JEHOVAH – SHAMMAH  the Lord is There

      “Mommy, will you please leave the tent flap open so I can see God?”
 How awesome it must have been to simply go outside and look toward the Tabernacle to see a visible representation of God’s presence!   In the daytime, a pillar of cloud.   At night, a pillar of fire.   Shade in the daytime for a very hot, unforgiving desert sun, nightlight at night, providing both warmth and light.

     Though this shikineh glory of the Lord was the first visual presence of the Lord, the name, Jehovah-Shammah is first used in Ezekiel 48.

     This prophecy comes about 14 years after the Babylonians swept in and delivered punishment to the wayward Israelites.   For many years prior to this event, Israel had fallen down a slippery slope of destruction.   From the golden reign of David and early years of Solomon, they seemed to grow complacent and even arrogant in their position as “the apple of God’s eye.”  They slipped other gods into their religious routine, offering sacrifices to a multitude of pagan deities.   They spent their time and money chasing after these false gods, began new holidays and practices based on these new gods.   Marriages fell apart.   Promiscuity skyrocketed.   The courts were a joke.   The innocent were prosecuted and the guilty waltzed free.

     God’s answer was to fulfill the promise He had made to Solomon in I Kings 9:6-9 which was to punish them, destroy the beautiful temple, the city, the land and carry off the people into slavery.

     Now that the “spanking” is over, God promises to re-gather His people, wash them, give them a new heart and fill them with the Holy Spirit.    Ezekiel is given a vision of the new Jerusalem where there is no more sin, and best of all, the name of the city, “THE LORD IS THERE.”

     For about 33 years, God Himself walked among men as Jesus Christ.   He wasn’t the unapproachable fire and light of the Old Testament, but a man we could relate to on a personal level.

     How does this affect us now?   We have the presence of the Lord with us all the time even though we can’t see Him with our eyes like the children of Israel in the desert could.   As children of God, the Holy Spirit resides within us at all times, never to be removed as was the case with Saul.   We have the promise of Jehovah-Shammah as a visible presence to look forward to, a hope that can never fade.

     We have the assurance that no matter how dark our desert night is, Jehovah-Shammah is with us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb. 13:5)

     Psalm 139 is further assurance that there is no place in heaven or on earth where we can be away from the presence of the Lord.   He is there with us from the moment of conception till the day we die and are at once in the physical presence of the Lord forever!