Help From The Sanctuary
A daily devotion for October 13th
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 O LORD, save the king!
Answer us when we call!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion (Psalm 20:2).
That is wonderful—
help from the sanctuary! The sanctuary is always a picture of the place where we meet with God. In Israel it was the temple, the place where the Israelites came to get their thoughts straightened out, to get their thinking corrected. There they met with God, and there they heard the Word of God, the mind and thoughts of God.
In Psalm 73 the psalmist is deeply troubled by the prosperity of the wicked, that perennial problem that can still bother us: Why do the ungodly prosper while the righteous seem to be downtrodden all the time? This had upset him—until he finally went into the sanctuary. There he began to perceive their end. There he began to see the whole story; he began to see the full picture, and his thoughts were corrected. This is what the sanctuary does.
For us the sanctuary is the Scriptures. There is where we get help. It is there that our minds are illuminated, that we begin to see the world the way it is, not the way it appears to be. There is not one of us who has not already learned that life is not the way it seems to be, that what looks to be the answer and what we are convinced at first is the way things are often turns out to be exactly the opposite. Life is filled with illusion, with deceit; things are not what they appear to be. Doesn't your heart cry for somebody to tell you the truth, to tell you the way things really are, to open your eyes to what is going on? That is what the Bible does. And unless you are in the Scriptures, there is no help.
May you find help in the sanctuary, in the Scriptures, is the psalmist's prayer,
that your eyes might be enlightened and you might understand.
Help from the sanctuary and support from Zion. Zion is another name for Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom. In the Scriptures it stands as a symbol of the invisible kingdom of God with which we are surrounded, made up of ministering angels sent forth to serve those who are to be the heirs of salvation. In other words, all the invisible help that God can give you in the day of trouble, in the hour of pressure, is made available by prayer.
Remember that in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus was praying and sweating drops of blood in the height of His agony, an angel appeared and ministered to Him and strengthened Him. That angel was made visible to Him in order that we might be taught a lesson of what happens when we pray. I have gone into prayer depressed and defeated, but while I have prayed I have felt my spirits caught up, changed, and strengthened. I came out calm, at rest, and at peace. Why? Because I have received help from Zion.
Lord, there are far too many places I turn in times of trouble. Teach me to turn to your sanctuary for the help that I need.
Life Application: Where do we turn when our hearts are troubled and our minds confused by all that is happening in our world? Where is a place of quiet confidence and rest?
From your friends at www.RayStedman.org
Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.