Job, as he wrestled with the problems of evil afflicting suffering on good people, recounted many of God's glories and mysteries, then spoke his great truth when he said:
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?
(Job 26:14 ESV)
The apostle Paul, as he concluded his great treatise on God's grace and plan for salvation, was left with only words of insufficient praise as he contemplated God's greatness, glory, and incomparable grace:
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?
Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11:33—36 ESV)
James Nored gives us a beautiful allegory to help us better understand our dilemma in trying to understand God's greatness, glory, and grace in today's video:
How could God help us understand his faithful love for us, yet demonstrate his desire for us to live in our world with his righteous character and gracious compassion? After all, his call to Israel to be his servant to bless and bring all nations to him was abandoned by his people. His revelation in scripture was largely ignored. His powerful words through the prophets were forgotten, abandoned, and disobeyed. How could he communicate his grace and mercy while still calling people to righteousness, justice, mercy, and grace? How does an eternal God who exists beyond space and time as the great "I AM" reveal himself to place-focused and time-bound people? How does a multi-dimensional God reveal himself to flatlanders?
Jesus is God's greatest Word and ultimate Message (Hebrews 1:1-3).
Jesus is the one who makes God known by living as one of us (John 1:1-19).
Jesus is the plan God had for reconciling the world back to himself and absorbing all the damage that human rebellion had brought upon creation (Colossians 1:15-22).
Jesus is the great example we are called to follow as we live with each other and strive for the greatness and glory that created us to share. Listen as Paul uses Jesus as the template for our lives:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
We cannot know everything about God, but Jesus came so we could know God — we can experience his presence, his love, and his grace. Even though we are flatlanders in the face of God's multi-dimensional glory, we can know the heart of God and the kind of God he is. He loves us so much that God the Son "gave up his divine privileges" to share God's greatness, glory, and grace with us!
As we begin the journey through Advent, our celebration of Jesus' first coming to us, let's not forget that in a world of flatlanders, we've been privileged to glimpse the glory of God. Because of Jesus, we know more than just the outskirts of God's ways. We know his heart and that his heart beats to share his greatness, glory, and grace with us — FOREVER!