God Is There
If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Thy hand will lead me. (Ps. 139:8 NASB)
This poetic language paints the picture of the psalmist climbing over foothills until he comes upon the intermediate height of peaks, where he comes face to face with God. Then he imagines the opposite extreme, as if he could descend into the bowels of the earth to the realm of Sheol, the shadowy place where the spirits of the just and the unjust were awaiting the advent of Jesus Christ. David says that even if he could descend there and repose, he would only find God there.
Having thought of fleeing to a particular place, he then thought about speed. He said, “If I could rise on the wings of the dawn, I couldn’t escape God.” Have you ever seen a dawn in the Judean wilderness? When you see the sun peeking over the mountains of Moab, rosy finger streaks slice across the sky from the east to the west at the speed of light. It was as if David said, “If I could traverse with the rosy fingers of dawn going from east to west at the speed of light, I cannot go faster than He can go.”
Then he imagines neither up nor down, but east and west. He asks the question, “What if I could dwell on the remotest part of the sea?” He pressed his imagination as far as the imagination of the Hebrew could go. And that was all the way to the Rock of Gibraltar, to the Pillars of Hercules, west of the Mediterranean Sea.
There is no place to flee from His presence. Look at Jonah, who was trying to flee to Tarshish and was swallowed by a whale. He finally had to quit running and surrender to the will of God, and so must we.