered death! Let us always be joyful and grateful as we live with His Love in our heart!

  4. From today's lesson:

    The holiness of God’s sanctuary prompts the psalmist to acknowledge that all people are sinful and completely undeserving of God’s favor, and he claims that deliverance is based on God’s faithfulness and grace alone (Psalms 143:2,9-12). Nothing in us gives us any merit before God. It is only when people stand in a right relationship with God through repentance and acceptance of God’s grace and forgiveness that they can plead for God’s assurance of deliverance. The sanctuary service represented the salvation found in Jesus.

    Further Study:

    Romans 6:23
    Ephesians 2:1-22
    Ex. 34:7
    Job 4:17
    Job 9:2
    Job 25:4
    Ps. 130:3
    Ec. 7:20
    Romans 3:20-23

  5. Then there are also scriptures like Nehemiah 9:28 that clearly says that God heard "From Heaven" and not from the "Earthly Sanctuary," to deliver His people time and time again from their enemies. And then there is Psalm 102:19 that clearly says that "Heaven is God's Sanctuary." then there are the words of Jesus (God in human flesh) and his words recorded in John 4:23,24 which very clearly says that His Worshippers would worship God in "Spirit and in Truth.?" So it is apparent to me that God originally wanted to establish His Sanctuary here on earth but Humanity failed even with His Own People of Israel. But the book of Revelation clearly indicates that God will eventually fulfill His Will and make this Earth His Sanctuary finally and very, very soon.

    • Jesus is "Our Sanctuary," and has been that in the times of the Old Testament, for even the Apostle Paul mentions this fact in Hebrews 19:19,20 especially verse 20 saying to enter "The Holiest" via "His Flesh." The Body of Jesus is God's Sanctuary for us in these "Latter Days," and has been even in the Old Testament times too, 1 Corinthians 10:4 Paul here refers to Jesus as being "The Spiritual Rock" that followed God's people in the wilderness as being Christ (Jesus,) Jesus Himself ( His Body, Blood, Bones, Flesh, and Mind) was and still is God's People's "Sanctuary,"

  6. Reading this lesson’s Psalms, it occurred to me that most of them depict the ordinary, daily difficulties and hardships His people had to deal with. As the Sanctuary is being introduced to them as the place where God sets everything right, they are still learning how to worship and meet their new God in His, as well as their, new Sanctuary; they are being introduced to understand what that means through the Psalms!

    Being familiar with the traditions of worshiping the old gods, though most of the old generation has passed away, their new neighbors start introducing their own gods to them. Their ‘new’ God must firmly establishe Himself with them – nothing pertaining to their daily life can be left out as He prepares His people to look to Him for their salvation.

    Now I see the abundance of praise and adoration for Israel’s new God to have a twofold purpose. As those touched by His Holy Spirit praise and adore Him, as new songs are introduced and written down, the people learn all about God’s Glory and Power and His invitation to come to Him with their burdens, because it is He Who will give them true rest!

    God's Spirit will forever stire our hearts to express His Glory in songs of adoration and our faith to seek our rest through Him! He continues to impress humanity, reaching out to the believer's heart with His Power of His Love and Faithfulness, so that we can break out in song and 'dance' to celebrate Him who is our Creator and God - King David danced because he knew deep within his being that it is God alone who is able to safe man from eternal destruction!
    Yes, “deliverance is based on God’s faithfulness and Grace alone."

    Psalm 143:9-12.
    “Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; in You I take shelter.
    Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God; Your Spirit is good.
    Lead me in the land of uprightness; revive me, O LORD for your name’s sake!
    For your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
    In your mercy cut off my enemies, and destroy all those who afflict my soul;
    for I am Your servant.”

  7. The Sanctuary is the place to hide from all the sorrows of this world..
    I've enjoyed today's comments.Be blessed.
    Good night all.
    Usiku mwema wote.
    Bonne Nuit tout Les monde

  8. The Tabernacle had one entrance demonstrating that Jesus is the only way, an altar reminding us to behold the lamp of God who takes away our sins, a Laver that we might wash our conscience before the LORD through searching of hearts. When we have done this, we then see more clearly that we are nothing without the LORD. We seek refuge in him who is HOLY.

  9. The lesson brings out a good point when it reminds us that 'God defends the orphans and the widows and gives strength to His people from His sanctuary'. Blessed thought.


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