By Erin Bird
Last week, we started a short three-week series based on Psalm 139. We saw from verses 1-6 that you are deeply known by God.
This week, I'd like to do the next six verses with you and help you see that you are safe in the hands of God.
Typically, when I think of the word "safe," I think of physical safety. But when I read verses 7-12 of Psalm 139, I don't see God guaranteeing us physical safety. Rather, I see He provides us with a deep spiritual safety, which leads to an emotional safety. Take a look for yourself...
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)
Basically, David is finding comfort in the theological truth of God's omnipresence (being everywhere at all times). Notice that no matter where David can imagine going (verses 7-9), "even there [God's] hand shall lead" and hold him (verse 10). Even if he ends up in the scariest place possible (when the darkness covers him (verse 11)), even there God is with him and protecting him (verse 12).
Now, if you don't believe God has your best interest in mind, the words of this section make God sound like some sort of cosmic stalker. But when you see God through the lens of the cross, realizing just how much He loves you and is for you, you find yourself agreeing with David, knowing you are spiritually safe in God's omnipresence.
Here's the "bonus": when you realize you are spiritually safe in God's hands – that nothing can "snatch" you away from Him (John 10:28-29) – it gives you an emotional "peace that surpasses understanding" (Philippians 4:7).
This explains how some Jesus-followers, who have faced cancer, or lost a loved one, or been confronted by a financial crisis, respond to these difficult circumstances with such grace. They don't deny the struggle, but you can sense a peace in them. They know that no matter hard their situation might get, God is with them. And knowing they are spiritually safe empowers them to respond in an amazing way.
I don't know about you, but that's the type of life I want to live. I want to respond to struggle with grace and trust. So I invite you to join me in seeking God, knowing He is with you no matter where you are or what is happening.
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