Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is There
Topic: God is There Scripture: Ezekiel 48:35
Jehovah Shammah- The Lord Is There
Two weeks ago, we talked a little about Israel’s journeyfrom Egypt to the promised land. In route to the promise land they were attacked by the Amalekites. God gave them the victoryto that battle and many more. Eventually the Israelites made it to the promised land, the land of Canaan, with Joshua as their leaderjust as the Lord had promised.
31 Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.
10And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. 11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt.
From 1245 BCthe estimated year that Joshua died to 587BC the year that king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, Israel’s sinwould become increasingly greater. That’s about 658 years of disobediencebefore God finally had enough.
God had raised up judges, yet they did not listen to the judges they worshipped other gods. God raised up prophetsand again they did not listento the prophets.
Up to this point God’s glory had been associated with the arkof the covenant which had been a part of Israel’s legacysince theexodusfrom Egypt. Having the ark among them was a sign of God’s favoras His presence dwelt among men. In the days of Joshua, the walls of Jerichocame crashing down because the glory of the Lord (ark) had gone before them encircling the city once a day for seven days.
In the days of King David, David has the ark brought to Mount Zion. When the ark arrives, David is so excitedthat he begins to dance before the Lordwith all his might. The ark was associated with God’s glory. God’s glory was associated with His favor and good pleasure.
When Solomonbecame king, he built an exquisite templefor God to dwell in. Until this time, God’s glory never had an earthly houseto dwell in. Furthermore, Solomon knew that God’s glory could not be containedin a temple built by man. But God did bless Solomon and promised to put His name there forever.
His glory or His presencehas been abiding there sinceSolomon had built and dedicated the temple.
1 Kings 8:10-11
10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
God then gives Solomon this warning.
1 Kings 9:6
6 But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become a heap of ruins.
God does warn Solomon, and the Israelites of what would happento them if they servedand worshippedother gods. God promises to cut them off, cast them outof His sight, and that this temple would become a heap of ruins. This is exactly what happens.
In Chapter 8God shows Ezekiel the wickednessof the Israelites. The priest were offering incents as worshipto false gods in the templewhich was created to worship the one true God.
In Ezekiel 10 we find one of the greatest tragediesthat is written in the Bible. It explains how the Glory of God had lifted from the temple. In other words, God’s glory was no longer in the templeas it had been in the past.
This signified God’s displeasurewith His people. If the glory of God was no longer there that meant His favor,provision, or His protectionwas no longer thereeither. When the glory of God departed then that opened the doorfor the Babyloniansto come in and destroy Jerusalem and the temple. The Babylonians could not do any harm while the glory of God remained.
God’s wrath burnedtoward His people for their sin of idolatry. God raised up Nebuchadnezzar Kingof Babylon, to invade, destroy and plunder Jerusalem and the temple in 587 B.C.
Many were killed by the sword, others by famineand pestilenceand yet others were taken away captive to Babylon. The prophet Ezekielwas among those captives.
This happened because they had broken the first and greatest commandment,
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Because they did this, many would die, many would become exiles living in Babylonand their beloved city and temple would be completely destroyed.
But there was hope. God had showed Ezekiel another vision. This vision comes to Ezekiel nearly 14 yearsfrom the time that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians. It lay in ruins, it was desolate, uninhabited.
The last visionwas very disturbing, this time the vision was about a New templebeing built and people were once again offering sin offerings and grain offeringsto the Lord.
You could read about it in chapters 40-48.
The greatest thingabout this visionis that it came with a promise. Lets’ look at verse 35.
And the name of the city from that time on shall be, “The Lord Is There.”
The glory of God had departed, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalemand the temple, now hope is giventhat the Lord will once again be with His people.
The new place is to be named “Jehovah Shammah” The Lord is There.
John the Revelatorhas a similar visionas Ezekiel had. He too sees a new placeand he describes this new place as The New Jerusalem.
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
The main difference is that John does not see any temple. In John’s Revelation there is nothingthat separates Godfrom his people. God is found to dwell amongst His people. In both stories, hope is given that “The Lord is There.”
The exiles living in Babylonthat heard Ezekiel’s account, could anticipate with hopea day when they would once again make sacrificesto their God and that God would be there for them.
We too can look forward to a daywhen we will be living with our Godand He will be a God to us
That is the hope that we have as believers.
- But what about now? Do we have that same hope that “The Lord Is There,” right now
Absolutely. As we have learned Jehovah Rohi, Nissi, Shalom, are attributes of who Godis. He is peace, He is our banner, He is our shepherd. The same is true with Jehovah Shammah. It is an attribute of God “The Lord is There.” It’s part of who He is, He is There.
The fact of the matter is that He is always there. David understood this.
7Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
The truth of the matter is that God is there. He is there when you are surfing the web, He is there when you are with your friends, He is there when you are at work, He is there when you are in the privacy of your home. There is nowhere that you can go to escapewhere God won’t be there. Wherever your there is, God is there. He is Jehovah Shammah- The Lord is there.
The priest thought that God could not seethem as they worshipped false gods, but He was there. If you think that God does not knowwhat you are doing, you’re wrong He’s there. Because He is there He knows when we do goodand He knows when we sin. The Lord is there. We must realize that sin separates us from Godand that continued disobediencewill have consequences.
Perhaps some of you feel like you have blown it just asthe Israelites have blown it. You might not have worshipped a false godthat was made by man, but you have put other things in place of God.You have turned to other things as your source of joy and fulfillment.
Perhaps like the Israelites you find yourself distant from the presence of God. Or maybe things in your life just seem to be unravelling. The Babylonians (your enemies)are coming, and you’re having a difficult time finding evidence of God’s favor, protection, or provisionfor your life. Not to say that it is not there, but that you’re having difficulty seeing it.
1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
He is not only Jehovah Shammah when you do wrong, He is Jehovah Shammah when you call out to Him for help. It is an attribute of God, Jehovah Shammah- The Lord is There