God: Sanctuary of Mercy

Thus says the Lord God: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.” Ezekiel 11:16

Isn’t this a beautiful promise?

No matter how far we wander, or why we be far from home and our loved ones? Our God wants us to know that He will step into the that wilderness gap, and become for us, a sanctuary.

It make me think of what David proclaimed for us in Psalm 27,

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

verse 10

Our Port in the storm

I wanted to know the exact meaning of the word sanctuary, and this is what Google said, “A place of refuge or safety.”

Google gave me these synonyms for sanctuary:

  • refuge, haven, harbor
  • oasis, shelter, retreat
  • port in the storm

I love that last one, the image of God being a safe harbor, or port from the storm.

It makes me think of another Bible promise,

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

psalm 107: 29-30

There is so much HOPE in the Gospel!

Sanctuary of mercy

Charles Spurgeon wrote specifically on our unchanging God as our 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.

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.” To them also He will be a sanctuary of quiet, like the Holy of Holies, which was the noiseless abode of the Eternal.

God Himself, in Christ Jesus, is the sanctuary of mercy. In God we find the shrine of holiness and of communion. What more do we need? Lord, fulfill this promise and be ever to us as a little sanctuary!

Our world in crisis

We know we are a world in crisis.

There can be no doubt of that.

Earthquakes in Turkey, the ravages of war in Syria, Lebanon, and Ukraine, are creating a homeless crisis for thousands. Even here at home, the homeless line our streets with camps of people everywhere, looking for some kind of safe refuge, or port from the storm. Surely, it cannot be up to governments alone to intervene in each and every crisis.

Jesus Himself, when speaking to His followers, spoke these hopefully heart-penetrating words:

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25: 34-40

With Christ’s mandate to the Church to take His Gospel to the whole world, and these words of His encouragement–are we in the Church not accountable to take His hope and His Gospel, along with some kind of real and tangible help to this desperately hurting world?

Tell me it is not for us to merely wring our hands in frustration, or wag our heads in contempt, as if that were enough!

Surely, with God’s promised help and the Gospel of Grace, along with all the many blessings we have at our disposal, surely, we can do more than comment; we can step up and show up; we can do something.

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