We Must ‘Seek the Place’

Yael Eckstein  |  August 3, 2021

Two women lifting their hands up in praise as they pray.

But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go… — Deuteronomy 12:5

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Re’eh, which means “see,” from Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17.

When I was a little girl, I would hear about all the great miracles in the Bible and I would be jealous. Why did the people who lived back then get to see the splitting of the Red Sea, the amazing power of the Ten Plagues, and the voice of God at Mount Sinai? Even as an adult, I sometimes wonder, “If God wants the whole world to know Him, why doesn’t He just reveal Himself like He did in biblical times?”

But the older I get and the more I think about it, I realize that, as amazing as these overt miracles are, this is not how God wants to be known. God could force the world to know Him, but then we would not be full participants in the relationship. God wants us to seek Him out, to find Him, and to choose to have faith in Him.

‘Seek the Place’

We see the same idea regarding the Temple in Jerusalem. In our Torah portion today, God told Israel that they must build the Temple in the place that He would choose, but He didn’t tell them where that place was. All He told them was He would choose the place “from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go.” 

God could have told the children of Israel exactly where to build the Temple. Instead, He told them to “seek the place.”

I believe that the same is true of the personal temple in our hearts, that place inside each of us where we find God. Of course, He could reveal Himself to us in a way that would overwhelm us, and we would never question our faith. He could make it easy.

But God wants us to seek Him. By seeking Him, we show God our love for Him and our faith in Him. When we seek God and find Him, He dwells within us. Like the Temple in Jerusalem, in our hearts we become the place that He has chosen.

Your Turn:

What has happened in your life that helped you seek and find God? How did the search for Him change you?

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