Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:7-12 ESV
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1:1-4 ESV
Roseen wanted to steal some money from her mother’s purse. She went into her mom’s bedroom when her mom was busy and took the purse. Then she went into her own room and hid in her closet while she stole the money. She knew her mother couldn’t see what she was doing in the closet, and she thought that God wouldn’t be able to see either. She was very little, and she didn’t know how silly her idea was. But even some grownups sometimes think that God is only in church, and that he doesn’t know or care what they do when they’re in other places.
Jonah had thoughts like that. God called him to do something he didn’t want to do, and he thought that he could run away from the Lord. He got into a boat and traveled somewhere that he thought God wouldn’t see or know about. Jonah thought that the Lord lived in his temple in Jerusalem and that he wasn’t in other places in the world. But when God sent a storm on the sea, Jonah learned that God is everywhere. He learned that he couldn’t run away from God.
Psalm 139 talks about how God is everywhere in the whole universe. It’s impossible to run away from God or to find a place where God isn’t there. God is there in the darkest cave, and he’s far beyond the atmosphere, and he’s in the deepest trench of the ocean. Wherever we go, God is there, and when we die he will still be there.
This is both bad news and good news. We are sinners, and we sometimes want to run away from God and go our own way. We don’t want God to see or know where we are or what we are doing. But it’s also good news. No matter where we are or what kind of trouble we have, even if no one else is there to help us, God is there. He will never leave us alone, and we can always talk to him in prayer and be sure that he hears us. Even though he knows all about our sins, he still loves us. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, and because of Jesus, we can be glad that God is always with us, no matter where we are.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for always being with us, no matter where we go and no matter what happens. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.