וְאָהַבְתָּ ‘And you shall love’
Jerusalem~ The Place of God’s Name
The Israelites miraculously were delivered from Egypt. They were on their way to the ‘Promised Land’ ~ the land God promised to Avraham and then to his son Yitzhak and to his grandson Yaakov. While still in the desert, the Lord spoke to Moshe of a place that they would come to one day. The place He was leading them. The place of His choosing. The place that He would put His Name.
“But you are to seek the place the Lord your G-d will choose… to put His Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go.” Deuteronomy 12:5
It was not just any place. It was specifically chosen and would play an important part in the continuing relationship between God and His people. All of God’s future plans for His children centered, not just around the Promised Land but more specifically a city.
The city that He would mark with His Name.
“I will give one tribe to his son so that David will always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I choose to put my Name.” I Kings 11:36
By practice, we know that when you write your name on an object, you are telling others that it belongs to you. Those who do not know you may not know to whom the item belongs. If your name is written on your jacket collar, if you should forget it somewhere, someone need only look inside and see your name and know that it belongs to you. So it is with the things of God. He is particular about His precious possessions.
He has His own way of marking what belongs to him~ of placing His Name.
The Name of God by which Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov knew Him was Shaddai
The first letter, the shin, is often used to represent the whole Name of God. God commanded a special way for the priests of the Temple to put His Name on the people every day:
“The LORD bless you and keep you, the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. And they (the priests) will put my Name on the children of Israel and I will bless them.” Numbers 6: 24-27
The priests were commanded to bless the people with the purpose of putting the Name of God on them. As they recited this blessing, they would hold their two hands up high together, making the shape of the shin with their fingers. (see photo) This blessing was chanted over the children of Israel every day, thus putting God’s name on them every day~ renewing His relationship with them as His special possession.
The name of God as represented by the shin is able to be seen written on Jerusalem. As we look at a map of Jerusalem, we see three valleys running north to south. The darker shaded areas to the left of the numbers on the map below show the valleys. #1 is the Hinnom Valley. #2 is the Tyropoeon Valley. #3 is the Kidron Valley.
We won’t go into the past and future significance of these valleys at this time. What we want to notice is the way in which the three valleys relate to each other. As you can see, geographically the three valleys form the letter shin.
In an almost hidden and mysterious way, God has put His Name on Jerusalem. Just as He said He would. His Name was there before us. His Name was there before Moshe. His Name was there before Avraham. And His Name will be there always.
A reminder of His greatness, a testimony to His sovereignty, an immovable sign of His covenant with the children of Israel~ the Jewish people.
The command He gave Moshe still stands for the Jewish people:
“….you are to seek the place the L-rd your G-d will choose… to put His Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go.”
Nissim & Hadassah
Hadassah and Nissim, her accountant husband, live in a settlement just outside Jerusalem with their dog Molly. After making Aliyah (immigrating) from the U.S. with their five children in 1989, they are now semi-retired and open their home to guests and those wishing to make Aliyah. When not busy with their 16 ‘GrandWonders’, they enjoy a quiet life of study, prayer and learning to serve the LORD.
From the Editor (Steve Martin, Love For His People Founder):
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