Summary: In one sense, everything in the Bible is either about God's presence or about a lack of God's presence. Let's see why the presence of God is so important.

Ezekiel 39:25-29; 48:35

Purpose: To show how important the presence of God is.

INTRODUCTION: Why should we study the names of God? Why does the Bible have so many names for God? Spurgeon answered it by quoting the psalmist David.

Psalm 33:21 For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. (NAU)

Charles Spurgeon reminds us that, "The root of faith produces the flower of heart-joy. We may not at the first rejoice, but it comes in due time. We trust the Lord when we are sad, and in due season He so answers our confidence that our faith turns to fruition and we rejoice in the Lord. Doubt breeds distress, but trust means joy in the long run. Let us meditate upon the Lord's holy name, that we may trust Him the better and rejoice the more readily. He is in character holy, just, true, gracious, faithful and unchanging. Is not such a God to be trusted? He is all-wise, almighty, and everywhere present; can we not cheerfully rely upon Him? Yes, we will do so at once, and do so without reserve. Jehovah-Jireh will provide, Jehovah-Shalom will send peace, Jehovah-Tsidkenu will justify, Jehovah-Shammah will be for ever near, and in Jehovah-Nissi we will conquer every foe. They that know thy name will trust thee; and they that trust thee will rejoice in thee, O Lord. The assurance expressed by the Psalmist in this verse is really a promise held out in the hands of holy confidence. Oh for grace to appropriate it. If we do not rejoice at this moment, yet we shall do so, as surely as David's God is our God." [1]

The last verse of the book of Ezekiel introduces us to Jehovah-Shammah as a name for God and also as a name for Jerusalem.

Let's take a moment and look at the big picture of the book of Ezekiel. It is divided into four sections or visions. In Chapters 1-3 we see the first vision where Ezekiel is called to be a prophet. The second vision is in chapters 4-24 and Ezekiel describes the judgment of God on Jerusalem and the Temple. As we will see in a minute, the Jews had turned away from God, so the presence of God departed from the Temple and the entire city of Jerusalem.

The third vision is found in chapters 25-39 which shows us God's judgment on several Gentile nations and Israel. The fourth vision in chapters 40-48 gives us a wonderful picture of what the eternal temple and the worship there will be like in the future.

The main theme of Ezekiel is hard to miss. The phrase "they will know that I am the Lord" is repeated over 70 times in this book. Look at an example with me.

Ezekiel 28:22--26 and say, 'Thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I am against you, O Sidon, And I will be glorified in your midst. Then they will know that I am the Lord when I execute judgments in her, And I will manifest My holiness in her. 23 "For I will send pestilence to her And blood to her streets, And the wounded will fall in her midst By the sword upon her on every side; Then they will know that I am the Lord. 24 "And there will be no more for the house of Israel a prickling brier or a painful thorn from any round about them who scorned them; then they will know that I am the Lord God." 25 'Thus says the Lord God, "When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and will manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob. 26 "They will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards and live securely when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God." ' " (NAU)

In other words, as the presence of God's holiness is displayed some people will learn that the God of the universe is "the Lord their God."

In one sense, everything in the Bible is either about God's presence or about a lack of God's presence. Let's see why the presence of God is so important.

► I. Where Do We See God's Presence In The Past?

There is no question that the Lord has personally intervened in human history with His presence.

► A. God was present in the Garden of Eden

After God made everything else he made man. God provided a garden where the flowers were in bloom and the trees were bearing fruit before he asked man to take care of it. But God did not just provide a beautiful creation, He also gave Himself. Gen 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, (NAS)

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