Words of Worth

There Goes That Action News Van Again

November 19, 2011

If you were living in the Philadelphia area during the 1980’s, then you might remember the Action News publicity phrase, “There goes that Action News van again!” The ad was a big hit among Philadelphians and a great assurance that any news in the making would be covered by Action News. Fender benders, approaching storms, robberies, and grand openings….if it were newsworthy, the Action News van was there! It even became a bit comical because people visiting or vacationing in Philadelphia, almost couldn’t take a picture without capturing the van in their shot. And every one of the news station’s trucks had the same visual graphics of their station name plastered on the side, so it did seem as though the Action News van was in fact, as they advertised….EVERYWHERE!

Not many words are more comforting to me than “I’ll be there”. As a child I remember that at any point in the day, from waking up, to returning home from school, to going to bed at night, my mother was always there. It was a great reassurance and security blanket of sorts to know that my mother’s presence was everywhere that I was.

Interestingly, the last name of God that is mentioned in the Old Testament is found in Ezekiel 48:35 and it is Jehovah Shammah—The LORD is there! While there are many aspects to this name of God, the essence of it is that God is there. Our Creator God, Elohim, is there—all the time and everywhere!

Moses lived his entire life with this bedrock promise in mind! When he had suggested to the LORD that he was unable to go before Pharaoh and plead for the release of the oppressed Israelites, God reassured Moses by saying, “Certainly I will be with you…” Surely, yea indeed, I Am Who I Am will be there with you! (Exodus 3:12-14)

One of the distinctive hallmarks of Israel’s religion was that the LORD was not a distant landlord or a wooden relic but rather, the LORD was with the Israelites, present in all of their days through a burning bush, a pillar of fire, a cloud, a moving tabernacle, and a permanent tabernacle. Jehovah Shammah, the LORD is there!

So, too, for us, the LORD is there! In our finest hours and in our darkest hours He is there and He is because He desires to be with His people even when His people aren’t all that desirable.

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Psalm 139)

There’s Jehovah Shammah again, and again, and again….always everywhere! How comforting! He is never out of the picture! (sv)

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