Place That God Chooses
There are scriptures that tell us that God commands His people to rejoice with Him in the place that He shall choose to place His name.
Deut.16:11. “And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and thy Levite that is within thy gates, and the fatherless and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place His name there”.
What is God telling us to do in this verse and in other verses that are of the same objective? It is important to check the meaning of the words used to get a better understanding of what is being said. In this case, the Hebrew word for place in Strong’s Concordance is the Hebrew word maqowm number 4725 and its meaning is a condition of the body or mind. Its root word is number 6965 and means to rise, abide, accomplish, be clear, confirm, and continue. Is there anything in verse 11 that suggest that places his name in a town, city or country? It seems that some men have interpreted God’s word from their own understanding. It is useful to note at this point that God uses the same word for place (maqowm) in verse two, telling us how to take the Passover. Yet the instruction in both verses would require the same obedience.
Deut. 16:16, “ Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty:”
Why does God use the word empty? When we examine the word empty we find it is the Hebrew word reyqam. It is number 7387 in Strong’s concordance and means emptily; ineffectually and is from the root word 7386 and means empty or worthless. To understand what is meant by, “in the place where God places his name”, we need to follow the leading of God and his people.
The Journey out of Egypt.
We read of the Exodus of God’s people out of Egypt, or the world, to a place or habitation of their own. This place of God’s leading was first mentioned to Abram, the grandfather of these people.
Genesis 12:1, For the Lord said unto Abram, (before his name was changed to Abraham), get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house, unto a land that I will shew thee.
The land which was to be given to Abram was not realized in the Book of Genesis. It should be noted that God never forces His will, lords it over, or push people. His purpose is in leading by His very nature, love, and having His people cooperate with Him. The nation drifted down to Egypt of their own accord where we read of the same promise given to Moses as was given to Abram.
Exodus 3:8, And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land unto a good land and large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
These commands given by God are no different than those of a parent today who wants what’s best for their children. If the children at that time had done what was required and listened to and had a sincere heart toward God, then the blessings for the nation would have come to past.
Deut. 4:8, “And what nation is there so great, that hath statues and judgments as righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day”?
God’s laws and judgments when acted upon would bring blessings to a nation collectively or to any individually.
They could have been a light to whomever they came in contact with, but instead they wanted to follow the examples of the nations around them and eventually ended up again in captivity or they were scattered. God had given them a starting commandment of loving Him, not for His good but for theirs and their children’s good.
Love is an emotion that cannot be forced or ordered. It has to come from the heart. God wanted to raise His nation up as an example of His stature and bring knowledge and blessings to those around them, but they had their part to do. Their part would have been to believe Him and trust Him.
So where did God choose to place His name?
Deut. 7:6 “ For thou art a holy people unto the lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth”. And verse 7, “The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor chose you because you were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people”.
God wanted nothing more for his people than the blessings which would occur if the people would have allowed God to be their king and followed his leading which would have had a positive influence in their lives. But the people refused and had the same attitude toward Him that they had at Mount Sinai under Moses.
Exodus 20:19, “ And they said under Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us less we die.
The people didn’t want God to speak to them directly, and now their complaint was against Samuel, a Judge of the people. They said they wanted a king who they could see and follow like the nations that were around them.
1st Samuel 8:7 “And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them”.
First His name was placed in Shiloh but because of the priests rebellion, He had to remove His name and allow Shiloh to be destroyed. He then placed His name in Jerusalem and after the days of David and Salomon, because of the people’s rebellion, the people were scattered and Jerusalem was destroyed.
During the wanderings of the nation, the Temple of God was made of stone and mortar. A change of the old covenant to the new covenant reveals that there is a change also of the temple.
Today, God’s temple where He dwells is made of living stones and was first instituted after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension, as we read in John 20:22, into His disciples inwardly for their living. This was an earnest of the Spirit. On the day of Pentecost with 120 of His disciples, God’s Spirit was given mightily in the house and upon His disciples for their work. ( Acts 2:1–4 )
1 Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as living stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:16, “ And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God and they shall be my People.
If we are the Temple of God, how does God dwell in us? Man is made of three parts, body, soul and spirit, 1st Thessalonians 5:24. God dwells within us through His Spirit mingling with our spirit.
Ephesians 2:23, In whom ye are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
God’s habitation is where He lives. This place of residence that He chooses is not a brick and mortar building but within every one of His people. This habitation for God is emphasized in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 12:5; as well as in the New Testament, John 14:2; 15:7. Christ and His Father abides within us, His habitation is within us as His Temple. This is the place that He chooses, within our spirit.
John 4:23, But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
The spirit within us is how we make contact with God who is Spirit. Our spirit is the place that God chooses.
John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you , that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you ask of the Father in My name , He may give you.
Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. verse 29, “ Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls”.
Some believe that the temple of God is going to go back to the days of buildings of stone and mortar which has no Biblical foundation. So where is God’s temple Today?
1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you”?
Revelation 22: And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.
What is God’s name.?
Revelation 19:13, And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called the word of God.
During the wanderings of Israel, they were to keep God’s feast days. Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles were a shadow of better things to come.
Hebrews 8:6, “But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant which was established upon better promises.
The people were to appear before God on His appointed times so they would grow with His knowledge and His truth and not be empty vessels but full of His word’s and teachings. When all men utilize the spirit within them for God’s habitation, we will all be taught the same oneness and unity God requires.
God chooses those who want Him in their lives and expects them to learn of his ways and to pass those ways on to others.
He doesn’t want us to be empty or worthless of his knowledge.