God is Everywhere!

July 7, 2017

God is everywhere! Does that give you joy? Or should that make you tremble?

In Psalm 139, David delights in God’s omnipresence:

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7-10)

David sees God as his protector, as his guide, as his ally. In the most dangerous places, in the most remote places, God sees him, leads him, and watches over him. He rejoices that this is so.

Just so with all of God’s people. We are glad that we cannot run away from him, and so He protects us even from ourselves.

But if God is your enemy, His presence should be a terror, not a comfort.

In Amos 9, God speaks through His prophet using language quite similar to that of Psalm 139, highlighting His presence everywhere. But the point of this passage is quite different: God says that the disobedient Israelites will not be able to escape His punishment, no matter where they go:

“If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down.  If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them; and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.  And if they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them; and I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good.” (Amos 9:4-6)

The one true God is a God of justice. Because of this, no crime against the innocent, no oppression of the weak, no rebellion against rightful authority will go unpunished. Since He is omnipresent, since He sees all, since no one can stand against Him, there is no escape. He will right all wrongs. Praise Him!

But the one true God is also a God of mercy. And out of His mercy, to satisfy His justice, He instituted His plan of redemption through the death and resurrection of His Son. We guilty sinners can have our guilt assigned to Jesus, for Him to bear the punishment we deserve, if we confess our sin and rebellion, repenting and turning to Christ in faith. Then justice is done: Jesus takes on Himself the exactly appropriate punishment for our sin. And mercy is effected: God grants us salvation, completely undeserved on our part.

So: Together Psalm 139 and Amos 9 tell us that both God’s justice and His mercy will seek us out. If we continue in rebellion against Him, we will not escape Him. He is everywhere. He will find us. We will not get away with any sin, any rebellion. There is no hope of escape. There is no hope for a plea bargain. There is no hope of getting off on a technicality. God sees all and is always present. You will face Him. And that should make you tremble.

But God’s omnipresence will give you everlasting joy if you are His, if you are redeemed through Jesus Christ. And God offers that redemption to you and to me, to all mankind, to those from every tribe and tongue and nation. So come to Him repenting. Then surely His goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. And you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

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