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  • Writer's pictureRandy McKenzie

Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord Who Is There

When you pray, you can address your Heavenly Father as Jehovah-Shammah. Try it the next time you bow your head. He is there, near you, with you, ever present. When you pray, your words don’t have to travel millions of miles into space to reach God. He is right there in the same room with you, as close as your own spirit, closer than a brother. He is your Jehovah-Shammah.

God’s omnipotence (all-powerful nature) is as necessary to our daily lives as electricity is to a light bulb. As human beings, if we aren’t connected to the power lines of God’s omnipotent grace, we’re in deep trouble. And if we aren’t living daily in His power, we’re poor testimonies of the Christian faith. We need His power for victorious Christian living and effective Christian service.

When we align our lives to His perfect will, we have access to His power.

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. 2 Peter 1:3

The name "Jehovah-Shammah" may very well be the most exciting and comforting name God has given us. Why? Because in "Jehovah -Shammah" is the promise and pledge of God completing the work He began in us at creation, to bring us to our final rest and glory; for as the Catechism says: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."

The word "Shammah" is derived from the Hebrew word "sham", which means "there" or "at that place". Jehovah-Shammah is the last name God revealed through His Old Testament prophets.

In the historic setting in which it's given, this name reassured Israel that God had not abandoned them during their 70-year period of Babylonian captivity, and that there would eventually be a restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple.

Ezekiel's extended vision of their future indicates that Israel will one day be redeemed, sanctified, and returned to the land. A new temple will be built, and Jerusalem, which had been left desolate with the departure of the LORD, will be called Jehovah-Shammah as the LORD will again be there (Ezekiel 48:35).

35 The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The LORD Is There." 35 “The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be 'The LORD Is There.

48:35 ESV

That is a powerful promise to the people of Israel but what does it say to us?

It says the Lord is there - speaking of a future time and a distant place.

It also says the Lord is here - speaking of the present time and this place, here, within us.

 Ezekiel is speaking to a proud people living with the memory of a covenant relationship with a God who had rescued them from oppression and made extraordinary promises about their place in the world and their future. They had seen many mighty miracles, established a prosperous and peaceful nation and expected their God-given king to rule the world. And then it had all gone horribly wrong, their sin and apostasy had led to the country being ransacked and huge chunks of the population being ethnically cleansed to Babylon and other nations.

They are sitting by the rivers (Kebar) of Babylon, weeping, remembering Jerusalem (Psalm 137:1), wondering how they could have got it so wrong. They are a long way from home, alone, afraid, captive. Without a temple and a walled city, they are losing their identity, pride and self-esteem. They have no hope. So they think about home.

Have you ever done this? Have you ever looked around you and thought, we've lost it, switched on the news and said to yourself, this is a mess. How could we have got it so wrong?

God says to the people of Israel, I am here, I am waiting, there is a plan and future - how are you going to respond?

God says the same to you. I love you, I am reaching out to you, I have given my Son, Jesus, to die for you, to make a way back to me. Are you going to acknowledge your sin, that you have turned away from me, are you going to repent, turn around, come back? There is hope, there is a home and an inheritance for you.

The promise is for us, for you and for me. God is there, not just in a future place but here and now. Not in a different country in a different city at a different time.

But in our present, in our country and in our lives.

The promise that God is there fills me with hope.

Hope gives us a direction to face - facing Him, going home.

Hope gives us a purpose to live - to see Jesus make His home among us.

Hope gives us a vision for the future - to see His Kingdom come.

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