One of the Hebrew names used for God in the Old Testament is Ha-Makom which means “The Place.” This idea of God sometimes can seem to limit the omnipresence of God since our view of a place is one-sided; an example of this is that if God is in this place he must not be somewhere else.
However I see this as an affirmation of God’s presence in every ordeal. Jesus on numerous occasions told his disciples and the people around them if they wanted to know how God works, thinks and views things, we just have to look at Jesus. The name Ha-Makom (The Place) brings a revelation that in every moment, God is a part of it, God is over shadowing, God is present. Though this can be reassuring it can also be scary, it can also bring a feeling of condemnation; a big brother is watching type of feeling. Maybe this Ha-Makom is a way of God understanding us. A way of God stepping down to us and saying, “It’s okay.”
Jesus had a famous encounter with a women caught in adultery, this women was hauled out of the act that she was committing. While sitting in the dirt, in her filth, in her mistakes and shortcomings, the Bible says He, “stooped down.” How beautiful of a thing it is to have a God who will stoop down to a women who is sitting in the destruction of her own life.
The Greek word used there when Jesus stooped down means to become level. He “got on her level” so she wouldn’t have to deal with it alone. This is what being a Christian is about, this is the message that has been lost, this is the gospel at heart.
The pitfall of Modern mainline Christianity is that we have forgotten about this sinless Jesus who doesn’t just reach for the sinners…He sits with them. He chooses to sit with them not in esteem but down to their lowly level, a level of mistakes, a level of humanity.
Seeing this we can get a visual example using the life of Jesus into the word and meaning of Ha-Makom. God becoming Ha-Makom to Abraham was a place of understanding and empowerment. God revealing himself to Moses as Ha-Makom is God’s unconditional love, yet support when we doubt, an when we fall short. God referring to himself as Ha-Makom means that when I fall, he is there, when I doubt he is present, and when I can’t look at myself, when life gets too rough, I have the promise that God will not stand back, he will get his hands dirty, he will cry with me.
If you’re at this road in your life asking if God is even here… know that God hasn’t been there, he is there….right beside you. Maybe this Ha-Makom name God gave himself is a way of Him chasing us, God pursuing man.