“Whither shall I go from Your Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Your Presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your Hand lead me and Your right Hand shall hold me.”
It matters not our situation or destination; He’s already there, waiting on us.
The Psalmist David knew nothing of 747s, outer space travel, deep-sea submarines, scaling the heights of Mt. Everest, DNA research, etc. But, He did know about God’s omnipresence, although he’d likely never heard the word before.
Never forget that our author was an outdoorsman. He knew the searing heat and chilling winds that go with shepherding. Yet, He also knew the “serenity of soul” that comes when one gazes into the night sky and sees the beautiful stars twinkling overhead and the full moon’s bathing everything in its mellow glow.
No doubt it was on such a night that he engaged in such mystical musings.
And, no doubt it was on such a night that he captured those thoughts on parchment and set today’s Manna to music.
Like us, he knew there were times when we’d be up and times when we’d be down. There are times when God seems so close and other times when He feels so far away. But, He also knew that in all of those times the One Who made him (and us) is “a VERY PRESENT Help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). And, he knew that it mattered not where he went or what he needed: The God of Abraham would still be there to comfort and cheer.
Again, David knew nothing of flying through the air on a jumbo jet or soaring through outer space in a spacecraft. But, even if he had, he would have been more like Jim Irwin, who walked on the moon and was overwhelmed by God’s Presence when he could hold the earth as a blue marble in the palm of his hand.
Likewise, even though his view of the afterlife was still limited to “sheol”—the shadowy place of the dead and often translated as “hell” in the Old Testament—he knew the Lord’s Presence would still be evident there. And, even though he couldn’t hop a flight and be whisked away to some idyllic, exotic, tropical paradise. . .with its white-sand beaches, turquoise-colored water and cool sea breezes at evening. . .he still knew the Creator of them all would be there waiting on him when he arrived.
How wonderful to know His Hand is “leading and holding us” in life—even when we’ve been doubting and acting like a dumb donkey (Ps. 73:21-24). Although there are times when our path will lead us to “the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4a), we will not fear, knowing that He will accompany us through it every step of the way (Ps. 23:4b). Hallelujah!
Why not pause right now and give thanks for this Blessed Assurance from our Lord? As the old Gospel song asked, “Where could I go? O where could I go, but to the Lord.” And, in reality, there’s no better place to be. Amen and amen.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 7, 2010