The Lord is there (Jehovah - Shammah)

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1 Sunday January 17, 2016 Phone: Pastor David Miklas Message # 10 Names of God Text: Ezekiel 48:35; Psalms 139:1-18 The Lord is there (Jehovah - Shammah) Introduction: Please turn with me to Exodus 33:12-17, where we read, And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. (13) Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. (14) And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. (15) And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. (16) For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. (17) And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. The Lord, in answering Moses prayer, said in verse 14, "My presence shall go with thee." "Wherever you happen to GO, My presence will go with you." "Wherever you happen to BE, My presence will be with you." The story is told of a small band of Christians who were forced to worship in SECRET because of the threat of persecution. One evening their meeting was interrupted by the secret police. When the officer in charge ordered one of his men to see how many people were in attendance, he counted 30. Upon hearing that, an elderly Christian spoke up, saying, "Sir, a mistake has been made. You have missed one." The officer ordered the group to be counted again. When the officer heard the second count, he gruffly announced, "There are only 30 of you miserable Christians, and no more." The old believer responded, "Yes, but there is one more person here, one you have missed, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ." Wherever we are or whatever we are doing, however difficult the circumstances and pressures maybe, we can say God s presence is there. Though all around me is darkness, And earthly joys are flown, My Saviour whispers His promise, Never to leave me alone. Coming to the very end of the book of Ezekiel, starting with chapter 40 we are given a description of a city that is to be re-constructed. Notice with me the very last verse of this book in Ezekiel 48:35 and the last phrase "The LORD is there" This translation comes from the Hebrew words "JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH." This is to be the name of the city yet to be built. Now you know as well as I do the Jews have a Holy City. It is called Jerusalem, which simply means the "City of God's Peace." But the city spoken of here is the same city spoken of at the end of the book of Revelation It is a city yet to be built. And the name of the city is going to be changed. No longer will it be called Jeru-salem, but it shall be called Jeru-shammah. Not the city of God's PEACE, but rather the city of God's PRESENCE. From the day after it is re-constructed the name of the city shall be called Jeru- SHAMMAH, "The Lord is there." Page 1

2 There is a great deal that can be said about this name. There is a great deal that can be said about this city. But I want to go beyond the surface, and deal with the character of God as revealed in this name of God. In order to do so we must understand the context in which it is given. Perhaps one of the most dedicated servants of God in the Old Testament was Ezekiel. But Ezekiel wrote every one of his prophecies during some of the most bitter and perhaps some of the darkest days of the history of this entire nation. The nation at this time was at its LOWEST point Spiritually. The nation at this time was at its LOWEST point Nationally. All the GLORY, SPLENDOR, MAJESTY, and STRENGTH that was once Israel had become a THING OF THE PAST. These people were living under the JUDGMENT OF GOD. They were under the oppressed HAND of the cruel Babylonians. The HOLY CITY lay in ruins. The temple had been destroyed. Their spirit was broken. All their dreams were shattered. Psalms 137:1-9, describes to us just how these people felt, By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. (2) We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. (3) For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. (4) How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? (5) If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. (6) If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. (7) Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. (8) O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. (9) Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. Notice again the opening verses, "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we WEPT, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows... How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" Year after year their HEARTS were filled with REMORSE as they remembered their beloved city of PEACE, Jeru-salem. Now Ezekiel comes to the end of his prophecy and he says there will be a city that will be re-constructed and the name of the city will be called JERU-SHAMMAH "The Lord is there." I would imagine this would have been a rather startling statement since Israel for these 70 years in captivity was saying to themselves "WHERE IS GOD?", "WHERE IS THE LORD IN ALL of this?" "WHERE IS THE LORD IN ALL these trials?" "WHERE IS THE LORD IN ALL these testings?" "WHERE IS THE LORD IN ALL these heartaches?" "WHERE IS THE LORD IN ALL these difficult circumstances?" Where is God in the midst of all this? Now Ezekiel says, These are my last words and they are words of Hope These are my words and they are words of expectation. "THE LORD IS THERE." You have to understand these people knew a great deal of the magnificence of God's presence in their history. However, in this day in which they were now Page 2

3 living, somehow the presence of God was eluding them. God's GUIDING, CONSOLING, ENCOURAGING PRESENCE was not there. His absence was crushing these people to cry out, "Where is God?" God had promised Israel His presence from the beginning. Return with me to the passage we read in Exodus 33, and notice verse 16 again, For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. How can we know: if we have found favor with God, and if we have pleased God, and if we have found grace in His sight? WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN? Notice the middle of verse 16, "Is it not in that thou goest with thee." You see God's presence was of GREAT IMPORTANCE to God's people. On the other hand the absence of it indicated God's displeasure and disapproval. There were times when God did manifest himself to his people. In Exodus 40 we read where for 40 years these people knew the glorious presence of God, as He led them through the wilderness journey, manifested by the "PILLAR OF CLOUD by DAY and the PILLAR OF FIRE by NIGHT" In verses we read, Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (35) And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (36) And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: (37) But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. (38) For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. In II Chronicles 7 we read where God allowed Solomon to build a glorious temple, and when it was all finished and they were going to dedicate this building to God, we read in verses 1-3, Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. (2) And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD's house. (3) And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. That CLOUD in the Bible is called the "Shekinah Glory" the presence of God almighty himself was right there. These people knew the presence of God and what it meant to have His presence in their midst. As a matter of fact this phrase "in the midst of" occurs over and over again to describe the wonderful experience these people knew of the presence of God. It refers to God being "in the midst of his people." So the sense of God's presence was of utmost importance to God's people. In our church, I believe the thing that should be of utmost importance is the SENSE OF GOD'S PRESENCE. Reflected in our services, and experienced in our activities, and felt in our programs, there ought to be an awareness of the PRESENCE OF GOD. If there is no sense of the PRESENCE of GOD when we gather together, THEN TO WHAT DOES IT ALL AMOUNT?" Page 3

4 Over in the book of Acts 10:33 we find a very interesting verse. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the MIDST OF THEE." This ought to be our motto as a church each and every time we gather together for a service. We are not here this morning just because we have come to church. We are here TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE IN GOD'S PRESENCE, THAT HE IS IN THE MIDST OF US. We gather to hear all the things that have been commanded to your Pastor to deliver from the hand of God. I trust for our church the primary importance is the sense of the presence of God. You know in our DAY and TIME, there are churches having DIFFICULTIES. Just to name a few: There are serious financial problems. There are serious moral problems. There are serious theological problems. There are serious music problems and There are serious people problems, as people are at odds with one another. In many a church, the PRESENCE of God is OUT and the manifest presence of the Devil is IN. Tragically "ICABOD" has been written over many of our LIVES and over many of our CHURCHES. Do you know what "ICABOD" means? It means "the glory of God has departed." That glory is GONE! There is No OUTREACH, and there are no CONVERSIONS, nor BAPTISMS. Folks are so concerned with the correctness of how things are done. Folks are so concerned with the programs of the church. Folks are so concerned with the points of order. Listen! WE ARE HERE TO WORSHIP JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH! What do you think? Is the Lord here walking in the midst of us today? Is the Lord on the outside? Is He looking in and knocking to be let in? Is our primary concern to gather together to WORSHIP JEHOVAH- SHAMMAH? In the 139th Psalm, we discover three great attributes of our Great God. Verses 1-6 tell us about the wonder of God's KNOWLEDGE: O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. (2) Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. (3) Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. (4) For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (5) Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. (6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Theologically this is called the OMNISCIENCE of God, meaning God knows everything. Verses 7-12, tell us about the wonder of God's PRESENCE: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? (8) If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (9) If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; (10) Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. (11) If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. (12) Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Page 4

5 Theologically this is called the OMNIPRESENCE, meaning God is present everywhere at all times. Question: Is it possible to go to a place where you will NOT find God? David had investigated the HEIGHTS and the DEPTHS, the EAST and the WEST, and the LAND and the SEA, and even in the DARKNESS, he found THERE WAS NOT A PLACE WHERE GOD WAS NOT. The truth of the omnipresence of God is a most frightening one to an unbeliever, but a comforting one to a Christian. No matter where we are, GOD IS THERE. Isaiah 41:10 tells us, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." God is not only the LORD WHO IS THERE, but He is the Lord who is PRESENT EVERYWHERE. The last stanza of the Hymn "The Mighty Power of God" reads, " and everywhere that man can be thou God art present THERE' There is a story told of a teacher in a Sunday School class who said to one of his enterprising students, "Son I'll give you an apple if you can tell me where God is." The boy thought for a moment and said, "Teacher, I'll give you a whole bushel of apples if you can tell me where God isn't." Now that's what you call a smart aleck kid, but he was right. Verses 13-18, tell us about the wonder of God's POWER: For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. (14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (18) If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. God is not only OMNISCIENT and OMNIPRESENT, but He is also OMNIPOTENT, meaning "all powerful." What a wonderful and powerful God we have. Amen! I believe we can rightly say there are times in the HOUSE of GOD that you can genuinely DETECT the PRESENCE of GOD. You can just feel it. The presence of God in the Old Testament Temple was profound, it was awesome. They could not get near the place because of the overwhelming presence of God. Now, having said that God is JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, we must be mindful that there are various degrees of God's PRESENCE. To the unsaved person or to the backslidden individual who comes to the house of God infrequently, they may not detect the presence of God. They are UN- MINDFUL of His presence. They do not sense it, they do not feel it, and in most cases they do not care. However, there is something to be remembered here and it is simply this: "NO ONE ESCAPES THE PRESENCE OF GOD," NO ONE! Sooner or later God crosses everyone s path. There are some people who go through life and it appears that they have been successful in AVOIDING GOD. They live as if GOD DOES NOT EXIST. You Page 5

6 know people like that. It seems they have a knack for turning you down whenever you invite them to church. They have NO TIME for God. But at some point in time there is going to be that moment of death, and they will be confronted by God. NO ONE ESCAPES THE PRESENCE OF GOD. Therefore, if you are without Christ, I say with the prophet Amos, "PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD." You can prepare if you look to the Cross of Calvary and accept the finished work of Christ as payment for your sins. However on the other hand, to those of us who KNOW the Lord and who LOVE the Lord, His INESCAPABLE PRESENCE is not a BURDEN but a BLESSING! This is one of the great blessings for those who by faith are in the FAMILY OF GOD. We can say with confidence, JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH is there for every trial in life, is there for every circumstance in life, is there in the hospital room, and is there in the funeral home. Praise God HE IS THERE, because He is JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH! To the unsaved, it is a terrible thing to try and avoid the presence of God. But make no mistake, God will meet up with them. Someone said, "God is the hound of Heaven, tracking a man down." He cannot escape God. However, for the child of God this attribute, this name of God, is a BLESSING and COMFORT. Looking back to the Old Testament, God's abiding presence was CONDITIONAL. It was conditional upon the people s obedience. If they were disobedient, they were fearful God would remove His GUIDING, UPHOLDING and UPLIFTING presence. This was the cry of the people in Ezekiel's day. We read about it in Psalms 137. They had been disobedient. They were in captivity where they had been for 70 years. Their question was, Where is God? Ezekiel's last message was "JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH THE LORD IS THERE." Praise God! When we come to the New Testament, God's presence is UNCONDITIONAL to those of us who are by FAITH in the FAMILY OF GOD. Turning with me to Hebrews 13:5, would you read it with me as it is written, Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Now let me emphasize this sentence as we should understand it from the original language, "I will NEVER, NO NEVER leave thee, NOR EVER forsake thee." God is saying: My sustaining presence, My enabling grace, My strength, and My support will always be there. It will always be your portion. Not because you deserve it, but because you are in Christ. Notice verse 6, So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. In light of this, I believe we have a responsibility to demonstrate to the unbelieving world that God's presence is in the HOUSE OF GOD. By our LIFE, and by our ACTIONS and by our RELATIONSHIP one to another, we are to demonstrate Page 6

7 the visible reality that the LORD IS PRESENT IN HIS HOUSE OF WORSHIP. Why should we bother? Because the unbelieving world will benefit from the desire to know JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH. ********************************************************************** If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon on the name of God Jehovah Shammah: The Lord is There, then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you. Do you have the assurance one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as you personal Savior. The Bible tells us in Acts 16:31,...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved... Romans 10:13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be your personal Savior. I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation. If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, would you please let me know? Fill out the information below and me, I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life. Date: Name:, Address: The Weekly SERMON is sent as a ministry of Bible Baptist Ministry, 48 Alexie Rd, Hanover Township, PA Privacy policy, your address will not be sold, or shared with any third party. Copy write permission: Because the Weekly SERMON will be reproduced into other formats, PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING, the Weekly SERMON in its original form, without any changes, may be copied and re-transmitted by electronic mail, and copies may be printed for individual or ministry purposes, provided that such copying, re-transmission, printing, or other use is not for profit or other commercial purpose. Any copying, re-transmission, distribution, printing, or other use of the Weekly SERMON must set forth in full the heading that is given before each Weekly SERMON. Any other request for use, please contact Bible Baptist Ministries at or by phone at Page 7

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