Torah-based knowledge teaches, “G-d is not placed within the world but rather the world is within Him.” Yet at the same time we are taught, “The purpose of creation is to provide a dwelling place for G-d.” So which is it?
These two statements mirror Solomon who went to great lengths to build a dwelling place for Hashem, yet asked, “Would G-d truly dwell on earth? Behold, the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, and surely not this Temple that I have built!” I Kings 8:27.
It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around the reality that the entire universe exists within G-d. Perhaps that is the point of having a Temple. G-d truly is outside any realm that man can fathom. So how kind, how practical, how utterly wonderful that He gave man instructions to build place on earth where He graciously comes down to our level and draws us up to Him.
During Elul, we are reminded that the King dwells in the field. It is a time to remember that the holy, magnificent, unfathomable, literally larger-than-life King wants to have a one-on-one intimate relationship with us. Yet, the real key, the secret to the “King is in the field teaching,” is that we are supposed to think of our relationship with Hashem like that all of the time. But hey, we are only human, and here we are in Chesvan and maybe we've forgotten. We've forgetten to cultivate intimacy with Hashem. What’s even sadder is the fact that so many people in the world, don’t just forget, they don’t even know that 1.) the G-d of Israel is the One true G-d, and 2.) they can have a vibrant, real, life-changing relationship with Him.
This is why G-d knew we would need a Temple. Did you get that? WE NEED a Temple. It’s not just that G-d wants one, He knows that we need one. Remember Jacob’s dream about the ladder that reached heaven? He had that dream while sleeping upon the Temple Mount. When he awoke he said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of G-d, and this is the gate of heaven.” Jacob was given a visual of the place where heaven meets earth; where spiritual meets physical.
The Temple was and will be the #1 spot on earth where man can connect to G-d. Don’t misunderstand. Man can connect to G-d anywhere. Study of Torah, prayer, meditation, worship, kind deeds; all of these are ways to connect to Him. Each individual has the potential to create a dwelling place for G-d. But as Jacob said, the House of G-d is a gateway like no other where man can reach up and draw heaven down to earth. It is the lightening rod to heaven.
The impact of G-d's Presence being drawn into the Temple will, of course, change everything, “My dwelling place will be among them; I will be a G-d to them and they will be a people to Me. Then the nations will know that I am Hashem Who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuarly will be among them forever,” Ezekiel 37:27. The world is desperate to know Hashem. The world is desperate for the Temple.