The term ‘sanctuary’ today has some negative connotations to some people, but to others it seems to be good intent. There is one sanctuary – the True Sanctuary – that means the same for whomever enters into it.
The Sanctuary of God.
Asaph (aw-sawf) was one of the three men King David put in charge of the temple music, along with Heman, the chief musician, and Ethan, who was “at the left hand” of Heman, while Asaph was “at the right hand” of Heman.
I Chronicles 6:
32They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them.
Asaph wrote several of the Psalms, with Psalm 50 and 73 through 83 attributed to him.
In Psalm 73 we find a look into the heart of Asaph, who even as a minister faced trials and discouragement:
2But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
He explains how the “wicked have no troubles”, they are “free from common human burdens”, they have no ills or troubles, they are arrogant, full of pride and evil imaginations, they scoff and speak with malice, threaten oppression with violence, and have callous hearts.
Yet people are drawn to them.
Asaph didn’t understand it, until he entered the Sanctuary of God.
16When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
Sometimes we see the successes of the world and it seems there is no end or reason to our own misfortune and position. What worldly people call success is measured only by their desires and greed, and there seems to be no end to that.
But Asaph found the Way and the Place to get understanding, peace, contentment and encouragement.
“til I entered the Sanctuary of God…”
21When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
23Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
Now through Jesus Christ we (all of us) are given the ability to enter into The Sanctuary of God, that is, we are allowed to be in His Presence through prayer and thanksgiving, and through confession, repentance and accepting Him as our Master, our faith in Him will be rewarded with a Heavenly Home that is not of this world. The wicked – non-believers – can make no such claim.
And we are promised that He will be with us now in this life as we face the ups and downs of human existence:
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. (Romans 4)
8In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. (Romans 9)
29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3)
39The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. (Psalm 37)