“Can you search out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than heaven— what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol— what can you know?
Their measure is longer than the earth
And broader than the sea.”
The western mind is one of analysis and trying to figure things out. Sir Isaac Newton had an apple fall on his head, and his thoughts were why and how. He then went on to discover the laws of gravity. The curious western mind has done much good in the world, but has also caused us to err at times.
One of the places it has caused us to err frequently is in our understanding of God. God says something to us, and we say why and how? I don’t believe God is angry at those questions, and in fact, invites them, but those questions should always come in light of the verses above. Yes, search out the things of God, but remember we are finite creature made of dust. The problem often arises when we elevate ourselves in the sight of God, and say if I cannot make sense of it, than it cannot be true. When we proudly and presumptuously, and often without knowing what we are doing, assume our intellect is capable of grasping all the facets of God we are prone to great err… and to our own hurt.
As we see here in the book of Job, very possibly the oldest book in the Bible, the eastern Hebrew mind had accepted one very important reality. God’s thoughts are higher above our own than the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55:9). We cannot even come close to completely understanding God. We are finite and can only understand a very little, while God is eternal and without limits in His understanding. To try and figure out the unrevealed ways of God is futile, and even blasphemous. As soon as we start figuring out God apart from His revelation we are guaranteed to err.
Why do I write all this? I think this is very important in the realm of predestination and the sovereignty of God. God says both a)that anyone can come, and b)that all were predestined and chosen. In fact, He often says them in close proximity to one another (John 3:16, 6:44, 15:16; Romans 8:29-30, 9:16, 10:13).
What does this mean for us? It means that both things are wonderful truths of God to be accepted and enjoyed for eternity. It also means to try and understand how God harmonizes the two seemingly incompatible concepts that are beyond our understanding is impossible, and that we do much better to humbly accept them. God distinctly says that man both has universal opportunity to come to Him and receive salvation, and that only those who are drawn and chosen will come.
Why?? How?? The western mind wonders, and that is good… but only if we have the correct view of God and man. Paul, a genius and former Hebrew rabbi who had excelled above all, ended his Romans discourse with this: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Rom 11:33)”
Our problem comes from a prideful heart that says I can systematize the unsearchable riches of God’s ways. Man says, if this statement is true, than this, this, and this must be true as well because that is what makes sense to my rational mind.
Have you noticed the general countenance of those who proclaim to have systemized God’s unrevealed ways?? There is undoubtedly an aloofness and pride that goes along with their theology. They have figured out what many cannot, or so they think. This is how God thinks when he makes this or that statement, and I have figured it out.
Beware, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).
May we instead, rejoice in the goodness of God when He says WHOEVER calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Praise the Lord! God is long-suffering, not desiring anyone to perish. Praise the Lord! He loves all and deeply desires to save all, I serve a wonderful God!
Then, let us whole-heartedly thank God for His wisdom and strength. He chose me and predestined me before the foundation of the earth…?? WOW… Praise Him!! He will never leave me nor forsake me, I am completely secure in the strongest hands the universe could ever know! Wow… praise Him, my God is amazing!
In our infinite and limited minds we cannot reconcile every part of God, and we are not called to do so. We are called to know Him, His character, and His heart as He has revealed Himself to us. Then in humility follow the One who loved us and gave us life for us, loving others the way He loves us.
That is the commandment He gave us as He left this earth (John 13:34, 15:17), so let us not get distracted trying to figure out things we were never meant to fully understand, let us not get puffed up with pride in our minds as we elevate our understanding far above where it should rightly be, and may we not bite and devour one another as knowledge becomes more important than love. That would be very unfortunate, disobedient to the commands of Christ, destructive to the body of Christ, and definitely not glorifying to God.