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 become 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 NIV)
Playing hide and seek is one of my granddaughter’s favorite games. She laughs and runs, and is thrilled when she finds me. Her joy is in finding me. After eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve covered themselves and hid from God. Genesis 3:9-10 says, but the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” This was no child’s game; they were actually hiding from God. Why? They felt fear and shame because of their nakedness, and guilt for their disobedience.
In I Kings 19, Elijah had just witnessed an incredible victory by God over the prophets of Baal, yet what did he do next?
So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (I Kings 19:2-4)
Why is Elijah hiding? The text tells us Elijah is afraid.
Let’s look at one more story:
The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. (Jonah 1:1-3)
What do these stories have in common? Hiding from God. Have you ever done that? Are you hiding something from a friend, a spouse, a parent? Could you be hiding something from God right now? Take a close look at Psalm 139. It states in beautiful poetry that running from God is futile because he already knows everything about us. Use Psalm 139 to review with God if you are hiding and need to be found by your loving creator.