After detailing the radical bent-ness of the wicked, the writer of the thirty-sixth psalm finds himself overwhelmed by the ubiquity of YHWH. The LORD’s loving justice is everywhere.
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. (Psalm 36:5–6 ESV)
The Hebrew Bible does not traffic in the notions of omnipresence or ubiquity to which thoughtful readers of the Bible would eventually lay their hand. It’s natural dialect is more concrete, more this-worldly. Yet, in spite of what might seem to our habits of thinking a limitation, the Hebrew poet knows how to say exactly what he wants to say.
His language might be called ‘practical infinity’. As high as a person can see, YHWH’s steadfast love is all the way up there. It does not grow thin at the higher altitudes, does not suffer outer space’s vacuum.
When a person gauges what pilots would come to call the ‘ceiling’, YHWH’s faithfulness is up there in the clouds, at the very endpoint of human perception.
When the poet imagines the deepest depths of the sea, he understands that YHWH’s judgements go just that far down.
Then he underscores his point by touching upon what seems to him like the two extremities of breathing creation, implying the same of everything in between: man and beast you save, O LORD.
Practical infinity. As far as you can see, YHWH’s loving, just presence is there. As wide as you can imagine, there is no horizon beyond which reality is not infused with YHWH’s care. There exists no terrible province where the dragons of your worst fears roam unrestrained by YHWH’s strong mercies.
Don’t worry, the psalmist seems to instruct us. You cannot escape.