God's Omnipresence

God's nature is so vastly superior to ours that it is difficult to rationally understand His varied qualities.  One of those qualities is His omnipresence, the reality of God’s conscious awareness of every person, every event, everywhere at every moment of time.  Just try to wrap your mind around that one.

One of the greatest expressions of God’s omnipresence is found in Ps. 139:7-12:

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in hell, behold, 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.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me,"
even the night shall be light about me;
indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
but the night shines as the day;
the darkness and the light are both alike to You.

David here acknowledges the truth that God’s presence cannot be escaped; nothing can be kept secret from God, even in the mind. David, of course, had more direct confirmation of God’s awareness than is manifested to us today. God demonstrated an intimate knowledge of David as he tended his father’s sheep, when he lived as a fugitive from Saul, in his assassination of Uriah, when he was deposed by Absalom -- all through his life from beginning to end, including his development in the womb (Ps. 139:13-16).

We serve the same God 3,000 years later, and He remains aware of our every move as He was of David’s.

The Bible distinguishes between the person of God and the “locality” of His person from His omnipresent awareness of all things earthly. (Language tends to fail us in speaking of such transcendent concepts.) In respect to the person of God, He is said to dwell in heaven, a different realm and dimension from this earthly sphere.

Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple differentiates between that earthly structure as a symbol of God’s covenant presence among Israel and heaven as God’s "dwelling place." (I Kings 8:27, 30, 32, 34, 36, 39, 43, 45).

When the New Testament speaks of the "locality" of Jesus' person, it places Him in heaven, at the right hand of God (Acts 1:9-11; 7:55; Col 3:1). It is from here that He reigns and rules, "upholding all things by the word of His power" (Heb 1:3). It is from heaven that He will be revealed at His return (I Thess. 4:16; II Thess. 1:7).

When Jesus says to His apostles: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20) or "where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20), He is not speaking of the literal presence of His person. Rather, He is referring to His authority, approval and providential oversight.

How can God’s personal essence be in one place (heaven) and yet His awareness be everywhere? This is so far beyond us because it is foreign to our nature. A very shallow analogy might be the president who lives in the White House but has a constant, current awareness of events in hotspots around the world through satellite and other high-tech communications.

For those who fear God and trust Him, this “omnipresence” is a blessing, for we can be assured that wherever we go, whatever befalls us, it does not escape His notice.All we need to know is that He knows.