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In Case You Missed It -- Jeremiah 23-24, Psalm 18

How different YHWH is than the gods of the nations. It would be strange for a god unique to a particular people group or region to fight against her own worshippers in favor of other nations, right? Jeremiah, however, tells us that the God of Israel will, in a unique situation, punish Israel through the people of Babylon.

YHWH cannot be ruled or even co-opted by those called by the Lord’s name when they are rampant in practicing evil and injustice. Add to this that God, unlike the invented gods of human design and hands, fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24). Much scriptural teaching about God’s omnipresence is corroborated in that little verse. God is everywhere present, not as creation, but upholding all of creation (we even say that Jesus was begotten, not made). We typically say that water fills the sea instead of the sea is filled with water to convey it is unimaginable for a sea to exist without water. So also, God’s language conveys that it is unimaginable for any part of creation heaven and earth to exist where God isn’t. That doesn’t mean that God is a tree, or an angel, any more than that we say water and the sea are the same. Rather God’s presence is always distinct, yet filling and upholding every square inch of existence.

Given this truth, how foolish it to hide sin in what we think are “secret places”. In God’s universe, as a character from C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce declares, “There are no private affairs.” Praise God, we are beckoned not to hide from God in shame but to run to God in glad reception of fellowship through the blood of the Lamb. For God, unlike the gods of the nations, is free to judge but even happier to pardon. I am glad this God, YHWH, alone fills earth, sky, and sea.

Jeremiah Vaught