Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Psalm 139 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience. A Psalm of David.
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?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
The psalmist says: Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. These same words have a very different affect depending on who it is that hears them. To the believer they are a great source of comfort and assurance, knowing that nothing can separate us from God. In Deuteronomy 31:6 God says: "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." Romans 8:31-39 says: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To the unbeliever, these same words should strike fear into their heart. God’s omnipresence and omniscience are not dependant on the belief of any person. Psalm 53:1 says: The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." God is not subject to the limitations of our belief or understanding. We don’t make Him Lord. He is Lord. Sin cannot be hidden from the eyes and the knowledge of God. Not only is He omnipresent, present everywhere, He is also omniscient, all knowing. He knows even our thoughts. Acts 5:1-11 says: A man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. So should fear be in the heart of anyone who undertakes to deceive or hide something from God.
The psalmist says: For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought
in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. It is no wonder that depression is rampant in our culture and society. Our culture denies that there is a God at all. Our culture denies that there is an intelligent designer who created the heavens and the earth, and that the same God who created the marvels of the mountains, the seas and everything we see also created each one of us. What hope is there for the person who believes we are only here by chance? What hope, what joy for the one who believes that this meager existence, the sum of a few years is all that there is. The believer knows that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. The believer knows that they are one of God’s most wonderful works. Jeremiah 1:5 says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you.” Even more, the believer knows that even from generations past, God had plans for them. Ephesians 1:4 says: He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” For the unbeliever their hope is only in their own ability. It is finite and rises and falls with their own success or failure. The believer has an eternal hope and a sure future that rests in the greatness of the omnipotent God.
The psalmist says: How
precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You… Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. I say Amen.