I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory (63:2 NIV).
We are looking at the believer’s experience of God in the sanctuary. As already said, to David and other law covenant believers, this sanctuary was the physical tabernacle or temple. For us in Christ’s new and better covenant, Christ’s people in union with him by faith form this spiritual temple. It is the experience of the glorious God that is the key to everything that David writes in this psalm. This is one reason to guard carefully a Biblical way of thinking and acting about the church. When we realize that God is in the gatherings of his people, we can behold his power and glory! We will see him living and shining with glory in his chosen and dearly loved ones (cf. Colossians 3:12).
“Why does David thirst for God above everything else…? The answer is simply because God is who and what He is… The glory of God, to be in the presence of God! There is nothing that is comparable to this!” (Lloyd-Jones, Enjoying the Presence of God, p. 103) In his inner being, David has acquired a sense of God’s excellent nature. His soul is in love with God, for he knows personally something of the majesty of Almighty God. “This man has been in the presence of God. He has seen something of the God’s glory and he says, ‘There is nothing which is of any value by contrast with this and nothing that I may receive from the whole universe is of any value compared with it.’”
O Lord, I would delight in Thee
And on Thy care depend
To Thee in every trouble flee
My best, my only Friend…
He that has made my heaven secure
Will here all good provide
While Christ is rich, can I be poor?
What can I want beside?
O Lord, I cast my care on Thee
I triumph and adore
Henceforth my great concern shall be
To love and please Thee more.
(By John Ryland)
To review briefly, we ask, “What does a believer do in a desert place, when all around is or seems to be bleak and barren? David was in a desert place, but while there, he called upon the Lord. His circumstances could not separate him from his God, and neither did David act like the circumstances had. He had had the experience of seeing God’s power and glory in the sanctuary. When he was in the desert, he had a fresh, spiritual experience of God—the experience of praise.
Grace and peace, David