Devotional

Where can i go from Your presence? (Psalm 139 and Jonah)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

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,
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.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139 NIV Bible Gateway

Some thoughts about Jonah and Psalm 139.

God’s patience, presence, and His persistence touched me through my journey with Jonah, and Psalm 139 concluded it very well! “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. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light becomes night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-12)

Many may not think Jonah as someone that glorified God, because after all, he was well known for his disobedience, and he was the runaway prophet.  If we read the book of Jonah closely, we can see that Jonah actually knew God quite well. He knew God well but he chose to disagree and disobey Him.  While Jonah may not be perceived as a good Christian example, what I liked about Jonah is that he was honest with God about his feelings, even when it meant that he had to endure the consequences of his rebellions, and had to take a detour to go back to God’s will.  And through Jonah, we can see God’s discipline, patience, love, mercy, power, and His presence!  Oh! God’s presence! When Jonah was at his comfortable home, God was with him and called him.  When Jonah was running away; when he was in the storm; when he was in a true lockdown inside the fish, God was with him.  When Jonah was experiencing great success in Nineveh, God was with him.  When Jonah was complaining and in denial, God was still with him!  God never ceases to communicate with him. And God’s will on Jonah never changed. We’ve all experienced those circumstances in our life at some point, and God’s presence is still the same to us!  He would meet us right where we are and would have His way to teach us and guide us, and show us His mercy and love — not only toward us, but also to those whom we think may not deserve to be gracious.  We may not think we can glorify God because we, like Jonah, also had our failures and weaknesses. Yet God’s glory and power are made perfect in our failure and weaknesses.  God never gives up on us!

The Father never lets go of us, no matter how far away we think we are.  His light never fails to shine through, no matter how much darkness we are surrounded by. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14).  Yes!  We are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.  Only the One Who made us would know us and the way for us. Jonah’s journey might have ended, but our journey on this earth continues. He made us, and He won’t forget us. May He continue to guard our hearts, search us, teach us, and guide us on His desired path that leads to eternity.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your patience and presence. I thank you for my failures and weaknesses, and praise you for the power that you made prefect in them! Thank you for never giving up on me. May you guard my hearts and guide me on your desired path that leads to eternity.

The song “Grace” by Laura Story had been one of my long time favorites. It also reflects my thoughts from reading Psalm 139 and the book of Jonah pretty well. No matter how many times I fail, He would still pick me up and set me on solid ground again. That’s His grace! And His grace is enough!

Grace
by Laura Story

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done.
And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me
And hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged,
Knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job.
For who am I to serve You? I know I don’t deserve You.
And that’s the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”
You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means.
The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary.
So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You
By giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

 

2 thoughts on “Where can i go from Your presence? (Psalm 139 and Jonah)”

  1. Thank you for sharing bible verses and songs. I like these verses
    “ I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
    When I keep on letting you down?
    And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
    How far will forgiveness abound?”
    And You answer: ” My child, I love you.
    And as long as you’re seeking My face,
    You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”
    You are so patient with me, Lord.

    As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means.
    The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary.
    So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You
    By giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.”

    Very touching !

    Liked by 1 person

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