Our Awesome God
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006
First of all, these verses teach us...
Three Facts About God
1. He Knows Everything There Is To Know
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (33a) The Apostle Paul was as well acquainted with God as any man ever was, yet he confessed himself at a loss to know the depth of God. How deep is God? So deep that Paul could only stand at the edge and peer into the deep. When a man wades into the ocean, he feels safe as long as he can feel the sand beneath his feet. But let him proceed farther out, and he will feel the sand disappearing. Eventually a wave comes and hurls him into the surf where he is tossed this way and that. As the current carries him outward, he cries out, "Oh, the depth." This is what Paul felt as he came to the end of his contemplation of God's sovereignty, man's sin, and God's eternal plan to shut up all men in the prison house of sin so that he might show mercy to all. Finally, he says, "Let us stop reasoning and simply praise our God for his incredible plan of redemption." Theology must eventually become doxology or else we will be guilty of thinking that we truly understand God.
Oh, the depth of God's wisdom.
Oh, the depth of God's justice.
Oh, the depth of God's grace.
Oh, the depth of God's forgiveness.
Consider this hymn from the pen of Samuel Francis:
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
The best and brightest men and woman must eventually come to the same conclusion. The astronomer gazes at the stars that fill the night sky. As the most powerful telescopes take us to the edge of the universe, the wise man bows his head and exclaims, "How great Thou art!" Robert Jastrow founded NASA's Goddard Institute. In his book God and the Astronomers, he comes to this conclusion:
This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth... [But] for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; [and] as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
Though Jastrow is no creationist, his words remind me of Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (ESV).
Those who know most must confess how little they actually know. If a man claims an intimate knowledge of God, we must suspect that he knows God no better than he knows himself. For God is deeper than our minds can fathom. Not only is His wisdom and knowledge deeper than we know, it’s deeper than we can even imagine. We have no mental category for the depth of God’s character. We simply know that it is, and that we know nothing about it except what God has chosen to reveal. Trying to understand God is like trying to empty the ocean with a tiny bucket. Dip your bucket in a thousand times and you haven’t made a dent in the vast expanse of water. Your bucket is too small, your arms too weak, and the ocean is too large, too wide, too deep. So it is with God. We can’t begin to comprehend the depths of his being. When I was preaching in Kentucky several years ago, I heard a Southern gospel song on the radio. It went like this: “Has it ever occurred to you that nothing has ever occurred to God?” That sounds odd at first because things occur to us all the time, but it’s true: Nothing has ever “occurred” to God. He never wakes up and says, “A great idea just occurred to me.” In the first place, he never sleeps, therefore he never wakes up. In the second place, all his ideas are great. In the third place, nothing ever occurs to him. He knows all the great ideas all the time from the beginning of time.
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