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September 5 Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 48-Daniel 1
Jehovah-shammah — “The Lord is there.”
Here we come to the end of “the visions of God” (Ezekiel 40-48) in which God the Holy Ghost gave Ezekiel pictures of His church, the New Jerusalem, the City of God. This is the name given to God’s church — Jehovah-shammah — “The Lord is there.” While Ezekiel has in his mind’s eye the church of God in its glorified state, this name is equally applicable to the church below. Wherever you find God’s elect in this world individually, gathered as local churches, or considered as the whole church universal, “The Lord is there.”
This name, Jehovah-shammah, means that God dwells with us, — “the Lord is there.” It is the presence of God with her that is the blessedness, happiness, security and glory of God’s church on earth and in heaven.
It is true that God is with all His creatures in a general way. He is everywhere at all times, because He is omnipresent. And the Lord is everywhere in a providential way, sovereignly performing His will and accomplishing His purpose in all things. But when the Holy Spirit calls the Church of God “Jehovah-shammah,” He means for us to understand that “the Lord is there” in a special way to exercise His grace and power and make himself known. But His presence with His people is our peculiar and distinguishing blessedness.
The Lord is in Zion as He is nowhere else. And the Lord does for Zion what He does for no one else. Therefore the Psalmist sang, “God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His voice: the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:5-7). The prophet Zephaniah said, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing” (3:17). And the Lord himself declares, “I will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her” (Zechariah 2:5).
Child of God, your Lord and Redeemer has made all these blessed promises to you. Believe Him. Wherever you are, whatever your trial, temptation, struggle, and trouble of heart is, “the Lord is there.” He is present to support you, comfort you, help you, instruct you, guide you, and deliver you. Set your heart not upon your troubles, but upon your God. And “rejoice in the Lord alway, again, I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men, the Lord is at hand!”
O my soul, this is God’s promise to you. — “Lo, I am with you always!” Spirit of God give me grace to believe my God! Our God is at hand. What shall we fear? Our God is at hand. Of whom shall we be afraid? Our God is at hand. What can make us sad, or cause our hearts to fail? Wherever you are, my brother, my sister, wherever I am, the name of that place is — Jehovah-shammah — “The Lord is there!” — Rejoice!