What is a Sanctuary?
A Sanctuary refers to a spiritual safe-place. The Scripture described it in many ways denoting a dwelling place, a resting place, a protection; there is coziness, splendor, and companionship. It is variously referred to as:
• Rock • Shield • Refuge • Stronghold • Tower • Fortress • Citadel • House • Tent • Shelter • Secret Place • Hiding Place • Dwelling • Tabernacle • Courts of the Lord • Temple • Under His Wings
In modern times, it is referred to as a force-field.
Psalms on Sanctuary
Ps 84:1-2,4,9-12 (KHP Kent Henry Paraphrase) How amiable, beautiful and pleasing is your sanctuary, O Lord of All! How lovely your dwelling place is, O Yahweh [God’s personal name of “I AM” from Ex 3:14] the Lord God of Armies. My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord. I yearn, even pant with longing for the Lord’s temple, outside of which I cannot live. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God! At His name my heart, my whole being, thrills with joy… Blessed are they that dwell in your house, continually do they praise you! All who live in your dwelling place are happy indeed, for they can praise you all day long…. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of your anointed. O God our defender, look upon us, do not disregard us now, and welcome your chosen into your presence. For better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I’d rather stand at the threshold as a doorkeeper in the of house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For you, Lord, are a sun and a shield… Sun to enlighten, shield to protect us.
Ps 5:11-12 (NIV) …Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Ps 9:9 (Jer) May Yahweh be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble!
Ps 16:1,6 (Jer) Protect me, O God, in you is my refuge… The measuring-line marks out for me a delightful place…
Ps 18:1-6,30-31 (Jer) I love you, Yahweh, my strength, my Saviour, you have saved me from violence. Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is my God. I take refuge in him, my rock, my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold, my place of refuge. I call to Yahweh who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my foes. With Death’s breakers closing in on me, Belial’s torrents ready to swallow me, Sheol’s snares every side of me, Death’s traps lying ahead of me, I called to Yahweh in my anguish, I cried for help to my God; from his Temple he heard my voice, my cry came to his ears. …For he alone is the shield of all who take refuge in him. For who is God but Yahweh, who is a rock but our God?
Ps 20:1-2 (Jer) May Yahweh answer you in time of trouble, may the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary, give you support from Zion!
Ps 26:6 (Jer) Yahweh, I love the beauty of your house, and the place where your glory dwells.
Ps 27:1-6,14 (Jer) Yahweh is my light and my salvation. Whom should I fear? Yahweh is the fortress of my life, whom should I dread. When the wicked advance against me to eat me up, they, my opponents, my enemies, are the ones who stumble and fall. Though an army pitch camp against me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, my trust will never be shaken. One thing I ask of Yahweh, one thing I seek: to dwell in Yahweh’s house all the days of my life, to enjoy the sweetness of Yahweh, to seek out his temple. For he hides me away under his roof on the day of evil, he folds me in the recesses of his tent, sets me on a rock. Now my head is held high above the enemies who surround me; in his tent I will offer sacrifices of acclaim. I will sing, I will make music for Yahweh… This I believe: I shall see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living. Put your hope in Yahweh, be strong, let your heart be bold, put your hope in Yahweh.
Ps 31:1-5.19-21 (Jer) In you, Yahweh, I have taken refuge, let me never be put to shame, in your saving justice deliver me, rescue me, turn your ear to me, make haste. Be for me a rock-fastness, a fortified citadel to save me. You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, lead me and guide me! Draw me out of the net they have spread for me, for you are my refuge; to your hands I commit my spirit, by you have I been redeemed…. Yahweh, what quantities of good things you have in store for those who fear you, and bestow on those who make you their refuge, for all humanity to see. Safe in your presence you hide them, far from human plotting, shielding them in your tent, far from contentious tongues. Blessed be Yahweh who works for me miracles of his faithful love (in a fortified city)!
Ps 32:7 (NIV) You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. selah (Pause and let that soak in.)
Ps 46:1-5, 10-11 (Jer) God is both refuge and strength for us, a help always ready in trouble; so we shall not be afraid… There is a river whose streams bring joy to God’s city, it sanctifies the dwelling of the Most High. God is in the city, it cannot fall… Be still and acknowledge that I am God, supreme… over the world. Yahweh Sabaoth [of warriors] is with us, our citadel…
Ps 59:1-3, 8-9, 16-17 (Jer) Rescue me from my enemies, my God, be my stronghold from my assailants, rescue me from evildoers, from men of violence save me. Look at them, lurking to ambush me, violent men are attacking me… For your part, Yahweh, you laugh at them, you make mockery of all nations. My strength, I keep my eyes fixed on you. For my stronghold is God… And so I will sing of your strength, in the morning acclaim your faithful love; you have been a stronghold for me, a refuge when I was in trouble. My strength, I will make music for you, for my stronghold is God, the God who loves me faithfully.
Ps 61:1-4 (Jer) God, hear my cry, listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you with fainting heart. Lead me to the high rock that stands far out of my reach. For you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me stay in your tent for ever, taking refuge in the shelter of your wings!
Ps 63:1-4 (Jer) God, you are my God, I pine for you; my heart thirsts for you, my body longs for you, as a land parched, dreary and waterless. Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing your power and your glory. Better your faithful love than life itself; my lips will praise you. Thus I will bless you all my life, in your name lift up my hands.
Ps 65:4 (Jer) How blessed are those whom you choose and invite to dwell in your courts. We shall be filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.
Ps 71:1-3 (Jer) In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put to shame. In your saving justice rescue me, deliver me, listen to me and save me. Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you have determined to save me, for you are my rock, my fortress.
Ps 71:7 (NAS) I have become a marvel to many, for You are my strong refuge.
Ps 90:1,14-17 (Jer) Lord, you have been our refuge from age to age… Each morning fill us with your faithful love, we shall sing and be happy all our days… Show your servants the deeds you do, let their children enjoy your splendour! May the sweetness of the Lord be upon us.
Ps 91:1-2,8-9 (KHP/DVP) He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. For this is true protection, a secret shelter for those who find their lodging there. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty–whose power no foe can withstand. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust. Yes, I will say of the Lord, “You are my sheltering haven; my God whom I trust” …You only have to keep your eyes open to see how the wicked are repaid. So say, “Yahweh my refuge!” and make the Most High your dwelling place.
Ps 119:97,114 (Jer) How I love your Law! I ponder it all day long… You are my refuge and shield, I put my hope in your word.
Ps 144:1-2 (Jer) Blessed by Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle, my faithful love, my bastion, my citadel, my Saviour; I shelter behind him, my shield…
Ps 150:1 (NIV) …Praise God in his sanctuary…