Omnipresence may on the surface appear to be less interesting than the other two incommunicable attributes of God. It has no less bearing on our understanding than the other two however. It also has implications just as interesting as the the other two. I want to address in this essay the evidence for and the scope of God’s Omnipresence. Properly understanding this attribute should both inform us as to God’s nature as well as increase our awe and worship of Him.
As in the other essays we will base our evidence as to the nature of God’s Omnipresence on Scripture. Only God is equipped to describe His nature to us. His word will guide our understanding. As we can see from the following references God is not silent on the subject of His presence. He gives us a description of both the form and the scope of His omnipresence.
Psalm 139:7-16 “Where can I flee from your presence” “Before I was yet ... Your eyes saw my unformed substance” - both Time and Space?
Amos 9:2 - Neither physical nor spiritual location is a barrier?
Jeremiah 23:23,24 - No hiding place, Physical or spiritual “Do I not fill heaven and earth”
Proverbs 15:3 “eyes of the Lord are in every place” Observation
Matt 28:20b “I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
Matt 1:23 Immanuel - God with us - God is present with us’
Gen 3:14 “I am” The quintessential phrase when applied to the question “is God here”
So what is the scope of God’s Omnipresence? Does his presence have limits? Is it constrained by physical limits? Time? Spiritual? Just how far does His presence extend? The above references give us the shape of His presence. Physical location is no barrier to him. (Amos 9:2, Prov 15:3, Psalm 139:7-16) Physical barriers do not limit His access. (Psalm 139:7-16, Prov 15:3, Jeremiah 23:23-24) Time does not restrict Him (Matt 1:23, Gen 3:14) Scale does attenuate Him. (Jeremiah, 23:23-24) Even our own hearts and minds are not off limits. (Psalm 139)
The scope of his Presence is infinite in all dimensions. In Romans 8:38 it states that “neither height nor depth will” will be able to separate us from from the love of God. In Psalms 139 it states that “If I ascend to heaven” ... “If I make my bed in Sheol” ... “If I take wings of the morning to the uttermost parts of the earth” You are there. Matt 28:20 makes it clear that the passage of time is no barrier. Neither is the past according to Psalm 139:13
What about the strength of His presence? Does He get attenuated? Stretched thin? Does covering all that ground make His work harder? Jeremiah 23 has an answer to that. He not only is present everywhere. He fills everywhere. He doesn’t get stretched too thin. He doesn’t attenuate. He completely fills all of Heaven and Earth. He fills both the spritual and the physical.
Even time does not diminish His presence. As it says in Matt 28:20 “I am with you always even unto the end of the age” He will always be present and in fact has always been present. Psalm 139 states that “Before I was yet formed” “Your eyes saw my unformed substance”. In Genesis we see that He is the Creator and was present from the very beginning.
Because He is there He observes everything (Prov 15:3) His eyes do not miss anything nothing is hidden from there because He is in every hiding place.
Now that we have seen the shape and the scope of His presence what are the implications of His presence. What conclusions can we draw from this glimpse into God’s nature. I can see several implications.
We can take comfort in the knowledge that we are never alone. God does not leave us and it’s impossible for us to leave God’s presence. We can’t accidentally wander somewhere that He can’t reach. We are never beyond His capacity to assist or save. We are not alone no matter what we may think.
There is also a warning to us in God’s omnipresence. He is watching. He is there when we sin against Him. He not only knows when we do so He is a witness to it. We can either fear this aspect of Him or use the accountability provides. Being mindful of His presence is to be expected once we understand this part of His nature.
Perhaps the greatest implication of His omnipresence is Awe. This third aspect of God’s Infinite nature inspires amazement, consternation, and hopefully awed worship. Only God can claim to occupy all of space, time, and the spiritual world without loss of strength or potency. This is a part of what makes Him God and part of what sets Him apart as Holy. He is not like us. He transends us. It is truly impossible for us to really fathom his incommunicable traits. We can theorize and wrap our minds around small parts of it but we can never truly understand it fully.
God’s omnipresence by His own account is real and infinite in all dimensions. It encompasses all of reality both physical and spiritual. As a result it provides comfort to His children, Accountability to all, and worship to those who take the time to contemplate it. It complements the other incommunicable attributes of God. It is part of what makes God, God and worthy of praise.