Enhancing On-going Ministry Through Equipping, Encouraging, and Interceding

Settled in the Sanctuary

A couple of Sundays ago, my pastor preached on Psalm 73, reminding me that I had also preached on that Psalm – several times in fact. It is the age-old conflict of the prosperity of the wicked vs. the suffering of the righteous, and the Psalmist began by asking tough questions. Make no mistake, the wicked do prosper, and our questions make little difference to them. But one must quickly get past the questions to Psalm 73:16-17, “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me – until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood.” In those days, to enter the sanctuary, the tabernacle, or the Temple, was to enter the presence of God. There sits on my shelf, an old book entitled “Settled in the Sanctuary,” published in 1925, written by a retired pastor to ministerial students in the college where he taught. In his book, W.W. Landrum wrote, “Whether I understand or not, God does understand, and by communion with Him I shall have whatever explanation he is pleased to afford a trusting child. And that is all that my mind demands, or my heart craves.” When the Psalmist left the sanctuary, he was just as poor, and the righteous were just as prosperous, and he still had no answer to his question, but now he had a new perspective, making his previous question irrelevant. He had settled it in the presence of God, in the sanctuary. I have a suggestion. Next time you have an unanswered question, head for the sanctuary – or wherever you go to be in the presence of God – and there settle it. You may not come away with an answer, but God’s presence makes many of earth’s questions irrelevant. Martin Luther said it this way: “As long as I have Thee, I wish for nothing else in heaven or on earth.”

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