Summary: God is always with us 1)In heaven (139:7–8). 2)In the place of the dead (139:8). 3) He can be found by the farthest oceans (139:9–10) and 4)He shines forth in the darkness (139:11–12)
What’s your favorite place to go in the summer? A place perhaps with blue sky, a calm lake, the wind blowing and the sun shining. For some it is fishing, sunning or golf. For others it’s mountain biking, hiking or swimming. Often during these times we reflect on things and our thoughts seem clearer. People often express that this area or activity helps them feel close to God. Why is that? There seems to be the danger in busyness that we feel removed from the presence of God, and something specifically about corporate worship that God is in our midst.
Ps 139 as a whole presents the doctrines of God’s omniscience (as we saw last week) and God’s omnipresence (which is the focus of this week) and the omnipotence of the Lord (139:13-18).
Quote: In comparing the omniscience and omnipresence of God, Matthew Henry expressed it like this:
“If God is omnipresent, he must needs be omniscient; but he is omnipresent; this supposes the infinite and immensity of his being, from which follows the ubiquity of his presence; heaven and earth include the whole creation, and the Creator fills both (Jer. 23:24); he not only knows both, and governs both, but he fills both. Every part of the creation is under God’s intuition and influence. David here acknowledges this also with application and sees himself thus open before God”. (Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Ps 139:7). Peabody: Hendrickson.)
The Psalmist appeals to God, seeking God’s forgiveness and cleansing, and expressing his abhorrence of the wicked. To not be counted in that category, the Psalmist shows his ready submission to the closest scrutiny of God. Therefore, admonition to the wicked and comfort to the pious are alike implied inferences from these doctrines. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. On spine: Critical and explanatory commentary. (Ps 139:1). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)
This morning, as shown in verses 7-12 we see that God was always watching over David and thus it was impossible to do anything over which God is not a spectator. (MacArthur, J. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible : New American Standard Bible. (Ps 139:7-12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.) This is an expression of fellowship with God. All the marks of intimate friendship—detailed knowledge, reading of minds, a hand on the shoulder to encourage or check—are here ascribed to God. His companionship is unbroken; even the occasional attempt to hide from God is (prevented. In its sense of the omnipresence of the divine Spirit, its delight in walking daily with God from birth to death, and its awareness of the need for inner holiness ).(Elwell, W. A. (1996, c1989). Evangelical Commentary on the Bible . (electronic ed.) (Ps 139:1). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.) In verses 7–12 the psalmist praises Yahweh’s power to be present everywhere; this thought is not only a comfort but a warning as well, since it reminds him that nowhere can he escape Yahweh’s notice (Bratcher, R. G., & Reyburn, W. D. (1991). A translator’s handbook on the book of Psalms. Helps for translators (1125). New York: United Bible Societies.)
Omnipresence is an aspect of God’s infinity in which he transcends the limitations of space and is present in all places at all times. (Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Baker encyclopedia of the Bible. Map on lining papers. (1588). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.)
• Like omniscience, there is no special Hebrew or Greek word for omnipresence but the concept is clearly and amply taught in Scripture (John S. Feinberg: No One Like Him. Crossway Books. 2001. P. 252).
• God’s Omnipresence signifies that God is present in the totality of His being at each point in space. Therefore, God doesn’t have one part of Himself at one place and another part at a different place. God transcends spatial limitations as so is present at all places at once in His total being. (John S. Feinberg: No One Like Him. Crossway Books. 2001. P. 249).
Although God is in all places at one and the same time. However, the all-presence of God is not the same as pantheism. The latter teaches that the creation is God. Or panentheism, that God is in all things. God reveals Himself in Scripture that He is a Person who is separate and distinct from His creation.(MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Ps 139:7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.)
• God is not like the manufactured idols of ancient cultures that were limited to one altar or temple area
• Neither is God some spiritual Star War’s type of Force.