Lent 2013 – day 10

22 Feb

Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Just had a moment of realisation over what verse 9 means and now I can’t get “Jesus’ love is very wonderful” out of my head!
The Easy-to-Read Version puts it more clearly:
If I go east where the sun rises or go to live in the west beyond the sea,
Or we could just carry on singing “So high, you can’t get over it! So low you can’t get under it! So wide you can’t get round it! Oh wonderful love!”
Ah, the theology of Sunday School songs!

But the verse puts things into context in terms of what David knew. He knew that the sun rises in the east, and to the east was land he had no idea how far it went. To the west was where the sun set, over the Mediterranean, and apart from Egypt I am not certain that Israel really had any dealings to the west. Because of their geography Israel knew far more about north and south (the route people would travel through Israel, given the sea to the west and the river Jordan to the east). Certainly they were the 2 borders we hear most about, other that the one with Philistia. So when David talks about going east and west he is speaking about the unknown. He is basically saying, “God, I could go to places that Israel has no knowledge of but You would already be there!”

And this is the amazing thing about God, for Him nothing is unknown. There are no horizons for God, no new adventures that He has yet to go on. He is limitless, therefore He is everywhere. He stretches from one side of the universe to the other, and then keeps on going past both ends!
And again we come to the struggle of understanding, because we live in an existence of limits. The world has limited space in it. We have a limited life span. We are physically limited (some more that others, given my current dilapidated state!). Even the universe has an end. Yet God is in all of this and then beyond.
“Oh wonderful love!”

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


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Archbishop Cranmer

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