THEREFORE SAY, 'THUS SAYS THE LORD GOD THOUGH I HAD REMOVED THEM FAR AWAY
AMONG THE NATIONS AND THOUGH I HAD SCATTERED THEM AMONG THE COUNTRIES:
Therefore - see value of observing this
term of conclusion
Although the exiles had been driven from Jerusalem and its sanctuary (the
symbol of God's presence among his people), God himself became their
Ezekiel learned that the presence of Yahweh makes the building a
"sanctuary," but the "sanctuary," or building, does not insure His presence.
Note that "among
does not restrict this to the exiles in the country of Babylon but implies
another fulfillment at the scattering (or dispersion) of the Jews after the
destruction of Herod's Temple in 70AD.
And so a literal, albeit partial, fulfillment of this prophecy came in the
restoration of the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and
Nehemiah. Christ Himself is the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy for He
became the "sanctuary" of Israel.
had removed them
Although God used King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to remove them to exile (cf
2Ki 24:12, 13, 14, 15, 16),
Nebuchadnezzar was only a vessel in the hands of the sovereign Lord, Whose
will will be accomplished. The psalmist Korah recognized
God's hand declaring that "Thou dost give us as sheep to be eaten, and
us among the nations."
which was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Leviticus where God says "'You,
however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after
you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste.
In Leviticus God gives this assurance to the
remnant, declaring that
the land of Israel
be abandoned by them (the Jews), and shall make up for its Sabbaths
while it is made desolate without them (while they are in 70 years of
exile in Babylon). They, meanwhile, shall be making amends for their
iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My
statutes. 'Yet in spite of this, when they are
in the land of their enemies (Babylon), I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as
to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD
their God. 'But I will remember for them the covenant with their
ancestors (specifically the unconditional covenant with Abraham, Isaac &
Jacob), whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the
nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD." (Lev26:44, 45)
them among the countries
- In a parallel passage God speaking through Moses to Israel says
however, I will
among the nations
and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and
cities become waste. Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of
the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land will rest
and enjoy its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation
(70 years of exile in Babylon) it will observe the rest which it did not
observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it." (Lev 26:33, 34,
The nations to which the Jews were scattered would also be recompensed for
their mistreatment of the Jews, Jeremiah recording God's declaration that
am with you,'
the LORD, 'to save you; for I will destroy completely
all the nations where I have
you, only I will not destroy you completely
(alluding to the
remnant of believing Jews who would be preserved) but I
will chasten you justly, and will by no means leave you unpunished." (Jer
YET I WAS A SANCTUARY FOR THEM A LITTLE
WHILE IN THE COUNTRIES WHERE THEY HAD GONE:
90:1, 91:1,9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Is 4:5; 8:14; Jer 42:11)
still I have been a safe place for them for a little time in the countries
where they have come" (BBE)
(See value of observing
terms of contrast) - Praise God
for this word, a word that introduces a "change of direction." Although they
were many miles from the literal sanctuary (which in fact would soon be
destroyed), God Himself would be their "Sanctuary." What a precious truth
this must have been for the believing remnant who had been taken along with
all of Judah into captivity.
Jesus, before Thy face we fall—
Our Lord, our life, our hope, our all!
For we have nowhere else to flee—
No sanctuary, Lord, but Thee!
for them a little while - Or "have been partially a sanctuary";
others (NASB, NIV, NRSV, ESV) take this as temporal ("a little while").
Spurgeon - The text begins with “therefore.” There was a reason for God’s
speaking in this way. Upon reading the connection, we observe that those who
had been carried captive were insulted by those who tarried at Jerusalem.
The Lord hears the unkind speeches of the prosperous when they speak
bitterly of those who are plunged in adversity. Many a time the cruel word
of man has been the cause of a tender word from God. Because of the
unkindness of these people, therefore God, in loving kindness, addressed in
words of tender grace those whom they despised. Let us take all sharp
speeches and cutting criticisms to God. It may be that He will hear what the
enemy has said, and that He will be very pitiful to us. Because of the
bitterness of the oppressor, He will bring home to our heart by the Spirit,
with greater tenderness and power, some sweet word of His which has lain
hidden from us in His Book.
I. Where God’s people may be.
1. They may be under chastisement. We may be in great spiritual darkness,
and may be compelled to confess that our own sins have procured this unto
ourselves. And yet, for all that, the Lord may have sent the chastisement in
love, and in nothing else but love; and He may intend by it, not our
destruction, but the destruction of the flesh; not our rejection, but our
refining; not our curse, but our cleansing.
2. But wherever they are, whether they are under chastisement or not, they
are where the Lord has put them. “Although I have cast them far off,” etc.
It is well to look beyond all second causes and instrumentalities. Do not
get angry with those who are the nearer agents, but look to the First Cause.
Though your trials be peculiar, and your way be hedged up, yet the hand of
the Lord is still in everything; and it behoves you to recognise it for your
strengthening and consolation.
3. The people of Cod may dwell in places of great discomfort. The Jews were
not in those days like the English, who colonise and find a home in the Far
West, or even dwell at ease beneath sultry skies. An ancient Hebrew out of
his own country was a fish out of water: out of his proper element. It must
have been a great discomfort to God’s people to dwell among idolaters, and
to be forced to witness obscene rites and revolting practices. God’s own
favoured ones in these days may be living where they are as much out of
place as lambs among wolves, or doves among hawks.
4. The beloved of God may yet be in a place of great barrenness as to all
spiritual good. Our education for eternity may necessitate spiritual
tribulation, and bereavement from visible comforts. To be weaned from all
reliance on outward means may be for our good, that we may be driven in upon
the Lord, and made to know that He is all in all.
5. Worse still, the Lord’s chosen may be under oppression through
surrounding ungodliness and sin. Is it not still true of us, as well as of
our Saviour, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son”?
II. What God will be to his people when they get into these circumstances.
“Yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they
In using the word “little” the gracious God would seem to say, “I
will condescend to them, and I will be as they are. I will bow down to their
littleness, and I will be to each little one of them a little sanctuary.”
1. A sanctuary was a place of refuge. In past ages, churches and
abbeys and altars have been used as places of sanctuary to which men have
fled when in danger of their lives. Now, beloved fellow believer, wherever
you are, wherever you dwell, God will be to you a constant place of refuge.
You shall flee from sin to God in Christ Jesus. You shall flee from an
accusing conscience to His pardoning love. You shall flee from daily cares
to Him who careth for you. You shall flee from the accusations of Satan to
the advocacy of Jesus. You shall flee even from yourselves to your Lord, and
He will be to you in all senses a place of refuge. This is the happy harbour
of all saints in all weathers.
2. A sanctuary signifies also a place of worship. It is a place where
the Divine presence is peculiarly manifested--a holy place. The Lord Jesus
Christ Himself is the true place of worship for saved souls.
3. Now, go a little further. Our God is to us a place of stillness.
What was the sanctuary: of old? The sanctuary was the most holy place, the
third court, the innermost of all within the veil. It was the stillest place
that ever was on earth: a closet of absolute silence. Once in the year the
high priest went in, and filled it full of the smoke of incense as he waved
his censer in the mystic presence; but otherwise it was a chamber in which
there was no footfall of living thing, or voice of mortal man. The stillness
within the Holy of Holies of the temple must have reached the intensity of
awe. What repose one might enjoy who could dwell in the secret place of the
Most High! If you can baptize your spirit into the great deeps of Godhead,
if you can take a plunge into the fathomless love of the covenant, if you
can rise to commune with God, and speak with Him as a man speaketh with His
friend, then will He be unto you as a little sanctuary, and you shall enjoy
that solemn silence of the soul which hath music in it like the eternal
harmonies. The presence of the Lord will be as a calm hand for that fevered
brow, and a pillow for that burdened head. Use your God in this way, for so
He presents Himself to you.
4. The sanctuary was a place of mercy. When men have no mercy on you,
go to God. When you have no mercy on yourself--and sometimes you have
not--run away to God.
5. The sanctuary was the house of mercy, and hence a place of
condescension - “a little sanctuary.” To suit our needs the blessings of
grace must be given in little forms. When the Lord communes with the
greatest of men, He must become little to speak with him.
6. That sanctuary was a place of great holiness. “Holiness becometh
Thy house.” This applied to the whole temple, but the inner shrine was
called “sanctum sanctorum”--the Holy of Holies, for so the Hebrews make a
superlative. It was the holiest place that could be. What bliss to enter
into the Holy of Holies! Now, you cannot do that by getting into a ceil, or
by shutting yourselves up in your room; but you can enter the most holy
place by communion with God. Here is the promise; the text means this--“I
will be to them as a little sanctuary--a little Holy of Holies. I will put
them into Myself as into the most holy place, and there will I hide them. In
the secret of My tabernacle will I hide them. I will set them up upon a
7. We may regard the Sanctuary as a place of cleansing. That may be
gathered, from the other rendering of my text: “I will be unto them a little
sanctification.” We want not only the great blood washing, but also the
lesser washing of the feet with water; and the Lord Himself wilt give us
this blessing. Did not Jesus take a towel, and gird Himself for this very
8. God will be to us a place of communion and of revelation. In the Holy of
Holies God spoke with man, on that one day in the year, in a wondrous
manner; and he that had been there, and came forth alive, came out to bless
the congregation. Every day of the year the teaching of the sanctuary was
that in God there was everything His people wanted. The joys of this life
are like the ice palace of Montreal, which is fair to look upon while the
winter lasts, but it all dissolves as the spring comes on. All things round
about us here are myths and dreams. This is the land of fancies and of
shadows. Pray God to get you out of them, and that you may find in Him your
sanctuary, and indeed all that you want.
Scofield - "Even in drastic judgment, as in the case of the
dispersion of Israel, God provides for His people a place of refuge. This
refuge, called here 'a little sanctuary [AV],' is the LORD Himself (cp.
Psalms 90:1; Psalms 91:9; Isaiah 4:6). So with all of God's own, Gentile as
well as Jew, in the midst of deserved judgment there is still a sanctuary of
refuge and peace in Him."
F B Meyer - . They might be far removed from the outer Temple, but
God would be their asylum and sanctuary. What a sweet promise Ezekiel 11:16
provides for those who are compelled to go far from home!
F B Meyer - God a
I. To those who are
deprived of the means of grace. Sufferers in sick rooms, travellers in
lonely and distant places, missionaries amongst the heathen. How often to
such comes the vision of the country church, when the summer air stole into
the open window, bringing the breath of flowers; or of the great city
church, with the well-known voice of a beloved minister. They long for these
again. But God will be all and more.
II. To those who cannot derive benefit from the services they attend. The
clergyman is broad in his views, and unsympathetic with the deeper moods of
the spirit. Still, it may be your duty to attend for example’s sake; but
whilst waiting before the Lord, He will draw near and become your sanctuary.
III. To those who are exposed to danger and persecution. In the olden time
the sanctuary was a place of refuge. All who fled thither were in safeguard.
So let the driven soul haste to the folds of the Tabernacle of God’s
presence, None can pursue it into that secret place. No weapon shall smite;
and even envying voices shall die into subdued murmurs. (F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
Jamieson - Although — anticipating the objection of the priests at
Jerusalem, that the exiles were “cast far off.” Though this be so, and they
are far from the outer temple at Jerusalem, I will be their asylum or
sanctuary instead (Psalm 90:1; Psalm 91:9; Isaiah 8:14). My shrine is the
humble heart: a preparation for gospel catholicity when the local and
material temple should give place to the spiritual (Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah
66:1; Malachi 1:11; John 4:21-24; Acts 7:48, Acts 7:49). The trying
discipline of the exile was to chasten the outcasts so as to be meet
recipients of God‘s grace, for which the carnal confidence of the priests
disqualified them. The dispersion served the end of spiritualizing and
enlarging the views even of the better Jews, so as to be able to worship God
everywhere without a material temple; and, at the same time, it diffused
some knowledge of God among the greatest Gentile nations, thus providing
materials for the gathering in of the Christian Church among the Gentiles;
so marvelously did God overrule a present evil for an ultimate good. Still
more does all this hold good in the present much longer dispersion which is
preparing for a more perfect and universal restoration (Isaiah 2:2-4;
Jeremiah 3:16-18). Their long privation of the temple will prepare them for
appreciating the more, but without Jewish narrowness, the temple that is to
be (Millennial Temple in Ezekiel 40:1-44:31). A LITTLE — rather, “for
a little season”; No matter how long the captivity may be, the seventy years
will be but as a little season, compared with their long subsequent
settlement in their land. This holds true only partially in the case of
the first restoration; but as in a few centuries they were dispersed
again, the full and permanent restoration is yet future (Jeremiah 24:6).
(Note: Jamieson is one of the better OT commentaries in regard to
holding to a literal interpretation - so the promises to Israel are
generally considered still valid and have not been "deeded" over so to speak
to the church as many "replacement theologians" falsely conclude!)
John Gill - (A Sanctuary for them) Their dwelling place, as He
has been to His people in all generations their protection from all their
enemies, in Whom, and by Whose power, they should be safe; and whose
presence they should enjoy, though deprived of public ordinances, of temple
worship and service; though they were at a distance from the great
sanctuary, the temple, the inhabitants of Jerusalem boasted of, yet the Lord
would make up the want of that to them with Himself. The Targum, Jarchi, and
Kimchi interpret this of the synagogues, which were second to the
temple, the Israelites had in foreign countries, where they prayed to the
Lord, and worshipped him, and enjoyed his presence. It may be rendered, "the
sanctuary of a few"; they being but few, especially that were truly godly,
that were carried captive: or, "a sanctuary for a little while"; that is,
during seventy years, and then they should be returned, as follows.
Ironside - His own near kinsmen were among those who had
rebelled against the Lord, and they, with others, had been removed far off
among the nations, but God would never forget any who, in the land of their
captivity, turned to Him. He said, “Yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a
little while in the countries where they are come.” The temple might be
destroyed. No place on earth would any longer be designated as that where
Jehovah had set His name, but no soul would ever seek Him in vain. No matter
what the circumstances in which His people were found, if any turned to Him
with all their hearts He would reveal Himself to them and would Himself be a
sanctuary unto them. Moreover, in due time He will gather a remnant of His
people back to their own land.
John Trapp - What a cornucopia of comfort may this promise be to poor
prisoners, forlorn exiles, and such as by sickness or otherwise are
necessitated to keep from public ordinances, that they shall have God’s
presence and protection, the comfort and conduct of his Spirit, &c. Yet I
will be to them as a little sanctuary.] Sanctuarium modicum. By heating
their prayers, sanctifying their natures, bringing to their remembrance what
things they have heard and learned touching me and my will, themselves and
their duties. They should in Babylon worship God in spirit and in truth; and
in the life to come the Lord God Almighty and his Lamb should be their
temple. [Revelation 21:22]
Keil & Delitzsch - The thought is this: the present position of
affairs is unquestionably that Jehovah has scattered them (the house of
Israel) among the Gentiles; but He has not therefore cast them off. He has
become a sanctuary to them in the lands of their dispersion. (Migdâsh) does
not mean either asylum or an object kept sacred (Hitzig), but a sanctuary,
more especially the temple. They had, indeed, lost the outward temple (at
Jerusalem); but the Lord Himself had become their temple. What made the
temple into a sanctuary was the presence of Jehovah, the covenant God,
therein. This even the exiles were to enjoy in their banishment, and in this
they would possess a substitute for the outward temple. This thought is
rendered still more precise by the word מעט, which may refer either to time
or measure, and signify “for a short time,” or “in some measure.” It is
difficult to decide between these two renderings. In support of the latter,
which Kliefoth prefers (after the lxx and Vulgate), it may be argued that
the manifestation of the Lord, both by the mission of prophets and by the
outward deliverances and inward consolations which He bestowed upon the
faithful, was but a partial substitute to the exile for His gracious
presence in the temple and in the holy land.
Matthew Henry - Those at Jerusalem have the temple, but without
God those in Babylon have God, though without the temple. (1.) God will be a
sanctuary to them that is, a place of refuge to him they shall flee, and in
him they shall be safe, as he was that took hold on the horns of the altar.
Or, rather, they shall have such communion with God in the land of their
captivity as it was thought could be had nowhere but in the temple. They
shall there see God's power and his glory, as they used to see them in the
sanctuary they shall have the tokens of God's presence with them, and his
grace in their hearts shall sanctify their prayers and praises, as well as
ever the altar sanctified the gift, so that they shall please the Lord
better than an ox or bullock
Kretzmann - in the midst of the dispersion, He would be the refuge of
them who trusted in him.
Sermon Bible Commentary - In trying to understand the great promise
of the text, note—
I. The idea of asylum and protection. "I will be as a little
sanctuary." "I will be the shield and protector and sure refuge of trusting
souls." Is not this what every awakened soul needs and seeks? Some safe,
sure refuge from all that threatens, afflicts, alarms; from the thunders,
loud or deep, of broken law; from the accusations of conscience, from the
troubles of life, from the terrors of death—asylum from them all? A true and
real relief in all soul-trouble—in anything that agitates a man's deepest
consciousness; in anything that touches the health, and so the safety of the
soul, can be found only in one way—by moving Godwards, and entering,
although it may be at first with fear and trembling, into the built and open
sanctuary of His presence.
II. A sanctuary means, also, at least in the nomenclature of the
Scriptures, a place of purification, where we may wash and be clean; and
may so avail ourselves of the helps to goodness which are provided, that the
rest of our time may be pure and holy. Our very words tell us this.
"Sanctity;" "sanctification"—a sanctuary is not equal to its name if it does
not promote these. Safety is a poor, even a mean, thing, if it be indeed
conceivable, without purity.
III. A further idea in the word sanctuary is the idea of nourishment.
A hospice for the entertainment of strangers, or any hospitable house, is
never without bread. And will not God feed His refugees? Will He be a little
sanctuary in which they may die? On His table there is bread enough and to
IV. This is a text
(1) for all our changes of place, for our journeys, for our absences. It
is a text to take round the world with us if we are going. "I will be to
them as a little sanctuary—" where?—"in the countries where they shall
(2) In all states. For all times and for all troubles and for all
needs, there is a present, gracious God, with all His grace also present, to
heal, to help, to love unto the end.
(A. Raleigh, The Little Sanctuary, p. 1.)
qadash = to set apart, to separate) describes that which is set apart from all common or
secular purposes to some religious use. Specifically it means a holy place
or sanctuary. The sanctuary (the tabernacle - Lev 12:4, 21:12 or later the
Temple 1Chr 22:19, 2Chr 29:21, Da 11:31) was not just the
dwelling place of Jehovah (Ex 25:8, Ps 68:35, His throne = Jer 17:12) but
was also the place where atonement for sin was accomplished (Lev 16:33).
Therefore the sanctuary was to be revered (Lev 19:30, 26:2) and was not to
be profaned (Lev 21:12, 23). Although His sanctuary, the Temple in Jerusalem
would be destroyed by the Babylonians (God allowed it, even caused it Ezek
24:21), He promises a future sanctuary in their midst forever, a promise to
Israel that has not yet been fulfilled but awaits the triumphal return of
the King of the Jews, at which time He will establish His
and rule in the sanctuary from Jerusalem (Ezek 37:26-28). In fact, this
promise is why there is such emphasis (18 uses of miqdash) in Ezekiel
40-48 which provide a detailed description of the glorious Millennial
sanctuary. How tragic it is to take these promises in Ezekiel as allegorical
or specifically given to the church and to miss the glorious truth that God
is a promise keeping God and even in the midst of wrath He remembers mercy
for His chosen (undeserving to be sure) people!
Miqdash is used in a few places in the OT for worship places other
than the one established by the Lord (Isa. 16:12; Amos 7:13).
Miqdash is plural in some uses, where it refers broadly to all the
holy areas and articles of the Tabernacle or temple complex (Lev. 21:23;
Miqdash can also be used narrowly just for the innermost chamber, the
Holy of Holies (Lev. 16:33).
LXX translated miqdash in Ezek 11:16 as hagiasma which means a space set
aside for devotion, sanctuary
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
NAS Usage: holy(1), holy place(2), holy places(1), places(1), sacred
part(1), sanctuaries(5), sanctuary(65).
Miqdash - 72v - Ex. 15:17; 25:8; Lev. 12:4; 16:33; 19:30; 20:3;
21:12, 23; 26:2, 31; Num. 3:38; 10:21; 18:1, 29; 19:20; Jos. 24:26; 1Chr.
22:19; 28:10; 2Chr. 20:8; 26:18; 29:21; 30:8; 36:17; Neh. 10:39; Ps. 68:35;
73:17; 74:7; 78:69; 96:6; Isa. 8:14; 16:12; 60:13; 63:18; Jer. 17:12; 51:51;
Lam. 1:10; 2:7, 20; Ezek 5:11; 7:24; 8:6; 9:6; 11:16; 21:2; 23:38f; 24:21;
25:3; 28:18; 37:26, 28; 43:21; 44:1, 5, 7,8, 9, 11, 15, 16; 45:3, 4, 18;
47:12; 48:8, 10, 21; Da. 8:11; 9:17; 11:31; Amos 7:9, 13 First two uses of
Ex 15:17 “You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your
inheritance, The place, O LORD, which You have made for Your dwelling, The
sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.
Ex 25:8 “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell
All uses of miqdash in Ezekiel
Ezek 5:11 ‘So as I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘surely, because you have
defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your
abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity
and I will not spare.
Ezek 7:24 ‘Therefore, I will bring the worst of the nations, and they will
possess their houses. I will also make the pride of the strong ones cease,
and their holy places will be profaned.
Ezek 8:6 And He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the
great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I
would be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater
Ezek 9:6 “Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and
women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start
from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before
Ezek 11:16 “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Though I had removed
them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the
countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the
countries where they had gone.”’
Ezek 21:2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and speak against the
sanctuaries and prophesy against the land of Israel;
Ezek 23:38 “Again, they have done this to Me: they have defiled My
sanctuary on the same day and have profaned My sabbaths.
Ezek 24:21 ‘Speak to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold,
I am about to profane My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the
desire of your eyes and the delight of your soul; and your sons and your
daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword.
Ezek 25:3 and say to the sons of Ammon, ‘Hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus
says the Lord GOD, “Because you said, ‘Aha!’ against My sanctuary
when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was made
desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into exile,
Ezek 28:18 “By the multitude of your iniquities, In the unrighteousness of
your trade You profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought
fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, And I have turned you to
ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you.
Ezek 37:26 “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an
everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and
will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.
Ezek 37:28 “And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies
Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.”’”
Ezek 43:21 ‘You shall also take the bull for the sin offering, and it shall
be burned in the appointed place of the house, outside the sanctuary.
Ezek 44:1 Then He brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the
sanctuary, which faces the east; and it was shut.
Ezek 44:5 The LORD said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes
and hear with your ears all that I say to you concerning all the statutes of
the house of the LORD and concerning all its laws; and mark well the
entrance of the house, with all exits of the sanctuary.
Ezek 44:7 when you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and
uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My
house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My
covenant void–this in addition to all your abominations.
Ezek 44:8 “And you have not kept charge of My holy things yourselves, but
you have set foreigners to keep charge of My sanctuary.”
Ezek 44:9 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and
uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of
Israel, shall enter My sanctuary.
Ezek 44:11 “Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having
oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall
slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they
shall stand before them to minister to them.
Ezek 44:15 “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of
My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come
near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the
fat and the blood,” declares the Lord GOD.
Ezek 44:16 “They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My
table to minister to Me and keep My charge.
Ezek 45:3 “From this area you shall measure a length of 25,000 cubits and a
width of 10,000 cubits; and in it shall be the sanctuary, the most
Ezek 45:4 “It shall be the holy portion of the land; it shall be for the
priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, who come near to minister to
the LORD, and it shall be a place for their houses and a holy
place for the sanctuary.
Ezek 45:18 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “In the first month, on the first of the
month, you shall take a young bull without blemish and cleanse the
Ezek 47:12 “By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will
grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their
fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows
from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves
Ezek 48:8 “And beside the border of Judah, from the east side to the west
side, shall be the allotment which you shall set apart, 25,000 cubits in
width, and in length like one of the portions, from the east side to the
west side; and the sanctuary shall be in the middle of it.
Ezek 48:10 “The holy allotment shall be for these, namely for the priests,
toward the north 25,000 cubits in length, toward the west 10,000 in width,
toward the east 10,000 in width, and toward the south 25,000 in length; and
the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in its midst.
Ezek 48:21 “The remainder shall be for the prince, on the one side and on
the other of the holy allotment and of the property of the city; in front of
the 25,000 cubits of the allotment toward the east border and westward in
front of the 25,000 toward the west border, alongside the portions, it shall
be for the prince. And the holy allotment and the sanctuary of the
house shall be in the middle of it.
God asked Ezekiel
of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the
house of Israel are
here, so that I would be far from My
But yet you will see still greater abominations."
In chapter 9 God instructed the destroyers to
"Utterly slay old men,
young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on
whom is the mark; and you shall start from My
." So they started with the elders who were before the temple."
Miqdash is first used by Moses to predict that God would dwell
in the midst of Israel, Moses recording that God "wilt bring them and
plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, the place, O LORD, which
Thou hast made
for Thy dwelling, the
O Lord, which Thy hands have established."
and in Exodus instructing Israel to "construct a
for Me, that I may dwell
(shakan = to settle down & from which is derived the rabbinic
word "Shekinah") among them." (Ex 25:8)
God instructed Israel "You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My
I am the LORD"
a command which those remaining in Jerusalem had clearly violated as
we saw for example in
Later speaking of Israel's future restoration God says that
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting
covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My
in their midst forever."
And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when
is in their midst forever"'
Here, despite all of Israel's apostasies God says that He would continue to
be a "sanctuary"
for them. In context He would be their sanctuary, their protection and their
provision for 70 years until they were restored. But there is an additional
aspect to the fulfillment of this promise for in Isaiah God says
the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear,
and He shall be your dread. Then (when? go back and read the
"conditions") He shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses
of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a
trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem." (Is 8:13, 14)
Jehovah will be either your Sanctuary or your Stone of
stumbling...a Sanctuary to all who rely on Him, but a Stone of stumbling to
deny Him. The Lord Jesus and His gracious provision of salvation are a
wonderful Sanctuary for those who truly fear the Lord, but such concepts are
offensive to those who do not believe.
Webster defines a sanctuary as a
place of refuge and protection from danger. Ponder the synonym for sanctuary
including asylum, cover, covert, harbor, harborage, haven, port, protection,
refuge, retreat, shelter. In the context of Scripture, a "sanctuary"
is a holy place set apart for worship of God.
HCSB Study Bible Word Study - Miqdash, from qadash (be holy),
is a noun designating a thing or place as holy or consecrated. Miqdash
generally means sanctuary and refers to Israel's tabernacle (Ex 25:8) or
temple (Isa 63:18). Sometimes the plural of miqdash connotes the temple's
various parts, its sanctuaries (Ezek 21:2), holy places (Jer 51:51), or
sacred places (Ezek 7:24). "The sanctuary (miqdash) of the sanctuary (qodesh)"
is the most holy place (Lev 16:33), where the ark was. Miqdash can indicate
the holy objects carried by Kohathites (Nu 10:21). The Levites presented the
consecrated part of Israel's offerings to God, a tenth of the tenth (Nu
18:29). Once miqdash appears as temple (Da 11:31). Miqdash has modifiers
indicating God's ownership of the temple: God's (Ps 73:17), My (Ezek
44:7-9), His (Ps 96:6), Your (Ps 74:7). The temple also belongs to Jerusalem
(Lam 1:10) and the Israelites (2Ch 36:17). God Himself is a sanctuary (Isa
Parallel Scriptures teach us that although God Himself was available as
He would not force His holy presence on anyone. David (who knew about the
need for a sanctuary when running for his life from King Saul) wrote
great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee,
which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee, before the
sons of men! Thou dost hide them in the secret place of Thy presence
from the conspiracies of man. Thou dost keep them secretly in a shelter
from the strife of tongues." (Ps 31:20)
Notice who God would be a sanctuary for...to those who chose to take refuge
in Him. The psalmist adds that
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most
High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Ps 91:1)
Spurgeon commenting on Psalm 91:1 adds that
The blessings here promised
are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with
God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and
the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it
at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside
in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and
continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them,
become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those
who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Into the secret
place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those
only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, and
the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the
Holy Spirit upon them, and like Anna they depart not from the temple; of
them it is truly said that their conversation is in heaven. Special grace
like theirs brings with it special immunity. Outer court worshipers little
know what belongs to the inner sanctuary, or surely they would press on
until the place of nearness and divine familiarity became theirs. Those who
are the Lord’s constant guests will find that he will never let any be
injured within his gates."
Again one sees the important element of
personal choice. In a parallel passage, Solomon reminds us that
of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.
study on Names of God)
Thy face we fall—
Our Lord, our life, our hope, our all!
For we have nowhere else to flee—
No sanctuary, Lord, but Thee!
Where is His "sanctuary"
today? Paul writing to the Corinthians who were surrounded by pagan
Do you not know that
you are a temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Cor 3:16)
And again he writes
Or do you not
know that your body is a temple
of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are
not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God
in your body." (1Cor 6:19, 20)
The sanctuary was to be a place set aside for devotion. Are you defiling the
sanctuary like the Jews did? Are you guarding the entrance to the sanctuary
so that nothing unholy enters? Are you taking time to enjoy the sanctuary as
a place of devotion and worship?
Yates - Ezekiel follows Jeremiah in urging spiritual religion. It is
definitely a heart religion that God wants. The heart is beyond repair. A
new one will be provided. Formalism must be left behind. The spiritual
emphasis will give them touch with Yahweh that will transform their
thinking, their worship, their conduct and their loyalty. A new spirit will
be their special gift from their God. (Cf. Ezek 18:31; 36:26f).
The real hope for the exiles is based on the Lord’s promise. The promise of
one heart (one of flesh) and a new spirit, an unconditional promise. These
promises are yet to
be fulfilled for the believing remnant of Israel (distinct from the Church) in the New Covenant,
a covenant which will be fully consummated when Messiah returns (see Ro
cp Zech 12:10, 13:8).
Pulpit Commentary - THIS SANCTUARY IS TO BE FOUND IN EXILE.
1. In exile from the native land. The colonist far removed from the home and
Church of his fathers, may find God in the bush or on the prairie. Though no
"place of worship" may he within his reach, he need not feel banished from
gracious influences. If his heart turn to God, God will be with him as his
2. In exile from the old delights. When trouble comes, a man is, as it were,
driven from the land flowing with milk and honey out into a waste howling
wilderness. But One is with him, and the God who met the poor fugitive Jacob
will make a Bethel in the desert of trouble.
3. In exile from heaven. We seek another country. Here we are pilgrims and
strangers; our citizenship is in heaven. Nevertheless, God is with us here
and now to train and guard and cheer us with the sanctuary of his presence.
4. For a short season. God would be the Sanctuary in exile "for a little
time," not because he would soon desert the banished, but because he would
bring them home again. If God is with us in trouble, he will bring us out of
trouble. He is with us here for a season, that he may lead us to be with him
in heaven forever. Christ came into exile from heaven to be with us here on
earth that he might bring us back to God. He "tabernacled with us," was our
Sanctuary in exile during his earthly ministry. Now he has gone to prepare a
place for us in the eternal home.
GOD A SANCTUARY FOR A SEASON IN A FOREIGN LAND
1. Every holy place has its true meaning and value from the residence in it
of the Eternal. It is not the costly material of which a sanctuary is built,
the labour and art with which it is decorated, the robed priesthoods who
minister, or the lavish offerings and sacrifices that are presented; it is
not these things that make a temple. It is the presence of God himself to
receive and bless the worshippers, that endears the building to the
enlightened and pious.
2. God may manifest his presence and favour in p!aces where no sacred
edifices exist. So Jacob understood, when he awoke from his slumber and his
dream, and exclaimed, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!"
"Where'er they seek thee, thou art found,
And every place is hallowed ground."
Those upon the stormy deep, those in the primeval forests, those in the
waterless deserts, those in the caverns of the earth, have met with God in
the exercises of devotion. And he was a Sanctuary to his banished ones in
their captivity in the East, as near to them as he was to those still
permitted to resort to the courts of the temple at Jerusalem. "The
tabernacle of God is with men."
3. Thus God's spiritual presence may be realized and enjoyed even in a world
of sin. Earth is in a sense the scene of exile and of banishment. But for
all that, God will be to his people a Sanctuary in the place and during the
period of their captivity. His Church is his temple, and from it he never
I. THE SANCTUARY WAS A PLACE OF REFUGE AND SAFETY. Through centuries
men had been accustomed to take refuge in sanctuaries from the enemies or
persecutors by whom they were pursued, and there every life was held to he
inviolably secure. The most implacable foe was compelled to recognize the
security afforded by the holy place (cf. 1 Kings 1:50-53). So Jehovah
promises to Israel to be to them a sacred and inviolate asylum from all
dangers in the land of their captivity (cf. Isaiah 8:14; Isaiah 32:2; Psalms
9:9; Psalms 46:1, Psalms 46:7, Psalms 46:11). The Lord was a Sanctuary for
his scattered people—a Sanctuary from the storm of persecution, from the
oppressions of their conquerors, and from the rage of their enemies. He
still sustains this relation to his people. He is still "a Refuge for us."
How blessed that in a life so stormy as man's often is, God is a Sanctuary
unto him! Let us hide ourselves in him.
II. THE SANCTUARY WAS A PLACE OF COMMUNION WITH GOD. There God
manifested himself to his people, and made communications of his will to
them (cf. Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89). So that the promise to be a Sanctuary
unto his people was a promise of communion with himself; that, though they
were driven from the temple of their fatherland, yet in their exile God
would still commune with them. This assurance involves more than we
sometimes recognize. If we commune with God we mast receive his thoughts.
"How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God!" etc. Communion with God
involves the realization of his gracious presence. In fellowship there is
always friendliness. "Henceforth I call you not servants," etc. (John
15:15). How inspiring and blessed it is to feel the friendly presence of God
with us! We may always have this sanctuary of communion with the Highest. In
all the rush and roar and turmoil of a busy and troubled life we may realize
the safety and comfort of the sanctuary of the Divine presence. We may have
a Gerizim or a Zion which none can behold but God and the angels. We may
have a holy of holies in our poor hearts, which we may carry with us into
the Babylon of the world's business and strife.
III. Let us take hold of the principle involved in the text, which we take
to be THAT THE LOSS OF EVEN THE MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSIONS IS MADE UP TO
US BY GOD OUT OF THE FULNESS WHICH DWELLETH IN HIM, IF HE IS OUR PORTION.
The promise of the text involved as much to the exiles in Babylon. If the
Lord is our Portion, he will afford us blessed compensations for any
privations we may be called to sustain. Let us take illustrations of this.
There are times when some of the people of God are subjected to loss of
property; their natural comforts are much diminished; many of the enjoyments
of life, which they had regarded as essential to their happiness and almost
to their life, are taken away; and they have painful misgivings as to how
they shall bear these privations in the future. We dread to meet the shock
of reduced position and straitened circumstances. But when the shock comes,
we find fall compensation in God. His grace sustains us. His peace grows
within us. His comforts delight our soul. lie is "the Strength of our
heart, and. our Portion forever." We are enabled to say, with St. Paul,
"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,"
etc. (Philippians 4:11-13). The Divine comp nations are also given in
painful bereavements. In your home there was a beautiful and beloved child;
yon held that child as a most precious gift of God; your very worship of God
became more impassioned and devout as you thought of that living and dear
revelation of his goodness to you. Your child was to you "a little
sanctuary;" through his beloved life you drew nearer to God. Yet God took
your child away from you; and oh, the anguish of your desolate heart!
Perhaps you were in danger of thinking more of the child than of God, of
loving the gift more than the Giver, of prizing the sanctuary more than the
God of the sanctuary. And so God took away the child whom you almost
idolized. At first you were sorely afflicted, but God said, "I will be to
thee a Sanctuary," and gradually the troubled heart became still, and was
calmed and comforted. And now by his own love God makes up to you for your
great loss. And in coming years, when you imagine you will lack the tender
filial ministries you had anticipated from your child, he will more than
supply the deficiencies by the arrangements of his own infinite tenderness
and care. God also compensates his people for the loss of religious
privileges. In his providence he sometimes removes us by sickness from the
services of the sanctuary, and we have a season of weary waiting for his
restoring hand. We anticipate with sadness the Lord's day, when his people
will be worshipping in the courts of his house, and we suffering through the
lonely hours at home. But the day arrives, and with it a joyous
disappointment. God himself becomes to us a Sanctuary. He compensates us for
the loss of psalmody by inspiring diviner music in our heart, for the loss
of "common worship" by giving us deeper spiritual communion with himself and
with all holy souls, and for the loss of sacred ministrations by the
immediate and blessed ministry of his Holy Spirit to our spirit. And so the
day we dreaded was rich in present blessing, and bright with gleams of the
glory that awaits us in the future. Or in his providence God removes us to a
district where we are separated from the influence of a generous and godly
friend, or from the ministry of a valued teacher or pastor. Our regret is
very keen, our misgivings as to our future progress are serious, and perhaps
our dissatisfaction with providential arrangements is in danger of becoming
great. But in this also the Lord becomes to us a Sanctuary. To our increased
need he gives more of his infinite fulness. And we find that by blessing us
with another teacher or pastor, or by means of the devout and earnest study
of his holy Word, or by the ministry of good literature, or by the immediate
action of his Holy Spirit upon our spirit, he compensates us for all our
losses. Herein is one of the great blessednesses of the portion of the
godly. As our need grows, God reveals unto us his own infinite sufficiency
more and more fully, and out of that sufficiency he giveth more grace. The
more loud and fierce the storm, the more closely does he enfold us in his
inviolate protection. The more numerous and urgent our requirements, the
more abundant and prompt are his supplies. Make him your Portion, and
infinite resources are yours (cf. Psalms 84:11; Lamentations 3:24; Matthew
6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8).—W.J.
J C Philpot - Ezekiel 11:16 - Every place in which the Lord manifests
Himself, is a sanctuary to a child of God. Jesus is now our sanctuary, for
He is "the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human
hands." We see the power and glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.
Every place is a sanctuary, where God manifests Himself in power and glory
to the soul. Moses, doubtless, had often passed by the bush which grew in
Horeb; it was but a common thorn bush, in no way distinguished from the
other bushes of the thicket. But on one solemn occasion it was all "in a
flame of fire," for "the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of
fire" out of the midst; and though it burned with fire, it was not consumed.
God being in the bush, the ground round about was holy, and Moses was bidden
to take off his shoes from his feet. Was not this a sanctuary to Moses? It
was, for a holy God was there! Thus wherever God manifests Himself,
that becomes a sanctuary to a believing soul. We don't need places made
holy by the ceremonies of man; but places made holy by the presence of God!
Then a stable, a hovel, a hedge, any unadorned corner may be, and is a
sanctuary, when God fills your heart with His sacred presence, and causes
every holy feeling and gracious affection to spring up in your soul.
I pass on to our last point, which is, the remembrance that came over the
Psalmist's soul of what he had seen and felt in time past, and the place
where he had enjoyed it, "To see your power and your glory, so as I have
seen you in the sanctuary." We may understand by the "sanctuary" here not
merely the tabernacle set up in the wilderness, or the temple afterwards
erected at Jerusalem, though we have reason to believe that the Lord did
specially manifest his power and glory there to believing Israel; but taking
a wider view of the subject, we may say that every place in which the Lord
manifests himself, is a sanctuary to a child of God. Thus the Lord promised
to his scattered people that "he himself would be as a little sanctuary in
the countries where they should come." (Ezekiel 11:16.)
Jesus is now our sanctuary; for he is "the true tabernacle which the Lord
pitched and not man." The tabernacle of the wilderness was but a shadow, and
the substance having come, the shadow is gone. As, then, David saw the power
and glory of God in the sanctuary, so we see that power and that glory in
the face of Jesus Christ.
But we may give a further sense to the word. Every place is a "sanctuary"
where God manifests himself in power and glory to the soul. Moses,
doubtless, had often passed by the bush which grew in Horeb; it was but a
common thorn bush, in no way distinguished from the other bushes of the
thicket; but on one solemn occasion it was all "in a flame of fire," for
"the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire" out of the
midst; and though it burned with fire, it was not consumed. God being in the
bush, the ground round about was holy, and Moses was bidden to put off his
shoes from off his feet. (Exodus 3:2, 5.) Was not this a sanctuary to Moses?
It was, for a holy God was there. Thus wherever God manifests himself, that
becomes a sanctuary to a believing soul.
We don't need places made holy by the ceremonies of man, but places made
holy by the presence of God. Then a stable, a hovel, a hedge, any
unadorned corner may be, and is a sanctuary, when God fills your heart with
his sacred presence, and causes every holy feeling and gracious affection to
spring up in your soul. If ever you have seen this in times past, you have
seen God in the sanctuary; for then your heart becomes the sanctuary of God,
according to his own words, "You are the temple of the living God; as God
has said, I will dwell in them and walk in them." (2 Cor. 6:16.) Are not
your very bodies the temples of the Holy Spirit? (1 Cor. 6:19.) Does not
Christ dwell in the heart by faith? (Eph 3:17); and is he not formed there,
the hope of glory? (Gal. 4:19; Col. 1:27.) It is then not only in Christ
without but in Christ within that we see the power and glory of God. It is
in this way that we become consecrated to the service and glory of God, set
our affections upon heavenly things, and obtain a foretaste of eternal joy.
But, alas! the soul is not often or long here. We lose sight of these
blessed realities and get into a "dry and thirsty land where no water is."
But the Lord in mercy again revives his work upon the heart, and then
springs up afresh the longing desire to see his power and his glory. If we
have once seen it, we shall long to see it again– if we have once enjoyed
it, we shall desire to enjoy it again. Nor will the Lord deny the earnest
desires or turn a deaf ear to the cries of his people. Every visit of his
presence is a pledge for another; for whom the Lord loves, he loves to the
end, and the grace that he gives he will most certainly crown with glory.
Octavius Winslow - Even now, the believer can realize God in Christ
as His true Sanctuary--His Divine Temple everywhere. In the busiest mart or
the deepest solitude--in the silent chamber of sickness and in the shadowed
house of mourning--at eventide and at day-dawn--on the land and on the
sea--at home and abroad, God in Christ is the accessible Sanctuary of His
saints. There--at that moment and on that spot--the devout heart may breathe
its holy aspirations, the sorrowful unveil its lonely grief, the needy make
known its pressing wants, the erring confess its deepest guilt. "And there
will I be unto you," says God, "as a little Sanctuary." "In all places where
I record My name, I will come unto you and I will bless you." And where in
the vast creation of God is His great and holy Name not recorded? To what
object does the eye of man turn, or upon what spot does he plant his foot,
and God's Name not appear in its own divine grandeur? It is engraved
indelible on the granite rock--dazzles resplendent from the snowy
mountain--smiles in beauty from the jutting cliff--towers in majesty in the
hoary forest--thunders sublimely in the roaring cataract--whispers softly in
the evening breeze--breathes from every flower and smiles in every sunbeam,
'You are near, O God! and all creation a sanctuary, and every object an
altar where Your presence may be found, and Your great and glorious Name
worshiped and adored!'...
we shall see God and live. Magnificent thought! Sublime prospect! If the
divine presence in the earthly sanctuary is so precious and inspiriting,
what will that presence be in the heavenly? O Lord! may our worship of You
below resemble more closely our worship of You above--and since You will be
our Temple in Heaven, be our Sanctuary on earth, that, when we tread Your
courts, we may feel, "How fearsome is this place! this is none other than
the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven."
C Philpot - "May the Lord answer you when you are in distress—may the
name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the
sanctuary and grant you support from Zion." Psalm 20:1-2
When the soul has to pass through the trying hour of temptation, it needs
help from the sanctuary. All other help leaves the soul just where it found
Help is sent from the sanctuary because his name has been from all eternity
. . .registered in the Lamb's book of life, engraved upon the palms of His
hands, borne on His shoulder, and worn on His heart.
Communications of life and grace from the sanctuary produce spirituality and
heavenly-mindedness. The breath of heaven in his soul . . .draws his
affections upward, weans him from earth, and makes him a pilgrim and a
sojourner here below, "looking for a city which has foundations, whose
builder and maker is God."
In the New Testament we are told that our bodies are the temples of God. We
are to live as a sanctuary of His presence.
“Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (v. 20). God is with
us! We celebrate that truth when we call Him “Immanuel.” It means “God with
us.” Not God somewhere beyond the stars, but God here with us, encouraging
us, ministering to us, helping us. In times when we’re tempted, we
understand He is here, and it brings us up short in our conduct. And in
times when we have difficulties in life, we know that we don’t go through
them by ourselves. His consistent message through the whole Bible is that He
will be with us. Because God is with us, we are His sanctuary and He is our
One thing is needful (Lk 10:42)
sought one thing. He was saying, “There is a way of living I seek now. My
soul longs for uninterrupted spiritual intimacy with my God.”
May it be so for us as well!
David understood that God was His Sanctuary praying " One thing I have asked
from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
(His Sanctuary) all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to meditate in His temple (His Sanctuary)." (Ps 27:4) As Spurgeon said
"Divided aims tend to distraction, weakness, disappointment. The man of one
book is eminent, the man of one pursuit is successful. Let all our
affections be bound up in one affection, and that affection set upon
heavenly things....We pine for our Father's house above, the home of our
souls; if we may but dwell there for ever, we care but little for the goods
or ills of this poor life....Think of it, dear reader! Better far—behold it
by faith! What a sight will that be when every faithful follower of Jesus
shall behold "the King in his beauty!" (Sam Storms prayer) Oh, for that
infinitely blessed vision! Oh, Father of glory, make us a people of one
thing. Give us one heart, one mind, one all-consuming passion for your name.
May we, with David, find you to be life-giving light in the midst of today’s
darkness. May we, with David, find strength in you as our impenetrable
stronghold, the place of peace, where fear cannot flourish.
“Our Lord does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24). When
David says, “I will live in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps. 23:6), he’s
not saying he wants to get away from people. He’s saying that he yearns to
be in God’s presence, wherever he is.
"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere." (Ps 84:10)
David’s one wish in life was to be near God. To worship him, to delight in
his majesty, to meditate on his will and his Word.
A W Tozer - For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits
eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him
who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." --Isaiah 57:15
I have been thinking recently about how important my thoughts are. I don't
have to do wrong to get under blistering conviction and repent. I can lose
the fellowship of God and sense of His presence and a sense of spirituality
by just thinking wrong. God has been saying to me, "I dwell in your
thoughts. Make your thoughts a sanctuary in which I can dwell. See to it."
You can't do anything with your heart--that is too deep--but you can control
Your theology is your foundation. The superstructure is your spiritual
experience built on that foundation. But the high bell towers where the
carillons are--those are your thoughts. And if you keep those thoughts pure
the chimes can be heard ringing out "Holy, Holy, Holy" on the morning air.
Make your thoughts a sanctuary God can inhabit, and don't let any of the
rest of your life dishonor God. See to it that not a foot of ground is
unholy. See to it that every hour and every place is given over to God, and
you will worship Him and He will accept it. Tozer on Worship and
"May my thoughts be a sanctuary this morning, Father, where You can dwell
6. L. M. Heber. The Sanctuary.
1 Forth from the dark and stormy sky,
Lord, to Thine altar's shade we fly;
Forth from the world, its hope and fear,
Father, we seek Thy shelter here:
Weary and weak, Thy grace we pray;
Turn not, O Lord! Thy guests away.
Long have we roamed in want and pain,
Long have we sought Thy rest in vain;
Wildered in doubt, in darkness lost,
Long have our souls been tempest-tost:
Low at Thy feet our sins we lay;
Turn not, O Lord! Thy guests away.
Under the Law, God had a temple for His people, but under Grace, He has His
people for a temple! Hallelujah!
Christ is our sanctuary for worship. You may worship God anywhere, if you
come to God through Christ. But if you do not come to God through Christ,
you can worship nowhere!
Isaiah 8:14 - “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the
houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare
and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
"Sanctuary" is a place of refuge. "Lord, Thou has been our dwelling place in
all generations", we read in Ps 90:1. "Thou hast made the Lord, which is my
refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation" (Ps 91:9)... and again in Ezk
11:6: "And I will be to them a little Sanctuary". What a joy to know that in
every time of trouble we may find "A Sanctuary" in Him whose arms are always
outstretched, where we may find rest and peace and where we may worship Him.
Blessed Lord, Thou Lover of our souls, may we find our refuge in Thee. Amen
C H Spurgeon in Faith's
Checkbook - GOD IS A SANCTUARY:
BANISHED from the public means of grace,
we are not removed from the grace of the means. The Lord Who places His
people where they feel as exiles will Himself be with them, and be to them
all that they could have had at home, in the place
of their solemn assemblies. Take
this to yourselves, O ye who are called to wander! God is to His people a
place of refuge. They find sanctuary with Him from every adversary. He is
their place of worship too. He is with them as with Jacob when he slept in
the open field, and rising, said, “Surely God was in this place.”
(Ge 28:16) To them
also He will be a Sanctuary of quiet, like the Holy of Holies, which was the
noiseless abode of the Eternal. They shall be quiet from fear of evil (Ps
23:4, Ps 112:7). God
Himself, in Christ Jesus, is the Sanctuary of mercy. The Ark of the Covenant
is the Lord Jesus, and Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna, the tables of the law,
all are in Christ our Sanctuary. In God we find the shrine of holiness and
of communion. What more do we need?
O Lord, fulfill this promise and be ever
to us as a little sanctuary!
THE TRUE PLACE OF OUR SANCTUARY is not at
Jerusalem...The place of our sanctuary is not the meeting-house where we
gather; the place of our Sanctuary is our God Himself. “God is our refuge
and strength.” “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations.”
The NT teaches that the believer’s
body is, in a real sense, a sanctuary of God (e.g., 2 Cor 6:16). Yet the
sanctuary also continues to be heaven, where Jesus our great High Priest is
“set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;.
minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord
pitched, and not man” (Heb 8:1–2).
Sanctuary is defined as a place set apart
for a holy purpose, a place set apart for worship of God, and a place
set apart for rest and refuge in God.. Isaiah records that Jehovah "shall
become a sanctuary" (Isa 8:14) Even when Judah was suffering great national
discipline for sin, Jehovah promised
A sacred place of resort (a place to go
for rest, one that affords aid or refuge) and worship.
Isa 8:14 “Then He shall become a
sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a
rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of
Ex 25:8 "They are to make a sanctuary for
Me so I I may dwell in their midst."
Even as Judah had wandered from God and
was being disciplined in Babylon, we too at times can wander into sins for a
season and be disciplined, but even there as He promised to Judah, He would
be to us "as a little sanctuary." (Ezek 11:16)
John 17:21 speaks of oneness - that they
may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also
may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Christ became one flesh with us, in order
that we might become one Spirit with Him.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from
the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle (dwelling) of God is among men,
and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself
will be among them,
In the New Jerusalem there will be no
sanctuary, “for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev.
21:22). Where all is made sacred, consecrated, and holy by God’s presence,
there is no need for one specific holy place.
Ps 20:2 May He send you help from the
sanctuary And support you from Zion!
"Send thee help from the sanctuary." Out
of heaven's sanctuary came the angel to strengthen our Lord, and from the
precious remembrance of God's doings in his sanctuary our Lord refreshed
himself when on the tree. There is no help like that which is of God's
sending, and no deliverance like that which comes out of his sanctuary. The
sanctuary to us is the person of our blessed Lord, who was typified by the
temple, and is the true sanctuary which God has pitched, and not man: let us
fly to the cross for shelter in all times of need and help will be sent to
us. Men of the world despise sanctuary help, but our hearts have learned to
prize it beyond all material aid. They seek help out of the armoury, or the
treasury, or the buttery, but we turn to the sanctuary.
Ps 90:1 A Prayer of Moses, the man of
God. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Ps 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the
shadow of the Almighty.
CHS: Those who commune with God are safe
with Him, no evil can reach them, for the outstretched wings of his power
and love cover them from all harm. This protection is constant—they abide
under it, and it is all sufficient, for it is the shadow of the Almighty,
whose omnipotence will surely screen them from all attack. No shelter can be
imagined at all comparable to the protection of Jehovah's own shadow. The
Almighty himself is where his shadow is, and hence those who dwell in his
secret place are shielded by himself. What a shade in the day of noxious
heat! What a refuge in the hour of deadly storm! Communion with God is
safety. The more closely we cling to our Almighty Father the more confident
may we be.
O God, you are my God-- for you I long!
For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts, Like a land parched,
lifeless, and without water. So I look to you in the sanctuary to see your
power and glory.
Yes, Christ Jesus is our sanctuary,
beneath whose shadow we are safe.
Ps 114:2 - Reader, do not fail to remark,
when Israel was brought out of Egypt the Lord set up his tabernacle among
them, and manifested his presence to them. And what is it now, when the Lord
Jesus brings out his people from the Egypt of the world? Doth he not fulfil
that sweet promise, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world"? Is it not the privilege of his people, to live to him, to live with
him, and to live upon him? Doth he not in every act declare, "I will say, it
is my people; and they shall say, the Lord is my God"? Mt 28:20; Zec
Ps 63:2 - Thus I have seen You in the
sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.
Oh, my soul, imitate the psalmist, and
let all thy desires ascend towards the highest good; longing here to see
God, and having no higher joy even for eternity.
Ps 150:1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in
her is shameful treason; to refuse to
render it to him is heartless robbery. Praise God in his sanctuary. Praise
El, or the strong one, in his holy place. See how power is mentioned with
holiness in this change of names. Praise begins at home. "In God's own house
pronounce his praise." The holy place should be filled with praise, even as
of old the high priest filled the sanctum sanctorum with the smoke of sweet
smelling incense. In his church below and in his courts above hallelujahs
should be continually presented. In the person of Jesus God finds a holy
dwelling or sanctuary, and there he is greatly to be praised.
Ps 134:2 Lift up your hands to the
sanctuary And bless the LORD.
In the holy place they must be busy, full
of strength, wide awake, energetic, and moved with holy ardour. Hands,
heart, and every other part of their manhood must be upraised, elevated, and
consecrated to the adoring service of the Lord. As the angels praise God day
without night, so must the angels of the churches be instant in season and
out of season.
Ps 73:17 Until I came into the sanctuary
of God; Then I perceived their end.
The place where his doubts were removed
and his tottering faith reestablished, was the sanctuary of God.
His mind entered the eternity where
God dwells as in a holy place, he left the things of sense for the things
invisible, his heart gazed within the veil, he stood where the thrice holy
God stands. Thus he shifted his point of view, and apparent disorder
resolved itself into harmony. The motions of the planets appear most
discordant from this world which is itself a planet; they appear as
"progressive, retrograde, and standing still; "but could we fix our
observatory in the sun, which is the centre of the system, we should
perceive all the planets moving in perfect circle around the head of the
great solar family. Then understood I their end. He had seen too little to
be able to judge; a wider view changed his judgment; he saw with his mind's
enlightened eye the future of the wicked, and his soul was in debate no
longer as to the happiness of their condition. No envy gnaws now at his
heart, but a holy horror both of their impending doom, and of their present
guilt, fills his soul. He recoils from being dealt with in the same manner
as the proud sinners, whom just now he regarded with admiration.
Though this be so, and they are far
from the outer temple at Jerusalem, I will be their asylum or sanctuary
instead (Psalm 90:1; Psalm 91:9; Isaiah 8:14). My shrine is the humble
heart: a preparation for gospel catholicity when the local and material
temple should give place to the spiritual (Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:1;
Malachi 1:11; John 4:21-24; Acts 7:48, Acts 7:49). The trying discipline of
the exile was to chasten the outcasts so as to be meet recipients of God‘s
grace, for which the carnal confidence of the priests disqualified them.
Sanctuary - Lord Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary!
Dwelling Place by Kari Jobe
In the New Jerusalem there will be no sanctuary,
and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev 21:22-note)
Where all is made sacred, consecrated, and holy by God’s presence, there is
no need for one specific holy place. This blessed truth should stimulate a
"Hallelujah" from all of God's saints for with David we can truly say
Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me all the days of
my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long”
IS WITH US
to play hymn
Vocal Version of this old German Hymn
|God Himself is
with us: Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple, all within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence.
Him alone God we own, Him our God and Savior;
Praise His Name forever.
God Himself is with us: Hear the harps resounding!
See the crowds the throne surrounding!
“Holy, holy, holy,” hear the hymn ascending,
Angels, saints, their voices blending!
Bow Thine ear to us here: Hear, O Christ, the praises
That Thy church now raises.
(NOW SING THIS AS YOUR
O Thou fount of blessing, purify my spirit;
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Like the holy angels who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee,
And in all, great and small, seek to do most nearly
What Thou lovest dearly. AMEN