2182. Jehovah-Shammah: A Glorious Name For The New Year

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No. 2182-37:1. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, January 4, 1891.

The name of the city from that day shall be, “The Lord is there.” [or in the Hebrew Jehovah-Shammah] {Eze 48:35}

1. These words may be used as a test as well as a text. They may serve for examination as well as consolation, and at the beginning of a year they may fulfil this useful double purpose. In any case they are full of marrow and fatness for those whose spiritual taste is purified. It is esteemed by the prophet to be the highest blessing that could come upon a city that its name should be, “JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, The Lord is there.” Even Jerusalem, in its best estate, would have this for its crowning blessing: nothing could exceed this. Do we consider the presence of the Lord to be the greatest of blessings? If in any gathering, even of the humblest people, the Lord God is known to be present in a particularly gracious manner, should we make a point of being there? Very much depends on our answer to these queries.

2. Doubtless many would be greatly pleased if there were no God at all; for in their hearts they say, “No God.” For them God is not a father, a friend, a trust, a treasure. If they were to speak from their hearts, and could hope for a satisfactory answer, they would ask, “Where can I flee from his presence?” If a place could be found where there would be no God, what a fine building speculation might be made there! Millions would emigrate to “No God’s land,” and would feel at ease as soon as they trod its godless shore. There they could do just as they liked, without fear of future reckoning. Now, friend, if you would gladly escape from the presence of God, your state is clearly revealed by that fact. There can be no heaven for you; for heaven is the place where the Lord’s presence is fulness of joy. If you could be happy to be far off from God, I must tell you what your fate will be. You are now going away from God in your heart and desire, and at last the great Judge of all will say to you, “Depart, you cursed”; and then you will be driven from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

3. I know that there is a company who can truly say that they feel only happy when they are conscious that God is with them. The place where they meet the Lord is very dear and precious to them, because of his unveilings. The memory of holy convocations is sweet, because the Lord was among them. They would not care to go where God is not present. If there were a place forsaken by God, however carefree and full of merriment as men might think it to be, they would not be found among its guests. Where we cannot enjoy God’s company we will not go. Our motto is: “With God, anywhere. Without God, nowhere.” In him we live, and move, and have our being; and, therefore, it would be death to us to be apart from God. Without God we should be without hope. Ah, my dear friend! whatever your difficulties, and trials, and sorrows, all is well with you if God is your delight, and his presence your joy. But, however high your temporal enjoyments may rise, it is all wrong with you if you can rest away from the God of grace. The child must be in a sad state of heart when he does not care to have his father’s approving smile. Things must be terribly wrong with any creature when it can be content to walk contrary to its Creator. Nothing but the corruption of the heart could permit any man to be at ease away from God.

4. Will you permit these thoughts to saturate you for a little time? I have spoken them with the desire that each one of us may ask himself, “Is the presence of God my delight?” If so, I am his, and he will be with me. On the contrary, Is the presence of God a matter of indifference, or even of dread? Then my condition is one of guilt, disease, and danger. May the Lord, by his infinite mercy, set me right!

5. This much may stand as a preface; but it must not be treated as most prefaces are, namely, left unread, or glanced over and forgotten. Please, carry it with you all along.

6. I. Now kindly notice that, according to our text, THE PRESENCE OF GOD IS THE GLORY OF THE MOST GLORIOUS PLACE.

7. The prophet Ezekiel has been telling us many remarkable things which I shall not attempt to explain to you; and my chief reason for not doing so is the fact that I do not understand them. If I could open up every dark saying, it is not just now the time to go into an explanation of all the sublime mysteries which were seen by the eagle eye of Ezekiel, for I seek present, practical edification; and this we can gain in an easier way. It is clear from the text, that when God shall bless his ancient people, and restore them to their land, and the temple shall be rebuilt, and all the glory of the latter days shall arrive, this will still be the particular glory of it all, that “the Lord is there.” The prophet works up a climax, and closes his book of prophecy with these glorious words, “the Lord is there.”

8. What a glorious state this world was in at the very first, in the age of Paradise, for the Lord was there! Our glorious Creator, having taken the first days of the week to make the world, and outfit it for man, did not bring forward his dear child until the house was built and furnished, and supplied for his use and happiness. He did not put him in the garden to dress it until the roses were blooming, and the fruits were ripe. When the table was furnished he introduced the guest, by saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The Lord put man, not in an unreclaimed plot of soil, where he must be hungry until he could produce a harvest; but into an Eden of delights, where he was at home, with creatures of every kind to attend him. He did not have to water dry lands, nor need he be thirsty himself, for four rivers flowed through his royal domain, rippling over sands of gold. I might say much of that fair garden of innocence and bliss, but the best thing I could say would be the Lord was there. “The Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day,” and communed with man; and man, being innocent, held rich communion with his condescending Maker. The top-stone of the bliss of Paradise was this all-comprehending privilege — “The Lord is there.”

9. Alas! that has vanished. Withered are the bowers of Eden: the trail of the serpent is over all landscapes, however fair. Yet days of mercy came, and God’s saints in various places found choice locations where they could converse with heaven. In the first days our gracious God spoke with his chosen ones in their daily walk, as Enoch; or under the oak, as Abraham; or by the brook, as Jacob; or before the bush, as Moses; or near the city wall, as Joshua. Wherever it might be, the place became to them the gate of heaven, for the Lord was there. Amid a torrent of sin and sorrow, you may cross the stream of time upon the stepping-stones of the places marked “JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH.” The Lord’s delights were with the sons of men, and for them nothing brought such bliss as to find that still the Lord would be mindful of man and visit him.

10. In the days when God had called out for himself a chosen nation, he revealed himself at Sinai, when the mountain was altogether shrouded in smoke, and even Moses said, “I greatly fear and quake.” Well might he feel a holy awe, for the Lord was there. I will not dwell upon the glory of the tabernacle that was pitched in the wilderness, with its costly furniture and its instructive rites, for after all, the glory of the tabernacle was that the Lord was there. A bright light shone between the wings of the cherubim, and so the Psalmist in later days spoke to the Lord saying, “You who dwell between the cherubims shine out.” Above the sacred tent was the pillar of fire by night, and the pillar of cloud by day — an emblem of the constant presence of God, for all through the wilderness his glorious marchings were in the centre of the armies of his Israel. The desert sand glowed with the blaze of the present Deity. No place on earth was so like heaven’s high courts as that wilderness where there was no way, where the Lord himself led his people like a flock. Holy was Horeb, for the Lord was there. Then were the days of Israel’s espousals, for the Most High tabernacled among her tribes, and made them “a people near to him.”

11. In Canaan itself the days of sorrow came when the nation went after other gods, and the Lord became a stranger in the land. When he returned, and delivered his people by the judges, then the nations knew that Israel could not be trampled on, for the Lord was there.

12. This was the glory of David’s reign. Then the Lord made bare his arm, and the enemies of his chosen were driven like snow from the bleak sides of Salmon, when the rough blast carries it away. This was the shout of the joyful people, “The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Never were the hills of Judah more fruitful, nor the vales of Sharon more peaceful, nor the homes of Israel more restful, nor the sons of Zion more valiant, than when to the harp of David the song was raised, “They have seen your goings, oh God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. This is the hill where God desires to dwell in; yes, the Lord shall dwell in it for ever.”

13. You remember how, in later ages, when Solomon was crowned and his reign of peace had been inaugurated, he built a temple for God adorned with gold and precious stones, and all manner of skilled work of the craftsman; but it was not that glittering roof, it was not those massive pillars of bronze in the forefront, it was not the hecatombs {a} of young bulls whose blood was poured out at the altar, which were the glory of the temple on Mount Zion. Beautiful for situation, it was the joy of the whole earth; but its glory lay in this — “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that very early.” The excellence of the temple was seen when, on the opening day, the Lord revealed himself, and “the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.” Little remains for man to do when in very deed the Lord dwells in the midst of his saints. Apart from priests and ceremonies, that place is sacred where the Lord Most High has his abode. Say of any place “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there,” and whether it is a tent or temple, you have spoken glorious things about it.

14. I almost tremble while I remind you of the truest temple of God — the body of our Lord. The nearest approach of Godhead to our manhood occurred when there was found, wrapped in swaddling-bands and lying in a manger, that child who was born, that Son who was given whose name was called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” As for you, oh Bethlehem favoured above all the towns of earth, out of you he came, who is Emmanuel, God with us! Truly your name is Jehovah-Shammah. All along, through thirty years and more of holy labour, ending in a shameful death, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. In the gloom of Gethsemane, among those sombre olives, when Jesus bowed, and in his prayer sweat, as it were, great drops of blood falling to the ground, he was “seen of angels” as the Son of God bearing human sin. Speak of Gethsemane, and we tell you God was there. Before Herod, and Pilate, and Caiaphas, and on the cross — the Lord was there. Though in a sense there was the hiding of God, and Jesus cried, “Why have you forsaken me?” yet in the deepest sense Jehovah was there, bruising the great sacrifice. The thick darkness made a veil for the Lord of glory, and behind it he who made all things bowed his head and said, “It is finished.” God was in Christ Jesus on the cross, and we, beholding him, feel that we have seen the Father. Oh Calvary, we say of you, “The Lord is there.”

15. Here I might fitly close, for we can mount no higher; but yet we could not afford to leave out those other dwellings of the Invisible Spirit, who still by his presence makes holy places even in this unholy world. We have to remind you that God is the glory of the most glorious living thing that has been on the face of the earth since our Lord was here. And what is that? I answer, Jesus is gone: the prophets are gone; and we have no temple, no human priest, no material holy of holies.

   Jesus, where’er thy people meet,
   There they behold thy mercy-seat:
   Where’er they seek thee, thou art found,
   And every place is hallowed ground.

And yet there is a special place where God dwells among men, and that is in his church. He has only one — one church, chosen by eternal election, redeemed by precious blood, called out by the Holy Spirit, and quickened into newness of life — this as a whole is the dwelling-place of the covenant God. Because God is in this church, therefore the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. “The Lord is there” might be said of the church in all ages. I have seen the crypts and underground chapels of the catacombs, and it made one feel that they were glorious places, when we remembered that the Lord God was there, by his Spirit, with his suffering people. When holy hymn and psalm and solemn prayer went up from the very heart of the earth, from men who were hunted to the death by their foes — the Lord was there. In those dreary excavations, unvisited by sunlight and wholesome air, God was as he was not in the palaces of kings, and is not in the cathedrals of priests. In this land of ours, when a few people met together, here and there, to hear the gospel and to worship, they made cottages, caves, and hollows in the woods, to be “holiness to the Lord.” Indeed, and when crowds met beneath your gospel oaks, or gathered together by the hill-side to listen to the pure word of grace, the Lord was there, and souls were saved and sanctified. When the Puritans solemnly conversed together about the things of God, and held their little conventicles for fear of their adversaries — God was there. On Scotland’s bleak moors and mosses, when the covenanters gathered in the darkness and the storm, for fear of Claverhouse and his dragoons — God was there. Those who wrote in those days tell us that they never knew such seasons in days of peace as they enjoyed among the hills, amid the heather, or by the brook side; for Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord was there. And so onward, to this very day, wherever the chosen of God lift up holy hands and worship him, whether it is in a cathedral or in a barn, beneath the blue sky or beneath a thatched roof, anywhere and everywhere when the heart is right, and the soul adores the living Lord, this is the special glory of the place, that “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.”

16. Flying forward, as with a dove’s wing, to the future that is drawing near, we remember the truth that there is to be a millennial age — a time of glory, and peace, and joy, and truth, and righteousness. But what is to be its glory? Why this, “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there!” The Lord Jesus Christ will come, and begin his personal reign on earth among his ancients. In the same way as he went up into heaven, and the disciples saw him, so he will descend a second time, to be seen here among men; and his glorious presence shall create the golden age, the thousand years of peace. Then the nations shall shout “The Lord is come.” What hallelujahs will then rise to heaven! Welcome, welcome, son of God! How will all his faithful ones rejoice with joy unspeakable, and sing and sing again; for now the day of their reward has come, and they shall shine out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father! In all the glory of the latter days everything is wrapped up in this one word, “the Lord is there.”

   Oh, come, thou Day-spring, come and cheer
   Our spirits by thine advent here;
   Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
   And death’s dark shadows put to flight!
         Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
         Shall come to thee, oh Israel!

17. Up there, where many of our beloved ones have already gone: up there, within that gate of pearl where eye cannot as yet see. What is it that makes heaven, with all its supreme delights? Not harps of angels, nor blaze of seraphim; but this one fact, “the Lord is there.” What must it be to be with God? Oh soul that loves him, what will your fulness of pleasure be when you shall dwell with him for whom your soul is hungering and thirsting! What joy to be “for ever with the Lord!” This perfect bliss may be ours this very day. We little know how near we are to our glorification with our Lord. The veil is very thin that parts the sanctified from the glorified.

   One gentle sigh, the soul awakes:
      We scarce can say “He’s gone,”
   Before the ransomed spirit takes
      Its mansion near the throne.

18. The joy and glory of those divine mansions is that “the Lord is there.” Heaven’s loftiest peak shines for ever in this clear light — The Lord God and the Lamb are its light: “the Lord is there.”

19. Enough of this. I have proved my point, that the glory of the most glorious place is that “the Lord is there.”

20. II. Allow me for a few minutes to speak to you on another point: THE PRESENCE OF GOD IS THE BEST PRIVILEGE OF HIS CHURCH. It is her glory that “the Lord is there.” Note this, and mark it well.

21. Brethren, we as a church have grown to great numbers, and we are not deficient either in gifts or in graces, or in work for our Lord; but let me solemnly remind you always that our chief, our only strength, must always lie in this — “the Lord is there.” If the Lord should depart from us, as he has gone from churches which are now apostate, what an abyss opens before us! If he should take his Holy Spirit from us, even as the glory departed from the temple at Jerusalem, then our ruin would become a thing to mention with dread, a case to be quoted for a warning to future generations. Oh Lord, our God, do not take your flight! Please remain with us! Our only hope lies in your making the place of your feet glorious among us.

22. If the Lord is among us, the results will be, first, the conservation of true doctrine. The true God is not with a lie: he will not give his countenance to falsehood. Those who preach other than according to his word, do not have his blessing; but are in great danger of his curse. If any man speaks another gospel (which is not another, but there are some who trouble us), God is not with him, and any transient prosperity which he may enjoy, will be blown away as the chaff. God is with those who speak the truth faithfully, hold it devoutly, believe it firmly, and live on it as their daily bread. May it always, be said of this church, “the Lord is there,” and therefore they are sound in the faith, reverent towards Holy Scripture, and zealous for the honour of Christ! Trust deeds and confessions of faith are useful in their way, even as laws are useful to society; but just as laws cannot secure obedience to themselves, so articles of belief cannot create faith, or secure honesty; and to men without conscience, they are not worth the paper they are written on. No subscription to articles can keep out the unscrupulous. Wolves leap into the fold however carefully you watch the door. The fact is, most people say, “Yes, that doctrine is in the creed, and is not to be denied; but you need not preach it. Put it on the shelf as an ornament, and let us hear no more about it.” Truth must be written on the heart as well as in the book. If the Lord is among his people, they will cling to the eternal verities, and love the doctrine of the cross, not by force of law, but because divine truth is the life of their souls.

23. Where God is present, the preservation of purity will be found. The church is nothing if it is not holy. It is worse — it is a den of thieves. Setting the seal of its pestilent example upon evil living, it becomes the servant of Satan, and the destroyer of souls. Who is to keep the church pure? No one but God himself. If the Lord is there, holiness will abound, and fruits of the Spirit will be seen on all sides; but if the Lord is once withdrawn, then flesh and blood will rule, and engender corruption, after its own manner; and the church will become a synagogue of formalists. Pray, my brethren, continually, that the Lord may dwell in our Zion, to maintain us in all holy obedience and purity of life.

24. Where God is, there is the constant renewal of vitality. A dead church is a reeking Golgotha, a breeding place of evils, a home of demons. The tombs may be newly whitewashed, but they are none the less open sepulchres, haunts of unclean spirits. A church all alive is a little heaven, the resort of angels, the temple of the Holy Spirit. In some of our churches everyone seems to be a little colder than everyone else. The members are holy icicles. A general frost has paralysed everyone; and though some are colder than others, yet all are below zero. There are no flowing rills of refreshment, but everything is bound hard and fast with the frost of indifference. Oh, that the Lord would send out his wind, and melt the glaciers! Oh, that the Spirit of God would chase winter out of every heart and every church! No human power can keep a church from the frostbite which numbs and kills. Unless the Lord is there, growth, life, warmth — are all impossible. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give him no rest, but cry day and night to him, “Oh Lord, remain with us. Go out with our armies. Make us to be the living children of the living God!”

25. When the Lord is there, next, there is continuing power. With God there is power in the ministry, power in prayer, power in all holy work. We may do a great deal of work, and yet nothing may come of it; and, on the other hand, we may only be able to do comparatively little, and yet great results may flow from it: for results depend not on the quantity of the machinery, but on the presence of the Lord.

26. Do you not all know people who are not particularly gifted, and yet are eminently useful? You do not see anything about them that is especially remarkable, and yet their whole career enlists attention by its power. Their words make an impact, for there is character behind them. A consistent life gives force to a plain testimony. It is not so much what is said as who says it! But that is not all: God himself is behind the man who is living for him. He causes him to speak in his name, so that none of his words fall to the ground. Is it not said of the godly, “His leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper?” This is so with every church where the Lord resides. His presence makes it a power with its children and adherents, a power with the neighbourhood, and a power with the age. Its example, its testimony, its effort makes an impact. God uses it, and therefore it serves its purpose. The power is with God; but the church is the instrument by which that power exercises itself. He uses a living people for the display of living power, and he gives to them both life and power, more and more abundantly. As we desire power with which to labour for God, we must pray that the God of power will remain in our midst.

27. Furthermore, whenever it can be said of an assembly, “the Lord is there,” unity will be created and fostered. Show me a church that quarrels, a church that is split up into cliques, a church that is divided with personal ambitions, contrary doctrines and opposing schemes, and I am sure that the Lord is not there. Where there are envyings, jealousies, suspicions, backbitings, and dislikes, I know that the Holy Dove, who hates confusion, has taken his flight. God is love, and he will only dwell where love reigns. He is the God of peace, and will not endure strife. The children of God should be knit together. It would indeed be a shameful sight should children of his family fall out, and chide, and fight. Saints who dwell with God love each other “with a pure heart, fervently.” Some professors act as if they hated each other: I may not say, “with a pure heart,” but I will say, “fervently.” Where God is present the church is edified in love, and grows up, like a building fitly framed together, to be a holy temple in the Lord. Oh, for more of this unity!

28. Where the Lord is there is sure to be happiness. What meetings we have when the Lord is here! It is a prayer meeting; but when you have said that, you have not fully described it, for it is far more. It was an unusual meeting for prayer, for, God being there, every prayer was spoken into his ear, and all the desires and petitions of the saints were prompted by his Holy Spirit. Why, the very room was lit up with the glory of the Lord; and whether we were in heaven or not we could hardly tell. What happy times we have in preaching the word of the Lord, when God’s own presence is experienced! His paths drop fatness. What joyful seasons we have frequently enjoyed at the communion table! The provision is only bread and wine; but when, by faith, we perceive the real and spiritual presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the breaking of the bread we eat his flesh, and in the fruit of the vine we drink his blood. When we have gathered in the Lord’s presence we have sung —

   No beams of cedar or of fir
   Can with thy courts on earth compare;
   And here we wait, until thy love
   Raise us to nobler seats above.

29. At the Master’s table I have often been so blest that I would not have exchanged places with Gabriel. The Lord was there: what more could I desire? Joy, delight, rapture, ecstasy — what word shall I use? — all these have waited around the table of fellowship, as musicians at a king’s banquet. If God is there, our heaven is there.

30. III. I shall now close by noticing, in the third place, that since this presence of God is the glory of the most glorious place, and the choice privilege of the most privileged, it is our very great joy. THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD IS OUR DELIGHT IN EVERY PLACE.

31. We will think of our own dear homes. What a delightful family we belong to if it can be said of our house, “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there!” Does it have a thatched roof and a stone floor? What does it matter? The father of the family lives near to God, and his wife rejoices to be his fellow helper in prayer, while the children grow up to honest toil and honourable service. Assuredly that cottage home is dear to God, and becomes a place where angels come and go. Because God is there, every window looks towards the Celestial City. It is a comfort that we need not go across the road to morning prayer, or step out every evening to worship, for we are priests ourselves, and have a family altar at home, where the incense burns both morning and night. We do not talk of matins {b} and vespers, {c} but we glory that “the Lord is there” when we bow the knee as a household. What is more delightful than to gather around the family hearth, to hear the Scriptures read, and listen to the senior, as he talks to the younger ones of what God has done for him, and what the Lord is waiting to give to all who trust him? Free from all formality, family prayer makes a house a temple, a family a church, and every day a holy day. Truly, I may say of families of this kind, wherever they dwell, that it is “none other than the house of God, and it is the very gate of heaven”; for “the Lord is there.” Friend, is God in your house? If it has no family prayer, it has no roof on it. There is no true joy in domestic life unless the Lord is there. All else is fiction; God alone is true delight. I charge you, if your homes are not such that God could come to them, set your houses in order, and say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Will you dare to dwell where God could not lodge with you? May all men say of your home, “The Lord is there!”

32. Here is a Christian who lives alone, apart altogether from family life. All his dear ones are dead, or far away. In his lonely room, when he bows his knee in secret prayer, or whenever he takes his walk outside to meditate, if he is indeed a true lover of the Lord Jesus, “the Lord is there.” Wherever the believer’s lot is cast, if he lives in fellowship with Christ, he may say of his quiet room, or of the garden walk, or even of the stable or the loft, “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.” Many a humble attic is a right royal residence! for “the Lord is there.” Better Paul’s inner dungeon at Philippi, with his feet firm in the stocks, and the presence of the Lord, than the grandest apartments of Caesar’s palace and an unknown God. The Lord is very gracious to his lonely ones. They can say, “And yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” If you are put in a hospital, or in a workhouse: what does it matter, if Jehovah is at your side to cheer you?

33. Some of us can bear witness that we have had the nearest approaches of God to our souls in times of intolerable pain, and even in seasons of intense depression of spirit concerning earthly things. “I was brought low, and the Lord helped me,” said David; and we can say the same. The Lord has said, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you”; as much as to say, “If I am not with you anywhere else, I will be with you then.” In the furnace one like the Son of God was seen. If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego never had that glorious fourth person in their company before, they had him when they were cast into the midst of the glowing coals. Jehovah-Shammah makes a seven-times-heated furnace a pleasant arbour. We may say of the refining fire, and of the threshing-floor, and of the oil-press, God has been there. In the time of trouble he has been a very present help. One might almost say, “Send me back to my prison again,” as one did say who lost God’s presence after he had gained his liberty. One might well cry, “Ah! let me have my pain back if I may again overflow with the joy of the Lord’s presence.”

34. Dear friends, I thank God that you and I know what it is to enjoy the presence of God in a great many different ways. When two or three of the people of God meet together, and talk to each other about the things of God, the Lord is never away. You remember that blessed text, “Those who feared the Lord spoke often to each other.” They had holy talks about heavenly things. It was such sweet conversation, that the Lord himself turned eavesdropper, and listened and heard. What he heard pleased him so well that he made a note of it then and there; yes, and wrote it down, and ordered that “a book of remembrance” should be preserved “for those who feared the Lord, and who thought on his name.” Was this not the best evidence of his most gracious presence? John Bunyan knew that God was there when he went about tinkering, and came to Bedford, and there were three godly women sitting in the sun, at work; and as they worked they talked so sweetly that the tinker stood and listened, and was drawn to better things. By such means he became a believer and a preacher, and the writer of the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” which has so refreshed us all. The Lord was there, and therefore he dreamed a heavenly dream in Bedford jail. Wherever his people meet, the Lord is graciously near. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”

35. Yes, but when Christian people go out to work, when you come to your Sunday School, or go out with your bundle of tracts, to distribute them in your district, or when you join a little band and stand in the street corner over there, and lift up your voice in the name of Jesus, you may expect, if you go with prayer and faith, that it shall be written, “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.” It is only a young man standing up in a cottage to speak, and he does not have much to say; yet there are penitential tears, and broken hearts: it is so, for God is there. It is only a humble woman speaking to a few people of her own class, and yet angels are rejoicing over a repenting sinner — yes, because God is there. It is only a little room in one of our back streets, and the city missionary has come in, and there are a dozen or two of the neighbours called together, and he is talking about Jesus and his love — oh, but if the Lord is there, do not tell me that the missionary is not in the apostolic succession; he need not claim it, he himself is an apostle of God to those poor people. He needs no gorgeous vestment, nor the swell of an organ, nor even the thunders of the multitude as they raise the solemn hymn. The few so simple and so poor have God with them, and it is enough. Wherever you are seeking to do good, in prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit, it shall be said “the Lord is there.”

36. And now, from this time on, beloved, you who fear God and think upon his name, wherever you go, let it be said, “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.” I often feel sorry when the Sabbath is nearly over; and so do many of you. I know you wake up on Monday morning and take those shutters down again, or go off to that workshop where you suffer so much ridicule, or return to the ordinary grind of daily labour, and mix up with so many of the ungodly; and you do it mournfully. Now, pray that you may keep up the Sabbath tone all the week. Make every place, wherever you go, to be the house of God. A dear brother of ours went to a shop where he worked with four ungodly men, but his Lord went with him. It was not long before we had the privilege of baptizing that friend’s employer and all his shopmates, for the Lord was there. The other day there came a new man to work who could not bear to hear a word about religion, but our brother was the means of his conversion, and the new man is coming among us, warm with his first love. Our brother makes up his mind that he is not to be conquered by any scoffers, but on the contrary he is determined to conquer them for Christ. He will not yield to the influences of sin, but he resolves, in the name of the Lord, that evil influences shall yield to the power of truth, and to the attractions of the cross. Write across your workshop, “The Lord is here.” If you cannot do if literally, do it spiritually, “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.”

37. Do not be found anywhere where you could not say that the Lord was there; but if you are called into the world in the pursuit of your daily vocation, cry to the Lord, “If your Spirit does not go with me, do not carry me up there.” Determine that you will have the Spirit of God with you, and that, whether it is in busy Cheapside, or in the lonesome country while you are hoeing the turnips or attending to a flock of sheep, of every field, and every street, and every room, it shall be said that God is there. Take Jesus with you when you go; and, when you come home, may his Spirit still be with you! May God grant that it may be so! The Holy Spirit can work in you this very same thing.

38. What shall I say to those who do not know the Lord, and do not care for him? Oh friend, the day will come in which Jesus Christ will say to you, “I never knew you: depart from me, you workers of iniquity.” Do not let him say that; but tonight begin an acquaintance with him. May his Holy Spirit help you to do so! I am sure the Lord Jesus Christ could not say to me, “I never knew you.” It is impossible, because I could reply to him, “Never knew me, Lord? Why, I have been to you with so many burdens, I have run to you with so many troubles, that I am sure you know me as one knows a beggar whom he has relieved many times a day.

   Dost thou ask me who I am?
   Ah, my Lord! thou know’st my name.

You remember me, for in my despair I cried to you, and you relieved me of my burden. You know me, for in my sorrow my broken heart found no comfort except in you. You have known me all these years in which I have had to cry to you for something to preach about, and for help while preaching. You know how I have had to come to you and confess my failures, and mourn my shortcomings, and lament my sins, and trust in your blood for cleansing.” My Lord cannot say that he does not know me, for he has known my soul in adversity. Blessed be his name, I know him, and lean all my weight upon him. Those who know him shall be with him, and he will receive them to himself for ever, and this shall be their glory — “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.” They shall dwell with him, world without end. Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Isa 65:8-25]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — God All, And In All” 774}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven — Let Me Be With Thee” 847}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Longing To Be With Jesus” 806}

{a} Hecatomb: A great public sacrifice (properly of a hundred oxen) among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and hence extended to the religious sacrifices of other nations; a large number of animals offered or set apart for a sacrifice. OED.
{b} Matins: The order for public morning prayer in the Church of England since the Reformation. OED.
{c} Vespers: Applied to the Evening Prayer or Evensong of the Church of England. OED.

Letter From Mr. Spurgeon

Dear Friends, — In this, the beginning of another year, I find myself in Mentone gradually recovering health, after a period of pain and weakness. To begin Volume 37 of weekly sermons has fallen to the lot of no other man. I am grateful for the particular privilege; and all the more so because all the previous thirty-six volumes continue to be purchased and read, and preached. I ask each friendly reader to breathe a prayer for the preacher, and for these hundreds of discourses, that the Lord may use both the living voice and the printed page to his own glory, and to the salvation of men. Man’s thoughts change, but the Word of the Lord endures for ever; and this is the Word which in these sermons is preached to men. May the Holy Spirit acknowledge the testimony!

Wishing to all my readers A HAPPY NEW YEAR,

                       I am, their servant for Christ’s sake,
                       C. H. Spurgeon.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
774 — God All, And In All
1 My God, my life, my love,
      To thee, to thee I call:
   I cannot live, if thou remove,
      For thou art all in all.
2 Thy shining grace can cheer
      This dungeon where I dwell;
   ‘Tis paradise when thou art here,
      If thou depart, ‘tis hell.
3 The smilings of thy face,
      How amiable thy are!
   ‘Tis heaven to rest in thine embrace,
      And nowhere else but there.
4 To thee, and thee alone,
      The angels owe their bliss;
   They sit around thy gracious throne,
      And dwell where Jesus is.
5 Not all the harps above
      Can make a heavenly place,
   If God his residence remove,
      Or but conceal his face.
6 Nor earth, nor all the sky,
      Can one delight afford;
   No, not a drop of real joy,
      Without thy presence, Lord.
7 Thou art the sea of love,
      Where all my pleasures roll;
   The circle where my passions move,
      And centre of my soul.
8 To thee my spirits fly
      With infinite desire;
   And yet, how far from thee I lie!
      Dear Jesus, raise me higher.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.

The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven
847 — Let Me Be With Thee
1 Let me be with thee where thou art,
   My Saviour, my eternal rest!
   Then only will this longing heart
   Be fully and for ever blest.
2 Let me be with thee where thou art,
   Thy unveil’d glory to behold;
   Then only will this wandering heart
   Cease to be faithless, treacherous, cold.
3 Let me be with thee, where thou art,
   Where spotless saints thy name adore;
   Then only will this sinful heart
   Be evil and defiled no more.
4 Let me be with thee, where thou art,
   Where none can die, where none remove;
   Where life nor death my soul can part,
   From thy blest presence and thy love.
                     Charlotte Elliott, 1836.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
806 — Longing To Be With Jesus
1 My soul amid this stormy world,
      Is like some flutter’d dove:
   And fain would he as swift of wing,
      To flee to him I love.
2 The cords that bound my heart to earth
      Are broken by his hand;
   Before his cross I found myself
      A stranger in the land.
3 That visage marr’d, those sorrows deep,
      The vinegar and gall,
   These were his golden chains of love
      His captive to enthral.
4 My heart is with him on his throne,
      And ill can brook delay;
   Each moment listening for the voice,
   “Rise up, and come away.”
5 With hope deferr’d, oft sick and faint,
      “Why tarries he?” I cry:
   Let not the Saviour chide my haste,
      For then would I reply:
6 “May not an exile, Lord, desire
      His own sweet land to see?
   May not a captive seek release,
      A prisoner to be free?
7 “A child, when far away, may long
      For home and kindred dear;
   And she that waits her absent lord
      May sigh till he appear.
8 “I would, my Lord and Saviour, know,
      That which no measure knows:
   Would search the mystery of thy love,
      The depths of all thy woes.
9 “I fain would strike my harp divine
      Before the Father’s throne,
   There cast my crown of righteousness,
      And sing what grace has done.
10 “Ah, leave me not in this base world,
      A stranger still to roam;
   Come, Lord, and take me to thyself,
      Come, Jesus, quickly come!”
                  Robert C. Chapman, 1837.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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