If God is everywhere then how can demons and the devil exist on earth? God and evil in the same place?
Psalms 139:7-8 (NASB)
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
This is a good question and one that is somewhat difficult to answer. Similarly, it’s like, how could Jesus be all God and all man at the same time?
To understand that God is always everywhere (omnipresent) is somewhat of a hard thing to fully grasp. The reason is because the idea of who God truly is can be hard to grasp. I refer to one of my favorite scriptures, Romans 1:19 (NASB), “Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” One version says, that which MAY be known. In other words, we can understand the concept of God, but not really completely.
Throughout scripture, many things are said about God as descriptive but the question is, are they really an actual description? For example, Psalms 91:4 (NASB) which reads, “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” Does this declare that God ACTUALLY has wings? The point of this Psalm is not to be physically descriptive but rather descriptive of God’s protective nature.
To say God is everywhere I do not think is as much about describing where God is as much as it is to say He knows what is going on everywhere, that nothing can be hidden from Him. To say He is in all creation is to say that His mark is on it. Once we were being shown a house in California that was made of cob. This is a process of building walls with bales of hay and then making a slurry of mud and hay and coating the walls with it. This coating is applied with the hands, being rubbed on. When you ran your hands along the wall, it was really neat because you could almost feel the makers hands who applied it originally. His or her mark was left behind. It’s very similar with God.
His creation bears the marks or presence of its Maker. God can be seen in everything He has made, and He watches over it! We see other descriptions of God like, He is on a throne in a Heavenly temple, He sits in the Heavens, when Moses was on the mountain the Lord passed by Him, and when He made Adam He breathed into his nostrils. All of these things put God in a specific place and almost give Him some kind of size. Again, how do you explain someone who is infinite, not constrained by any created thing? In fact, this is a good point, if God created all things, He cannot be constrained by anything. Time, does not affect Him because He created it. Matter does not contain Him because He made it. That God is everywhere does not mean that He is specifically filling that space.
Now onto demons and the like. I’m going to say something that may be hard to swallow, God had to have made them. That does not mean that He made them evil (because He didn’t), but He made them none the less. If He is “in” all creation, then He must be in them too, right? Well, yes in the sense that whatever they were originally made to be, they bear His marks, but not in the sense of their evil and actions.
Some people erroneously believe that because God is “in” all things that nothing happens without His say so. But let’s look at this logically. Somebody designed and constructed every vehicle that’s on the road. Yet if one of those vehicles given over to someone else strikes and kills someone, does that mean the designer and builder made it happen. I mean, I’ve seen a Ford that has been in a bad accident, did Henry Ford cause it? It bears His mark after all! Of course He didn’t, and it’s the same with God.
God could stop everything right now, that He hasn’t doesn’t mean He approves of all that happens. It means there’s a greater purpose for it continuing. God is not manipulating the universe to do His will, otherwise it would all be doing His will. God will allow things to happen if it will bring about His purpose, that is very different than making something happen. Have you ever hit an animal while driving because swerving would have been more dangerous to the passengers of the car? Killing that animal and damaging the car may not have been ideal but because that animal had free will to jump in front of you, you chose the better option. And so it goes with creation that is given option.
God will bring all things together in the end, but until the end there is a process. He knows all things, and sees everywhere, but that does not mean He is specifically in all things. In closing think of this, when Jesus died and ascended His Spirit came to live on the inside of believers. If He was already actually everywhere, this would make no sense. God is not physically taking up all space but He is in fact there. Whether it’s by seeing or knowledge or by some other method we don’t know exists yet. Truth is, we can’t fully understand Him now but one day He will reveal Himself fully to us.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.