The Apex of Glory
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.

The name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there. The final words of the prophet are golden, and deserve to be written in largest capitals. The architecture of the holy city is ideally complete; its finial shines out with immortal luster. The city is baptized with a new name. Instead of "Jerusalem," it shall be "Jehovah-Shammah." Names are often labels which falsify the reality. A worthless mine may be named "El Dorado." A rotten ship may still bear the name Impregnable. But this name shall express the distinctive feature of the renovated city. Its glory shall not appear in chiseled marble and in burnished gold. In the new kingdom Christ shall set up, all the materials shall be spiritual, therefore impervious to decay. The charm and enchantment of the place will be this -

"The Lord is there." It shall be nothing less than heaven in miniature. This illustrious name betokens -

I. SECURITY. Real security is never a visible quantity. It does not consist of granite walls and bastions, nor yet of approved artillery. The walls of Jericho were a poor defense. Jerusalem was better shielded by an unseen angel against the legions of Sennacherib, than by all its towers and citadels and gates. The host of Israel, when invading Canaan, was invincible because the Lord was among them. The presence of God is no mere fancy; 'tis a substantial reality. And if he be among us he brings with him all the qualities of Omnipotence. He who reared the Alps by a word, cannot he defend us? He who created with a breath this solid globe, cannot he protect? He is to us better than all "munitions of rocks." If he dwell in our midst, well may we triumphantly shout, "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge."

II. EMINENT RENOWN. A city is deemed garnished with honor if it be the residence of a king. To have the presence of a monarch in their midst, to enjoy ever and anon his smile, is a privilege which all citizens prize. But how superior the renown of a city in which the King of heaven specially dwells! That he should stoop to sojourn among feeble mortals is an act of condescension peculiarly God-like. Compassion to the fallen is his delight, and he is satisfied if he can bestir in us holy ambitions. But what an honor! It is a difficult task to make it real to ourselves. His presence is the essential charm of heaven. He is its Light and its Life. Yet he deigns to dwell in an earthly empire I Will he not be equally the Life and Glory of the place? Will not this city acquire an eminence that shall cast into the shade all other renown? What other honor can we desire than this? Can ambition any higher climb? Is not this a climax of honor - "God with us"? Such a city becomes the metropolis of the world.

III. INTERNAL ORDER. If our King dwell in our midst, and if he be endowed with qualities of supreme wisdom and supreme righteousness, then the order of the city will be complete. Oppression of every sort and kind will be unknown. Upon every act of violence he will frown, and his frown will suffice. The inhabitants will instinctively study his comfort. The least danger of losing his presence will make them loyal. They will feel intolerable shame at any act that would distress his mind. His laws and regulations they know to be righteous through and through. His administration of rule is kindly and gentle. It is a joy to please him. Resistance can find no corner wherein to lurk, for "his eyes are in every place." To meet his gracious commands is not enough; they anticipate his every wish. For such a one service is a very banquet. At his feet they place heart and will.

IV. PROSPERITY. The presence of God among us brings real prosperity. From him, the eternal Fount of good, all substantial blessing flows. A hollow, transient prosperity may now and again be possessed without him; but it soon collapses, - it is only penalty disguised. The foes of God have at times had a flash of apparent success. But again men looked; it had vanished; the possessors were hurled into destruction; into smoke had they faded away. As the rising, of the sun brings to us radiant day, so the smile of God alone gives success to agriculture, to commerce, to art, to legislation, and to literature. If God dwelt among us, every interest in human life prospers. Industry reaps a full reward. Contentment reigns in every home. The very deserts bud and blossom like the rose.

V. HIGH COMMUNION ALSO IS ENJOYED. Our King does not clothe himself in silent, proud reserve. The very opposite; he is free of speech, affable, familiar. All the stores of knowledge he has he is ready to communicate. It is his purpose to make us wise, righteous, beneficent, pure. He dwells among us that we may commune with him and learn of him. We have known and felt the rich gains to character and to spiritual progress we have made by an hour or two of converse with the great and good among men. We were lifted up to a higher plane of life. But what language can express the gain of purity and spiritual excellence we obtain from converse with God? It is at times a glad experience; but earth is too poor in speech to tabulate the gain. And it is a gain that abides. A stupendous change passed over the eleven apostles through their familiar intercourse with Jesus, and we have often envied them the high advantage. Yet we are not excluded. We are invited to closer friendship, to more intimate converse with God. Fools we are that we do not use the privilege. By communion with God we become like God.

VI. EXQUISITE JOY. As superior joy pervades like a sunny atmosphere the scenes of heaven, so an installment of the came joy fills the city on earth where God dwells. Joy springs out of the harmony between our souls and our surroundings. The highest joy is reached when our souls have perfect friendship with our Maker. Oat of this intimate relationship with God comes friendly relationship with all holy beings. Now "all things work together for our good." Sorrow is but a preparative for a higher joy. The darkest cloud breaks into showers of blessing. Sorrow is ephemeral; joy is permanent. There are qualities in joy as well as varying measures. This joy is superlative - the cream of all joy. 'Tis the selfsame joy that dwells in Jehovah's heart. My peace," said Jesus, "I give unto. you." All other forms of gladness fade into nothingness m the presence of such joy as this. It Is a well-spring of bliss which can never be exhausted, because God can never be exhausted. "In thy presence is fullness of Joy." "Then shall I be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness."

"O blest the city, blest the land, That yield them to this King's command! O blest the heart set free from sin, To which he deigns to enter in!"

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.

Jehovah-Shammah: a Glorious Name for the New Year
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