“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’” (Romans 11:33, 34). Paul leaves us this reminder of the vastness of God’s knowledge and wisdom. We also read in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” God’s logic and reasoning are beyond our understanding capabilities.
I believe this is important to keep in mind when we read Scripture. The concepts we read about in Scripture are just glimpses into God’s truth. I like to think of the Bible as a children’s version of God’s truth. We are His children, and there is so much more that He understands as our Father. However, He made a book to help us gain wisdom as best we can on our level because His intelligence and judgment are far beyond our comprehension.
I think about theological debates, for instance. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good in-depth, tear apart the Good Book and pull out the Greek and Hebrew kind of debate. However, I believe that we should be mindful that the entire picture is not within the realm of our understanding. Debates about a young earth versus an old earth, predestination versus free-will, pre-tribulation return of Jesus versus post-tribulations are all important. But despite all of our debates, we are left with some ambiguity that we just can’t definitively resolve. We may say that we have, but then there will be someone on the other side of the debate who will also say that they have found the final answer as well.
I believe God intentionally left us with snippets of information that we can’t fully grasp. It reminds us of what the verses in Romans and Isaiah above tell us. We can never fully understand all of who God is and all of what He is doing. Even when we think we have insight into what God is accomplishing, we are only seeing a glimpse of it. If the disciples didn’t understand what was happening, during Jesus’ death and resurrection despite being told many times (Luke 24:25-27), we can’t expect to fully comprehend all that God is doing in the world around us.
When we study Scripture and enter into discussions about difficult subjects, it is important to remember our limited capacity to grasp the full picture. It is also okay to say that we don’t completely understand something about God. If we could discern everything about Him, He wouldn’t be the awesome God that He is. Why would we worship someone whose intelligence is no greater than our own? We don’t because can’t fathom the greatness of the mind of the Lord. His ways are far beyond our understanding which is why we need faith. We depend on Him and trust Him because He sees more than we can see. He has provided His children with a book containing the information we need, but we have to trust Him with the rest.