A loud crash woke me up from a deep sleep. I opened my eyes, sat up, and squintingly tried to sort through the all-encompassing shadows. As if blinking my eyes would dissipate the thick, inky, suffocating blackness; there was no difference from when my eyes were closed. I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t remember where I was. I cried out to God, “Help me, Lord.” Immediately I felt peace, comfort, and hope in the shelter of God’s presence. Instead of feeling breathless from fear, a sigh of relief became my prayer of thanksgiving and praise. “Thank you, Jehovah-Shammah.”
Jehovah-Shammah is the name of God that promises His presence. First Corinthians reminds us, “You are a temple of God and the spirit of God dwells in you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “The Lord your God is the one who goes with you, He will not fail or forsake you.”
Imagine this scene: The Temple had been built as a place for God to dwell. The Israelites were deep into worshipping other gods, God had given them numerous opportunities to repent from their rebellion, but they stubbornly refused. God withdrew His presence not only from the temple, but also from the city of Jerusalem. He was so angry over their repeated rebellion that He said, in effect, “I’ve had it. I’m out of here.” And now the unthinkable—God left.
God promised the nation would be restored and His presence would return to Jerusalem. The city would be called Jehovah-Shammah. Prophesy was fulfilled when God’s presence returned to the temple. The way it happened wasn’t at all what anyone expected. God’s presence was restored to Jerusalem in the form of a tiny baby brought to the temple to be offered back to God by his parents, Joseph and Mary.
Jehovah-Shammah is found Ezekiel 48:35, which says, “The distance around the entire city will be six miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord is There.’” Jehovah-Shammah is the name of God that means “I am the Lord who is there” and is symbolic of Jerusalem. This name promises His presence. God wants us to experience His presence every moment of every day.
Jehovah-Shammah is the God who is there. Our God is already in our tomorrows. Jeremiah 29:11-12 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.”
God is here for us now. The Holy Spirit is our reminder that God is here for us; He is closer than a brother. Matthew 28:20 says, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Jehovah-Shammah is the God who is here for all of us who cry out, today, tomorrow, and forever.
Dear Jehovah-Shammah, thank you for being the One who goes with me. Thank you for the hope I have that you will not fail or forsake me. Thank you for the strength I find in your presence today. In Jesus’ name, amen.