Summary: Psalm 139 #2
GOD IS WITH US
W. Graham Scroggie, in his commentary on the Psalms, tells the story of an atheist who wanted to persuade his young son with his philosophy of life, who much to his concern was getting interested in the Christian faith. So this atheist father prepared this very attractive plaque and hung it on the wall where his son could see it everyday. This plaque said, "GOD IS NOWHERE."
When the boy got home from Sunday School that day he saw the plaque he was excited. He said to his father, "Why that’s exactly what my Sunday School teacher has been teaching me all along! GOD IS NOW HERE!" (Four words out of three and the way he read it was more appropriate than what his father had intended)
GOD IS NOW HERE. That’s what we are going to talk about this morning. And what a great truth it is. God is right here with us. God is not housed in a church building. God is now here with us. And when we leave this place, He will be with you as you drive home. He will be with you when you lay your head on your pillow tonight. He will be with you when you wake up tomorrow morning. As you go to work tomorrow, He is with you. He is always "Now Here."
It’s called the doctrine of God’s omnipresence. God is present everywhere.
I’m not sure if you read that great scholarly work called the Reader’s Digest, but I do sometimes. There are a lot of good stories and jokes in it. This one was written by a lady with a son named Doug. "While my young son Doug was looking at a full moon one night, he asked, ’Mom, is God in the moon?’ The mom explained that God is everywhere. ’Well, is God in my tummy?’ ’Well, I suppose so’ she responded not sure where these questions were leading. Then little Doug declared, ’Mom, God wants a banana!’"
What we do know from Scripture is that God is everywhere. And this is what David the Psalmist talks about in Psalm 139, a great Psalm about God. David starts off the Psalm about how God knows us (vv. 1-6). But God not only KNOWS us, He is also WITH us (vv. 7-12).
David starts off in v. 7 with A STATEMENT OF GOD’S PRESENCE (v. 7)
Now, I don’t know why anyone would really want to escape God’s presence. But I know some have tried. And I think most often it is because we try to hide our sin from God. Look at Adam and Eve after they sinned. Genesis 3:8 after they had sinned, "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden."
Somehow they thought that they could really hide themselves from God’s presence. Foolish, but that’s what they thought. Sin does that to us. It makes us want to escape God’s presence. An infinite holy God strikes fear into our hearts and we want to hide from Him. We sin, so we try to hide. How tragic!
St. Augustine said it well when he said,
"The only way to flee from God is to flee TO him." What he was getting at is that in God alone can we find relief from the punishment that our sin really deserves. And instead of fleeing FROM God, we should be fleeing TO God. Only by running TO Him can we find forgiveness and freedom from the guilt of sin.
Jonah tried to run and hide from God too. Remember? When God asked him to go to Ninevah to preach and the wickedness Jonah decided that was the last thing he wanted to do and he decided to take off in exactly the opposite direction to Tarshish. Jonah 1: 3 says this, "But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish."
Jonah thought he could run from God’s presence. What a ridiculous notion that somehow God wasn’t in Tarshish! (Spain somewhere) But are we any different sometimes? When we are called to do a difficult thing, go to a difficult place, do we try to run from God, hide from Him by not doing it? By putting it off? It’s foolish to try to run from God. We cannot hide from God’s presence!
Actually, there’s really no evidence that David was trying to flee from God’s presence in this verse (Psalm 139:7) Just asking the question doesn’t mean he wanted to. I think rather, he was finding a great deal of comfort and encouragement from God’s omnipresence. He wasn’t trying to get away from God. He couldn’t do it even if he wanted to. But the point is he doesn’t want to because there is tremendous comfort and encouragement from the truth of God’s omnipresence.