And the name of the city from that time on will be: The Lord is there. Ezekiel 48: 35
Yahweh Shammah – The Lord is there – is the name that the Lord gave for the earthly Jerusalem that would be restored. Jerusalem had been attacked by the Babylonians in 587BC and subsequently took the people of Judah captive to Babylon. Ezekiel was given a vision of the restoration of Jerusalem, which he prophesied to the exiled Judeans. This was a glimmer of hope during a time of despair. Everything they had, the life they knew, their rights, and their dignity, was stripped from them when they were exiled from Jerusalem. Now in the midst of their despair, God starts breaking his silence. Yes, we so often ask where God is in times of trouble. They used to worship God with joy, singing, and celebration in Jerusalem, but how could they sing the Lord’s song in a strange land by the rivers of Babylon. In this small way, in a way that most wouldn’t have understood, a ray of light shone through in the darkness. He was telling his people that he would be there in Jerusalem and that they would get through their present state of gloom. By telling them that he was also telling them that he was with them there in Babylon. He had never left them nor forsaken them, even though they were there of their own doing. They had wandered from him and turned to other gods that weren’t gods at all. Nevertheless, Yahweh Shammah – The Lord is there – was there even when they didn’t realise it.
The Lord often brings judgment on sin and allows the people of the world, including his chosen and righteous people, to plummet along with the rest. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah were some of the righteous in exile along with the wicked. We may find ourselves in difficult and dark places either of our own doing or the doing of others, but God is there with you. Nothing that we do can change his faithful character and if he promised to be there then we hold on to that promise, even if we can’t understand it. Have you lost a loved one, or your job? The Lord is there. Have you been stricken by some illness that may be incurable? The Lord is there. Have you gone through strained or broken relationships? The Lord is there. Him being with you may not change your present circumstances, but he does give us hope in the future Jerusalem where we will live for him forever without pain, suffering, or tears. Yahweh Shammah – The Lord is there.