In the Bible there are a number of different names or titles for God. Each name reveals aspects of our loving heavenly Father and what He provides for His people. Jehovah is a Hebrew name for God used in reference to the One Who is eternal and unchanging—the One Who was, is, and will be. It is often translated “Lord” and represents God’s intimate concern for His people. Jehovah-shammah is a title for God found in the Old Testament signifying that the Lord is present. By looking at the use of Jehovah-shammah and reading the verses and context of records that describe God’s presence, we can learn many ways God’s people are profited by His enduring presence.
Let’s begin our search of the Scriptures by looking at the only verse where Jehovah-shammah occurs.
…and the name of the city [Jerusalem] from that day shall be, The Lord is there [Jehovah-shammah].
In this title, shammah is a form of the Hebrew word sham, which means “there” or “thither.” Since the verb “is” has been supplied in this verse by the translators, it could read, “The Lord there” or Jehovah present. He abides. E. W. Bullinger notes about this verse in The Companion Bible that “The Lord [is] there: denoting the fact that Jehovah has gone thither and rests There, with all the blessing, peace, security, and glory of His abiding presence.”
One way we as workmen of the Word can broaden our understanding of the wonderful benefits that Jehovah-shammah provides with His awe-inspiring presence is to read verses in their immediate context that speak of Jehovah being present in relation to His people. An example of this can be found in the Book of Psalms.
O Lord [Jehovah], thou hast searched me, and known me.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
From these verses we learn that Jehovah’s presence is not limited to a building, a city, a nation, or a geographic location. The Lord, Jehovah, is everywhere present. His presence is so vast that the heavens and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him (I Kings 8:27). The psalmist recognized that wherever he went, Jehovah was there. He was above him and below him. Even in the “uttermost parts,” Jehovah’s loving hand was there to lead him, and His right hand was there to tenderly hold him.
Elsewhere in the Book of Psalms we see that Jehovah is present to show His people the path of life. In His presence is fullness of joy; the blessings of His right hand include pleasures forevermore.
Psalms 16:8 and 11:
I have set the Lord [Jehovah] always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Thou [Jehovah] wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Another way to expand our understanding of the tremendous benefits of Jehovah-shammah is to read verses in their immediate context where God promises to be there for and with His people. In light of this, let’s consider some verses in the Old Testament where Jehovah’s presence encouraged, strengthened, and caused His people to prosper and have good success.
Through the ministry of the Prophet Isaiah, Jehovah promised to be with His beloved servants and adopted sons, the children of Israel.
…I the Lord [Jehovah], the first, and with the last; I am he.
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I [Jehovah] have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
Fear thou not; for I [Jehovah] am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Jehovah was with Isaiah and all of Israel, and this enabled them to live without fear and discouragement. He was there to provide strength, help, and support by upholding His chosen people with the right hand of His righteousness.
Also in the Old Testament, Jehovah promised to be with Joshua. Under the ministry of the man of God Moses, Joshua had proven himself capable of handling different types of leadership responsibilities. After Joshua’s years of preparation, training, and maturing, Moses was commanded by God to designate Joshua as his successor in leading the children of Israel (Numbers 27:18-23). After Moses died, Joshua assumed his new leadership role. In the midst of this immense challenge Jehovah encouraged Joshua, promising him that He would be with him and that He would not fail him, nor forsake him….
This is an excerpt from the November/December 2013 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2013 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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