“O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, Lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Wither 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. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me: even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee. For Thou has possessed my reins; Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:1-14
Over a span of three years, my wife and I experienced major surgery. Before the operations, we discussed the presence of God in the operating room, guiding the surgeon in his task. In my mind, at least, I saw God’s healing work being performed through his servants, the excellent doctors and nurses equipped with the knowledge revealed by God to the medical researchers, who seek to solve the mysteries of those bodies that are, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. My Oxford dictionary defines the word, “fearful,” as awful or terrible. It also defines those words as, “reverently or formidable,” respectively. Yes, I think we can all agree that the work performed in the womb is formidable, wonderful and worthy of humble reverence, being, as it is, a continuing miracle performed by God. Another Psalm declares, “Thou hast knit me together in my mother’s womb.” I love these Psalms.
Recently, I was scheduled for a minor surgical procedure and prepared on the operating table. The doctor was delayed so I was laid out on what seemed like a, ‘two by four’, for approximately one half hour, lots of time to think. Eventually, this Psalm came to mind and I acknowledged mentally the presence of God. God is love. What a good warm feeling! This also caused me to think of our triune God. I try to keep it sorted in my own mind by Jesus’ definitions. He declared that God is a Spirit, and seen only by Jesus. Jesus is the Spirit’s only begotten son in the flesh. And the Spirit living within us is the Holy Comforter, whom Jesus said He would send to us, to guide us in all the teachings of Jesus. The Holy Comforter is also known by the names, “Spirit of Truth” and ” Holy Ghost.” These are all acknowledged in baptism as the blessing is administered in the name of, “the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.”
The omnipresence of God is a very profound truth. Do Christians always think of an omnipresent God? It is truly wonderful when we desire the presence of a loving God, but what about those other mundane occasions when we are in the very process of falling short of the glory of God? When we are pricked by conscience, is it the awareness of the presence of God? When we do those things that we would not, or fail to do those things that we would, are we aware that God is watching? Why is it that in sinning we are not embarrassed having committed the sin before the Almighty? We all know the old hymn, “God sees the little sparrow fall, I know He loves me too!” but again, this pertains to the loving side of God. We think of Satan as our accuser, but, in fact, we commit our sins before the Everlasting God thereby condemning ourselves. The fact that He sees the sparrow fall suggests that He sees the smallest things, all things including all that we do; He misses nothing.
Personally, I think the church is in decline because we see it as irrelevant to our modern society. In a similar way, we push God aside because we feel He is not needed in our daily lives. This beautiful and poetic Psalm reminds us that God cannot be pushed aside and simply called by prayer when we need Him. Jesus was very adamant with His disciples that He (Jesus) could do nothing without the Father. Eventually, the disciples learned that they could do nothing without Jesus. Do we really need God? The Bible reminds us that, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Although we have gone astray, like sheep, and refused to take the hand of God to be led, we have a Saviour, Jesus Christ, who can gather us into the sheepfold and give us forgiveness and healing. We are reminded of this in the beautiful blessing in Jude’s epistle to, “Them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved by Jesus Christ, and called.” Verses 24 and 25, “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”