Dose of Truth
by Brent Barnett
It doesn’t take long being a Christian before we realize the limits of our knowledge. For example, can one ever truly understand the Trinity? How are three Persons of the Trinity One and the same God? Sure, ice, water vapor, and liquid water are all H2O, but does that kind of analogy really explain the majesty and wonder of the Godhead? What about the idea of eternity and the perpetual existence of God? Thinking about forever past and forever future will cause our minds to overheat if we don’t stop trying to process that reality. The Bible gives us insights into some mysteries, such as the mystery of the gospel coming to the Gentiles (Colossians 1:27) and (Ephesians 5:32) the mystery of how the relationship between husband and wife is akin to the relationship between Christ and the church. But not every mystery is explained, and that should be acceptable to us. It was acceptable to Paul who said in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” In fact, rather than the issue of God’s sovereignty and man’s ability to choose being a stumbling block or a distracting point of endless theological debate, Paul found reason to praise God for the fact that an unexplainable tension was not able to be resolved. He took joy in the fact that his mind was limited but that God’s was not. He was at peace that there were things he couldn’t fully grasp, and he was thrilled that God did have total understanding. He didn’t need to know everything in order to follow Jesus Christ, but he was willing to trust God and take Him at His Word. Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.” We serve a God Who is so majestic, so wonderful, and so beyond our being able to totally find out that it should move us to worship and to declare His glory rather than to be bitter for the things He hasn’t told us. The fact is that He has told us all that we need to know for our short time on this earth. In fact, it will take our entire lives just learning about what God has revealed to us through the creation and through His Word. We have more than enough knowledge and wonder to explore through the glories of creation and the pages of Scripture. What God has given us is more than enough.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” As we break this verse down, we see two categories of knowledge. First, there are God’s secret things that belong to Him and to Him alone. They are not for us to know, and God has chosen not to reveal them to us. Clearly, we don’t need to know them, for God would not keep something from us that would be for our good or benefit. Second, there are things that God has not kept secret, things that He has chosen to reveal to us through His Word so that we would know how to live. The purpose of God’s written revelation to us is so that we would keep and observe His commandments. His desire is to give us what we need to know in order to have a relationship with Him and understand how to function within that relationship. That He has told us, and that we are accountable for. The rest is for Him alone.
The longer we know Christ and the more we dig into Scripture, the more we will realize we don’t know, the more questions will arise that don’t have answers in Scripture, and the more we will realize just how much bigger God is than we thought He was. For example, did you ever wonder why God allowed Lucifer to suddenly become envious of God and filled with pride? Where did that evil originate? It is an interesting question, but one that does not have an answer in Scripture. Or, why did God allow Satan to kill Job’s children? Sure, it was a chance for Job to see if he would still love God, but, from the childrens’ perspective, doesn’t it seem unfair? Or, why did the serpent have to be part of God’s original creation that even God Himself said was “good”? Obviously, God has a master plan, and He is always just. Yet, we must be willing to accept that He doesn’t always do things the way we would anticipate. We must remember that God has the right to set the ground rules. He has the right to decide, for example, that a pure blood sacrifice is what is needed to redeem man. He has the right to set up eternal punishment and eternal rewards. He has the right to allow Satan to accomplish evil things in this age. He has the right to establish the laws of physics and to override them should He see fit. As God, He makes the rules, designs the world, and sets the agenda. Rather than let unrevealed mysteries harm our faith, we should rather exalt in the unsearchable aspects of His greatness. God will never be boring because there will always be more to learn. We will never exhaust His treasure trove of knowledge, His infinite pleasures stored up for us in paradise, or the joy of being in His presence for infinity. The infinite attributes of God are critical to His deity, and this is a good thing as long as we are willing to trust in His goodness, kindness, and mercy.
Nobody ever said being a Christian was easy, and feeling blind as we walk by faith rather than by sight is no easy sell. God doesn’t try to sell us faith, but He demonstrated His love and goodness so powerfully to us in Jesus Christ and in His Word that, when we see Him in faith for Who He really is, we accept that some things are secret because we are so thrilled with what we do know. Even what we don’t know becomes more reason to worship rather than to doubt. The funny thing about believing what God says we should believe is that, the more we do it with full abandon and trust in His good heart, the happier we will be. Even if we could know all the secret things, it wouldn’t bring us happiness. Faith in what God has told us is what brings us happiness, peace, and rewards. The daily call, challenge, and struggle is not for full understanding, despite what we might want to think, but, rather, it is for full and total belief. This is what pleases God, and this is what will bring our hearts the joy and peace that we seek.
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