Sunday, October 16, 2022

Names of God: Jehovah-shammah, God who is there

In the beginning God made the universe, the heavenly reality, and the planet Earth. God was there, and it was so good.

God made the human race, Adam and Eve, the first humans. God dwelled with them. In the garden of Eden, God was there. And it was good, so good beyond words. Beyond what we could imagine.

Then Adam and Eve sinned against God, and all of the Earth and the universe became broken, and death entered the world. And God was no longer entirely present. He was not there. And everything suffered as a result.

Sin became the great barrier between God and man. And God was not there.

Yet God called a nation, from one man named Abraham, to become Israel, a nation where God would dwell. God dwelled in the tent of meeting with Moses, on the way to the promised land. And it was good. And when Solomon built the temple, God dwelled in the temple, and it was good.

Yet Israel still rebelled against God, and followed after other gods. Thus the nation went into slavery in Babylon, and the north to slavery in Assyria. Yet God was there, with them in slavery, and so there was still hope.

During the captivity in Babylon, during the 25th year of it, a prophet named Ezekiel served in the remnants of Jerusalem, a city that had been completely destroyed by Babylon, and the temple itself had been destroyed. The walls of the city had been destroyed, and the all important intellectuals and leaders had been taken to Babylon, leaving only the most poor and destitute people to remain. Ezekiel prophesied that one day the Jews would return to Israel, to Jerusalem, and they would rebuild the city, rebuild the walls, and the temple, and in that place, which is described in detail in Ezekiel, it would be a place where Jehovah-shammah.

Jehovah Shammah, our last name of God in our names of God series, Jehovah Shammah means, “The Lord is there.”

But there was something more indicated in the prophesy of Ezekiel. He was saying that Israel would return from Babylon, yes. But it also pointed to the earthly reign of a messiah, who would rule over the entire Earth from the city of Jerusalem, a millennial reign of 1,000 years. And even in the prophesy, it talks of a new heavens and new earth, where humanity and God would dwell together forever in peace.

Jehovah-shammah, God is there, that is the perfect way to end the names of God in the Old Testament.

“…the names of God compounded with Jehovah reveal Him as providing redemption for fallen, sinful man, and depicting every aspect of that great transaction of redemption by which man is fully restored to God – healing, victory, peace, sanctification, justification, preservation, care, and guidance.” -Nathan Stone, Names of God

Jehovah jireh, our provider

Jehovah-rophe our healer

Jehovah-nissi our banner

Jehovah-M’Kaddesh our sanctification

Jehovah-shalom our peace

Jehovah-tsidkenu our righteousness

Jehovah-rohi our shepherd

Jehovah-shammah is present to us

Then, there was another beginning, in the beginning, was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, He was in the beginning with God, through Him all things were made, in Him was life and that life brought light to all mankind.

A son of man came, named Jesus of Nazareth, and God was there in human form, and it was very good.

Jesus the messiah lived a life of perfection, healing the sick and hurting, teaching in parables, discipling his disciples, and then offering up his life freely on a cross, pouring out his blood, and dying, to be a blood sacrifice to pay off your debt of sins, pain in full.

Jesus died, and then rose from the grave 3 days later, to demonstrate to us that after we die if we believe in Him he will raise us to eternal life.

Jesus is alive right now in heaven, and will return again to rule and reign on the Earth for 1,000 years, from the city of Jerusalem, theologians call this the millennial reign of Christ. This millennial reign fulfills the prophets which spoke of a time when the messiah would rule and reign and put everything under his control.

Yet it would all begin with the church spreading across the face of the Earth, and the church would be the body of Christ. And in the body of a single believer, you or me, God’s presence would dwell, and God was there, and it was so good.

God’s temple had been the garden of Eden. Then man fell.

God’s temple became the tent of meeting with Moses.

God’s temple became the temple built by Solomon where God dwelled.

God’s temple was then Jesus Christ the God-man come to Earth.

Now today, God’s temple is the human body, the human soul, the human spirit, God dwells within His church on Earth, in the hearts and minds of people surrendered to His will.

We call these people Christians. God is there, in them, and he is here now, and it is very good.

But today it’s still through a mirror dimly. We aren’t in the full presence of God on this fallen Earth. Only after the rapture, the tribulation, and the return of Jesus Christ, and after the millennial reign, will everything be made perfect, a new heavens, an entirely new planet Earth, remade, where God will dwell.

This is talked about in the book of Revelation, when it says, Revelation 21:1-4, “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

And it continues in Revelation 22:1-5, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

That is the goal, to be with God in perfection, Jehovah-shammah, God is there. No temple, no place to go to, but God perfectly present with us, permanently, forever. And at last everything is OK and Right once again.

Jehovah shammah. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there.” -Ezekiel 48:35. The last verse of the book of Ezekiel. Forever. Maranatha. Amen.