I vividly recall on one of my first trips to India, I was traveling alone, in the back of a taxi, on my way to meet people I did not know, being driven by a Hindu who spoke very little English, inhaling the incense he was burning in the taxi, in a city I had never been in before. It occurred to me that I may be headed down a dark alley somewhere where my friendly taxi driver would have his friends meet him, rob and beat me up, then leave me there in the gutters of Mumbai, India. I began to get a little “nervous.” No one knew where I was, and I started to get afraid. Then, the Lord reminded me that He was with me. In a city of almost 20 million people, I was lonely - but not alone because Jehovah Shammah was with me. This name means, “God is there.”
What an excellent name is this Jehovah Shammah: The LORD is There. The LORD is Here. And for believers, The LORD is in me. The LORD is in you!
So what does this mean for us today?
We can choose to trust Him.
It’s one thing to profess that God is always present; it’s another thing to really believe it, especially when we go through tough times. Isaiah 43:2 teaches that whatever we go through, God will be with us: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
We can live for the Lord right now.
If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are now the place where God dwells. Those who are born again have become temples of God. This is the thrust of 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” The way we live should declare to the world that Jehovah Shammah is present within us. Or to say it another way, the world will learn about God based upon the way we are living. Does your lifestyle demonstrate that God is present in you?
We do not have to fear the future.
While most of us live in the present, some of us are fearful of the future. Covid-19 has certainly brought a new level of anxiousness about what may be “out there” into our lives. Others of us are tied down by the past. I’m thankful that God is an ever-present help for trouble today, and I’m also glad that Jehovah Shammah has the future covered.
Since God is already in the future, you can trust Him today and put your hope in Him for tomorrow, even if trials come your way (and they will).
We have some promises about the presence of God. Claim these as your own as you call out to Jehovah Shammah in prayer.
Habakkuk 2:4: “Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD, and work. For I am with you, declares the LORD Almighty.”
Hebrews 13:5: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
Matthew 28:20: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”