Tag Archives: Safety

Practice…Sanctuary and sanctimony

Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. [NIV]

This Psalm may not be as familiar today as it was in past generations but it’s clearly a lovely word-picture that describes Sanctuary: a place of comfort, refuge and safety.   Sanctuary is no longer an external place to search for.  Our life in Christ has become that place of Sanctuary within us.  That sacred internal place of comfort, refuge and safety the Psalmist describes in his prayer can become our reality too, with practice.

That’s a fact but there’s another reality. We need the practice of Sanctuary to cure us of sanctimony so when we pray “I lack nothing” it doesn’t sound like I have it and you don’t.  Sanctimony is defined as pretended, affected, or hypocritical religious devotion.  I found this quote on vocabulary.com “Sanctimonious is a twist on the words sanctity and sacred, which mean holy or religious. A sanctimonious person might think he’s holy, but their attitude comes across more like “holier-than-thou.” I suspect all of you have been there with me at some point. Remember that line from the Lord’s Prayer? “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.” I think we could substitute sanctimony for trespasses there.  Here’s where the danger of sanctimony is written.

Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.[NIV]

God has saved us to that beautiful place of refreshment where the reality is when we pray “I lack nothing” it’s because everything sacred is available to us. It’s a place of safety and refuge where Sanctuary guides us “along the right paths for his name’s sake” and even can save us from the judgment our sanctimonious selves deserve.

ב Beth – House, Tent

Psalm 119:9-16
The more-or-less ignored headings of the 22 sections of this Psalm really do count if you read the individual eight verses of each as if they are a key. Beth is the key God has given to a place of shelter for:

• Purity
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.

• Focus
10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.

• Safety
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

• Learning
12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.

• Remembering
13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.

• Praising
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

• Thinking
15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

• Commitment
16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.