The Omnipresence Of GOD
Charles Spurgeon succinctly defined GOD'S Omnipresence...
GOD is everywhere. HIS circumference is nowhere, but HIS center is everywhere. (Spurgeon goes on to say) I heard the story of a man, a blasphemer, profane, an atheist, who was converted singularly by a sinful action of his. He had written on a piece of paper, “God is nowhere,” and ordered his child to read it, for he would make him an atheist too. The child spelled it, “GOD is n-o-w h-e-r-e—GOD is now here.” It was a truth instead of a lie, and the arrow pierced the man’s own heart.
Not a 99% God! - In his classic seven-volume Systematic Theology, Lewis Sperry Chafer advanced the following argument for Omnipresence. He said in essence that GOD'S perfection demands it. If we could conceive of even a tiny portion of the universe where GOD is not present, then we might conceive of a being in that locality who is greater than GOD himself. Some years ago a certain brand of soap advertised itself as "99 and 44/100th pure." But GOD knows no such sliding scale with regard to himself. A 99% GOD is no GOD at all! If your GOD is not present everywhere in the universe, then he is not the GOD of the Bible.
-The Lord Our God is everywhere at once-
HE is everywhere present all the time. That is a truly awesome thought.
Most people are not comfortable with an omnipresent GOD. That's why they have idols. They want a god they can see and feel and touch. A god they can understand. A god they can control. A god made by their own hands.
But you can't fully understand the GOD of the Bible. And you certainly can't control HIM.
God is Not Limited by time or space - Perhaps the greatest statement of omnipresence is found in the inspiring words of Psalm 139:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
Where can I go from your SPIRIT? Where can I flee from YOUR Presence? If I go up to the heavens, YOU are there; if I make my bed in the depths, YOU are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there YOUR hand will guide me, YOUR right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
As David contemplates how GOD knows him inside and out, he wonders where he might go to hide from the LORD. Heaven, hell, east, west, the far side of the ocean—it doesn't matter for the LORD is already there. What about the darkness of the night? The darkness will not deter GOD, for "darkness is as light to you." There are several important implications of this truth.
First, GOD cannot be contained in a building. Solomon said as much in the dedication of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Sometimes I hear well-meaning people call the church the "house of GOD," as if his presence somehow specially dwells in a building made by the hands of man. But a church is not a holy place in the sense that the temple was a holy place. Today GOD dwells among his people and in his people wherever they are and wherever they go.
Second, GOD cannot be localized in a city or a nation. This truth should keep us from boasting too much in our supposed moral superiority. GOD is not an American nor does he exist to defend and perpetuate our form of government.
Third, GOD cannot be reduced to an image or a statue. This is why the Second Commandment warns against making "graven images." It is also why the Jews refused to make any pictures, drawings or statutes of GOD. The danger of idolatry is so great that J. I. Packer in Knowing God warns against the danger of religious pictures, even innocent drawings of Jesus. The truth is, we don't know what he looked like and any picture or statues meant as an "aid to devotion" may somehow lead to superstitious worship.
Fourth, HE is always present whether we believe it or not. In the early days of space travel, one of the Russian cosmonauts returned from orbiting the earth to announce that he had looked out his space capsule and had not seen GOD anywhere. To which Dr. W. A. Criswell of the First Baptist Church of Dallas replied, "Let him take off his space suit for just one second and he'll see God quick enough."
Fifth, HE is present even in the worst moments of life. GOD'S Omnipresence means that he is there in the midst of suffering, pain, sickness, sorrow, anger, grief, bitterness, divorce, betrayal, murder, rape, sexual abuse, cancer, AIDS, abortion, warfare, famine, earthquakes, fires, floods, every natural disaster, accidents, personal loss, and at the moment of death.
Sixth, HE is always available to us wherever we go, 24 hours a day. We always have his full attention, we don't have to make an appointment, he's never too busy to hear us when we pray, he's never preoccupied with other problems. Can you imagine what it would be like if we prayed only to have a angel tell us, "I'm sorry, but GOD is busy handling a major crisis in the Middle East. Leave your name and number and someone will get back to you as soon as possible." That will never happen because all of GOD is completely available to you no matter where you are. Though there be a thousand wars in a thousand places, our GOD hears you as if you were the only one praying.
Seventh, We may rely fully on HIM no matter how desperate our situation may be. This week I spoke with two of our senior adults. One has just been diagnosed with cancer. When I talked with her, she said, "Pastor, don't worry about me. The LORD has been so good to me." She's 80 years old. Later I spoke with a woman who is 90, very weak and frail and eager to go to heaven. Her voice quivered, but her faith was strong. "I'm just trusting in the LORD," she told me. These dear saints have learned through a lifetime of walking with God that he will never leave them for he is always present with his people.
GOD is always Present everywhere in the universe - Most of us struggle to understand omnipresence because it is so foreign to our experience. The doctrine teaches us that God is wholly present everywhere. "God is not like a substance spread out in a thin layer all over the earth—all of Him is in Chicago, in Calcutta, in Cairo, and in Caracas, at one and the same time" (Paul Little). God's presence is not like a layer of peanut butter on a piece of bread. All of
God is completely Present at every point in the universe all the time. HE is Present as fully as though HE were nowhere else. Furthermore, HIS Presence extends to all three Persons of the GODHEAD. That's a relief because what if I needed to talk to JESUS and found out that he was over in Indonesia and wouldn't be back in Oak Park for a month? Or what if the Spirit were in South Dakota when someone needed him in Turkey? Thank God, all three Persons of the Trinity are everlastingly available to all the children of God.
I have already commented that HE is Present even though we do not realize it. One writer said that GOD'S Presence is like the air we breathe. Air is odorless, tasteless, invisible (when it's not polluted). Most of the time we don't even think about the air we breathe, yet we depend on it for our very existence. Even so GOD'S Presence is everywhere with us, and if it were withdrawn, none of us could survive for even one moment.
Or consider radio waves. They are invisible yet everywhere. We don't realize that in this room there are thousands of signals floating through the air. Microwave, short wave, AM-FM, TV, cellular phone, CB, police, fire, ultra-low frequency and ultra-high frequency. Tens of thousands of signals float through the ether all around us. They are there all the time. We aren't aware of them because we don't have a receiver tuned in to the right frequency. Likewise, GOD is always there, but we're not tuned in to his frequency so we don't sense his presence all the time.
Genesis 28:16- Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.
1 Kings 8:27- But will GOD indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain YOU; how much less this house that I have built!
2 Chronicles 2:6- But who is able to build HIM a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain HIM? Who am I to build a house for HIM, except as a place to make offerings before HIM?
2 Chronicles 16:9- For The Eyes of The Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless towards Him!!!
Acts 7:48-49- Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, "'Heaven is MY throne, and the earth is MY footstool. What kind of house will you build for ME, says the LORD, or what is the place of MY rest?
Jeremiah 23:23-24- "Am I a GOD at hand, declares the LORD, and not a GOD far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.
-The Presence Of-
Genesis 16:13- So she called the Name of the LORD who spoke to her, "YOU are a GOD of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen HIM who looks after me."
Genesis 28:16- Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it."
Exodus 20:24- An altar of earth you shall make for ME and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause MY Name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.
Exodus 29:42-43- It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by MY Glory.
Exodus 30:6- And you shall put it in front of the veil that is above the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is above the testimony, where I will meet with you.
Exodus 33:14- And HE said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Deuteronomy 4:34-36,39- Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the LORD your GOD did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is GOD; there is no other besides HIM. Out of heaven HE let you hear HIS Voice, that HE might discipline you. And on earth he let you see HIS great fire, and you heard HIS Words out of the midst of the fire. Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is GOD in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
1 Kings 8:27- "But will GOD indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain YOU; how much less this house that I have built!
Psalm 139:3,5,7-10- You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 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.
Isaiah 57:15- For thus says the ONE who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose Name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isaiah 66:1- Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is MY throne, and the earth is MY footstool; what is the house that you would build for ME, and what is the place of MY rest?
Jeremiah 32:18-19- YOU show steadfast Love to thousands, but YOU repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O Great and Mighty GOD, Whose name is the LORD of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, Whose Eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to HIS ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.
John 1:3-4- All things were made through HIM, and without HIM was not any thing made that was made. In HIM was life,and the life was the light of men.
Acts 17:24,27-28- The GOD who made the world and everything in it, being LORD of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, that they should seek GOD, and perhaps feel their way toward HIM and find HIM. Yet HE is actually not far from each one of us, for "'In HIM we live and move and have our being';as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.
1 Corinthians 12:6- and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same GOD who empowers them all in everyone.