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Conundrums and Comfort: Knowing God

September 15, 2012

Conundrums and Comfort: Knowing God

Now before we begin this conversation we need to acknowledge that this isn’t a topic that will end with a package neatly wrapped and tied up with a perfect bow. When we talk about knowing God, we are picking up something beyond our capacity. When we enter the arena of trying to understand more of God, we come eventually to only one end – mystery.

We have to accept the fact that He keeps revealing truth long after we cease to grasp what is laid in front of us. That is what Paul was saying in I Corinthians 3:2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able [to receive it], and even now you are still not able;

Pursuing knowledge of our God takes us to a place where we are amazed and awestruck and then puzzled. We will reach the end of our capacity to understand long before we reach the limit of what there is to know about God. When we seek to know Him, we will encounter joy and delight and thrills – and our own half-finished sentences. We will eventually face conundrum.

 

What else should we expect? HE is God and we are not. If ever there is a time for realistic humility, this is it.

 

Our God is all-knowing. God is knowable. But He is not all-knowable.

 

And when we get to the point where we can’t quite put the pieces together, we should stop. Just stop. Trust Him and stop.

 

What good is a God who is totally understandable?

 

If we venture into mystery we will only concoct pseudo-truth, outright error and even dangerous rationale. We dare not try to untangle all mystery for to do so will mean that we reshape God into something that we can easily understand. To fully understand Him, we have to remake Him within the parameters of our capacity. That limits Him, to say the least.

 

We aren’t made to understand Him, we are made to worship Him.

 

Praise Him for mystery.

Praise Him for puzzlement.

Praise Him for things beyond my grasp.

Praise Him that He goes beyond me and my history and my world.

Praise Him for conundrums and comfort!

(From Job 38-40) The Lord answered Job out of the storm:

“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? (NLT)

 

 Brace yourself like a man and I will question you:  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 

 

Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb,  when I … prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors,  and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’? 

 

 Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, 

 

Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?  Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?  Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this. 

 

 Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness,  that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? 

 

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 

 

What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? 

 

 Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass? 

 

Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? 

 

Can you send forth lightnings that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? 

 

Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind?

 

Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? 

 

“Is the wild ox willing to serve you? Will he spend the night at your manger? Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes, or will he harrow the valleys after you? 

 

Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane?  Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrifying. 

 

Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?  Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? 

 

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