This word is used some 823 times in 724 verses.
It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: (2) And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. (3) And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. (4) And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. (5) So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. (6) And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. (7) And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; (5) Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; (6) Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. (7) And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. (8) For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. (9) For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD. (10) For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. (11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (12) Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. (13) And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
I love this last verse. . . I use it often. . .And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. . . Notice what it says. . . notice what it does not say. . . God does not instruct you as to where to search for Him. Rather it is the passion and intensity and completeness of the seeking that guarantees the finding.
God is a spirit. Where ever you look for God you will find Him. He is everywhere. To put an 'x' on the map and to say that God is there, is an important symbol or sign for man, but not for God. We need to have something on which to to focus our attention, a burning bush for example for us to believe, to show us that we are in the presence of God.
I have been in churches where we were instructed that we could walk and go anywhere, excepting a three or four foot radius behind the pulpit which was reserved as holy ground and no one was allowed to tread upon this sanctified area, but the Man of God. I understand the respect thereby being given to the pulpit and the podium reserved for preaching . . but. . . but. . .but every minute we exist, every mile we walk we are in front of Him. To signify one place as being particularly holy over all other places, I believe misleads us into thinking we need to be especially dedicated and devout at one spot on the map, but not so dedicated or devout at other times and locations. . . We are always in God's presence. . .
Jesus said let your 'yes' be a 'yes' and your 'no' be a 'no'. Take no oaths giving a particularly high level of assurance that you are being honest. Do not have separate levels of honesty depending upon the circumstance. Do not have one level of honesty when on the witness stand in a courtroom and another level of honesty in your everyday interactions. In the same manner I do not believe that we should have separate codes of behaviour depending upon whether we are seen as standing upon or near a spot seen as holy. He does not require a house to reside in. He is spirit. He exists everywhere. . . He is omnipresent. . .An ordinary patch of dirt in the desert is holy when God reveals Himself to you there. . . Moses take off your shoes. The ground upon which you stand is holy ground. . .
Jesus was no respecter of persons. He was as respectful and attentive, as concerned and loving and generous equally to prostitutes and beggars, and to the Roman centurion, a man of authority and means. He did not consult the resume of the man or look upon his past accomplishments before deciding on how to treat him. and I do not believe that either does He need a particular place in which to be reserved for His worship and honor. . .Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. . .It is not the place that is important. It is the seeking with all your heart. . .
In the passage of Jeremiah quoted above. . . in the city of your enemies. . . in the place of your captivity. . . pray for the peace of that place. . . do not pray for the destruction of that place. I am there. This is accomplishing My purpose. . .In my presence is holy ground. . . I am everywhere. . .it is all consecrated. . . it is all His. . .
Where ever you look. . .Jehovah-Shammah. . . God is there. I lay upon my bed at night. I stroke and pet my dog. I pray. . . I visualize stroking the head of God. I softly caress my dog's ears. . .I pray. . . I minister to God. . .All through the day, if I show kindness to my fellow man. . . Jesus said that thereby I do it unto Him. If I do it unto the least of them. . . I do it unto Him. . .where ever I look. . . where ever I go. . . Jehovah-Shammah. . . God is there. . .
A few moments ago, I received a call. . .my mother has passed away. . . .
It happened at very nearly the same time that I got up to write these words to you all. . .
Jehovah-Shammah. . . God is here. . .
Saturday, February 2, 2008