For reading & meditation: Philippians 4:2-9
"' if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." (v.8)
We continue to look at the dramatic change in the life of the psalmist when he entered into the sanctuary. It is important to realise that it was not merely the physical act of entering the sanctuary that brought about change. That was important, but something else happened that was even more important. Listen again to how he puts it: "[When] I entered the sanctuary ' then I understood their final destiny" (Psa. 73:17). The word to note is "understood". In the presence of God the psalmist was given clear understanding. This is an extremely important point and one which cannot be emphasised too strongly: what he found in the sanctuary was not merely a nice feeling but a new understanding. He was put right in his thinking. He did not merely forget his problem for a little while - he found a solution. The idea that many Christians have of the house of God or Christian fellowship is that it is a good place to go in order to forget one's troubles for a while. They are soothed by the music and the singing, or perhaps, in some churches, by the beauty of the architecture, and they come away saying, "What a lovely feeling I get whenever I go to church." There is nothing wrong with that as far as it goes, of course, but the real issue is this: has anything happened to their minds? The psalmist was not changed by the architecture of the Temple; he was changed when his thinking was put right: "Then I understood their final destiny." If the practice of our faith does nothing more than excite our emotions and fails to give us a better understanding of God and His ways, then we will be lop-sided Christians.
O Father, save me from becoming a lop-sided Christian. Give me not only joy to thrill my emotions but understanding to guide my intellect. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For further study:
1. What did the psalmist meditate on in the Temple?
2. What are we to consider?