Continuing our study of Psalm 139, I want to focus on verses 7-12 today. Let's start by looking at the passage from the NIV
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.
We discovered last time, in the first few verses of Psalm 139, that we cannot escape the knowledge of God. He knows everything about us yet still loves us! If that wasn't mind-boggling enough, here we see that we cannot escape God's presence--no matter where we go, God is there with us! Let's take a closer look at what this means for you and me.
The word presence in verse 7 can be defined as 'immediate vicinity' or 'proximity', meaning that there is no hiding from God. He is right there with you.
Jehovah had promised His presence among His people from the beginning. His presence took on many different forms: a pillar of cloud, a pillar of fire, a cloud over Mount Sinai, an angel, the ark, filling the temple. God freed Israel from captivity in Egypt and His presence guided them. But the Israelites only found themselves in captivity again in Babylon, and this time they were taken captive by things of this world.
Kay Arthur shares this story in her book Lord I Want To Know You, In the Korean War the majority of our men who were taken captive never tried to escape. This seeming apathy was unprecedented, especially in comparison to World War II. Y et, they resigned themselves to prison because they saw no future. They had lost their vision. Their hope was gone. They gave in and were absorbed by their captivity (167).
Don’t we often find ourselves taken captive by the world? Sin slowly creeps in and soon we find ourselves in bondage so deep we don’t feel like we can ever break free. Satan tries to convince us that we are all alone and that even God has given up on us. Is that where you are today? So resigned to your captivity that there is no point in trying to break free? You feel far away from God, like maybe He’s forgotten about you? I know that place. It seemed easier to me to just stay where I was, stuck in an eating disorder, rather than try to break free. But that was a place of hopelessness and despair.
That might be what Satan whispers, but God proclaims in Joshua 1:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Hasn’t God promised that His presence will be with us? Look at this Psalm and hear the message of encouragement and the promises it gives of a future and a hope. He promises that He will be with us no matter where we go, from the heavens to the depths (v8), from the dawn to the sea (v9), darkness will be light (v11) and all along His hand will guide me, holding me fast (v10). WOW! Stand on these promises, Beloved, and rejoice that God is right there with you!