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In Case You Missed It -- 2 Chronicles 5:2-6:42, Psalm 56

In a few words, Solomon captures helpful insight into God’s omnipresence when he marvels, “But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” (2 Chronicles 6:18) God is present everywhere, and no place can contain God, but God manifests His presence in unique ways in space and time. Solomon recognizes the unique manifestation of God in the cloud which visits the temple in 2 Chronicles 5. Still, Solomon calls on God to hear prayers offered “towards” the temple from heaven, God’s dwelling place (2 Chronicles 6:21). God’s presence everywhere of course means that his everywhere presence is simultaneous, yet God still dwells in heaven (the realm, not the sky) in ways distinct from how God dwells on earth.

This framework is key for understanding both the nature and attributes of God as well as foundational to making sense of the incarnation, God becoming man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The meaning of God’s presence with us is important from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, so it is always good to understand as best as possible what God’s omnipresence does and does not mean.

Jeremiah Vaught