Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
The first truth that we learned from Psalm 139 is that God knows us. Here is the second truth: God is with us! Have you ever wished you could hide from God? Maybe you did something that was clearly wrong and you were burdened with extreme guilt and shame. You just wanted to run and hide. Well, guess what? There is nowhere that we can hide from God.
First of all, you must remember that if you belong to God, then you have His Spirit within you. This is why David asks, “Where can I go from your Spirit?” The answer is nowhere. If you are in Christ, then the Spirit of Christ is living inside of you. Therefore, you can never get away from His presence – nor should we want to! Paul writes in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The very last words Jesus spoke to the disciples are found in Matthew 28:20. Jesus said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus knew the difficult days that lay ahead for his beloved disciples. He knew they would be persecuted, imprisoned and even martyred. Thus, He assured them that He would be with them no matter what they endured.
Does this not give you great comfort? If you are in Christ, then He is with you no matter where you go and no matter what you go through!
David experienced the abiding presence of the Lord through all of his crises. He came to realize that no matter where he went, whether to the heights of heaven or to the depths of hell, the Lord was always at his side. He felt the hand of God upon him guiding him and holding him secure. Even on his darkest days, he knew the Lord was with him. And he knew this truth for two reasons: He believed the promises contained in God’s Word, and he experienced the Lord’s presence wherever he went.
In 1 Samuel 17, we learn that David went to deliver food to his brothers who were fighting on the frontlines under King Saul. Upon his arrival, he was stunned to discover the Israelites cowering in fear because of a Philistine named Goliath. Even though David was just a boy, he went to the king and offered to fight the giant. David said, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you.’”
When David came and stood before Goliath and the Philistines he said, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 34-37; 45-47).
I believe that when David faced the verbal threats coming from Goliath, he ran toward him singing inwardly: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Why is it that we, who are in Christ, often live our lives like the Israelites cowering in fear? Instead, we should live with great confidence knowing the Lord is with us and that there is nowhere on earth we can go and be away from His presence. The whole world should know that there is a God in heaven when they observe how we live.
When you consider these truths – that God knows you, loves you, has His hand upon you and will never leave you – they should leave you in awe, wonder and joy. And for those of you who are going through difficult trials, remember this promise from Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. For I am the Lord, your God.”
Verse 12 goes on to say, “Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” May Jesus be our light in this very dark world. He knows us and is always with us.