What’s in a name? (6)
During Israel’s twenty-fifth year of captivity, Ezekiel the prophet received from God His name Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord is there. God described Israel’s future home, Jerusalem, saying, ‘The name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there.’ Being there wasn’t just something the God of the Old Testament promised, but what Jesus promised too. His name, ‘Immanuel,’ like ‘Jehovah-Shammah’, means, ‘God with us’ (take a look at Isaiah 7:14). And it means that God’s available and present at all times, in all places, under all circumstances, for all of us. David proclaimed: ‘I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me and your strength will support me’ (Psalm 139:7-10 NLT). In Israel’s deepest despair God’s response was, ‘I am with you.’ Those words guaranteed that their needs would always be met. And today God is saying to us, ‘I’m with you,’ and ‘neither death, life, angels, spirit-powers, present or future fears, height, depth, nor anything else in all creation will ever separate us’ (have a read of Romans 8:38-39). Fear, loneliness, and helplessness all disappear when we realise that we’re always in God’s presence. Even when we feel like we’re alone, that God’s left us to deal with things by ourselves, the truth is that He’s always with us. He promises He’ll never leave us. ‘God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”’ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
Write the name ‘Jehovah-Shammah’ on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket or bag as a reminder that God’s with you wherever you go.