The Presence of Christ in His Church
Ezekiel 48:35
It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

Far more valuable to the Church of Jesus Christ is that Divine presence here promised than was the sacred Shechinah to the ancient people. The latter was only a mere symbol, once a year beheld by one man; but the former is a gracious power, to be appreciated and felt by every true Christian heart. "God is in the midst of her; The Lord is there," or (as Fairbairn would translate it) "The Lord is thither or thereupon;" the Lord from his temple looks towards (or upon) the city, and through the city to the whole land. It is the presence of its Divine Lord in the midst of the Church that is here indicated, and it may well be the concluding, as it is the crowning, thought which gives completeness to the prophet's vision.

I. HIS OBSERVANT PRESENCE. Jesus Christ is "with us always" (Matthew 28:20); not in the body, but in the spirit; and his spiritual presence means his observation of us, his perfect knowledge of us all, his observation of our inner life and of our outward conduct, in the homes in which we live and in the different spheres in which we move, as well as when we are gathered together in his house or around his table. The near presence of our Lord is a thought which should preserve us from folly and from sin, which should urge us to duty and to kindness, which should sustain us in trouble and in loss.

II. HIS SYMPATHETIC PRESENCE. 'We have need of his presence at all times, but we realize our need more especially and more profoundly in the time of our affliction. It is then we want a Divine Friend and an all-powerful Deliverer. Man fails us then; he may be something or even much to us, but he leaves much to be desired. And to feel that "the Lord is there," in the trials of the household, in the anxieties of daily duty, in the pressing problems and sacred struggles of the Church, is much to the mind of the devout. In Jesus Christ we have a present, sympathizing Friend, who enters into our sorrows, who goes down with us into the deepest waters through which we have to pass.

III. HIS ACTIVE PRESENCE. Our Lord is with us, not only observing us and feeling for us, but also acting graciously upon us and through us.

1. Illuminating our minds by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit.

2. Sustaining our spiritual life by Divine communications of power (see Ephesians 1:19).

3. Responding to our devotion, accepting our praise and our adoration, hearing and answering our prayers.

4. Energizing and. effectuating our work, enabling us to speak for him, and making our words to be "mighty to pull down" and to build up. The near presence of Christ should be the most powerful incentive to the pursuit of spiritual worth and to the execution of Christian enterprise.


1. Do not indulge in a vain regret. It would have been very pleasant to "see the Lord" as his apostles saw him, to look into his face, to hear his voice; and very honorable it would have been to minister to his necessities as they were permitted to do; but we can be, in fact and in truth, as near to him now as they were then; and still we listen to his word, and still we serve him most acceptably for inasmuch as we show kindness or render help to "one of these little ones of his," we do the same thing "unto him'"

2. Do not cherish an unfounded hope. Many are the souls that lived long and died disappointed, expecting to have a present visible Savior amongst them. We need not add to their number; the words of promise find another fulfillment than this.

3. Realize the valuable truth, the invaluable truth, that our Lord. is with us now, loving us, caring for us, strengthening and Comforting us, governing and using us, blessing us with all priceless blessings.

4. Make the present heritage a foretaste of the future. Live in such happy and holy Consciousness of the presence of the Lord that it will only be a change of scene and sphere, not of spiritual condition, when we are citizens of that country where "God himself shall be with them," where "he who sits on the throne shall dwell among them," of that city which may well be called "Jehovah-Shammah," for "the Lord is there." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

WEB: It shall be eighteen thousand [reeds] around: and the name of the city from that day shall be, Yahweh is there.

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