Psalm 139:7-10 - Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
"Where shall I flee from Your presence?" The psalmist wonders where he might run to escape the presence of God. Is there a place he can go where God cannot find him? He is not really trying to escape from the Lord. The psalmist asks these questions as an expression of praise, knowing that God is with him at all times and in every place.
We may wish at times to flee from the presence of God. We may try to hide from Him and cover our sin and guilt with excuses. We pretend that God does not know what we have done; it is a foolish pretense. He knows us as well as He knew the inspired psalmist, who humbly admits, "The wrongs I have done are not hidden from You" (Psalm 69:5b). God finds us in our hiding places and sees through our flimsy excuses. He calls us to repent of our sins and graciously forgives us for the sake of His Son, Jesus our Lord.
Taking our sins onto Himself, Jesus was nailed to the cross. There was nowhere to hide, no place of safety to which He could flee. For the sake of our salvation Jesus willingly endured the just wrath of God against sin. It was as if God hid from Him, and the Savior cried out in anguish, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46b). God abandoned His Son to the suffering of the cross so that our sins would be forgiven. Jesus, who came down from heaven for us, made His "bed in Sheol," the place of the dead. Yet God was there too and on the first Easter morning He raised His Son to life in victory over sin, death, and the devil.
If we ascend to heaven, is God there? Of course He is! When we fall asleep in death, will He be there with us? Of course He will be there! Our Savior rose up from death and ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us. He will lead us through death into life in His presence forever. Wherever we go, as far from anywhere that we might be, God is present. Wherever we are, His right hand holds us, just as Jesus, our Good Shepherd, promised: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand" (John 10:27-28).
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, keep me safe in Your care. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. When are you most likely to want to hide from God?
2. Why is there comfort in knowing we cannot hide from God's presence?
3. How does our repentance serve to draw us closer to God when we sense we are far away?
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