There’s a city one day that all of God’s children will have the amazing privilege of living in for eternity.  The name of the city is Yahweh-Shammah.  We are told this in the last verse of Ezekiel where it says

“The four sides of the city measure to a total of nearly six miles. “From now on the name of the city will be Yahweh-Shammah: “God-Is-There.”  

Now contrast that thought with this verse in 1 Samuel 4:

She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel” (because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband). She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”  

Can you imagine if your Mom named you Ichabod, which means ‘The glory or presence of God has departed‘?  You know it’s a rough time when moms are giving out such names.  Indeed this was a dark time.  Israel had been brutally defeated, many men had lost their lives, and the ark of God, which was God’s dwelling place, was stolen.  

Are you in an ‘Ichabod’ place right now, or in a ‘Yahweh-Shammah’ place?  As I think back on the diffferent times in my life I have experienced the reality of both.  There have been those times when I’ve faced temptations and I have given in and turned my back on God and chosen the path of sin rather than the path of His presence and righteousness.  Sin is so deceptive in that it promises so much fulfilment and then when you get there it has this cold, lonely, guilt-ridden, Ichabod, empty feeling that equates to pure misery.  On the other hand when we choose God’s path, it may not always supply that instant gratification that sin does, but as we walk with Him faithfully, we find that this path fills us up with a peace, a deep satisfaction, a joy, and a contentment that the world can never give us.  What’s crazy is that I have spent time with people who live in shacks in a city dump site in Mexico and yet they smile because they daily experience ‘Yahweh-Shammah’.  I also have seen people who have every luxury the world can give and yet live in the cold, icy reality of ‘Ichabod’.  Today let’s crave, set our hearts on, and run after ‘Yahweh-Shammah’ and know that to be in God’s presence and to walk with Him throughout our day is the greatest treasure we will ever know.

pursuing His presence,

Brian