One thing I ask from the Lord . . . to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
— Psalm 27:4
The word sanctuary can refer to two different things. It describes a place that is holy, set apart for worship. It also describes a place of safety, where someone in danger can go to find shelter and protection.
Psalm 27 helps us understand how the two meanings of this word overlap. When we have received salvation from God, we are called to worship God. We go to the sanctuary to offer God our worship. We do this not for our own sake, but for God’s sake. God is holy and beautiful and calls us to worship him, so we offer God our worship.
But when we give God our worship, we receive a wonderful gift as well. Psalm 27 describes the presence of God as a place of safety. Because God is our Savior, we receive comfort and security in God’s presence. When we go to the sanctuary to worship God, we give God worship, and we receive peace from God.
This is why the psalmist longs to worship God. The beauty of the Lord compels the psalmist to go to the sanctuary of the Lord and worship him.
We can rejoice in following God’s command to worship too. For as we worship God, we receive his comfort, peace blessing, strength, and renewed energy to live for him. God is our stronghold—of whom shall we be afraid?
Beautiful Lord, help me to worship you. May I humbly offer you all my praise. Thank you also for granting me peace and security in your presence. Amen.