“‘Am I a God at hand,’ declares the Lord, ‘and not a God far away?’” –Jeremiah 23:23
The closeness or distance of God is a matter which concerns everyone, whether or not they admit it. Some think anything about God is of little consequence to them. Others who think God is far away live their lives as though He does not or cannot see them and, consequently, care not. Then, others definitely sense the nearness of God, as they feel His presence, know His eyes are on them, and recognize, “He sees me!”
Which is right? If He does not appear, is relatively silent, and does not announce His presence in the eyes of some, how near is He really? Though the nearness or distance of God lies in the eyes and ears of the beholder, the actual fact of His presence is a given in the revealed truth of God.
Whether He is believed or not, He declares He is in an intimate relationship with His creation on a constant basis. When He says that His face is far from you, it only pertains to His attitude toward you at the present moment, not His actual presence. God fills all of His universe with Himself, even though your physical eyes may see nothing.
Psalm 139 is a clear, forthright statement of the presence of God in reality. Read it again. Proverbs 15:3: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” 2 Chronicles 16:9: “The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is His.” Psalm 95:4-5: “In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.” Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.”
These verses explicitly speak to the truth of the constant and close hand of God on His creation, including you and me. He knows, He acts, He moves, He directs; He is even aware of the number of hairs on your head which change constantly and every bird falling from a tree to its death. These statements point purposefully to the very minutest of facts in declaring the close, all-encompassing heart of God, who exercises an active hand of intimate involvement. I know, you cannot comprehend it. I can’t either! But then you and I are creatures and not God.
For those who believe He is not or He is far off, when the necessary time comes, He is in reality near at hand. He is a loud cry away, or He can hear a whisper if such is the authentic call of a sinner in need of a Savior. He will hear.
The distance of God is a myth – a myth to be discarded if you do not want to fall in the future and certain judgment. Draw near to God now, for procrastination is lethal. The Bible says that if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. There are so many truths in life which cannot be ascertained by faithless eyes. Unbelief blinds the most brilliant of minds. Without faith, true vision is impossible; you cannot see God though He is right next to you. This is the greatest pity.
You can be assured God is close. Do not try to brush Him off, even though you really can’t. He is the persistent “hound of heaven” where you are concerned. This is irresistible grace at work. He is truly near you, and He will become even closer as you seek to walk with Him as others do.
Enoch walked with God, and then suddenly he was not, for God took him. This will not necessarily be your experience, but still your main purpose in life is to walk with God. As we read in Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Walking with God means you are near Him and He you!
“Lord, Thou hast searched me and dost know wher-e’er I rest, wher-e’er I go; Thou knowest all that I have planned, and all my ways are in Thy hand.”
(First verse of the Psalter, “Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me,” 1912, Psalm 139)
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