“God’s center is everywhere. His circumference nowhere.” –Thomas Watson
In last Sunday’s sermon, Jim used a phrase that struck me for its deep truth and potential pastoral application. Regarding David, the author of Psalm 139, Jim said, “His theology turns into his worship.” David’s theology, his understanding of the very nature of God, informed and shaped his worship. Knowing God in his glorious attributes fueled the fervency of his crying out. David’s desire and willingness to submit to the leadership of God, displayed in the last verse, was the byproduct of a profound period of reflecting on the nature and character of God. Likewise, every believer broadens their worship experience as they deepen their delight in who God truly is.
David’s experience of the Lord is a great example of the unified nature of God. This is what some theologians call the simplicity of God. This is not an insulting term but rather points to the seamlessness of the nature of God. You cannot put God under a microscope and separate him into component parts. His eternity, his immutability (unchangeableness), his omnipresence, his mercy, his holiness, his love, name any one of his characteristics and remember that they stand with all of the others, in perfect harmony and indivisible. Note how David begins the psalm by contemplating the knowledge of God (omniscience) with the omnipresence of the Spirit of God:
Psalm 139:1-6 (ESV)
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
David’s contemplation of the perfect knowledge of God leads him into a confession of the pervasive presence of God. Theologian Wayne Grudem defined God’s knowledge as follows: “God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act.” (Grudem, 190) God never learns anything and never expends energy in the act of knowing. He knows all things completely and perfectly. He knows your future better than you know your yesterday. For David, this knowledge of God was closely related to the presence of God. The Spirit of God is everywhere. In the words of Grudem, “God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with his whole being…” (Grudem, 173) Ka-Pow! That was the sound of your mind being blown. Perhaps in the weeks to come, we will explore these ideas even more, but for now, allow your mind and heart to expand as you contemplate the greatness of God and then worship! See you this Saturday at the Cotillion.
God, Glorious in His Attributes!Have a blessed week.
Love in Christ,