Friday, September 11, 2009
psalm 139 part 2: nowhere is beyond the love of God
The second strope speaks of God’s presence. Where can I go from your spirit O God. The psalmist asks.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
I don’t mean to harp on about Google but Google Earth is another search engine which searches NASA’s virtual globe. A globe made up of satellite images of the whole earth’s surface. You enter an address and swoop in closer and closer in what’s called a God’s eye view.
From looking at a computer generated globe closer and closer
to a country
closer and closer to a city
closer still to a suburb
even closer until where you were looking for or the very building you are in comes into view.
Now with Google street level you can even then go in and see a photo of the place you are in or want to go to..
It’s the sort of stuff that science fiction techno thrillers are full of. But its real and Urban myths speak of even more powerful even more worrying technology; spy satellites able to do face recognition and read the paper over your shoulder, technology that some worry impinges on our personal freedom and privacy that in the wrong hands could be devastating and you can’t get away from it. but for the psalmist the fact that he cannot escape God’s presence is comforting. That power to know is in the right hands, in God’s hands. A god who is righteous and Just in all he does.
The depth of the ocean, the deepest darkest cave, the most distant shore do not mean we are away from God’s presence. We cannot hide from God. The most distant shore is rather comforting for us here in New Zealand because we find ourselves close to being that for the psalmist. Even in the most hostile inhospitable places we are not away from God. Like the white desert here.
Not only physically but even in the most inhospitable landscapes for our soul we are not away from God. The pits of despair, the long dark night of the soul, grief and sorrow fear and doubt. As Romans says nothing can separate us from the love of God.
The strope finishes in verse 12 with praise for God. Google earth often struggles with light and cloud cover to see clearly but the psalmist says “Even the night is as day to you O God. “ And not just he ghoastly green glow of night vision goggles, not just the blips of light on a swath of blackness in satellite photos marking our cities.