Our Awesome God
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Our text suggests that he knows everything that could ever be known. Not only his knowledge deep, it is also wide. He knows everything that has been, everything that is, and everything that will be. He even knows everything that could have been, or could be, or could ever be. Not only does he know it, but he has known it all from the beginning of time.
Several years ago I came across an article about "the prevenient grace of God." The phrase -- which was new to me -- refers to “the grace that goes before.” Here’s a working definition: "In every situation of life, God is already at work before I get there. He is working creatively, strategically and redemptively for my good and His glory." Wow! So many times I limit my thinking to the fact that God’s presence goes with me as I move through life. That’s true, but it’s only part of the story. He’s not only with me now, he’s already way up the road ahead of me. Think about this way. While I am struggling with the problems of today, God is at work providing solutions for the things I am going to face tomorrow. He’s already there, working creatively in situations I have yet to face, preparing them for me and me for them.
Or to say it another way: While I’m in Tuesday, he’s clearing the road for me on Friday. That’s what Proverbs 3:6 means when it promises that "he will make your paths straight." God is already at work providing solutions for problems I don’t even know I have yet! Are you worried about next week? Forget it. He’s already there. What about that crucial meeting next Monday? Don’t sweat it. He’s already there. What about that surgery your oldest daughter faces in a few days? Fear not. He’s already there.
It would be enough if God simply walked with you through the events of life as they happen. But he does much more than that. He goes ahead of you, clearing the way, arranging the details of life so that when you get there, you can have confidence that God has already been there before you. That’s the prevenient grace of God. He goes before his people. He’s at work in the future while we live in the present. He can do that because he knows everything there is to know.
2. He Makes Plans We Can’t Understand
“How unsearchable his judgments!” (33b) Other translations use the word “inscrutable”, which means “beyond human understanding.” Eugene Peterson (The Message) offers this version of verse 33: "Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out." I like that phrase--"It’s way over our heads." Not only does God make plans we don’t know about, even if we did know about them, we couldn’t understand them. That explains why some things remain unexplainable forever. It’s not that God is unwilling to explain, it’s that our little minds can’t begin to comprehend the infinite purposes of God. John Wesley said it this way: “Show me a worm that fully comprehend a man, and I’ll show you a man that can comprehend God.” It can’t be done.
3. He Alone Knows Why Everything Happens
“And his paths beyond tracing out!” (33c) Matthew Henry has a helpful word about this. The main things God wants us to know are clear and plain. They are, he said, like a highway open for all to travel. But the judgments of his hands are dark and mysterious. That road is closed forever to us. We must not pry into the mysteries of God, but rather bow before him in adoration for things we don’t understand. Then he added this sentence: “God leaves no footprints behind him.” You can’t tell where he’s been or where the Almighty is going. He leaves no track or trail that we can follow. That means that in life many things will happen that we simply do not understand. Sickness, accidents, violent crimes, sudden financial collapse, divorce, crumbled dreams, cancer, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, famines, war, broken promises, evil triumphing over good, lost jobs, ruined lives, children dying, others promoted while we are passed, our ideas stolen and used by others, and good works we do that others take credit for. The list is endless and heartbreaking.
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