“The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be [Yahweh Shammah].'”Ezekiel 48:35
Yahweh Shammah: The LORD Is There
Ezekiel is a heavy book. It is full of a good, loving Father who wants only the best for them striving with his “stubborn and hard-hearted” children (Ezekiel 2:4). It’s a book of His lamenting the consequences they have brought on themselves by their disobedience, of His pleading with them to choose better, of the enormous emotions this Creator of ours must bear watching His children walk away from Him and toward their own destruction. By chapter 7, “No hope remains.” All that is left is for God’s children to experience what they have done to others because they’re just not getting it any other way… and He lets them.
But the book is far from over at the end of chapter 7. There are 41 more chapters! What more can there possibly be to tell of this horrifically painful, broken parent/child relationship? They drove their God away. Their God who, in His presence, is fullness of joy. Their God whose glory transforms everything it touches into its most full, healthy, joyful, glorious self! The God whose presence makes the difference between Heaven and Hell – because His presence itself is what we call Heaven. Heaven is a person more than a place – it is wherever He is. And they drove Him away. Do we really want to know what happens next? Do we want to hear about their hell?
But if you quit now, you’ll never know.
You’ll never know what it takes to make peace after a war.
You’ll never know that bones so dead they’re dry can spring back together…and grow flesh…and breathe again.
You’ll never know what was rebuilt after everything was destroyed.
And you’ll never know, that after all their cruelty, all their idolatry, after all the shame and pain it caused, after they wounded Him, angered Him, and shoved Him away… Yahweh Shammah. These are the very last words in the book, so you must read all the way to the end to know that – after all of it –
The Lord Is There.