Jehovah-Shammah – The Lord is There
In the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel, God showed the prophet a vision of heaven and He gave the city the name “Jehovah-Shammah,” meaning “the Lord is there. (Ezekiel 48:35).” Though this is the name of a place, it is a place so closely associated with God that this name is often used for God Himself. And, truly, any place the Lord is, is heaven and any place He is not, could not be called heaven at all!
As Christians we tend to think of eternity, eternal life, and heaven as things we aspire to after death, but the Bible describes them differently. Jesus defined “eternal life” as knowing God and the one He sent (John 17:3). Jesus was called “Emmanuel” (or Immanuel) – “God with us.” If heaven is where God is, then when we experience the presence of the Living God, we can experience days of heaven on earth.
When we accept Christ as Savior and are born again, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live on the inside of us. We ask Him to come into our hearts, and He moves right in! He brings His heavenly fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). He gives us power, wisdom, and comfort. He reminds us how much we are loved and brings the teachings of Jesus to mind. The Holy Spirit brings freedom from bondage to fear and everything else that holds us captive (2 Corinthians 3:17).
For Believers, God in all His magnificence, power, love, and majesty has made His home in the one place we can never escape—inside our very own hearts.
Does your mind tell you otherwise? Do you feel alone, without help? It can seem that way sometimes. I picture that feeling as Jesus’ walking in lockstep behind me, while I frantically search for Him on the horizon. I just need to turn around. He is there waiting for me. David expresses a similar sentiment in Psalms 22 (CEV). He starts with the question, “My God, My God, why have you deserted me?” Feeling abandoned, he expresses his sense of rejection by the Lord, but then he turns around, looks at the greatness of God and begins to praise Him. He ends his psalm with the declaration, “The Lord has saved us!” When we feel dejected, we can encourage ourselves with scriptures like these or others such as Romans 8:38-39 that makes it clear we can never be separated from the Love of God, or Psalms 139:7-10 that reminds us there is no where we can go that He is not.
He is there and He is here. Now that is big!
What do these verses tell you about the nature of God?