Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.
The message of Israel’s false prophets was a made-up message crafted to satisfy people rather than God. In response to Israel’s sin, they assured peace, but they did not get this assurance from God. False teachers from every generation bring messages that their hearers desire instead of a true word from God. To every false teacher and prophet God says, in essence, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
In today’s passage, God responds to the prophets by explaining two of His attributes. He is both omnipresent and omniscient. God’s omnipresence means that He is everywhere at the same time in His full being. He is both nearby and far away. God’s omniscience means that He knows everything there is to know about everything there is to know. His knowledge and presence fill heaven and earth.
How can we apply these truths? First, His omnipresence reminds us that we cannot hide from God. If you think you are doing something that God cannot see . . . think again. And He is the One to whom we must give our final account. Second, God knows us inside and out. You can fool others . . . even those who are close to you . . . but you cannot fool God. The characteristics of God prevent us from playing games with Him. Wherever we are, He is there. Whoever we are, He knows us fully. And . . . here’s the good part . . . knowing us fully, He still welcomes us with open arms. In Him, there is forgiveness and restoration. Don’t run from God (You can’t!). Run to Him. He is waiting with open arms.
Father, remind the person trying to hide from You of the truths found in today’s passage. Help that person realize who You are and come home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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