Our Awesome God
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006
It’s not often that a book title tells the whole story. Usually titles are chosen because they are catchy, not because they are informative. But occasionally you stumble on a title that both catches your attention and also tells you exactly what the book is about. A generation ago J. B. Phillips wrote a book called Your God Is Too Small. The title says it all. So many of us struggle because our God is much smaller than the God of the Bible. We have him neatly defined and kept in a box of our own making.
If your God is too small, perhaps you need to take another look at the God of the Bible. Over the centuries theologians have used certain words to describe His essence: Sovereign, Almighty, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Infinite, Eternal, and Immortal, to mention only a few. But no list of adjectives could ever adequately picture the immenseness of God. He is so big that we don’t even have the proper words to describe his bigness. He is bigger than our biggest words and grander than our grandest conceptions. Because he is God, no words or thoughts of mortal men and women could ever compass his greatness. He is far bigger than we imagine, his presence fills the universe, he is more powerful than we know, wiser than all the wisdom of the wisest men and women, his love is beyond human understanding, his grace has no limits, his holiness is infinite, and his ways are past finding out. He is the one true God. He has no beginning and no end. He created all things and all things exist by his divine power. He has no peers. No one gives him advice. No one can fully understand him. He is perfect in all his perfections. Our best efforts fall so far short of his divine reality that we flatter ourselves to think that we truly understand him at all.
It is against that backdrop that we must consider the meaning of verses such as "The secret things belong to the Lord our God" (Deuteronomy 29:29) and “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).
There is a fundamental category difference between God and his creation. His thoughts are “higher” precisely because he is God and we are not. Therefore it shouldn’t surprise that God does many things we don’t understand. Or that most of our questions about life will go unanswered. Job discovered this when God engaged him in a long series of questions starting with “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4) and ending with “Who dares to open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?” (Job 41:14). The answer to the first question is no, the answer to the second is “not me.” And the answer to every question in between is also in the negative. It’s as if God is playing a game of Celestial Jeopardy and has managed to sweep the board before Job can answer a single question.
In dealing with our deepest struggles it helps to remind ourselves of who God really is. The greater our view of God, the more strength we will have to face the trials of life. Similarly, the lower our view of God, the more likely we are to be blown away when tragedy strikes.
With that background, let’s take a look at Romans 11:33-36. Of all the passages in the Bible that speak to God’s greatness, perhaps none contains so much truth compacted into only four verses. This passage has been called a “doxology of theology” and an “explosion of praise.” The words are bracing, hopeful, and breathtaking. No Bible expositor ever feels adequate when faced with a marvelous paragraph like this. It contains depths of truth no one can hope to fully explore, much less to understand. For our purposes we can arrange the major thoughts of these four verses around simple statements.
Recently on Pastors / Leadership
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content