Too vast to grasp
“See, these are only the outskirts of his ways; and how small is that which comes to our ears about him! But the thunder of his acts of power is outside all knowledge.“ – Job 26:14 BBE
God knows things we don’t know. His knowledge is far beyond anything we can comprehend. Just take a look at some of the Hubble Telescope images of the universe and the scope and size of God’s knowledge starts to become clear. Job seemed to know that without having ever seen what we have seen.
By his hand the north is stretched out in space, and the earth is hanging on nothing. By him the waters are shut up in his thick clouds, and the cloud does not give way under them. By him the face of his high seat is veiled, and his cloud stretched out over it. By him a circle is marked out on the face of the waters, to the limits of the light and the dark. – Job 26:7-10 BBE
Job tells his friends that while they seem to be speaking for God, they have no clue what God knows. They are presumptuous to think that they have figured out the ways of God. They make assumptions about Job’s guilt as if they know for sure what has taken place. But they don’t know. Only God does. We can’t understand the ways of God. Our understanding is limited. We can’t fully comprehend or explain what God does or why He does it. And He does not explain Himself to us. For Job, all he could rest on was his integrity. He stood firm on his innocence. “Let it be far from me! I will certainly not say that you are right! I will come to death before I give up my righteousness. I will keep it safe, and will not let it go: my heart has nothing to say against any part of my life” (Job 27:5-6 BBE). Job didn’t understand why he was suffering. He couldn’t explain it. All he knew was that he had done nothing wrong to deserve it. At the end of the day, all we can know about God is what He chooses to reveal about Himself to us. We see His aspects of His power and creativity in nature and within the world around us, but we can’t fully comprehend how it all works. We can look into the design of the human cell and appreciate its intricacy and complexity, but we can’t explain how God made it. There is so much about God that we don’t understand. But we do know that He is powerful. We do know that He is loving. We do know that He is sovereign, and righteous, and just, and always watching. Job knew these things and he rested in them. Knowing these things did not stop his pain or eliminate his suffering, but it gave him some sense of hope in the midst of it all. Job’s approach to his situation is similar to that of the Psalmist.
I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” But as I stood there in silence — not even speaking of good things — the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered — how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” – Psalms 39:1-7 NLT
My only hope is in You. Is God where you put your hope? Is He the first place you turn to in times of trouble? There is much about life we will never understand, but we can know that God is faithful, just, righteous, merciful, powerful, and completely in control of any and all circumstances. We can trust Him.
Father, I want to trust You, but I struggle so often with wanting to understand first. I want to have everything explained to me, THEN I’ll trust You. But You don’t explain Yourself to me. You don’t justify Your actions to me. Part of trusting You is learning to rely on You even thought I don’t understand You. You’ve never proven Yourself untrustworthy Lord. So I’m not sure why I struggle so much with trust. But thank You for your patience. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men