September 06, 2016


In a small obscure park in my neighborhood there is an area where the grass just doesn’t seem to grow. This spring the city parks department re-planted the 16 X 24 foot area and then staked an orange plastic cargo fence around it to keep people out. For months the parks guys have mowed the grass around the cordoned-off area, but I think they have forgotten the plot itself. The grass is still not growing, but the weeds on the inside are flourishing. As I go passed the area on my early morning walk the crickets sing their little hearts out…their sanctuary is green, has lots of shade and they are out of reach of the local predatory ducks. We too have a sanctuary in the One who sits on His throne, “A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary” (Jer 17:12 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Isaiah says the same thing straight forwardly, “But the LORD of hosts, Him you shall regard as holy; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He will become a sanctuary, and a stone of offense, and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Is 8:13-14) Jesus is the glorious throne set on high for our sanctuary.
-----It is interesting that Isaiah notes only one beneficial characteristic of Christ -His becoming a sanctuary- then notes He will be a point of stumbling, a trap, and a snare. Israel despised Him when He first came to His place. It wasn’t that every last Israelite despised Him; it was that the leaders did. They put Him forth as a charlatan because they regarded themselves as holy, as caretakers of the way to God. They stacked regulations upon regulations upon God’s own holy Law, until the Law was hardly recognizable in the things the leaders’ regulations required. Since they were so full of holy regard for themselves, they were hardly frightful of the Lord.
-----What is expressed before and after the concept of His being sanctuary is the very essence of and reason for loving God with all your mind. Emotions are not efficient in keeping paths straight. They don’t measure. They merely intensify regard for a direction without regard for which direction. Concepts are the things of measurement and discernment. Concepts detect boundaries and discern directions. That basic concept of Himself which God gave Moses should never be forgotten: I AM THAT I AM. Make no graven image, not even in your mind. For once we decide what God looks like, what He concretely is, we no longer know Him, for He is what He is, not what we think He is. The most concrete knowledge we can have of God comes by understanding what we saw Jesus do and evaluating God’s Word in the light of His life.
-----But emotions are efficient for keeping to a direction. They are momentum for staying a course. It behooves us to think clearly in choosing that course. And it behooves us to engage our chosen direction with assurance, joy, and determination. But let the Lord, the I AM THAT I AM, be feared in that determination, for it is He who is holy and true, and it is all of us who are false. Once we set our courses with concrete resolution we become wrong. For the same great courage we take in knowing what is right defeats the fear of the Lord we must never loose.
-----Yes, love casts out all fear. His love for us is about our benefit from His perfection. It is the sanctuary. There is no fear in the sanctuary. When we are perfected we will be completely in the sanctuary. But we are not yet perfected. We yet not only have the possibility of thinking, seeing, feeling, and doing falsely, we do think, see, feel, and do falsely. The fear we then must retain for God is not the fear of what He might whim-fully do to us. But it is the fear of becoming so certain in our knowledge of Him that we know about Him what we think about Him rather than what actually is about Him. That is how He became a snare and a trap to Israel. It is how Christ’s body has become a thousand denominations. It is how holy, contemporary saints keep rearranging the way others must worship. It is how we judge one another and tell one another what to do and not to do. Loving Him with all our heart is the desire for knowing what is true and right more than for knowing what we know. And since we are yet false, it is that fear of not knowing Him which compels us to remain in the sanctuary of being made true and right by Him.

Love you all,
Steve Corey