"THE LORD IS THERE"
Intro. Ezekiel is seeking to describe the glory of the new city that will be adjacent to the Temple. The crowning glory is found in the name of the city which is "The Lord is there," or Jehovah Shammah.
I. THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD.
A. Where can I flee from your presence, if I ascend into heaven you are there, if I make my bed in hell, you are there.
1. Solomon declared, "The heavens of heavens cannot contain you."
2. Some men think they would like to find a place where God isn't.
a. They would like to escape if possible from the presence of God.
b. Jonah tried to run from the presence of God.
c. There are many in the United States today who wish to escape from God.
1. They want no mention of Him in the public schools, or no reminders of Him in public places.
2. They are working hard to if possible to destroy God.
3. The ACLU and the PAW are very dedicated to develop a nation where God isn't.
4. If they succeed, you would not want to live there, and neither would they.
d. Some men are so foolish as to thing that they can destroy God with words. That they can talk Him out of existence. The psalmist said, "Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The rulers of the earth have gathered against the Lord and His anointed, But He that sitteth in heaven shall laugh for He shall have them in derision."
B. Our problem is that we forget that God is there.
1. A lot of things a person does he would not do if he were only conscious of the presence of God.
2. When Moses killed the Egyptian, the scripture tells us that he looked this way and that way and saw no man so he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. There is one way he did not look and that was up.
3. One of the most important things for man is to live in the consciousness of the presence of God. As Paul said, "In Him we live and move and have our being." We need to be conscious of that. It is when I forget that, that I am prone to sin.
II. WHY DO MEN LOSE THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD?
A. Many times there is nothing to suggest the presence of God.
1. Things seem to be so confused, and we are in big trouble.
2. When Jacob was fleeing from the intent of his brother to kill him, he came the first night to a mount called Bethel where he lay on the ground exhausted, and used a stone for a pillow. He dreamed of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven and the angels of God ascending and descending upon this ladder. In the morning when he woke up he declared, "Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not."
a. The night before as he arrived at this rocky hillside with his mind tormented by the uncertainty of his future, there was nothing to suggest the presence of God, in this barren rocky place.
b. Had he only looked up to the starry sky above, surely he would have been reminded of God, but that revelation of God often makes Him seem so remote.
3. Often times when we lose the consciousness of the presence of God is when we need most to be conscious of His presence.
a. Our hearts begin to despair over the conditions of our lives, and we can see no way out. Take heart, the Lord is there.
b. Some people are only conscious of the presence of God when everything is going well. They rejoice in their blessings.
c. God is present with you when you are going through the deepest trials. If you can only become conscious of that you will gain strength to endure.
B. The three Hebrew children Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, more commonly known by the names given to them by the Babylonians, of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, must have felt disturbed by the edict of Nebuchadnezzer to heat the furnace 7 times hotter than it had been heated before. They were facing a fiery death at the hands of this pagan king. As they were thrown into the furnace the men throwing them in were killed by the heat of the furnace, but they were not even singed. As Nebuchalnezzer peered in the furnace he asked how many they had thrown into the furnace and the answer was three, he then asked, "How is it that I see four walking around in the midst of the fire, and the fourth looks like the Son of God?"
1. The Lord was there in the midst of the fiery trial.
2. The Lord is with you in the midst of every trial that you may face.
3. The consciousness of this will change your whole perspective.
4. David said, "Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, FOR THOU ART WITH ME."
C. Paul had been in a vicious storm where they had not seen the sun for fourteen days, and even the seasoned seamen had given up all hope for survival. Paul finally stood before the crew and declared, "Men be of good cheer, for none of you will lose your life, only the ship will be destroyed. For there stood by me this night the angel of God whose I am and whom I serve. He said, fear not Paul, you must be brought before Caesar, and I have given you the lives of those that are with you. You are going to be cast up on an island. Paul declared to them, "I believe God that it will happen to us even as He showed me."
1. Fourteen days of darkness, fourteen days of vicious storm, hopelessness had set in, fear and despair.
2. What a difference it makes to find out that the Lord is on board the ship with you. You are going to survive.
D. Joseph went through some harrowing experiences. His brothers turned on him and sold him as a slave where he was taken to Egypt, his masters wife falsely accused him of attempted rape, he was thrown into prison as a result of these false charges, but we read that the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord was there even in the prison.
III. I am so thankful that God is there. Where? Anywhere I might find myself.
A. He is there in the midst of the jubilation of victory. When voices are lifted in excited praise to Him because he has thrown the enemies horses and the riders into the sea.
B. He is there when it seems like the waters are going to overflow us. He said, when you pass through the waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you.
C. "Fear not, for I AM WITH YOU, be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness."
D. What should we be celebrating at Christmas?
1. That a virgin gave birth to a Son who was to be known as Immanuel, which interpreted from the Hebrew means, "God with us."
2. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.
E. The consciousness of the presence of God will keep you from sin.
F. The consciousness of the presence of God will give you rejoicing and victory even in the midst of the battle.
G. Rejoice you children of the Father, for the Lord is there, where ever that may be.