Living in the city of “God-is-There”
Ezekiel 48: The name of the city will be Yahweh-Shammah: “God-is-There.”
In his vision Ezekiel continues measuring the Temple and the land surrounding it. He sees a stream flowing out of the Temple that increases in size, giving life to all it touches. The prophet measures out divisions in the land and finds that there’s a place for all the people of Israel; no one is excluded. Ezekiel sees that there are gates named after each tribe, providing abundant entrance to all who will come. He then concludes that the Holy City will be christened with a new name: “Yahweh-Shammah.” In that, he understands that people far and near will conclude the same thing, that heaven has come to earth and that God is now with us. After journeying through Ezekiel for some time now and hearing his pain-filled sermons I find this passage to be a welcoming place to land: a flowing river, green trees, and the Holy City with space for all who will come to the Presence of God. That’s God’s intent for Israel and it’s his intent for all Creation. If you think about it, the book of Revelation follows the same pattern: war, suffering, hard times giving way to eternity as the Lord intended it in the first place. For Ezekiel a vision of God’s intentions is all about the restoration of Israel and the Temple. The Revelator paints a broader picture, but that River is still there and his rebuilt Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. For both, the end result is “Yahweh-Shammah.” I join both of these godly men in looking forward to that day.
Take Away: Ultimately, the Lord will redeem his people and will dwell among them.
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