We know that God is present everywhere at all times. What does this mean for us personally? It means that God sees you—and cares for you—no matter where you are.
“So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’”
- Genesis 16:13
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. So glad that you have joined us again today as we discuss the attributes of God. I don’t know about you, but every time I’m in God’s presence and contemplate Him, I am humbled. I am encouraged. But also, I pray that I am led to worship.
The attribute that we are discussing today is the omnipresence of God—the fact that God is everywhere-present. And I’m reading a passage of Scripture from the 16th chapter of the book of Genesis. And I love this passage, because Hagar, an Egyptian maid, was pushed out of the house, if I might use that terminology, by Sarah. Sarah, at this point, was barren. And you remember how Hagar became pregnant.
And so Sarah asked her to leave the house. So Hagar finds herself in a desert. And God speaks to her in the desert, and after He has spoken, she says these words. This is chapter 16, verse 13. “So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘truly I have seen him who looks after me.’”
Why do I love this passage? It’s because it connects the all-seeing God, the omnipresence of God, with the care of God. Here’s a young woman who has been cast out of the house. And by the way, in chapter 21 you have a similar story. But then at that point the baby has already been born, and there’s conflict because now Sarah does have Isaac—you may know all those stories.
But the fact is this. Here’s a young woman out in the desert, and God is seeing after her. And God sees us today in our deserts. There’s a great lesson here, and that is simply this: that God sees us, even when we cannot see Him. You might be going through the desert of your own experience and you need to be reminded of the fact that God sees you where you are, and He’s instantly available everywhere.
Some time ago, I read about the Atlantic cable which connects America with England—at least the original one did. Now of course, I’m sure we have many Atlantic cables throughout the world. But in those days they bragged about the fact that they had a cable that could take thousands of phone calls—and I certainly don’t understand how this can be—but took thousands of phone calls simultaneously. I’m so glad that God can hear prayers simultaneously. When you come to Him today, He doesn’t say, “Well, you know, your issue is rather trivial. I’ve got some serious things going on today in the Middle East, and as a result, my attention is there.” No. God exists everywhere, even in the point of our need—the availability of an all-knowing, ever-present God, everywhere.
I’d like to tell you a story that Hadden Robinson—Doctor Hadden Robinson, who is now in the presence of the Lord. He taught me homiletics many many years ago. And 50 years ago I heard him tell this story, and the fact that I remember it so well is not a tribute to my memory. It’s a tribute to his ability to preach and to tell stories. And I’m gonna give it to you essentially the way in which he preached it so many years ago.
He said that here in Chicago there was a young man who won and wooed the heart of a young women in Kentucky. They came back here to Chicago, and three years after they were married, she encountered some kind of a disease, some kind of panic attacks; perhaps even some kind of epilepsy. And sometimes she didn’t even know who she was or where she was.
And he thought to himself, “You know, maybe if I take her back to Kentucky, maybe if we go to the old homestead where she grew up, something will click within her mind and it’ll help her get her bearings.” So they did that.
Hand in hand they walked through the old homestead, where memories hung in every corner. Hand in hand they went through the garden past the flower beds along the road, the old house, but nothing helped.
When they got back to Chicago in the evening he took her and lay her upon the bed. And very soon she fell into a very deep sleep. He noticed it was a deep sleep because up until that time she had been sleeping only very fitfully, so he decided he would simply sit beside her. 8 to 9, 9 to 10, 10 to 11, 11 to 12, 12 to 1—into the wee hours of the morning, he sat beside her.
In the morning when the sun came through the window and stroked her face, she woke up. She said, “My husband. I’ve been on along journey. Where have you been?” And that dear man speaking out of days and weeks and months of anxious waiting, said, “Honey, I’ve been right here and I’ve been waiting just for you.”
Where is God? You may be in a prison. You may be home alone, lonely. You may be in a difficult marriage. Wherever you are, you can encounter the God who sees you by accessing Him through Jesus Christ. And as we’ve explained in previous sessions, we come to Him through the blood of Christ to receive grace and help in time of need. Hagar experienced that in the desert, and so can we.
I wanna thank you for joining us today. Sure hope that you join us again next time. And as for today, go with God.