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Sermon: Jehovah-Shamma: The-Lord-Is-There, Ezekiel 48.35

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Jehovah-Shamma: The-Lord-Is-There 

Ezekiel 48.35 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • June 9, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

Prelude

  1. Where is God? 
    1. Your problems overwhelmed you as it appeared you had no divine help. 
    2. You prayed without ceasing, but nothing happened. 
      1. Where was God? 
      2. You read in the Bible that He was there for the saints of the past. 
        1. Are you not one of His? 
        2. Why does it seem that He is not there with you? 
  2. David in Psalm 27, and 
    1. psalmists in others psalms, 
    2. knew the feeling.

      1 Why do You stand afar off, O LORD?
      Why do You hide in times of trouble?

      – Psalm 10.1


      1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?
      How long will You hide Your face from me?
      2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
      Having sorrow in my heart daily?

      – Psalm 13.1–2


      23 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord?
      Arise! Do not cast us off forever.
      24 Why do You hide Your face,
      And forget our affliction and our oppression?
      25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
      Our body clings to the ground.
      26 Arise for our help,
      And redeem us for Your mercies’ sake.

      – Psalm 44.23–26


      1 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
      And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
      2 Attend to me, and hear me;
      I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,

      – Psalm 55.1–2


      16 Hear me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good;
      Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.
      17 And do not hide Your face from Your servant,
      For I am in trouble;
      Hear me speedily.

      – Psalm 69.16–17


      13 But to You I have cried out, O LORD,
      And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
      14 LORD, why do You cast off my soul?
      Why do You hide Your face from me?

      – Psalm 88.13–14


      46 How long, LORD?
      Will You hide Yourself forever?
      Will Your wrath burn like fire?

      – Psalm 89.46


      1 Hear my prayer, O LORD,
      And let my cry come to You.
      2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble;
      Incline Your ear to me;
      In the day that I call, answer me speedily.

      – Psalm 102.1–2


      7 Answer me speedily, O LORD;
      My spirit fails!
      Do not hide Your face from me,
      Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
      8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
      For in You do I trust;
      Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
      For I lift up my soul to You.

      – Psalm 143.7–8

Persuasion

  1. However, in the beginning, 
    1. in the Garden of Eden, 
    2. the Lord was with man in a way that He is not now. 
      1. You could ask the question back then: Where is God? 
      2. You could answer: The Lord is there in the Garden of Eden. 
        1. That did not last long and 
        2. you know why. 
    3. The first two people ate from a tree 
      1. from which they were not to eat. 
      2. When they ate of the fruit of that tree, 
        1. they suddenly saw 
          1. the world, 
          2. themselves, and 
          3. God 
        2. as never before:

          7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

          – Genesis 3.7–8
          1. They had been experiencing 
          2. what we hope to experience, 
            1. face-to-face fellowship with God Himself. 
            2. Everything we dream about, 
              1. everything for which we strive, 
              2. they had it. 
    4. Since that time, 
      1. God has been hidden from us. 
      2. We cannot point somewhere and say: 
        1. God is there and 
        2. you can see Him. 
          1. You may understand that He is present everywhere in the spirit, but 
          2. you cannot see Him anywhere. 
  2. However, during the Babylonian captivity, 
    1. the Lord raised up a prophet, Ezekiel, 
      1. to whom God showed many wonderful things, including 
        1. a great city and 
        2. a great temple. 
      2. The picture of this temple occupies most of Ezekiel 40–48. 
    2. Then at the very end of all that Ezekiel showed us, 
      1. which is the last thing that the prophet wrote, 
      2. he spoke of the city and its name:

        35 All the way around shall be eighteen thousand cubits; and the name of the city from that day shall be: [Jehovah-Shamma] THE-LORD-IS-THERE.”

        – Ezekiel 48.35
        1. This shows the church glorified. 
        2. It shows the children of Israel having part in it. 
          1. When you get to the Book of Revelation, 
          2. John shows people from all nations included in that city also. 
    3. However, note the name of the city: 
      1. Jehovah-Shamma: The-Lord-Is-There. 
      2. It carries that name because 
        1. the Lord is truly there, and 
        2. not merely in the spirit, but 
          1. He is there personally and 
          2. we shall see Him just as we see one another. 
  3. Revelation

    34 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,

    “Behold,
    the tabernacle of God is with men, and
    He will dwell with them, and
    they shall be His people.
    God Himself will be with them and
    be their God.

    – Revelation 21.3


    22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

    – Revelation 21.22–23


    4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

    – Revelation 22.4
    1. We have heard of the beauties of heaven or 
      1. of the city there, 
      2. which is the church glorified. 
        1. It is a place of no more tears or suffering. 
        2. Everything is new. 
        3. Images of a street of gold and gates made of pearl fill our imaginations. 
        4. To eat of the tree of life and drink of the water of life thrill us. 
        5. We rejoice at the prospect of seeing our loved ones again. 
    2. However, what if none of that existed? 
      1. Would we still want to go there? 
      2. What if the only thing that existed there 
        1. was what John showed us. 
        2. What if the only thing that we could say about heaven was this: 
          1. Jehovah-Shamma: The-Lord-Is-There! 

Exhortation

  1. Many reasons exist for why it appears that God is not there in your life. 
    1. Sometimes He is working behind the scenes for your favor. 
    2. Sometimes He is building patience in you. 
    3. Sometimes He wants to see what you will do, as in the case of Hezekiah. 
      1. Hezekiah was going to die when he was 39, but 
      2. he prayed to God and 
        1. God heard him, 
        2. giving him another 15 years of life: 
      3. The Babylonians heard that he had been sick (2Ki 20). 
        1. So the king of Babylon, Berodach-Baladan, sent 
          1. letters, 
          2. gifts, and 
          3. ambassadors to Hezekiah. 
        2. He received them and 
          1. showed them all his treasure and 
          2. everything in his dominion. 
      4. Then Ezra, who wrote the Books of the Chronicles, wrote:

        31 However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

        – 2 Chronicles 32.31
        1. God was with Hezekiah in the sense that God is with everyone. 
        2. However, He pulled back some, 
          1. allowing certain things to happen 
          2. that He normally would have kept out of Hezekiah’s life. 
            1. He wanted to see what the king would do, 
            2. kind of like you loosen up with your children some. 
              1. God works in our lives at all times. 
              2. However, we cannot see Him, so we often doubt. 
  2. This is where the beauty of Ezekiel’s temple and city becomes profound: 
    1. The Lord is there, 
    2. in a way that He is not here. 
      1. In Ezekiel’s city and temple
        1. we shall see Him. 
        2. We shall interact with Him. 
      2. Yet, we are apprehensive about dying. 
        1. Dying is the gate through which we pass 
        2. to see our Lord. 
  3. Let us be like the dog at the old time doctor’s office. 
    1. The patient went into the doctor’s examination room, and 
    2. left the dog behind in the waiting room. 
      1. However, the dog went to the examination room’s closed day and 
      2. began scratching the door, and 
        1. trying desperately to get in. 
        2. Finally, the doctor opened the door and 
          1. the dog burst through and bolted to its master, 
          2. jumping and spinning for joy. 
            1. The dog did not know what was on the other side, 
            2. except for one thing: 
              1. Its master was in there. 
              2. The door did not frighten the dog. 
  4. Let us be like that dog 
    1. that did not know and 
    2. that did not care 
      1. what was on the other side of the door, 
      2. except that his loving master was there! 
  5. The door of heaven will not open to you 
    1. unless you are as eager to see your Master 
    2. as that dog was to see his master. 
  6. Our time on earth prepares us to go where the Lord is. 
    1. In Revelation 7, John showed us a magnificent sight:

      9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

      – Revelation 7.9–10
    2. Shortly in the narrative, John said one of the elders, 
      1. one of the men sitting on thrones around the throne of God, 
      2. asked him a question:

        13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.

        – Revelation 7.13–15
        1. John added in Revelation 14 
        2. that there are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. 
    3. Make your robe white in the blood of the Lamb and follow Him wherever He leads you, and you will be where the Lord is. 
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