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But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings … and there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice … you and your households, in which the Lord your God has blessed you. (Deuteronomy 12:5-7)

As we mentioned in the previous devotion, the Hebrew term, ha’makom – translated as “the place” that God had chosen to place His name — refers to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, better known as Mount Moriah. This is the place Israel was destined to go to in order to worship the LORD with their offerings. The use of this term also hints at other significant events that have occurred in this area. For instance, it hints at when Abraham took Isaac to Mount Moriah to be presented as an offering. As it is written, “Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off” (Genesis 22:4).

As we pointed out previously, this was not just a place but it was the place — the place God had selected to be the backdrop for something very important. In other words, the place He directed Abraham to go to with his offering was the same place He directed Israel to go to with their offerings. It was the Place He had determined to establish as His Throne on earth so that His people might come to Him in adoration. That being said, there has been no Temple in “the place” for two millennia, and so we must address another truth hinted at by the term ha’makom.

Without His Presence in “the place,” the Temple was just “a place.” This concept is emphasized by the fact that, as I said, there is no Temple today. Nevertheless, the One who cannot be “contained by heaven and the heaven of heavens” much less a Temple, is every where. As it is written, “If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there” (Psalm 139:8). Therefore, it is understood in rabbinic thought that, due to its meaning, ha’makom also serves as a “name” for the Creator. In other words, because He is everywhere simultaneously, He is in every place, thus He is The Place.

What does that mean for us? Regardless of where we go or what we are going through, the Almighty is already there, in fact, has already been there and knows just what we need for the circumstance. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring but the One who dwells in eternity has already ordained our steps. So as we contemplate our next step, let us remember that the Almighty is with us and that He goes before us into that place that we can only behold from a distance.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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