Have you ever considered the arrogance exhibited when humankind attempts to "understand" God? This is not something that has just come on the scene in these "enlightened" years. Satan was able to tempt Adam and Eve with the possibility of being as wise as God. The people of the tower which came to be called “Babel” were building a tower to reach heaven. Job was certain that he could contend with God if God would just show His face. Through the ages men and women have been determined to improve upon or redirect God's plans. We are not different today.
Libraries and bookstores are filled with publications which purport to explain some deep mystery of God's nature or intention. The sobering fact remains that all we know about God is what He has chosen to reveal. Even that often exceeds our feeble powers to fully reconcile. The fact is that God is transcendent. That is just a big word to say that God is prior to, superior to, and mysteriously different from anything that humankind sees or understands as physical in the world that God created.
When God confronted the godly man Job, the Almighty asks him a series of questions which are fundamental to the understanding of physical things. Job could not answer them. God then chides Job, "Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?" (Job 42:3 NIV). Job's confession is pertinent to modern man's arrogance:
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:5-6).God will not be fathomed or contained in the limited minds of mere men and women.
A little “dust and ashes” might be a good prescription for humanity's current arrogance.
Even in matters which we assume as common, their depth is not fathomed. In smugness, modern commentators continue to "simplify" such matters as the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, on the other hand, confronts the teacher Nicodemus with the fact that he, the great teacher of Israel, cannot even explain natural phenomena; how does he expect to understand the working of the Spirit?
Jesus asks Nicodemus, "If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" (John 3:12).
God confronted Job with it. Jesus confronted Nicodemus with it. We are called to it. The "it" is a step beyond understanding. The "it" is simply accepting as truth what God tells us. This is likely the extreme stretch of our ability — or at least our will. But really, how can anyone who cannot fully believe what God tells him or her, ever expect to fathom the why and the how of God's will?
Adam and Eve brought sin, sickness and death into the world because they could not accept what God had clearly communicated to them. The people of Babel ushered in the confusion of languages, attempting to exceed the boundaries of God. Nicodemus almost missed the coming of the Kingdom of God because his intellect demanded explanation instead of obedience. Today many will not find the peace of reconciliation with their Father God because they will not allow Him to be God. God is to be believed. He may be explored, but he will not be fathomed or contained in the limited minds of mere men and women.
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