“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
Last time we saw that the first couplet to illustrates God’s omnipresence is the highest and the lowest and now we come to the second couplet:
- The Fastest and the Farthest (vs. 9-10)
The first couplet, highest to lowest was vertical, from top to bottom, where this couplet is horizontal, east and west. Verse 9 starts with the statement “If I ride the wings of the morning” which is a beautiful and very descriptive phrase but what does it mean, what is the Psalmist trying to convey in this imagery? It’s the picture of the sun rising at the dawning of a new day as it breaks over the land, showering rays of golden light that touch and illuminate the dark places of our planet. As those rays first appear science tells us that they are speeding at a rate of 186,000 miles per second. Meaning that it would take less that 2 seconds for light to reach the moon from earth. Imagine for a moment that you could ride one of those rays, that you could ride the wings of the morning, this is what David is saying. Now in the context of the passage David is presenting us with a picture to answer the question can we out run God, can we escape and get away from His presence. David is saying that no matter how fast we go God is still right there with us. As far as you go, east or west, you can never go beyond God’s presence. David pushes on with the analogy by saying “if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” No matter how far you go into the sea even there God will guide, and support you with His strength. This is a profound statement, especially considering the fact that unlike us, David didn’t even realize how vast the size of the ocean really was. Some versions here, like the New International Version, reference God’s right hand of strength which does not mean that the Bible is prejudiced toward left handed people. Rather references to God’s right hand are references to His power. David is saying that God is holding us in His care, by using His power to hold us fast. No matter how far we travel from our home, even when we find ourselves on the farthest side of the sea, God’s powerful hand is being used on our behalf to guide and guard our lives. Last year I had the privilege of preaching in Papua New Guinea almost 8000 miles from home, and two full days of travel by plane, and yet in all that travel God was right there with me. The same God who leads me, protects me, and cares for me here was there with me as well. What a wonderful and comforting truth to know that our God is bigger than geography. This truth has many implications for us and should serve not only as a comfort that we can claim but also for our children and our grandchildren should God call them to live away from us. If we really believe and take God’s Word to heart, why would we fear and resist God sending them wherever He wants them to be? Often it’s because we fail to focus on His omnipresence, that no matter where our kids are at God is right there with them, guiding and guarding their lives. How many parents when it comes to their kids, end up resisting God and becoming road blocks. We say that we want our kids to follow God as long as they don’t follow Him too far! When it comes to your kids and grandkids don’t resist God rest in Him. Believe what the Bible says, that no matter where they are God is there with them. Are you resisting God’s call on your life or on your children or grandchildren’s lives? I am thankful that my parents boldly belief and chose not to try and control or cage God’s call on my life. You see my mother used to prayer, “Lord if it be your Will please let my children all live on the same continent.” Notice how much leeway she gave God, not the same county or even country but continent, yet it was not God’s Will. We actually live on three continents; I have a sister in Europe, a brother in Africa while I reside in North America. My mother prayed to God but she didn’t try to push God, its one thing to petition it’s another to demand. What my parents understood was that the safest place for me to be was walking with God at the center of His Will. As parents our kids come into this world 100% dependent on us, and our job is to teach them to become 100% dependent on their heavenly Father. Yet many of us forget that our kids really belong to God and instead of teaching them to partner with Him we end up causing them to become codependent with us. Instead of blessing them we put them in a box, instead of being free to walk by faith we make them walk according to family. We hobble and hinder our kids because instead of modeling a life of faith we are following fear. The message that our kids hear is that we trust God as long as we are in control. But trusting God means giving Him the reigns especially when it comes to our kids’ lives. Are you walking by faith or fear? Are you modelling faith for your kids or messing them up with fear? Even though my parents have been physically separated from me by thousands of miles for many years God has been right there with us both, faithfully leading and providing protection. What about you, are you willing to trust God to be the guardian or are you going to resist and try to take the reins? Who is really in control, self or the Savior? May be right now you are in the midst of a difficult decision, a choice between scary and safe, between courageous and comfortable, between unknown risks and better known security. Just remember that the safest place you and your kids can be is in the center of God’s will. When we walking in His Will we can do anything He calls us to do, including standing up for truth without wasting our lives on worrying what others will do and say. We can watch our kids make a big move without doubting because we believe that God will take care of them. We can choose the right and harder thing over the comfortable and convenient thing to do. I will be the first to admit that the center of God’s will is not necessarily an easy place, but compared to partnering with God comfort and convenience are way overrated. No matter what you are going through God is right there with you holding you in His hand. What do you need to trust God for and with today?