Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
The human race thinks it’s smart. You know what name the scientists have given to us? Homo sapiens, Latin for “man, the wise.” Give us enough time, and we will figure out the cure for every disease. We won’t just predict the weather. Someday we will control it! There is no secret of the universe we won’t expose, from the farthest star to the inner workings of the tiniest particles. Do you know that right now there are people who seriously believe that in our life times we will be able to transfer our personality and consciousness, what you and I might think of as our soul, from our bodies to machines? One of Google’s leading minds has been desperately pumping his body full of supplements, because he is getting older and he wants to live to see the day when he can experience this kind of “eternal life.”
Are we really so smart? The universe God created is so complicated, so challenging, that the bests minds in the world devote their lives to studying just one minuscule feature of it and never get to the bottom of it. Science is constantly changing. The ancient Greeks said the atom was the smallest solid particle. We thought we were smart when we could split the atom into protons, electrons, and neutrons. Then someone discovered that you could break protons down into quarks. Now some question exists whether there is anything solid about the atom at all–possibly just a bundle of energy! Did you know that ten or more new laws are developed to explain the boundary layer of our atmosphere every year? One theory breaks down, and another is already waiting to take its place.
That’s just the physical world, the “easy” part of God and his ways. We haven’t even touched on the really hard questions–If God is all powerful, and all-loving, why does our world have evil, or pain? Why does one person suffer much, and another person hardly at all? Why do some people believe the gospel and others reject it? Why do wicked people prosper?
Or better yet, try some of these: How can God be three persons and one God at the same time? How can a holy God love sinful people? Just what is a “spirit,” and where is heaven located? Do you know the answers? Or are we forced to agree with Paul? “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
What God knows is certainly bigger than my little brain. Sometimes we don’t know the answers because he has kept the information to himself. Where is it written that he is obligated to tell us everything? Sometimes we seem to be staring all the information in the face, but we just can’t manage to put it together. We are like the scout tracking some animal or person in an old movie. All of a sudden the footprints come to a stream or solid rock and there is nothing to follow anymore. God’s ways are beyond me because so much of who he is and what he does are beyond my investigation.
How, then, are we going to react to the God who knows so much and can be so hard to follow? We are tempted to respond with frustration and anger. We don’t like being on the outside of his insider information. Sometimes our world just turns its back on God in denial. “Keep your secrets from us will you? Well, we’ll show you. We will figure it all out without you. We will even deny that you exist at all!”
Such foolishness on our part! Paul’s words don’t criticize God for ways that are beyond our investigation. They praise him for it! They call for us to repent of our tantrums and denials. Why not rather find comfort in a God who is so much bigger than we are, and knows so much more. Do we really want a little God who knows less than we do? Is that who you want to go to for help?
Who of us would have thought of asking God to sacrifice the only Son he had to pay for our sins and save us from them? Who of us would have come up with that plan? Who of us would have thought of making forgiveness and eternal life a free gift? Who of us would have asked God to just give it away? But that’s what God did. That’s the Lord’s way, not the way that I would have thought to do it. Thank God, then, that his ways are beyond me!