‘JEHOVAH SHAMMAH’ THE LORD IS THERE!
There are TWO “presence of the Lord” which the Bible speaks about! One is the UNIVERSAL PRESENCE OF LORD, wherein He is present everywhere and whereby He sees all things in heaven and earth! This is the PRESENCE which David speaks of, when He said “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there”! [Psalm 139:7,8]
But there is a MANIFESTED PRESENCE OF THE LORD, which the Bible speaks of too! This ‘manifested presence’ is when God appeared and manifested Himself at different times to His people! For example, to Solomon and his people in the dedication of the temple! [see 2Chron 7:1]
This is the same PRESENCE which Jacob, waking from his sleep, said: “Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not”. [gen 28:16]
And the name of the city from that day shall be, ‘JEHOVAH SHAMMAH’ The LORD is there”! [Ezk 48:35]
This same MANIFESTED PRESENCE is the one spoken of, when the Master said – “Where two or three gather together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them”! [Matt 18:20]
This same MANIFESTED PRESENCE is the one spoken of when the Scripture says – “Jonah fled from the PRESENCE OF THE LORD, and went down to Joppa”! [Jonah 1:3]
Obviously Jonah could never flee from the UNIVERSAL PRESENCE of the Lord, for the Lord is everywhere in that sense and fills heaven and earth! But there is a MANIFESTED PRESENCE of the Lord, and that “PRESENCE” is what Jonah fled from, as the Scripture records!
And THAT is the ‘PRESENCE‘ which even un-repenting backsliders avoid! They try and stay as far away from the Bible as much as they can, for in the reading of the Scriptures the Lord at times manifests His presence! They avoid Christian fellowship, for where two are three gather together in the Lord’s Name, His manifested presence is there! Only the broken repenting backslider comes back to read God’s Word and into the fellowship of the saints! (I ought to know)
Oftentimes we hear Christians praying, “Lord please go with us, as we take this journey” etc! Is it inconsistent to pray like that? Not if you understand the distinction between HIS UNIVERSAL PRESENCE and HIS MANIFESTED PRESENCE!
“My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest!
And he (Moses) said unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence”! [Exodus 33;14,15]
Is the ‘MANIFESTED PRESENCE” of the Lord with you today, or are you like Jonah – fleeing from THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD?!