God! Who? What? Where? and Why?
"Where Is God?"
by: Shmuel ben Shlomi
[NOTE: It's important to read Chapter One and Chapter Two before diving in here]
CHAPTER THREE - “Where Is God?”
Where does God hang out. Where does “He” call home? Does God even have a residence, a home base, a central location?
Is God with us always are just comes around from time to time? Have you ever had that experience where God seemed so close you thought your heart would explode just trying to contain the moment, and yet, other times God was nowhere to be found or seemed so far away you thought your heart would break into tiny pieces?
I think every human being on planet Earth has had those Job times in their lives when the closeness and distance of God from us was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually palpable.
Many philosophies and religions down through the ages have spoken of the omnipresence of the Supreme Being; “His” ability to be present everywhere simultaneously in and out of time and space. Several Native American and Near/Far Eastern religions state that God contains all that is and is not within “Himself” and is therefore always present - or it is rather we are always in "His" Presence. From Christianity comes the idea that God is not located somewhere “up there” or “down there” but is as near and close as one’s own spirit (heart). Judaism also makes the point that God is everywhere. Speaking metaphorically King Solomon stated in Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of Adonai are everywhere, observing the bad and good.” The implication from King David found in the entire Psalm 139 is that God is everywhere giving witness to the lives of “His” creation. He uses terms like You observe my walking and reclining, and are familiar with all my ways….where can I escape from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your Presence? If I ascend into outer space You are there; if I descend to Sheol, You are there too!”
While pondering this same question of “Where is God?,” the prophet Jeremiah heard from God “Himself” — “Am I only a God near at hand - says Adonai - and not a God far away? If a man enters a hiding place, Do I not see him - says Adonai - For I fill the universe and Earth - declares Adonai.” (Jeremiah 23:23-24)
By these and other things written in Jewish and other sacred texts we get the concept of the omnipresence of God. However, there are other times when God seems to confine “Himself” to a particular place and time and even within a physical object of some kind. On the mountain with Moses while giving the Torah “He” seems to contain “Himself” within great fire and heat. Forty years earlier “His” Presence was isolated within a burning bush that was not consumed. Later prophets such as Elijah and Ezekiel would witness God actually sitting in a craft of some type and being whisked away by “Him” to some other location.
Finally, Isaiah probably sums it up as to the ‘Where’ of God. “For so says He Who high aloft forever dwells, Whose Name is holy: I dwell on high, in holiness; yet with the contrite and the lowly in spirit—reviving the hearts of the contrite.”
God’s whereabouts is not too baffling for us, nor is “He” out of reach. “He” is not in outer space, that we should say, “Who among us can go up to outer space and get “Him” for us and receive “His” Torah and impart it to us that we may observe it.” Neither is “He” beyond the oceans, that we should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the oceans and get “His” Torah, “His” Presence for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” No! “He” and “His” Presence and Torah, “His” instruction is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart… (SEE: Deuteronomy 30:11-14)
Therefore, to answer the question “Where is God?” “He” is as close to you as you are to yourself.
[Coming Soon the final Chapter - "Why is God?"]