From a Distance?

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There was a very popular song some years ago entitled “From a Distance.”[1] The song detailed what the world looked like from a distance—everyone living in harmony, no one in need, no guns, no bombs, no disease, no one going hungry. From a distance, we are told, everyone is working together, playing songs of hope and peace.

Ah, but then the song goes on to declare that “God is watching us from a distance,” the clear implication being that God does not see what’s really going on. All He sees is this vague distant vision of a harmonious world. And He’s perfectly happy with that, since all seems to be going well. No need to look closer or to intervene.

But is that really the case? Contrast that song with Psalm 139: “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways…. Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”

And so forth. Hardly seems like a disengaged, distant, perhaps nearsighted God, does it?

Or how about Psalm 10:14, “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”

So the next time God seems to be distant from you, keep in mind Acts 17:27-28, “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.”

I am everywhere—both near and far.

(Jeremiah 23:23 CEV)


[1] Julie Gold, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.

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