We Cannot Run Away from God
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)
If you like to play hide-and-seek, it is probably fun for you to think about hiding places. Maybe when you visit a new place or go to someone else’s house, you scout out all the best places to hide. If you’re good at finding hiding places, the “seeker” probably has to spend a long time looking for you. There may even have been times when you’ve hidden so well that he’s given up looking for you!
In Psalm 139, David was thinking about hiding places, but not because he wanted to play a game. He was thinking about how impossible it is to run away and hide from God. In the first part of the psalm, he wrote about God’s very personal knowledge of His creatures. He thought about how God knows every move we make, every word we say, and even the thoughts that go through our minds! When we think about a God who knows us so deeply and personally, we might feel like we want to get away and hide from Him – especially when we consider that we’re sinners and He is holy.
David considered several places he might go. Perhaps he could go up into the sky – even into outer space. Or maybe he could go to the world beyond the grave – the world where people go after they die. Perhaps he could go as far east as the sunrise, or to the farthest reaches of the sea. Do those sound like good hiding places? The problem is, none of those are places a person can hide from God. God’s presence fills the earth and the sky. He is there, no matter where we go, no matter how much we might want to run away from Him.
In verse 10, David thinks about the fact that God is loving. His gentle, strong hand is actually leading us when we try to run from Him, and wherever we end up, His hand takes hold of us there. We can never run away or hide from Him.
What are some ways you try to “run away” from God? Do you close up your heart when He speaks to you through His Word or through your pastor’s preaching? Do you refuse to cooperate with Him when He shows you a need to forgive someone or to change your attitude? Do you try to shrug off something He tells you to do because you know it will make you uncomfortable?
Since God is loving, why would we want to be apart from Him? The Bible says that the best place to be is in His presence (Philippians 1:23). It is only there that we can have “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). Being close to Him, loving Him, and obeying Him is the very best thing for every one of us.
We can never run away from God.
» Am I trying to run away from God in my heart?
» What is God asking me to do?
» What do I need to do to stop running and obey Him?
Truth In Real Life
Betsie ten Boom
“We must tell people how good God is. We can tell them how wonderful God is, and how His love will fill our lives, if only we will give up our hatred and bitterness.”
When people hear the last name of “ten Boom” they often think of Corrie ten Boom. When the Nazis invaded Holland during World War II, Corrie ten Boom and her family helped their Jewish friends by hiding them in their home. A name less well-known, and much less honored, is that of Corrie’s sister, Betsie.
The ten Booms were known for honoring God by loving their neighbors as themselves. It was this love for people that ended up costing them their freedom, their health, and – in the case of Betsie and several other relatives – even their lives.
On February 28, 1944, after the betraying words of a fellow Dutchman, the Nazi secret police invaded the ten Boom home and took the entire household prisoner. The ten Booms and the people they were hiding at the time were split up and sent to terrible concentration camps where they were starved and treated with humiliating cruelty every day. Already old and somewhat fragile, Mr. ten Boom died after spending just over a week in prison. Corrie and Betsie spent the next ten months in three different prison camps.
Every single day they were together, Betsie encouraged Corrie in the Lord.
Corrie ten Boom – one of the few survivors from her family – often said that it was because of her older sister, Betsie, that she was able to have the strength to share God’s love. Betsie would talk often about the prison guards or the men who beat them. But instead of cursing them, Betsie would say things like, “I feel sorry for them,” or, “May God forgive them.” And she meant it. Betsie loved her enemies.
Betsie ten Boom died only a few days before she would have been released. Her sister Corrie’s name might not have been so familiar to us today if Betsie had not been her spiritual helper and best friend. What kind of brother or sister are you? What kind of spiritual help are you to your friends? Do you share God’s love?
Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.