Deuteronomy 12:5, Only at the place that YHVH will choose … to place his name there … shall you seek out his Presence [habitation] and come there. The word Presence (as translated in The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash) is the Hebrew word sheken (shin-kaf-nun soffit; Strong’s H7933/TWOT 2387) and as a verb means “to dwell or tabernacle,” and as a noun it means “dwelling, or tabernacle.” According to TWOT, the verb is used 129 times in the Tanakh (OT) of which 43 times YHVH is the subject; that is, it describes where he dwells (e.g., on Mount Zion [Ps 74:2], among his people [Exod 25:8], or in Jerusalem [Zech 8:3]). On several occasions, it refers to his divine and glorious Presence dwelling among his people (e.g., Exod 24:16; Ps 85:9). The word mishkan, which was the portable tabernacle, sanctuary or earthly dwelling place of the glorious Presence of YHVH among his people, is derived from this word. What is YHVH saying in this verse? Namely, he is telling his people NOT to go just anywhere to worship him, but to go only where he has placed his name. How do we know where that is? It will be where his manifest glory and Presence is to be found! Where you fellowship and worship him collectively with other believers is the manifest glory and Presence of YHVH there to confirm that YHVH has placed his name there? If not, why not? Now let’s read Psalm 63:1–4,
O Elohim, you re my El; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see your power and thy glory, so as I have seen you in the sanctuary. Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you. Thus will I bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in your name. (emphasis added)
Let us briefly analyze the bolded portion of this psalm of David in light of the above discussion. To see is the generic Hebrew verb ra’ah meaning literally “to see.” The word power (Heb. oz) means “might, power and strength.” This too is a generic term.
The next word is glory, which is the Hebrew word kavod (Strong’s H3519/TWOT 943 d,e) literally meaning “heavy or weighty.” In this instance, in reference to YHVH, it refers to “the visible manifestation of God” and his glory and is often associated with his visible manifest Presence within the tabernacle (TWOT, vol. 2, p. 943).
The next word in verse two to analyze is have seen, which is an entirely different word in the Hebrew, even though it is the same English word (to see) as used earlier in the verse. Seen is the Hebrew word chazah (Strong’s H2372/TWOT 633) meaning “to see as a seer/prophet in an ecstatic way with intelligence, to prophesy, to have a vision, to gain spiritual understanding.”
The last word is sanctuary, which is the Hebrew word kodesh and is the name of two rooms in the mishkan/tabernacle: the Kodesh (Set-apart/Holy Place) and the Kodesh haKodashim (Most Set-Apart Place/Holy of Holies).
What can we gather from the wealth of information found in this Psalm? When David hungered and thirsted for YHVH as if he were about to die of thirst he talked about seeking the Presence of YHVH in the Set-Apart Place where YHVH’s name and glorious and manifest Presence were to be found. There he could literally experience the Presence of YHVH and gain prophetic insight and understanding.
Again, are you experiencing this kind of breakthrough in your daily walk with YHVH, and in the congregation or fellowship where you attend each Sabbath and at YHVH’s appointed-time feasts? If not, why not? What can you do to experience the intimacy with the Father that David experienced and describes here?