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Reveling in the Omnipresence and Omnipotence of God

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 30, 2024 12:00 am

Reveling in the Omnipresence and Omnipotence of God

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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January 30, 2024 12:00 am

Isn't it an amazing thought that God can't lose you? No matter where you are in the world -- whether lost in a crowd of tourists or alone on some secluded mountain -- God is already there. Stephen takes us further in his study of Psalm 139 to show us why that is cause for rejoicing. Access all of the resources and lessons in this series: https://www.wisdomonline.org/the-song-volume-1

 

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So that in our weaknesses, we would recognize the power of Christ. And in the meantime, we then surrender to God for grace and strength to take one day at a time in utter dependence upon Him. And the most disabled among us, we become the most powerful testimony that God's grace is absolutely sufficient. And by the way, that God's future heaven is to be anticipated with even greater joy. Welcome to Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey.

Stephen is the president of Wisdom International. If you were with us last time, we were in Psalm 139. What we saw there is that God knows everything, including the secrets of your heart. Today, you're going to be reminded of two more attributes of God. God can do anything He wants. And God is everywhere at the same time. Even more specifically, you're going to learn how to properly respond to those truths about God. Please stay with us for this message on the omnipresence and omnipotence of God. Here's Stephen.

The New York Times ran an article by Richard Panick a few years ago. He is a physicist and a cosmologist, an unbeliever, an atheist. He writes in his book, A Universe from Nothing. He writes, you don't need a deity. Zero total energy and quantum fluctuations can produce a universe.

I won't comment much, but you have to have something in existence before it can fluctuate, correct? He does admit this, however, and I appreciate this honesty. He says, I cannot prove that God does not exist, but I'd much rather live in a universe without Him. He honestly admits the foundation for his scramble to find a way for something to come out of nothing, especially something so precise and so orderly and so systematic and so magnificent as the universe. I'd really rather, he writes, not have to live with the concept of a creator God. But for the believer, the idea of a creator God is not a concept to avoid. We don't scramble away from it.

We run to it, don't we? We rejoice in this truth, that we have a powerful, loving creator God with whom we can worship and love and serve. We're in Psalm 139. David has literally rejoiced in the omniscience of God as he declares the nature of several attributes of God.

Not only does God exist, not only did God create the universe, but God also happens to know absolutely everything without having learned it. David writes in the first six verses that we looked at in our last session that God knows everything about us too. David says, you know, when I stand up, when I sit down, when I lie down, when I go to work, when I walk, what I do, what I think, what I purpose, what I intend, he knows that. The Spirit of God then has revealed to David some of the truth about the omniscience of God. And David comes to the end of this first section, and he says this, he says, verse 6, such knowledge is too wonderful for me. I mean, this isn't something to be frightened of.

This is something to glory in. The fact that he knows everything about me is wonderful for me. He says, I can't even begin to grasp it. Now, at this point, David shifts his attention from the omniscience of God to the omnipresence of God.

You might write that word in the margin of your text if you haven't already. The omnipresence of God. Look at verse 7, where shall I go from your spirit or where shall I flee from your presence?

Now, stop. David isn't interested in running away. He's merely suggesting someone saying like Professor Krauss centuries later, look, I don't like the idea of accountability to God.

I'd rather live in a universe without him. So if he did exist, where can I go to get away from him? And David would say, well, where would you like to go first? Verse 8, if I ascend to heaven, you're there.

In other words, let's build a spaceship and let's go up as far as we can. And when we get to the edge and beyond the universe, oh, God's there. That's his dwelling place too. Well, then, I'll tunnel down.

I'll go down deep. Look at verse 8b, that latter part. If I make my bed in Sheol, it's the underworld. Superstition held it to be the center of the earth.

Guess what? God is there too. Well, then, what if I, verse 9, take the wings of the morning? That is, in the ancients mind, this is a description of pursuing, as it were, the dawn. So what if I go infinitely east? Or what if I reverse direction, verse 9, the latter part, and dwell in the furthest reaches of the sea? To the ancient world, the sea, to David, it would have been in the Mediterranean. This is a way of saying, if I went infinitely west, what if I could travel infinitely east or infinitely west?

Guess what? Verse 10, even there, your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. In other words, even there, God abides and is in total control. So to the unbeliever, this will be terrifying news. To the believer, it is incredibly comforting news. You will never be out of reach.

You are never out of touch. Even God can hold your hand wherever you go, up, down, east, or west. God is there. Now, more than likely, David is countering the prevailing view of the pagan idolaters around him who believe that their gods had territories. They believe that their gods had limited jurisdiction.

Their authority was defined by certain geographical areas of operation. So David, you notice, is pulling out all the stops and he says, well, if you travel as high as possible, and he went as deep and low as possible, and he went as far east as possible and as far west as possible, God still has their jurisdiction. He can't be fenced in. He doesn't have one little corner that he runs. He runs everything. He is everywhere. He is omnipresent and he has omnipresent authority. That's what he's saying.

Well then, wait a second. Okay, so he's everywhere geographically, but what if the lights are out? Can he see in the dark? Verse 11, surely the darkness shall cover me and the light about me be night. In other words, what if I live in the darkness? What if I pull the shades down? What if I sleep through the day and live it up through the night? Listen, doesn't mankind have this strange attitude and perspective that whatever they do at night is okay?

As if somehow he's unaccountable, he's acceptable. John 3 says they love the darkness because their deeds are what? Evil. This is if they think the darkness might be able to hide them.

I mean, won't that make a difference? John Phillips in his commentary on this text commented of that event, and I looked it up and did a little more study on that, and it is a rather remarkable display of human nature. But in July, one hot sweltering night in 1977 at 8.37 p.m., a series of lightning strikes took down New York City's power supply. Almost immediately, tens of thousands of people poured out of their apartments and their homes and into the city to loot and pillage. Roving bans, the article read, the one that I saw, bans of men, women, even children, pulled down steel shutters and grills from storefronts, shattered plate glass windows, and hauled away everything they could carry. Some of them even rented trucks to carry their loot. Fires were started. Firemen would end up battling over a thousand fires and still receive nearly 2,000 false alarms as decoys to keep them and the police away from the looting. Thieves even robbed from each other.

Imagine that horror. I mean, one teenage girl complained later that some boys had offered to help her carry some clothes and radios she had stolen, and instead they ran away with it, and she actually said, that's not right. She said they shouldn't have done that.

Only a fraction of the looters were ever arrested. Over 2,000 stores were plundered, and the loss in damages cost businesses and the city of New York more than $1 billion, all because the lights went out for one night in one city. But there was one eyewitness to every crime, because David writes here in verse 12, even the darkness is not dark to you. The night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. What a description of God's omnipresent presence. Now David moves to describing omnipotence.

In the next section, omnipotence. And one author divided these early verses up by suggesting what I think is worth repeating to you, that David was actually answering here some of life's most profound questions. The first question is, how well does God know me? And of course, the first part of this psalm, David answered, God knows everything about you when you sit, sleep, work, think, whatever. The second question is, how close is God to me? And of course, we've just noted that he's never away from you. And now a third most profound question could be written this way, how carefully did God make me?

And the answer is rather stunning. Verse 13, for you formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother's womb. But he's writing before any prenatal or embryonic research had ever been published.

There were no 3D sonograms. Aren't those amazing? We get to enjoy that with our grandson. You know, when we went through it, well, we rather generously.

When my wife went through that, just kind of flat, and yeah, I think I see something. Not now. Amazing. Amazing technology. This is written even before stethoscopes. This is God's inspired truth to David to take us into the very secret place of the womb and reveal to us that God is deeply invested in designing us at the very moment of conception.

In fact, we now know by nine weeks, which is just about the time a woman is convinced she can go ahead and tell her parents about it, that baby's heart is formed and you can see it beating. Now the words David uses here are freighted with truth. The Hebrew construction translated in verse 13, for you formed my inward parts is emphatic. The idea is this, you, God, and I mean you yourself and no other formed me. So you are in control. I mean you're in control of the universe and everything moves by your ordination and even in the womb, that tiny, teeny operation is managed by your ordination.

You did that. So, beloved, we could say then right away you're not the result of nature. God alone crafted everything about you as he formed you in the womb. The words translated inward parts, you formed my inward parts, in the Hebrew is literally kidneys, kidneys. Sometimes it's translated reins, r-e-i-g-n-s. It actually refers to all of our vital organs, heart, lungs, kidney, liver, major organs.

But that isn't all that God designed. You go to the end of verse 13 and David writes, you knitted me together in my mother's womb. You could translate it. Maybe your translation reads you weaved me. It's a good idea translated that way. The verb suggests the idea of knitting together like an interwoven mass or thicket. It's more than likely a reference to the well-knitted thicket of muscle and tendon and bone and vein and artery.

Perfectly designed. David says then it's as if God is there, indeed he is, in the womb weaving away at me. He's weaving away at me.

He's knitting this way and that and under and over and around and loop-de-loops and all that. That's all his doing. Which means then that every strength you have is God-ordained. Can you run fast? God made you that way. That was his plan.

Like Eric Liddell who caught it, the Olympic champion who went on to be a missionary in China of whom the movie Chariots of Fire was written. He said this and I love this phrase in that movie, God made me fast and when I run I feel his pleasure. That's great, isn't it? Are you slow? God made you that way. Okay?

Now you know who to blame. Take it to him. I mean when you understand that God wove every attribute into the fiber of your being, he knitted it all together by his ordination, his plan, his purposes. It means that God crafted in you not only every ability but every disability, every advantage and every disadvantage which means that every disability and every weakness and every problem you have anatomically or physically or emotionally including the makeup of your brain patterns or the lack thereof as it relates to math and science, we won't go there, but at any rate God actually created you that way. Notice what he writes in verse 14.

What does he say about it? I praise you. Wait, does that mean that David was perfect? I praise you. You mean you knitted me together every advantage, every disadvantage and I just want to praise you. That's profound. It's profound. I praise you for I am, notice, fearfully and wonderfully made. The word translated wonderfully here is really interesting. You can translate it uniquely.

You can actually translate it differently. I praise you for I am uniquely made. I praise you that you've made me different than anybody else. Have you ever thought about praising God for making you different from everybody else?

We usually don't. We usually get on to him for making us different from everybody else. We don't like to stick out from the rest. Well, David informs us that that uniqueness is actually part of God's design for you. Think about it as I did in reflecting on this text. There are several ways in which we're different. Certainly we're different from his other creation, his other creatures. Genesis 1 informs us that we alone as a human species are created in God's image unlike the animal kingdom. We're different. That doesn't mean we don't share similarities, that we can't be categorized or cataloged in similar fashion, but ultimately we are different. In a myriad of ways, we're able to exercise a will.

We're able to be objective and just. No animal out there hopes that other animals have enough to live on when they get old. In fact, if they're hungry, it doesn't matter what anybody else wants, it's theirs. No animal will ever draw up a Magna Carta to live by with all the other animals in the neighborhood. No animal gathers other animals out of spiritual concern for their walk with their Creator God. My dog certainly isn't concerned. My dog just wants to know what other dogs in the neighborhood smell like. That's about as far as it goes and what she smells like. We let her loose and within three minutes she's out in the pasture behind us and she's looking for one thing, dried horse manure so she can roll in it and then run back to us wagging her tail as if to say, now pet me.

I don't think so. Well, the fact that we have been created in God's image sets us apart from the animal kingdom. Unique differences. We're eternal. We're volitional. We're self-determining. We're spiritual worshipers. My dog has never crafted an idol out of her favorite bone and then knelt before it and prayed three times a day.

Only people do stuff like that. Mankind does that because mankind is a spiritual being driven to answer the fundamental questions of life. Who am I? Who do I belong to? What's life all about and where am I going when I'm done with this life?

My dog's never had any of those profound questions cross her mind. God created us with the truth of eternity embedded in our hearts, Solomon wrote. You are wonderfully and differently made. This means among other truths, beloved, that you have actually had God weave into your body for purposes yet not fully known.

Not only every ability but every disability. Uniquely designed as God knitted you together to demonstrate His power and His creativity and His sustaining grace in helping us all to bring Him glory not only by our unique strengths but by our unique weaknesses so that our boasting would not be in ourselves but in Christ, 2 Corinthians 12.9. So that in our weaknesses we would recognize the power of Christ, Paul writes. And in the meantime we then surrender to God for grace and strength to take one day at a time in utter dependence upon Him. And the most disabled among us, we become the most powerful testimony that God's grace is absolutely sufficient. And by the way that God's future heaven is to be anticipated with even greater joy.

They are reminding us this isn't all there is. And in the meantime we will depend upon Him as we travel there. Several years ago Nick Vujicic was born with Tetra Emilia Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. He has no arms or legs. He has two small feet which grew at the base of his torso.

Growing up Nick wrote, he's just published a book this past year. He struggled emotionally and physically to accept his condition. Today he is a devoted, committed, passionate follower of Jesus Christ.

In fact he has what he calls, quote, a ridiculously good life. Now how convicting does God expect him to be in our lives by saying things like that? He said this, when I'm asked how I can claim such a thing when I have no arms or legs, people assume I'm suffering from what I lack.

They inspect my body and wonder how I could possibly give my life to God who allowed me to be born without limbs. Others have attempted, you know, to soothe me by saying that God has all the answers. Instead I choose to live by what the Bible says which is that God is the answer today, yesterday, and always. And he is my strength. When people read about my life or witness me living it, they're prone to congratulate me for being victorious over my disabilities. I tell them my victory comes in daily surrender.

It comes every day when I acknowledge that I cannot do this on my own. And he gives a little of his testimony which I won't take time to read but he did say this, once I yielded my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, he took my pain and he turned it into something good. He gave my life meaning when no one, when nothing else could provide it. And here's the point. If God can take someone like me, someone without arms and legs and use me as his hands and feet, he can use anybody.

It's not about ability. The only thing God wants from us is a willing surrendered life. Powerful testimony that becomes this glorious, challenging, convicting testimony. God very well ordained that particular testimony to bring him glory and to remind us all that all of creation, because of the fall, is groaning for the day of redemption.

And this isn't it. This isn't all there is. David would say, and if he had a mirror, he's not looking at it because he's just a specimen. He's saying, I praise you, oh God, I am uniquely made by your sovereign design. I surrender to the way you made me.

That's what he's saying. What a statement of faith. To accept God's design and demonstrate trust in a creator, God who displays his glory through human strength and human weakness is to declare to your creator God wonderful trust and humility and faith and surrender. And there is good news. We know the gospel that one day we'll all get perfect bodies.

And everybody said? Amen. Perfect minds. Perfect minds.

Perfect, perfectly operating emotions. Can you imagine being glorified in everlasting, unending, perfect immortality? Can you further imagine, this is the good part, being perfected in and allowing in that uninterrupted holiness and communion and worship with God? Wouldn't you love to be able to talk to him for five minutes without your mind going woo?

Wouldn't you love to go through a day without confessing over and over again and knowing how it grieves his heart and it grieves yours too? Imagine. This is what's in store. And for those who reject a creator, God, volunteer to serve in a zoo exhibit. Wander in futile speculation, Romans 1. But how distressing to struggle with insignificance in the face of a staggering universe. I mentioned at the outset of our study the writing of Lawrence Cross, his physicist, who wrote that he'd rather live in a universe without a God. Where does his view take him? To its logical conclusion.

Let me read how he puts it. Human beings are just a bit of pollution. If you got rid of us and all the stars and all the galaxies and all the planets and all the aliens and everybody, then the universe would remain largely the same. We are completely irrelevant.

Not so, David sings. We are incredibly precious to God who personally crafted us in the womb and from the moment of life to the conclusion of life from the womb to the tomb. We are his unique creation destined beyond that to great glory. You can trust your omnipotent and omnipresent God with every aspect of your life here on earth, as well as your eternal life with him forever in heaven. I trust this time in God's Word has been a blessing to you. If it has, why not write and tell us about it? We always enjoy hearing from our listeners, and you can write to us today if you address your correspondence to Wisdom International, P.O. Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. Stephen's going to have another lesson from God's Word next time, and I hope you'll be with us here on Wisdom for the Heart. You
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-21 03:56:04 / 2024-02-21 04:05:08 / 9

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