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Good Morning. 

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” (Genesis 28:16-17)

It is generally accepted that the place where Jacob spent this one night was upon Mount Moriah, where the Temple would be built in the midst of Jerusalem and where the Creator set His name (Deuteronomy 14:24). Judaism believes that the very spot Jacob rested that night was where, centuries later, the Ark of the Covenant would rest. There are some traditions that teach the particular stone that he set at his head was the even ha’shetiyah, the Foundation Stone – the stone upon which God created the rest of the earth. The Midrash Tanchuma says:

“As the navel is set in the center of the human body, so is the land of Israel the navel of the world … situated in the center of the world, and Jerusalem in the center of the land of Israel, and the sanctuary in the center of Jerusalem, and the holy place in the center of the sanctuary, and the ark in the center of the holy place, and the Foundation Stone before the holy place, because from it the world was founded.”

And so when Jacob referred to this place as the “house of God” and the “gate of heaven” it was to indicate that men would come to this place to worship the One and only God. If they could not be there physically they would pray in the direction of Jerusalem because, according to Judaism, upon this mountain there is a portal through which men’s prayers go up to heaven. It is interesting that the prophet Daniel insisted on facing Jerusalem when he prayed (Daniel 6:10) and, to this day, Jews always face toward Jerusalem when reciting the Sh’ma.

Like Jacob, people of faith have a reverential fear of this place and acknowledge that it is unique among all places on earth. One day the Messiah will sit upon His throne and judge the nations from this place. His Word will go out from this place unto all the earth (Isaiah 2:3). But as holy as this place is, Yeshua made clear that there would be a day when the true worshipers of God would not necessarily worship upon this mountain but would worship Him in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).

Thankfully, we aren’t required to go to Jerusalem in order to reach out to our Heavenly Father but can call upon Him wherever we are and can expect that He will hear us. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and when we assemble in His name, wherever on this earth we may be, He has promised to be in our midst. One day we will all go up to Jerusalem to worship the King but for now let us worship Him wherever we are — at home, at work or in our fellowships. Let us declare that, “Surely the LORD is in this place.”

Blessings and Shalom,  




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