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October 9, 2020 2:00 am
Where is God? A series of rhetorical questions from Scripture give us the answer, leading us to some fascinating facts about God. Skip examines the omnipresence of God as he shares the message "Godisnowhere."
This teaching is from the series The Biography of God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
David's question is simple. Where where David's answer to the question is equally as simple.
There and there and there are three times where is God there there there go to heaven you're there. I make my bed in hell you're there on the uttermost parts of the even there times when one of the first people in space. A Russian cosmonaut for the first time he reported that he didn't see God. That's hardly conclusive evidence to disprove his existence does beg the question where exactly is it that we find God discover the answer today on connect with Skip Heitzig want to let you know about a resource that will help you get to know God more personally so your faith, hey I want to let you know about my latest book is called the biography of God by the very subject matter of God is the loftiest of all topics in the pinnacle of all human pursuits as we discover who God is and how aware he is of the human condition.
We will be inspired to know him more each day. But we cannot stop with just gathering information about God to truly know him. We must believe and act in the light of that information all share how you can do just that in my newest book, the biography of God. Here's how to get your coffee.
The biography of God is are we to say thank you when you give $35 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach to more people request your copy when you get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888 Psalm chapter 139 skip. Isaac gets into today's message. There were two brothers. One was eight years of age 10 years old were always in trouble back in their town. If something went wrong town just sort of figured that those two kids were somehow involved because of the reputation their parents decided they got to do something they heard about a preacher who had a way with kids. That was his reputation so the mother asked if the pastor would come over and speak to her two boys. He agreed to and that he said I first want to meet with the eight-year-old, the youngest in the morning first and then after that on me with the tendril so the preacher came to their house and it was a big man, deep, booming voice, very intimidating. That was the whole idea, he thought so he got the eight-year-old in the living room and he stood over the top of a woman kinda wanted the kids to realize that God sees everything they're doing and is everywhere when they're doing it so the preacher in a deep booming boy woman voice said to the eight-year-old wears God for the little boy was so intimidated by this he job dropped his jaw eyes got wide as saucers didn't say a word followed up by a second question, the preacher asked same question wears God no answer.
Third time, the old preachers stuck his finger in the boy's face, wears God at that the little boy jumped up and ran out of the room ran into his bedroom and it was because it slammed the door. His older brother quickly followed him and said what's up and NARAL turned to his older brother and said were really in trouble this time dude God's missing and they think we done it wears God good question. Actually, great question question everybody asks.
It's a question that we want to consider this morning that the name name of my message the title that you saw is not really a word I just stuck all of these letters together but this could spell one of two things depending on who you are. This could spell as in the next case God is nowhere the atheists would be predisposed to take in those letters, and spelling.
That or the same letters could be configured to spell that God is now here, God is nowhere or God is now here it all depends on on on how your predisposed with those letters we want to talk about this morning. God's presence. Psalm 139 is our starting point is because this song is so filled with great deep teaching of the characteristics of God.
For to be exact.
That David discovers this one as well. The last time we were together we looked at what God knows. That's verses one through six, verses seven through 12 talks about where God is and you probably Artie discovered that the Psalm is set up with four stanzas of six versus a piece in each one of those stanzas takes a whole new facet of God's character and explores it in poetic language, so we want to discover the second one where God is. David has a very simple question that he begins with in verse seven where where can I go from your spirit. Where can I flee from your presence.
Essentially, where is God except great question. As I said it's a question.
Certainly every child asks. Funny how when we were kids we asked very honest questions and the older we get, somehow we learn to put those questions at bay or it's not appropriate to ask that we get uncomfortable because it no problem with it. A little boy looked up at the full moon and said mommy is got up on the moon and she said well honey, God is everywhere, so is there will is God in my tummy and see just didn't know what to do with that one. Well, sort of, you know she's wondering where this is leading Willow was leaving somewhere because the next thing is mommy I think God wants a happy meal today. This question is simple. Where where in David's answer to the question is equally as simple. There and there and there are three times that's what he says where is God he's there there and thereby go to heaven here there. If I make my bed in hell you're there if I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there three times. He says so this second stanza of the song, so to speak is divided up with a rhetorical question, where is God, followed by a conclusion of where God is a rhetorical question, followed by a rational conclusion.
So let's look at verse seven. Here's a question. Where can I go from your spirit, or where can I flee from your presence now. Just something about the question itself is a rhetorical question and a rhetorical question is different than a typical question. A typical question is asked to get information not a rhetorical question a rhetorical question is simply a statement in question form. It's to make a statement. It's to lead you to a conclusion and there's only one answer to. So it's a rhetorical question, a solid David Assange and I'm really trying hard to get away from God.
Can anybody tell me a place where I can run away and hide is not the issue. It's a rhetorical question. Where can I go where can I flee now my question is why would anyone want to run away from God answer well depends on how your living. If you're an obedient person. You're in conformity with God or doing what he wants. Like David was at this particular point in his life he knew. You can't get away from God and why would I even want to try.
But if on the other hand, you're not obedient your living not right with God, you're being disobedient, then those kind of people will do everything they can to try some way to hide from the presence of God. Adam and Eve drive this. They disobeyed God's. The Bible says Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord amongst the trees of the garden. How stupid is that we think about it honey quick to hide from God, get behind this bullish peers God the creator made both of them and the bush and the trees and are try to hide from God who is there every day, but that's how irrational people become in trying to hide from God. Jonah was the same way Jonah was a prophet and he must've believed that God doesn't like to hang out West because he tried to go west instead of east God called him to talk to Nineveh he decides him to go the opposite direction. 2000 miles to Tarshish, that's Gibraltar. That's the area of Spain. Listen to what the Scripture says Jonah went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish, so he paid the fare and he went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, what is that mean because if anybody would know better would be Jonah. You can escape God. What is a mean his fling from the presence of the Lord simply he's quitting is trying to flee from standing before God as an obedient prophet. He's handing in his resignation. You might say he wants to be a nonprofit organization.
Sorry about couldn't resist. He he's hanging up the sign. I'd rather go fishing in this case well fishing, but God called them in one direction. He escapes he thinks to the other direction.
I had a dog like this.
I told you about them in the past, Springer spaniel, cute as all get out either dumb or stubborn. That's all.
Take the second because every time I would call him and say come, he would turn directly on his heels and go in the opposite direction. I should've renamed him. Jonah.
So let's answer the rhetorical question. Where can I go from God's presence work and I flee from God spirit answer. Nowhere. So put it into the positive. Where is God. God is everywhere. That's the right answer. Like the mother said to the sun God is everywhere. We call this the omnipresence of God and correctly stated it is that God is everywhere present in the totality or the wholeness of his being at all times.
God is everywhere present with his whole being at all times. Now that is either a great comfort to you or a great concern again depending on how your living if you're not living right and you can you can run but you can't hide.
You can decide.
I'm not go to church or on a walk out on the sermon in the middle of it or when my friends come over and talk about God, I'll change the subject or I used to have a Bible but I'm to hide it you can do all of those things.
But God is inescapable. God is on my present. That's the truth that emerges from this paragraph of Psalm 139 but there is a taxonomy call it the primary text on the presence of God found in the book of Job, the book of Job.
This is God speaking to Job and his friends is chapter 23 of Job versus 23 and 24 the Lord says am I God near at hand, says the Lord, and not a far off the words I'm in all places.
Can anyone hide in secret places so that I shall not see him, says the Lord. Again, both are rhetorical questions. Do I not fill the heaven and the earth, says the Lord. That's the teaching of the night presence of God. But be careful, don't confuse this biblical truth of God being everywhere with a false teaching known as pantheism. Some of you have heard of pantheism. It's different than omnipresence the biblical teaching of the omnipresence of God says that God is present in his creation though he's separate from it. But pantheism says God is his creation there. One of the same. There is no distinction between them. God is and is active in the world. God is the world so as an example, the Bible would affirm that right now where you're sitting with your Bible open listening. God is with you.
Pantheism would say the chair you're sitting in his God the earth that holds it up as God when you go outside and see the trees and the bushes in the grass. All of that is God. It's all one in the same there's no separation and no distinction, that's an ancient belief system known as pantheism and I believe it still around in a different form. I believe there's something on the call that Neil pantheism and I think it shows up in earth worship, and hyper environmentalism where people so focus on the environment in the earth, and there's days of worship for it and it's all about the environment because that is the only thing they know that is become essentially very God of their slogans like love your mother or the environment is everything is a French teacher who even asked her nephew well will isn't God just mother nature answer no, God is eternal and separate. God has no beginning and no end this world, this universe had a beginning. All scientists will tell you that and will have an end. It's winding down so God is outside of it but created it and is present in his creation, but is not his creation.
That's the omnipresence of God now for us in the New Testament gets even better because it's not just like yeah there's kind of like God is everywhere and he's big and he's out there for us it's more personal because Jesus is Emmanuelle God with us and Jesus came to the earth and for 33 1/2 years lived here and I know some of your thinking yeah but he left, but he before he left, told his disciples. It's good for you that I go because if I can't go if I don't go, I won't be able to send the counselor the comforter, who will be with you.
And then Jesus said I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you and he was referring to the presence of the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside of the believer. So that is the rhetorical question, where is God everywhere working you get away from God. Nowhere that's followed in the next few verses by three rational conclusions.
The rhetorical question is followed by the rational conclusion and David says three things about the omnipresence of God first death itself can't hide a person from God.
Verse eight if I ascend into heaven here there now. We would take that first part of the verse ago me. That's God's unique dwelling place of God is everywhere present. Heaven is his unique dwelling place.
Even Jesus taught us to pray our father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
We understand that that's HQ forgot that headquarters.
That's the base of operations but notice the next part of the verse.
If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there to see the word hell it's an ancient Hebrew word shipped all 65 times it appears in the Old Testament. It is typically a word that means a grave, the place of the dead. It's where people get married, it's a general term to refer to the abode of those who have died in ancient thinking. A person in the grave person and she all was cut off from God, you die, you go down into the earth and you hang up the sign God is nowhere.
That's all the ancients thought not.
David David would say God is now here he is present on this side of the grave on earth. And when you die. God will be present on that side of the great because death is a transition right as a threshold for the believer wealth. When a Christian dies, you really can't say he died. You have to say. He moved to be absent from the body pulse that is to be present with the Lord. That's where a person experiences the presence of God. Very special way. Unlike here were we apprehended by faith, it will be face-to-face in glory, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord but but flip the coin, go to the other side. What about the unbeliever who his whole life or her whole life is try to get away from God or not believe in God or discount God surely death ends at all.
No. Even there, even in the grave believer unbeliever, you can't get rid of God, even a death as the Bible puts it this way it is appointed unto every man wants to die and after this the judgment, not after this you float around. Not after this your eternally unconscious but after this comes the judge imagine the fate of a man like let's take that off Hitler hated Jews killed millions of killed Christians who protected them and he dies and who does he see Jesus Christ a Jew who is his judge for eternity. He cannot escape Christ he cannot escape this Jewish Messiah. He cannot escape the judgment in the faith, and behold him that can't separate him from God is a verse of Scripture. I was looking at early this morning I want to share with you.
It is a frightening verse goes along with this for the unbeliever. This revelation 14 verse 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of his indignation, which is poured out on all the earth, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb is a frightening piece of truth. I have a book in my library. I pull it out from time to time. It's simply called the last words of saints and sinners and what Herbert Lockyer, the author has done is to find people throughout history, believers and nonbelievers and give us the last words before they died. It's a great book of comfort is a great book of terror. Here's a couple of unbelievers. One was all too much lived in the 1800s.
He was an agnostic writer, wrote a lot of words not believing in God discounting to be very confident about it, but it is death. He said as for DAT, nothing less than an Almighty could inflict what I feel now remorse for the past throws my thoughts onto the future. Old Val blasphemed an indulgent God hell is a refuge if it hides me from diaphragm. Can you imagine breathing those words as your last words after living that way tragic.
Then there was Voltaire, the French atheist who was very vocal against Christ. In fact, while he was alive he said of Jesus Christ curse the rich when he died among his last words were, I'll give you half of what I'm worth first six months of life, and then I shall go to hell and you shall go with me. Oh Christ oh Jesus Christ tragic again and powerful, no death can hide any person believer unbeliever from God and David states that in this poetic language. The second conclusion David comes to is that because God is everywhere distance can't hide us from God within the next two verses nine and 10 of Psalm 139 if I take the wings of the morning and I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me your right hand shall hold me now. This is Hebrew poetry. It's a description of distance, especially going west over the Mediterranean. The sunrise in the Easton instantly x-rays permeate everything even out toward the Mediterranean picture were David is writing this and it travels instantly. So if I were to rephrase this David is saying if I could travel the speed of light hundred and 86,000 mi./s shoot across the universe to anyplace God is your there. Even there that Skip ice message from his series, the biography of God's gift to share how you can help keep this broadcast going strong, connecting more people like you to God's truth. It's a great comfort to me that no matter where we go or what we do.
God is ever present in our lives for home ministry is based on the desire to connect friends like you with God and with his word. But we need your help to keep these teachings going out to you and to others would be so grateful if you shared a gift today to keep this radio ministry going strong here so you can do that right now. Give us a call at 800-922-1888 to give a gift today 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com/donate that's connected skip.com/donate your generosity is biblical encouragement coming your way and help change lives before we close, we invite you to check out the connect mobile will have access to a treasure trove of scripts messages right at your fingertips. Find more information, connectwithskip.com/did you know you can catch connect with Skip Heitzigs, he also on Saturdays at 4:30 PM Mountain watching on TV and on Sundays at 5:30 AM Eastern.
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