If we love righteousness, we will hate wickedness. We cannot compromise with it. And notice also the beauty that goes with righteousness: the fragrance of myrrh and aloes and cassia and the melody of strings from a place of ivory palaces.
You’re in the midst of trouble, pressures are against you, and you don’t see any way out. But there is a way up, a way to God: “Sacrifice thank offerings.” That sounds senseless, doesn’t it?
Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms are toppling, war is threatening on every hand, but in the midst of it God speaks to His people and says, “Be still, be quiet, don’t be upset, don’t get restless, don’t get nervous. Be still and know that I am God.
David speaks about a relationship to God that’s parallel to physical thirst. He says, “My soul thirsts for God. When can I go and meet with God?” Do you know what it is to thirst for God? Have you ever felt that deep, inner longing that cannot be satisfied with anything less than God Himself?
When the psalmist speaks about burnt offering and meal offering and sin offering and so on, he’s speaking about the externals of religion and he’s saying, in essence, “That isn’t what God is really after. We may give all the externals and yet miss the real point.”
I think that to the majority of people religion is something to endure. It’s a kind of painful duty that they have to go through with, but that’s not the way God wants us to experience Him.
We come to Him for refuge because we’re oppressed, because we cannot handle our problems. We take refuge in the shadow of His wings, but when we get in there under the shadow of His wings, then we discover that He’s provided much more for us than mere refuge.