Posted by: JennyRain | January 21, 2010

Sanctuary and Dominion

Who is your Sanctuary?

I have been chewing on Psalm 114.2 this morning:

 Judah became God’s sanctuary,
       Israel his dominion.

The first time I ran into this scripture it caught my attention because I was studying a lot about the kingdoms of Judah vs. Israel.

Israel was the Northern Kingdom, Judah the Southern. Both kingdoms disobeyed God and paid severe consequences, yet in Judah I kept reading about a “remnant” that was preserved.

Once more a remnant of the house of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. Isaiah 37:31

Historically the difference between what happened to Israel and Judah is written as follows:

When they conquered Israel, they forced the ten tribes to scatter throughout their empire. For all practical purposes, you might consider this a proto-Diaspora (“diaspora”=”scattering”), except that these Israelites disappear from history permanently; they are called “the ten lost tribes of Israel.” Why this happened is difficult to assess. The Assyrians did not settle the Israelites in one place, but scattered them in small populations all over the Middle East. When the Babylonians later conquered Judah, they, too, relocate a massive amount of the population. However, they move that population to a single location so that the Jews can set up a separate community and still retain their religion and identity. The Israelites deported by the Assyrians, however, do not live in separate communities and soon drop their Yahweh religion and their Hebrew names and identities.

Psalms 114:2 intrigues me because it draws out some differences in the two Kingdoms in their relationship with God.

The definition of Dominion is: 1.the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority. 2. rule; control; domination.3. a territory, usually of considerable size, in which a single rulership holds sway. 4. lands or domains subject to sovereignty or control.

Israel was called God’s “dominion” – His land of governance. The place where His authority reigned. The place where a single ruler – God – was supposed to be exalted (though Israel failed at this time and time again).

The definition of Sanctuary is:  1. a sacred or holy place.  2.Judaism. a.the Biblical tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem. b. the holy of holies of these places of worship. 3. an especially holy place in a temple or church. 4.  the part of a church around the altar; the chancel. 5. a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.  6. immunity afforded by refuge in such a place. 7. any place of refuge; asylum.

Judah was called God’s “sanctuary” – His sacred place. His resting place. His place of refuge.

Each kingdom seemed to have a unique purpose in God’s plan.

They both had a role and God interacted with them through that assigned role. God seemed to act through Israel and dwell in Judah.

I love that because it shows me different desires of the expression of God in our world… action and rule… holiness and sacred dwelling.

Now, I know God dwelt in both places, acted in both places, and He demonstrated both aspects of His character – Sovereign Rule and Dwelling Holiness in both kingdoms at different times – but to call out the different characteristics of each kingdom and God’s relationship to each kingdom in scripture is noteworthy to me.

I adore this scripture.

It tells me so much about God. It shows me about His unique relationship with each of us. I have come back to this scripture time and time again for encouragement and peace.

In my life, I most identify with Judah.

Judah became God’s sanctuary

Where I can, I try to create a safe place for God to dwell in my heart. Some days I succeed much better than others, but my heart’s cry is to create an internal sanctuary for my God.

In my life, I am most uncomfortable with Israel.

 Israel his dominion.

Israel fought God’s dominion quite often. I find myself doing this too. For example, I always know where I am in relation to God by what name I call Him. His names range in my journal from “Father,” to “God,” to “Jesus,” to “Papa,” to “Jehovah,” but the one I struggle with most is “Lord.”

Lord signifies sovereignty and control over my life. It means that I have given God full dominon over my life. Initially in my walk this was simple but after walking with him for so many years, it seems much harder at times to give Him dominion.

There is so much invested.

One would think perhaps that after years, it would be easier to give God dominion over my life, but I still struggle in some areas. In many areas it is much harder.

So I return to sanctuary time and time again… like Judah. Perhaps it in from the safety of the sanctuary of Judah, I can then find God’s dominion…

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.  He’s the King I tell you.”

The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.




  1. This has touched my spirit and my heart so much. I really needed this. It took me 30 years to allow the Lord complete control over my life. I stop questioning him and asking why this and why that. Great post. God Bless You.

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