By Tyson Thorne

August 30, 2018

NoG Shammah Large

YHWH Shammah is derived from the Hebrew word sham, which means there or, in this case, “the Lord is there”. This is the last name of God provided in the Old Testament, and is quite possibly the most encouraging name of God. This name is given to a city that is described by the prophet Ezekiel, “The circumference of the city will be six miles. The name of the city from that day forward will be: ‘The Lord Is There.’” (Ezekiel 48.35). The city of this prophecy is known by another name, the New Jerusalem, described in Revelation 21.15-27.

Why is this name such an encouragement? Because it is reminder of what is to come. After the rapture, after the tribulation, after the thousand year reign of Jesus and after the great white throne judgment a new earth is created and with it a new Jerusalem. This new capitol city is unlike the old Jerusalem in one important respect — there is no temple. The reason for this is that God will dwell among his created, the Lord is There.

While traditional Jews do not accept that Jesus is the Messiah and reject the New Testament, they too have a belief in God dwelling among his people again. This is what is behind the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. It is a remembrance of a time when God was with them in the Tabernacle (think the Exodus period) and of a time in the future when God will once again "tabernacle", or dwell, among his people. They too understand that God's previous presence was but a shadow of its ultimate fulfillment. As followers of the Messiah, we know when this will happen.

Some in Christendom believe the fulfillment has already occurred in the form of the indwelling Holy Spirit. In this view the "dwelling" is spiritual rather than literal, personal rather than national. This view has some merit in light of 1 Corinthians 3.16: "Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?" While the indwelling Spirit is greater than the limited presence God had in the tabernacle and residing around the Ark of the Covenant, it too is like a shadow of what is to come. The closest we can come to understanding the ultimate fulfillment would be Jesus' appearance to the disciples after his resurrection, though this was a limited and temporary visit.

Truly YHWH Shammah is a remarkable name — he is the God who was there among his people, the God who is here indwelling his people, and the God who is there waiting for us in eternity. All praise YHWH Shammah!

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