Many of us have heard about the shekinah glory cloud. I’m sure we all want to be in the room when one ever appears! I’ve heard a lot of teaching on it, which often says that shekinah is the cloud.
As I studied it using my Thompson Chain Reference Bible I would notice, in certain passages in the margin, a note with the word shekinah glory next to it. Interestingly, the word shekinah isn’t actually found in the Bible; the root word it comes from means ‘to dwell’ and shekinah itself is first encountered in rabbinical writings. It is used to describe two specific things meeting at the same time; namely, the presence of God and a dwelling place. A fuller definition of shekinah would be ‘the dwelling place of Him who dwells.’ This definition fits the cloud, but to limit it to the cloud is a mistake. I want to propose that shekinah glory appears in the Bible earlier than we think.
We see the concept of shekinah in Genesis, right at the beginning – there is a dwelling place and God is there, which fits the requirement of a dwelling place of Him who dwells. We have a paradise garden that God lives in – this is shekinah glory.
The next time I propose shekinah glory occurs is in Exodus. Moses receives instructions and builds a tabernacle according to the exact standards of heaven. Estimated at today’s monetary value, the Tabernacle would be valued at around $16 billion! Moses blesses it and it is filled with the presence of God – a dwelling place and the dwelling of God.
Fast forward approximately 500 years and we come to Solomon’s Temple – a 7 year construction estimated to be worth $60 billion in today’s economy. When Solomon blesses it, God’s presence fills the temple and priests cannot stand – another example of the dwelling place of Him who dwells.
In the New Testament the word shekinah doesn’t appear because it is a Hebrew word. However, the concept certainly is and we see it first with Jesus, who the Apostle John says was the word made flesh and dwelt amongst us. In John 1 the Greek could be translated ‘tabernacled’ amongst us. The Word, God, lived in a tent of human skin and we beheld His glory. Jesus Christ is an incredible picture of shekinah glory – the dwelling place of Him who dwells!
But there is more. Paul tells the Corinthians – and us – that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Temples that Jesus raised up. He washed, purified, sanctified us through his death and resurrection. He got us ready, so he could abide in us. We are the dwelling place of Him who dwells! We are an example of shekinah glory! We are the equivalent of a paradise garden that God lives in. We are the equivalent of a $16 billion tabernacle constructed inch-perfectly by Heaven. We are the equivalent of a $60 billion temple. Jesus died to get us ready to be a temple of the Holy Spirit.
We are worth so much more than we ever realise. We are priceless. We have been washed, cleansed, purified and sanctified, so we can carry out our assignment on the earth – to be a dwelling place for Him who dwells.