DWELLING IN GOD'S SANCTUARY
Sunday, 20 October 2019
“Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” - Psalm 15:1
David, the Psalmist gives a vivid picture about the requirement of God for them who would like to remain in the presence of God- to worship Him, to have His favour. David understood through his years of experience what it meant to abide with God. In the Book of Acts, Apostle Paul speaks before the men of Israel, and tells them of God’s feelings about King David. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart’ (Acts 13:22).
David is the one who basically identified the cry of man, when it comes to the requirement in worshiping God. The Bible says repeatedly that God is holy, holy, holy – stressing it three times, the highest emphasis possible in the Biblical language. God is absolutely perfect and holy, and wants nothing less from us, His people.
In the key verse above, ‘sanctuary’ and ‘holy hill’ are interchangeable words. How can a hill be holy? Because when God stands on a hill, it becomes a holy; all defilement vanish and everything becomes holy. So we can see the importance and intensity of His holiness. God calls his people to be holy and upright in every aspect/walk of life. Our life here on earth is among evil people whose standards and morals are eroding. Our standards for living should not come from the evil society around us but from God. Isaiah 33:15-16 says,
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
he who despises the gain of oppressions,
who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he will dwell on high ……
Who may live in the place of constant worship? Who may enjoy life in the house of God? David says, “What does a worshiper of God, a Christian look like?” Only a perfect, blameless person can be accepted by God. A perfect righteousness, a spotless life, will please God. But how can the fallen man live up to God’s standards?
There is only one person in human history that ever perfectly kept God’s Law, who was blameless, whose character was beyond any reproach-that is JESUS CHRIST. He completely fulfilled the standard of God. The only way you and I can hope to stand before a Holy and Righteous God is through JESUS CHRIST as we can never measure up to the standard of His righteousness. As Luther once said, ‘The Law says, "Do this," and it is never done. Grace says, "Believe in this" and everything is already done.’ By trusting Christ and being joined to Him in faith, we can stand in His righteousness on that holy hill and praise and worship GOD!
When we grow in our relationship with our Redeemer, we develop a desire to live by His standards. When we sin, fall short of His standards, we must have a willing heart to run back to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). The depth of our relationship with Him can often be measured by the way we reflect His standards in our daily lives. We have to constantly check our lives to see that we do not compromise with any of the standards of this world but always desire to become a man or woman of God’s own heart!
Thought for the day:
“Holiness is inwrought by the Holy Spirit,
not because we have suffered, but because
we have surrendered. “
- Richard Shelley Taylor
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