In the previous posting on the Trinity, I noted that the word was extra-biblical, but the concept is scripturally sound. Similarly the word “Shekinah” (שכינה) is not to be found in the biblical text, but this “settling” of the divine presence is clearly evident in the annals of God.
The term was coined in rabbinic literature to express the presence of God in the tabernacle and temple. This presence was observable to the children of the promise in the form of clouds, thundering and fire (see Leviticus 9:23-24 and I Kings 8:10-11), but first appeared at the exodus from Egypt ” . . . the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people (Exodus 13: 20-22).” This was a real presence, a prefiguring of Emmanuel “God with us.”
This glorious presence of God was so great that 2 Chronicles 5: 13-14 says “Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” This divine glory can begin to be grasped by considering that when Moses was in God’s presence that he (Moses) glowed with the after wash of the glory. Moses only say the back of God! God’s presence, His full splendor is too great for man! In his vision of Christ enthroned John writes: “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead (Revelation 1: 14-17a KJV).” Yet, it rested in the tabernacle and temple.
Again, some argue we should use Bible words for Bible things. Okay, there is no “Shekinah” word, but there is a Skekinah presence: a real dwelling, abiding of God with His people.
Do you fell His presence? Remember, He has promised to abide In You. “Abide in me, and I will abide in you. . . (John 15:4 NIV).” Feel His Glory!