“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it’” (Isaiah 55:8-11).
Behold one of the most basic and important truths of Scripture: God is infinite, we are not. And given our inability to comprehend God as infinite Spirit, we could never know Him if He did not stoop to reveal Himself to us. Yet, stoop He did, and then some—God has spoken. He spoke and made the universe and everything in it, including you and me. He spoke and revealed all we need to know of His infinite excellence and our purpose and place in His world. He spoke to save us by the person and saving work of Jesus Christ, the Word become flesh, to satisfy the requirements of His justice on our behalf.
Truth, then, comes from God and remains unaltered by human opinion. “First of all…no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-22). “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God bridged the gap. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:2-3). Through Christ we know the infinite and unknowable God in a most personal and loving way.
Scripture, rightly understood by the work of the Holy Spirit through faith, escorts us beyond the veil into God’s inner circle and personal confidence, to know and love what cannot be known apart from Christ. Wonders once hidden by darkness thrill the soul by His light. Truth unknown or suppressed in willful ignorance appears to the humble heart of love and trust in Him.
And though our knowledge of God’s excellence will forever increase, mystery will always confront our smallness before God’s infinity. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29), even in heaven. Our sight in glory will never be dark or dim, but neither will we ever exhaust what can be known of our inexhaustible God.
Until then, wisdom forsakes reading things into Scripture, contriving things about God He has not revealed, or dismissing His authority by making mysteries out of explicit and obvious truth. Such errors often stem from a neglect of God’s Word, or a rejection of God’s explanation of reality from an unwillingness to submit to God’s will. And while Scripture remains clear and understandable, it does bring us to deep waters with things “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). Yet, in its sacred pages God has provided all we need to know for our good and His glory. Christians, then, should ever be prayerful and diligent students of Scripture. And where God stays silent, we hold fast to the things revealed and rest in His perfect character, “that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).
Unless noted otherwise, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988, 1995. Used by permission.
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© 2017 Craig Biehl, author of God the Reason, The Box, The Infinite Merit of Christ, and Reading Religious Affections
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