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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Attributes of God That Belong to Him Alone

Don Stewart :: Is God Everywhere at Once?

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Is God Everywhere at Once? (Omnipresent)

The Attributes of God That Belong to Him Alone – Question 8

The Bible teaches that God is everywhere present or omnipresent. In every place in the universe God is present. He is not limited by space. The psalmist wrote,

I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you. (Psalm 139:7-12 NLT)

Notice that David said that God’s presence couldn’t be eluded through space (verse 8), speed (verse 9), or darkness (verse 12). In other words, nothing in the universe can hide a person from God.

The following things need to be said about God’s omnipresence.

1. God Is Everywhere Present in Heaven and Earth at the Same Time

Scripture testifies that God is present in both heaven and earth at the same time. We read the following in Deuteronomy.

So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The LORD is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other god! (Deuteronomy 4:39 NLT)

This is a testimony to the omnipresence of the Lord.

In Jericho, Rahab the prostitute acknowledge that the Lord, the God of Israel, was present in both the heaven and the earth. She gave the following testimony to the spies that visited Jericho.

When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. (Joshua 2:11 NIV)

At this early date in history, it was realized that the God of Israel was unlike all the other gods of the ancient world. He is Lord of all.

In Proverbs, we read about God’s presence being everywhere.

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3 NKJV)

God is thus present everywhere. Nothing escapes His notice.

Isaiah records the Lord saying that it is not necessary to build a place for Him to live. This is because His existence if everywhere.

This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you ever build me a temple as good as that? Could you build a dwelling place for me?” (Isaiah 66:1 NLT)

While God is everywhere throughout the universe, He is not part of it. Indeed, He has an existence which is distinct from the material universe.

2. God’s Form Is Not Spread Out All over the Universe

God is present everywhere. This is not to say that God’s form is spread out so that parts of Him exist in every location. Indeed, He should not be thought of in terms of space. God is spirit, He has no physical form. He is present everywhere in that everything is immediately in His presence. At the same time He is fully present everywhere in the universe. No one can hide from Him and nothing escapes His notice. He sees everything that occurs.

The idea that God is everywhere present is not the same as pantheism; the idea that God is the same as the universe. Pantheism equates God and the universe. The doctrine of God’s omnipresence says that He is present everywhere in the universe—not that He is the universe.

3. Nobody Can Hide from God

The prophet Amos records God as saying that no one can hide from Him or His presence. He wrote the following words.

“Even if they dig down to the place of the dead, I will reach down and pull them up. Even if they climb up into the heavens, I will bring them down. Even if they hide at the very top of Mount Carmel, I will search them out and capture them. Even if they hide at the bottom of the ocean, I will send the great sea serpent after them to bite and destroy them.” (Amos 9:2, 3 NLT)

This is quite a statement from Amos. God is everywhere. Indeed, from the top of Mt. Carmel to the bottom of the ocean, God is there.

In the Book of Jeremiah, God makes a direct statement about His presence being everywhere. The Lord said,

I am everywhere—both near and far, in heaven and on earth. There are no secret places where you can hide from me. (Jeremiah 23:23, 24 CEV)

Therefore, it is worthless to attempt to hide from God.

4. People Do Not Get Away with Their Sin

Since nobody can hide from God, sin is never hidden. The Bible makes it clear that God exposes sin. There are a number of accounts of this in Scripture where God brought to light certain sins.

For example, when Adam and Eve committed the first in the Garden of Eden, God immediately brought it out into the open. They did not get away with their rebellion.

When one of the Israelites named Achan took some of the spoils from the victory at Jericho, he was exposed and harshly judged. He could not get away with his sin. His sin was exposed for all to see.

The same holds true for King David who was a murderer and adulterer. Although he was called a man after God’s own heart God judged sternly judged him for his sin.

In the New Testament, God judged the couple Ananias and Sapphira for lying to the apostles. Indeed, their sin cost them their lives.

The point is clear. Nothing escapes God’s notice and sin will be judged.

5. God Is Aware of Everyone Whether They Know It or Not

His presence is with all creatures even though they may not be aware of it. The Bible is clear that there is no place in the universe that is away from God’s presence. His presence is everywhere. In Genesis, we read the following.

Wherever you go, I will watch over you, then later I will bring you back to this land. I won’t leave you—I will do all I have promised. Jacob woke up suddenly and thought, “The Lord is in this place, and I didn’t even know it.” (Genesis 28:15, 16 CEV)

This is an interesting observation by Jacob. He said that the Lord was in that place though he did not even know it.

The Bible speaks of people being away from God’s presence. In this sense, the word presence means the place of blessings since nobody can go to a place which is unreachable to the Lord.

Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden. (Genesis 4:16 RSV)

God protected Cain even though he was unaware of this protection.

Believers are told that they were once living apart from Christ. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians he said the following.

In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from God’s people, Israel, and you did not know the promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. (Ephesians 2:12 NLT)

However, God was always aware of our every move even though we did not realize it. We may have lived apart from Him, but He still knew everything about us.

6. God Is Present with His People in a Special Way

The Bible says that God is present with His own people in a special way. The last words of Jesus to His people testify to this. Matthew records it as follows.

Jesus came to them and said: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20 CEV)

The fact that God is everywhere present is a constant source of comfort for believers. Wherever the believer may go, they will find themselves in the protection of God’s presence. There is no place where a believer can get away from God’s reach. His presence may be experienced at any time, and at any place. God has promised the believer that He is with them always.

We read these comforting words in the writings of the prophet Isaiah.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2 NIV)

Wherever we go, He will be with us.

7. The Lord Will Never Leave Us

In the Book of Hebrews we are told that the Lord will always be with us. Indeed, it says that he will never leave us or forsake us.

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT)

This is a promise in which believers can cling to.

8. The Father and Son Will Be with Those Who Believe

Jesus told His disciples that the Father and Son would be with those who believe. John records the following words.

Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23 RSV)

God the Father and God the Son will make their home with those who believe in Jesus Christ.

9. Our Bodies Belong to the Lord

The Apostle Paul told the church at Corinth that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He wrote,

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own... (1 Corinthians 6:19 RSV)

The Lord has made His home with those who believe.

10. The Lord Is Always with Us

In the famous twenty-third Psalm, King David acknowledged that the Lord was always going to be with him. He wrote,

The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need...Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage. (Psalm 23:1, 4 God’s Word)

Believers are aware of His presence. Consequently, we can rely on the promise that He will be present with us. The psalmist wrote,

I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. (Psalm 16:8 NLT)

Knowing that the Lord is always with us gives us tremendous confidence.

11. The Lord Protects His Own

The Lord Himself has promised to protect those who are His.

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories. (Isaiah 41:10 CEV)

We are not to fear because He is with us.

The Lord has promised to be with His people when they are going through times of suffering. The prophet Isaiah recorded the Lord saying,

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2 NIV)

No matter what we go through, the Lord is with us.

The Lord takes note of all of our tears.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8 NLT)

The Scripture is clear. God is everywhere. This is such a comforting thought for those of us who know Him.

Summary – Question 8
Is God Everywhere at Once? (Omnipresent)

The universe that the God of the Bible created finds the Creator everywhere. God is everywhere present or omnipresent. This does not mean that God is the same as the universe. It merely means that His presence is everywhere in the universe. There is no place that a person can hide, and no chance that a believer will out of His protective care. There are a number of important observations we should make with respect to what the Scriptures.

The Bible says that God is present in heaven and on earth at the same time. This does not mean that His form is spread out everywhere in the universe for God has no physical form.

Indeed, we need to stop thinking of the Lord in a spatial manner. He is present in the sense that He knows what is occurring at all times and in all places.

Because God is everywhere present this means that nobody gets away with their sin. The Lord sees all! There will be no such thing as the perfect crime.

Scripture says that God is present with believers whether we know it or not. This is a comforting thought. God is always with us.

Furthermore, while He is present everywhere in the universe, the Bible says that He is present with believers in a special way. He has a special concern for those who have believed in Him.

The truth of God’s omnipresence is comforting for the believer for no one and no thing can ever escape God’s notice. He is always watching over us.

How Is God Greater than Angels or Humans? ← Prior Section
In What Specific Ways Is God Present with His Creation? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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