Where Is God …?

Where Is God …?

E. Schuyler English

Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. (Deuteronomy 4:39)

Where is God? is a question which is heard occasionally. Sometimes it is asked contemptuously, as in the case of unbelievers. At other times, when the person who poses the question is a child of God, the mood is one of perplexity or sadness. There are occasions when the Lord’s people, overwhelmed by tragedy, or overpowered by slander and disillusionment, or weighed down by financial stress that seems too heavy to be borne, wonder and even give expression to the thought: Where is God? The answer of faith is written in the forty-second Psalm: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God” (v. 11). Where is God? He is in heaven above and in the earth beneath. He is all around His people.

1. God is above His people. This assurance is given in the ninety-first Psalm: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the almighty, I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God; in Him will I trust … He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (vv. 1-4).

2. God is beneath His people. Observe what Moses said to the children of Israel: “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Dt. 33:27). The bride of the Song of Songs exclaims concerning her bridegroom, “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me” (2:6). So it is with all who have found in the Lord their eternal refuge. Underneath are His everlasting arms.

3. God is before His people. You will recall how God led the children of Israel after they departed from Egypt. “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light” (Ex. 13:21). The Good Shepherd goes before His sheep (Jn. 10:4).

4. God is behind His people. There was an occasion when the Israelites were in serious trouble in the wilderness — the sea was ahead of them, mountains were on either side of them, the Egyptian army pursued them from the rear. “And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them: and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel” (Ex. 14:19-20). Isaiah puts it this way: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it” (30:21).

5. God is around His people. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them” (Ps. 34:7). Nothing can touch the child of God apart from His will, for he is protected from every angle.

6. God is with His people. “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness” (Isa. 41:10). One of the names of Jesus was Emmanuel, meaning God with us. There is no need to fail or be discouraged when the Lord is with us always, even to the end of the age, as He has promised (Mt. 28:20).

7. God is within His people. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit — one God in three persons —make their abode within the believer (Jn. 14:23; Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:9). Not only is God with us, blessed as that may be, but He lives in us. His life is our life.

Where is God? Christian friend, He is everywhere. His eye is upon you. His arm protects and strengthens you. God is above you, beneath you, before you, behind you, around you, with you, and within you. “Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance.”

—E. Schuyler English
in The Pilgrim