Omnipresence: Universal (Part 2)
To the casual reader it is possible that some scriptures with regard to the presence of God might appear contradictory. For example, God is said to dwell in heaven (2 Chron. 6.21, 30) and amongst His people (Ex. 29.45-46). How does this harmonise with His omnipresence? Quite simply, it is essential that we differentiate between the general, universal presence of God and His special, manifested presence.
His universal presence. This is the truth that there is no place in the universe where God is not. We could call any number of witnesses to prove this fact. Take for example Hagar (Gen. 16.13), Hanani (2 Chron. 16.9), Solomon (Prov. 15.3), Isaiah (Isa. 66.1), Jeremiah (Jer. 23.23-24), Ezekiel (Eze. 8.12), Zechariah (Zec. 4.10), Paul (Acts 17.27-28) or even Jonah who soon realised that it was impossible to flee from the presence of the Lord (Jon. 1.3, 10)!
But perhaps the most eloquent witness is that of David recorded in Psalm 139.7-10: 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. Such is the universal presence of God that it ‘besieged’ David on every side (v.5). Even in places inaccessible to man, God is there (v.8). If David was able to travel to a far away place at the speed of a new day’s light, God would already be there waiting (v.9). This should be of great comfort to every believer (v.10).
There is therefore no doubt about it. God is completely and fully present in every place. As William Secker declared, ‘A man may hide God from himself, yet he cannot hide himself from God.’