“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)
If you like to play hide-and-seek, it is probably fun for you to think about hiding places. Maybe when you visit a new place or go to someone else’s house, you scout out all the best places to hide. If you’re good at finding hiding places, the “seeker” probably has to spend a long time looking for you. There may even have been times when you’ve hidden so well that he’s given up looking for you!
In Psalm 139, David was thinking about hiding places, but not because he wanted to play a game. He was thinking about how impossible it is to run away and hide from God. In the first part of the psalm, he wrote about God’s very personal knowledge of His creatures. He thought about how God knows every move we make, every word we say, and even the thoughts that go through our minds! When we think about a God who knows us so deeply and personally, we might feel like we want to get away and hide from Him – especially when we consider that we’re sinners and He is holy.
David considered several places he might go. Perhaps he could go up into the sky – even into outer space. Or maybe he could go to the world beyond the grave – the world where people go after they die. Perhaps he could go as far east as the sunrise, or to the farthest reaches of the sea. Do those sound like good hiding places? The problem is, none of those are places a person can hide from God. God’s presence fills the earth and the sky. He is there, no matter where we go, no matter how much we might want to run away from Him.
In verse 10, David thinks about the fact that God is loving. His gentle, strong hand is actually leading us when we try to run from Him, and wherever we end up, His hand takes hold of us there. We can never run away or hide from Him.
What are some ways you try to “run away” from God? Do you close up your heart when He speaks to you through His Word or through your pastor’s preaching? Do you refuse to cooperate with Him when He shows you a need to forgive someone or to change your attitude? Do you try to shrug off something He tells you to do because you know it will make you uncomfortable?
Since God is loving, why would we want to be apart from Him? The Bible says that the best place to be is in His presence (Philippians 1:23). It is only there that we can have “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). Being close to Him, loving Him, and obeying Him is the very best thing for every one of us.
We can never run away from God.
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