Week 1 - The God who is near

posted 21 Feb 2012, 14:57 by Peter Booth   [ updated 21 Feb 2012, 15:00 ]

We started the course by looking at the topic of The God who is near. We looked at chapter 139, in the book of Psalms. This is really a poem or song that King David wrote about 3000 years ago. David was a famous king of the Jewish nation, and although he started his working life as a Shepherd, through trusting God ended up being appointed king. As king he had a lot of power and despite his earlier trust in God he disobeyed the law of God. It is recorded that he had an affair with a married woman and then arranged for her husband to die in battle. It's worth bearing this in mind as you read the passage. Here is a summary of it:

Through the first part of the passage David says God is beyond anything we can imagine, He is:

- Beyond limits; He can see into the lives of every individual, seeing what we say and do, even what we think!

- Beyond space; wherever we go He is there, and ready to stand by us

- Beyond light and darkness; He can see in darkness as if it is light

- Beyond life; He creates life

- Beyond time; God sees what we will be, and do, before we are even born

These really are things that are beyond what we can really understand or imagine. So how do we respond? There are two responses in the passage:

1. The first response we see is people who are against God. When you look through all the things God is like it can seem to be 'too much,' so many people don't want to know, and end up being against God.

2. The second response is David's response. David says to God, "Search me, Oh 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." David invites God into his heart, to lead him in the way to life forever. Despite David disobeying the law before, he now comes to God and asks him to lead him in the right way. So the second response is to love and praise God for all his amazingness, inviting Him into your life.

When David wrote this he could not really have known how it would be possible for the disobedience he had committed to be forgiven so that he could have a relationship with God, because this was before Jesus came. But we know that Jesus came to die and so take the punishment, for the disobedience of all who would accept the offer of forgiveness and turn back to God just as David does here.

by Andy Gray