Shekinah: Pitch Your Tent

Week 2.tabernacleIt’s Monday!

My Hebrew word for the week is Shekinah. I first heard it in a worship song and recently took the time to look up the significance. Shekinah was a term rabbis associated with shakhan, a biblical term used in relation to God, meaning “to dwell.”

Although not a term spelled out in the Bible, the early concept is taken from passages describing the visitation of God’s presence in the tabernacle and with the people of Israel.

The Shekinah was progressively revealed throughout history with the arrival of Jesus on the earth and the Pentecost outpouring. When the veil between the Old Covenant and the new was torn, the pieces all fell together pointing to a personal God. Finally, instead of bulls and lambs and blood sacrifice and temple courts, we were set for success. He became the sacrifice, so we could be the tabernacle He lives in. Even if humanity screwed up relationship in the beginning, God always finds a way to set things right so we are never separated from Shekinah again.

Some of my favorite meanings associated with Shekinah:

  • Dwelling or settling 
  • “He caused to dwell” or even to “pitch one’s tent.
  • Synonymous with the presence of God
  • Root word refers to birds nesting.
  • Feminine gender noun- viewed as the feminine aspect or mother in God/ a dove

Although God’s glory may be somewhat muted on the earth, (we couldn’t bear the full measure) I gladly welcome Shekinah to lovingly “infect” and transform my humanity.

We might wonder why we need to ask God to come if he’s already with us or why we pray if he already knows our thoughts. Human relationships are only a dim reflection of God’s desire for intimacy with us, but if I don’t interact and speak with my husband, our relationship will die. It’s only through upkeep that intimacy happens.

The entire Bible could be summed up as God’s great pursuit of man’s affections and man’s journey of learning God’s affection for him. The fact that I know God lives in me and is always with me doesn’t minimize my need for communication and relationship.

If we don’t proactively invest in Christ, the enemy will invest in us. Whatever inhabits my mind is where my thoughts will perch on when they are at ease. If our minds are submerged in lies and negativity, our reality will reflect those beliefs.

On pitching one’s tent and birds nesting:

When I ask Shekinah to come, I am in essence inviting God to inhabit me. If I continually immerse myself in Shekinah, my mind will be trained to rest on His thoughts by default. Any thought that doesn’t make that cut won’t have a resting place.

God is no tyrant; He will not force loyalty. Will you join me in letting your fears, doubts, and weakness be transformed with sweet Shekinah presence?

© Brenda Kanagy

We Wait for You (Shekinah Glory) lyrics

+ a youtube link to listen if you like.

We wait for You
We wait for You
We wait for You
To walk in the room

Here we are standing in Your presence
Here we are standing in Your presence
Shekinah glory come down, Shekinah glory come down

Release the fullness of Your spirit
Shekinah glory come, Shekinah glory come

You move, and we want more
You speak, and we want more
You move, and we want more
We want the fullness

Release the fullness of Your spirit
Shekinah glory come, Shekinah glory come

The Lord has given us freedom
Given us freedom
Given us joy

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