God Is Everywhere!
“Knowing God-Part VI” 2 Chronicles 16:1-9, 02/26/2017
Introduction: It was 1986, for the very first time I left India on an overseas trip to Philippines to attend a YWAM conference. Up until then I had never flown on an Airplane. In the flight, I had motion sickness, and felt miserable. After several hours of flying, we reached our destination. I was so sick, so I stayed back in my room and the rest of the team went off to attend the conference. Here I was all by myself, in a foreign country, sick like a dog, missing my mother, and my home country. While laying miserably in the bed, I wondered where is God! Was he still there with me as He promised that He would? Or had He stayed back in India? As I was wrestling with those thoughts in my mind, all of a sudden I sensed so vividly God’s presence in that room, right next to me in my pain and misery. What an assurance flooded into my spirit, knowing that when God is with me, I can never be lonely.
Can you remember a situation where you felt all alone, a time when you felt that there was nobody around for you? Maybe it was a time when you moved to a new town. Maybe it was going to college for the first time. Maybe you have been on a business trip to another city or state. Maybe you are at home and everyone happens to be gone for the night and nobody you know is available to hang out. Whatever the situation, you are feeling entirely alone. Maybe you are even wondering where God is when you are having this feeling?
Well the fact of the matter is, is that you are not alone. God is near you. In fact, no matter where you are or what you are feeling, even when you don’t sense him, God is there. In our Journey of Knowing God, we have learned that God is All Powerful, God Knows All Things and today we will talk about the Omnipresence of God, which means: God is Everywhere. 2 Chronicles 16:1-9. You may have a head knowledge of this truth, but have you experienced it?
Before we go further let’s deal with this Latin word “Omnipresence” the dictionary definition means, “present in all places at all times.” Synonyms of Omnipresence are: all-pervasive, everywhere; boundless, infinite; prevalent, far-reaching etc. When we talk about the Omnipresence of God we are talking about his ability of being present everywhere at the same time, and at all times. However, there is a stark difference between the biblical view of Omnipresence and the Pantheistic view. The word Pantheism in short, means “all is God.” This is the view that between God and the universe, there is no difference. They are one and the same thing. As a result, every person, object, animal, plant, and grain of sand is in one way or another, God. This view is largely held by Hindus, Taoists, and various New Age movements.”
I OMINIPRESENCE OF GOD: (God is Everywhere)
Where as in Christianity the divine attribute of omnipresence describes that God does not have size or spatial dimensions but is present at every point of space in his entirety. For this reason, God is not the universe and we are not God or any part of him. In other words, humans can never become God. That has been the deception since the Garden of Eden, remember what the serpent told Eve? When you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.” That deception is still in existence in some religions.
When we say, God is omnipresent we mean that everything both the known and the unknown universe and all it contains is in the presence of God or in God’s eye sight. Let me illustrate, as a child, I used to think my mother was omnipresent. She has eyes all over her, nothing would escape her view, and it seemed like as if she was present everywhere at all times especially when we were a bit mischievous. That may have been the understanding of the OT people of God being everywhere, which can be frightening and comforting at the same time.
When we read the scriptures the picture we get is that nothing escapes God’s eye sight. God’s eyes are everywhere keenly observing what is going on in the world. Consider the following scriptures: Proverbs, 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.” Jeremiah 16:17, “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.” Zechariah 4:10, ““Who dares despise the day of small things, since “the seven eyes of the Lord” that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”
The seven eyes of the Lord appear here in Zechariah and again in Revelation 5:6. The seven eyes represent the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit or the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
What is the purpose of God’s eyes roaming throughout the earth? From the passage, we read in II Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” A bit of context and history would be helpful.
Under King Asa’s reign things looked brighter in Judah. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD. When Asa was attacked by an enemy on one occasion, he cried out to God saying, II Chronicles 14:11“Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” God was pleased by Asa’s reliance on Him, so he struck down the Cushites before Asa. and Judah. A number of years later, the northern King, Baasha came up against Jerusalem. But unlike before this time Asa made a treaty with the king of Aram. God was not pleased with Asa. Hanani the prophet confronts Asa, telling him that because he had not trusted in God, there would be continual wars. In the end, Asa dies not trusting God.
From these passages, we learn that God, wanted his people, especially the leaders to trust him and seek him when they are in trouble, for he alone can deliver his people from all kinds of trouble. The encouragement we receive from this scripture is that, God is watching over his people, and when they are fully committed to him and when they cry out to him, he comes to their rescue and strengthens their faith. God is delighted when we seek him and his Kingdom first. On number of occasions, I drew strength and comfort from God as I meditated on the fact that He is watching over me. He is there by my side, and He is going to protect me.
But the skeptics will have hard time to understand this truth, they might ask, if God is Everywhere, then why can’t I see him? One reason why we cannot see God’s physical manifest presence is that his face shines brighter than the Sun. (Rev 1:16) The Apostle Paul encountered the presence of the glorified Jesus he became blind for three days (Acts 26:14). The Evangelist John when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet as though he was dead. Revelation 1:17
These few incidents explain what happens to us when we try to see God, so out of his pure mercy and grace God curtails himself. Do you remember, when Moses asked God that he might see his glory, God said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see my face and live, so I will put you in a cave and cover the cave with my hand when my glory is passing by you. Once I passed the cave and I will lift my hand, you be satisfied by just seeing my back.” Ex 33:20-23.
If no one could see God in all his brilliance and live, then how can we ever have a relationship with Him? That is why Jesus, the exact representation of God came into this world to show us God. Jesus said, if you have seen me you have seen God.” The moment we accept Christ as our savior we are welcomed into God’s amazing presence. What we know off God today is only partial, and we see only today a reflection as in a mirror, but a day is coming when we shall see him face to face. What a glorious that would be? I am looking forward to that day.
I get very excited talking about this wonderful truth of God being everywhere, but what does that mean for our day to day life? How is this truth going to impact our decisions and priorities? Firstly, the sheer awareness of God being everywhere and he sees and knows everything must make us tremble with fear of God. Hebrew 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Secondly, since we have established the fact that God is everywhere and sees and knows all our problems we can be at rest knowing that He is going to take care us. This is the most comforting thought in our Christian faith.
Thirdly, when we come together on Sunday morning to Church, the thought of Emmanuel, God is with us, should excite us in releasing ourselves in praising and worshipping God who inhabits the praises of his people. (Psalm 22:3) “You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel (ESV) In other words when we praise God will show up and be with his people.
You know what will happen when God shows Up, right? He takes control of whatever is troubling you. When God is with you, you can smile at the storm. Let me share a real-life story of someone who was inspired by the awareness of God’s eyes are upon her. In 1905, a beautiful Hymn “His Eye on the Sparrow” was composed by Civilla D Martin. Here is a part of the Hymn, “Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me….” Civilla was inspired by the truth of three scriptures, Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they”?
Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Civilla was attracted by watching an elderly couple experiencing these eternal truths of the gospel. Listen to what led Civillia to pen the words of this hymn. “Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nearly twenty years.
Mr. Doolittle was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle's reply was simple: "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" was the outcome of that experience.
What a powerful story of faith and trust in God whose eyes are always upon his children. Let me close with these assuring words of the Psalmist who often amazed by God’s ever abiding presence. Psalm 121: 5-8, “The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Amen