Jehovah-Shama - The Lord is Present
Dr. Joe Temple


Open your Bibles to Ezekiel, chapter 48. We remind you that in these lessons we have been thinking together about The Compound Names of God. In the Bible there are three names for God. One of them is Elohim, which is usually translated God. Then there are two other words which are given to us in our English translation by the word Lord. One of the words has every letter capitalized, and the other has just the first letter capitalized. When you see the word, with every letter capitalized, you have the translation of the word Jehovah. Sometimes you find the word Lord with just the first letter capitalized, you have the translation of the Hebrew word Adonai, which means “Master”, and many times it is translated by that word Master . So you have those three names of God; Elohim, Jehovah, and Adonai or God , LORD , Lord.

The word Jehovah —that is the word that is capitalized in every letter—is the name of God that is used most frequently, and in a number of instances another word is added which provides a complete title for God. Thus we have this term, The Compound Names of God.

The Millennial Jerusalem

We have been looking at a number of them as they are scattered about through the Word of God, and now we come to one which we wish to notice in this last chapter of the book of Ezekiel. Notice the paragraph begins with verse 30:

Ezekiel 48

30And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.
31And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi.
32And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan.
33And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun.
34At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali.
35It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

Notice the very last statement in the 35th verse: “The LORD is there.” You find the word LORD with every letter capitalized, so we know it is a translation of the word Jehovah, and the two words is there is a translation of the Hebrew word shammah , so you have the compound name of God, Jehovah-Shammah . This is more than a simple statement that God is in this place. We are told very definitely in verse 35 that it is a name. It is the name of God, Jehovah-Shammah, and God gives His name to the city.

You remember one of the compound names of God at which we looked was Jehovah-Tsidkenu, or THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. We were told in chapter 23 of Jeremiah that name also would be given to the city of Jerusalem. That isn't anything too unusual for a city to take the name of the people who dwell there, and so it is; this city is going to take the name of the person who is there, Jehovah-Shammah.

I think if we are to understand this name in its entirety, we need to think about the literal interpretation of the text in which it is found, so we are going to hurriedly review the book of Ezekiel, reminding you that the last part of Ezekiel describes for us what is known as the millennial Jerusalem.

The Renovation of the Earth

If you are not too familiar with the prophetic Word, you may wonder what we are talking about, though suffice it to say that we believe that the Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return to this earth and establish a thousand-year reign of righteousness. We refer to that as the Millennium.

There are a number of things that are going to happen in preparation for the millennial reign of Christ on the earth. One of the things very definitely that is going to happen is the renovation of this earth. This present earth upon which we live is going to be renovated; it's going to be changed. Things are going to be different, and that difference is expressed in many different ways in the Word of God. We are told that the desert will blossom as the rose. We are told that all of animal creation will be changed, hence the lion and the lamb will be able to lie down together, etc. We are told that God will so arrange the seasons of the year that you will hardly get one crop harvested until it's time to harvest another one. There will be no drought, no famine, and no pestilence of any kind. Everything will be different during the millennial reign of Christ.

Another thing that is going to happen in relation to the renovation of the earth is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In preparation for the millennial reign of Christ, the topography of the land of Palestine will very definitly be changed, and God is going to get ready to build a New Jerusalem during the millennial reign of Christ where Jerusalem will be the joy and rejoicing of the whole earth.

The City of Christ's Return

People who are critics of the literal interpretation of the Word of God related to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth, will sometimes say, “You mean to say that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth literally?” We say, “Yes, we believe that because that is what the Bible plainly declares.” And they say, “You mean He's literally going to sit on a throne and reign out of a city on this earth?” “Yes, we believe that. The Bible says so.” “Do you mean to say He's going to reign from the city of Jerusalem?” “Yes, that's what the Bible declares.” Then they usually come up with something like this, especially if they have been to the city of Jerusalem or if they know very much about it, “You mean to say that God is going to sit on a throne in that dirty, little, stinking city of Jerusalem with all of its crooked streets and all of its unloveliness,” and on and on and on. And we hasten to answer, “No, no, He's not going to reign in that city, because He is going to build a new city.”

In the last portion of the book of Ezekiel, you have presented to you the description of that city, very literally rendered, and you find that it is going to be one of the most beautiful metropolises this world has ever seen. Also, in the last part of the book of Ezekiel, there is going to be built a new temple which is tremendous and magnificent in every detail. The last paragraph of the chapter we read describes the gates of that city, how people are going to get into it, etc. We read that in order that you might see that we are talking about a literal city, and as Ezekiel climaxes everything that he says about this city, he says, “The most wonderful thing about it is that the name of the city will be Jehovah-Shammah, because the LORD is there.”

I would like for you to notice with me, as we look at the literal interpretation of this verse, a verse or two which will verify what we have said to you—that the Lord Jesus Christ is literally coming to this earth and going to take up His residence in the city of Jerusalem and reign from there. There are many passages of Scripture to which we could turn, but I might suggest we turn to the book of Jeremiah and notice in the third chapter a very definite statement that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed going to be in this city. We read in verses 17-18:

Jeremiah 3

17At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
18In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Notice particularly in verse 17 the definite statement:

Jeremiah 3

17At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it…

If you will turn back to the book of Isaiah, chapter 2, you will find even additional applications of what we have been suggesting to you, because in the book of Isaiah, chapter 2, beginning with verse 1:

Isaiah 2

1The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountain…

This is a reference to some of the changes in the topography of the land of Palestine to which I have referred, because the mountain of the Lord's house is Mt. Moriah. We are told in this passage of Scripture, along with other passages of Scripture, that the topography of the land will be so changed that this mountain, which is the lowest of the mountains, will become the highest of the mountains, exalted above the hills; and on that mountain will the temple be placed, and all the nations shall flow into it. The figure of speech is of so many people from all over the world making, as we know from other passages of Scripture, annual pilgrimages to this place that it looks like a river, so he speaks of it as nations flowing into it.

Spiritual Application of Literal Events

Notice verses 3-4:

Isaiah 2

3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

So when we look at our original text, the millennial city of Jerusalem being called Jehovah-Shammah because the LORD is there, we realize that it has a very literal interpretation; but now, having recognized the literal interpretation of this name, we want to notice the spiritual application because though these things that I have suggested are informative and certainly what we need to know or they would not be in the Word of God, we are interested in relation to the study of these names in their spiritual applications and how they can affect our lives spiritually.

I would like for us to recognize today that Jehovah-Shammah, “the LORD is there,” or “the LORD is present,” is a name which describes a characteristic of God which would behoove all of us as children of God to know and realize. Let me ask you before we pursue this thought a bit further. Do you know the LORD as Jehovah-Shammah? We speak in the Word of God as knowing the Lord as Savior; we mean by that, that we know the Son of God as our Savior from sin. Then we speak of knowing the Lord as Lord, and we mean by that, that we have learned the secret of surrender and have surrendered our lives to Him so He becomes not only our Savior, but He becomes our Lord; and that is a tremendous need in the lives of Christians today because there are many people who know Jesus Christ as Savior. They can give a good testimony that God through His Son has saved them from the penalty of their sins, but they are living under the dominion sin today. They are defeated Christians. They have no real victory; they don't know Him as Lord. They are still living in self will.

We could take each one of these compound names of God and ask our hearts, “Do we know the Lord in this fashion?” For example, in our last lesson we thought together about the compound name of God that was presented to us in the 23rd Psalm—Jehovah-Raah, “Jehovah our Shepherd,” “Jehovah our Pastor.” Do we know the Lord as our pastor? Do we know the LORD as our Shepherd? All of these are definite characteristics of the LORD. Jehovah-Tsidkenu, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Do we know the Lord as our righteousness, or we still going about to establish our own righteousness and trying to make ourselves acceptable to God? Do we know the LORD as Jehovah-Rapha, the One who is able to heal? Have we come to Him and asked Him to bind up our broken hearts and heal our wounds and give us the strength that we need?

Recognizing the Presence of God

So coming right down to the lesson for today, do we know the Lord as Jehovah-Shammah? Do we realize and recognize the presence of the Lord? The presence of the Lord was a very vital thing to all of the children of God in times past as it should be today.

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Exodus, and notice in chapter 33 a little incident in the life of Moses. You will remember that Moses had been responsible for leading the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the land of promise. Things went very well for a while and then while Moses was on the mountain, the children of Israel, under the very poor leadership of Aaron, got away from the Lord. Things were discouraging indeed. Moses was ready to quit, and God was ready to quit, but they worked the situation out.

We begin reading our story in verse 12 of Exodus, chapter 33:

Exodus 33

12And 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.
13Now 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.

Now notice this verse particularly. God answered Moses.

Exodus 33

14And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
15And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
16For 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.
17And 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.

That is as far as we are going to read, because it illustrates what I want to leave with you, that to Moses, one of the great stalwarts of our faith, it was necessary to be conscious of the presence of God if he was going to do what he needed to do. So he said in this particular instance, “I want to know you as Jehovah-Shammah. I want to know, I want to be assured absolutely positively, that Thou art going to be with me.” Can we who are on this side of the Cross, can we who live in this Age of Grace, be conscious of this very thing? We can be.

Encouraged By His Presence

Turn, please, to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 28, and notice again a portion of the Word that is very, very familiar to you, what is commonly referred to as The Great Commission , Matthew, chapter 28, verses 19-20:

Matthew 28

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now you will notice the last phrase, particularly.

Matthew 28

20…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

More accurately rendered, “even unto the end of the age.” God said to His disciples when He encouraged them to go forth, “I'm with you. I want you to know that, and I'm going to be with you all the way, and I'm going to be with you even to the end of the age. You can count on me.” Does that mean anything to us today? Should it encourage us in any way?

Let's let the author of the book of Hebrews tell us how it encouraged his heart, and perhaps claim this promise for our very own. If you will turn back, please, to the book of Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 5:

Hebrews 13

5Let 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.

Why did He say that, back there in Matthew 28? “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” In verse 6, Paul makes the application:

Hebrews 13

6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Paul had learned from actual experience, this compound name of God, Jehovah-Shammah. He learned by experience that it meant that he did not need to be afraid of anything. He learned by experience that it meant that he did not need to be afraid to tackle anything and so he said, “The LORD is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” “Paul, you are not afraid to tackle anything. Paul, why aren't you afraid of anybody?” “Because,” he said, “I know God in this special way. I know him as Jehovah-Shammah, the LORD is there. Jehovah is present.” I know Him that way, because He gave me a promise that He would never leave me or never forsake me.

The Assurance of His Presence

Perhaps you are saying today, “I would like to be sure of that, and I would like to know. How you can know the LORD is with you. How can you know that the presence of the LORD is real?” Well, you know, most of us like to walk by sight instead of by faith. We might desire to walk by faith, but we find it so much easier to walk by sight than by faith. That's the reason many of us feel like we have to put out the fleece as often as we do. God is gracious. God is good and kind, and He will go ahead and let the dew be on the fleece. Then if we are a little bit shaky still, He'll let the fleece be dry and put the dew on the ground, because He deals with us in grace. But how wonderful if we could walk by faith and not by sight.

The children of Israel, because they walked by sight, in the eyes of some of us might have been a little bit better off than we are, because they had a definite visible sign that they could go by. They didn't ever need to wonder in the morning if God was with them. All they needed to do was look up and there was a cloud. God told them as long as that cloud, a pillar of cloud by day was around them and above them, they could know that God was there. Every time they looked up and saw the cloud, they took courage. They said, “God is with us.” And at night, God was gracious to meet their need and encourage their hearts. You know the story: He gave them a pillar of fire by night. And at night, as they were journeying through the wilderness, somebody said, “I wonder if God is with us. I wonder if His presence is with us.” Somebody would say, “Well, let me run to the tent door and look.” And they would see the pillar of fire, and they would come back and say, “Yes, God is with us.” The presence of the LORD was real to them because of the sign, but we don't have a pillar of cloud by day. We don't have a pillar of fire by night. How can we know the LORD is with us?

The Witness of the Holy Spirit

Let's turn to the Gospel of John and notice some passages of Scripture which to my mind supercede a pillar of cloud or a pillar of fire. Chapter 14 of John represents some of the farewell messages of the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples in the upper room. You remember in chapter 14 He told them he was going away, and they were very much concerned about where He was going and how He was going, why they couldn't go with Him, what would happen to them after He was gone, and how lonely they would be. Oh they were saying to Him, in so many words, “If you could just stay here with us. When you're with us, we're all right, but when you're gone, we're all disturbed.” You see, they were thinking about the visible presence of the Lord. So to encourage their hearts, in the 15-18 verses of John, chapter 14, the Lord said:

John 14

15If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Here is the promise of the presence of the Lord. They said, “Lord what are we going to do? You are going away, you are going to leave us. What are we going to do? How are we going to manage?” And He said, “I'm not going to leave you alone. My presence will be with you. I'm going away, but I'm going to send you another Comforter.” Then down in the 18th verse, He said, “I'll not leave you comfortless; I'll come to you; I'll be with you always. I said I would, even unto the end of the age. I'll be with you always.” How? Well, He said, “in the person of the Holy Spirit.” And so when you ask me today, “How can we be sure that the Lord is with us? How can we be sure that the presence of God is with us? We have no pillar of cloud by day, and we have no pillar of fire by night. How can we be sure?” My answer is, you can be sure in the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. We can be sure through the witness of the Holy Spirit.

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Will you turn with me please, in your Bible, to chapter 8 of the book of Romans, verse 9:

Romans 8

9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Those of you who are looking at your Bibles see that the word Spirit is capitalized, so we are talking about the third person of the Trinity. We're talking about the Holy Spirit, and we are told that we are no longer in the flesh. That is, we are no longer in an unsaved state. We're born again, and we are told that we are not born again unless the Holy Spirit dwells within us. So we have a promise, a promise that nobody can deny; and that is the very moment that we are born again, the Holy Spirit takes up His residence in our lives. The very moment we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and dwells.

I have mentioned to you often that some of our songs and some of our choruses are tremendously unscriptural. You go ahead and sing them without thought, and sometimes we sing them anyway because we think they are pretty. We have a number of choruses that are related to Christians asking the Holy Spirit to come into their lives. “Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly dove, into this poor life of mine.” Well, no Christian ought to sing that. If you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit is there. He's indwelling you. He's there, and you can't be a Christian unless He is there. You say, “Well, I thought He was yesterday, but He is gone today.” He can't be, regardless of what you think about it. If He was ever there, He is still there, because in the very portion of the Word that we read a while ago, the Lord Jesus Christ said when He came to live, He came to stay. He would never leave you.

How do I know today that God is with me? Because the Holy Spirit is dwelling in my heart. And if the Holy Spirit is dwelling in my heart, He is making me conscious of that dwelling.

The Leading of the Holy Spirit

Look at verse 14 of chapter 8 of the book of Romans:

Romans 8

14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

One of the witnesses of the Spirit is the definite leading of the Lord in my life. I know God is with me. I know Him as Jehovah-Shammah , because of His leadership.

Look at verse 15:

Romans 8

15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

This is just another way of saying that you are on intimate terms with God. As you probably know, I'm sure it has been emphasized again and again, the word Abba , is not a translation, but a transliteration. There was no English word that would as adequately translate the Greek word, so they just wrote it with English letters, Abba . The nearest thing to it is our word Papa or Daddy . We don't say that irreverently today, but when your children are on very intimate terms with you, they might call you Dad or Pop or Papa or something like that, and that is the thought of this verse. You are on intimate terms with God. He's not the God that sits on the rim of the universe somewhere and scares you to death. He's your Father, and you are close to Him; you are on intimate terms with Him.

The Reality of His Presence

Notice verse 16:

Romans 8

16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

There is the constant witness of the Spirit. Someone may say today, “Well, the Holy Spirit, then, is the proof of God's presence with us,” and you are absolutely right. “How come sometimes I am not conscious of that? How come sometimes I feel so far away from God? How come sometimes I feel like I'm not in touch with God at all?” Let me issue a word of warning: Don't go by feelings all of the time. Go by the Word of God, but don't ignore your feelings. Sometimes it could be that you have grieved the Holy Spirit, and when you have grieved the Holy Spirit, though He doesn't leave you, He withdraws within Himself, and He just leaves you cold. You know sometimes how, humanly speaking, you know there is something wrong with somebody, but you don't know for sure what it is, and you say, “I just know there is something wrong.” “Well how?” “Well I can just tell by the way they are acting. That's all.” “Maybe it's just my imagination.” It may be your imagination, but again it may not be your imagination. Sometimes it is your imagination, we all know that; we have had that experience, but sometimes it isn't our imagination. Sometimes we have offended unknowingly, and because we have offended unknowingly, the person has withdrawn, and we don't have the assurance of their fellowship.

All human illustrations have their fallacies, as I have told you many, many times, but that illustration has a case in point. Sometimes when we grieve the Holy Spirit, we have no assurance of the presence of God. What we need to do is do a little heart-searching, find out where we grieved the Holy Spirit, acknowledge it before Him, and then the presence of God becomes a reality again.

Do you know the LORD as Jehovah-Shammah - the LORD is present?

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