Pastoring & Leadership

In a League of His Own

The Witness

“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 11:34-36)

When we think about God, often we place him in the same category as man. [pullquote]Though we esteem him higher, we struggle to recognize his complete uniqueness.[/pullquote] However, he is not number one in a league of beings, he is in a superior league of his own.

Scripture flips our thoughts about God completely on their head. Herman Bavinck notes in his book, Our Reasonable Faith, that on “the very first page of the Bible the absolute transcendence of God above His creatures comes to our attention. Without strain or fatigue He calls the whole world into existence by His word alone.” And the prophet Isaiah proclaimed that the thoughts of God are higher than our thoughts and his ways are higher than our ways (Is. 55:8).

Now in our text, the Apostle Paul asks rhetorical questions about our uniquely sufficient God. With his questions Paul recognizes the infiniteness of his mind, the sufficiency of his wisdom and the immeasurableness of his riches.

His mind is unsearchable and his ways too lofty for our understanding. We have no way of knowing him unless he chooses to condescend and reveal himself. We need to accept the fact that we can’t understand all of God’s ways and will never be brilliant enough to know his mind. In trying, it exposes your pride and arrogance. (Ps. 131:1-3). Instead we should approach him in humility and in awe of the greatness he has graciously revealed. Donald Grey Barnhouse comments, “Philosophers may argue over their ignorance about God; Paul chooses to revel in His goodness.”

Paul also recognizes the sufficiency of God’s wisdom. He is different from us in that he needs to consult no one but himself. He is never confused or puzzled. He has no use for a therapist. Problems and confusion are absolutely foreign to him. [pullquote position=”right”]His plans are so complex that even when it appears he has lost, he’s winning.[/pullquote] The cross makes this evident. God is God alone and beside him there is no other.

Finally, Paul acknowledges the immeasurableness of God’s riches. The Psalmist also communicates how fat the riches of God are when he poetically proclaims that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and if he were hungry, he would not tell us because it would be pointless (Ps. 50:10). Everything that we have is under his authority and reign. Abraham Kuyper rightfully proclaims, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

How should we respond? Paul models it. [pullquote]Our God is so great that these truths should stir our affections so that we break out in praise, attributing to him all glory forever.[/pullquote] How much more should we praise him since he has condescended and revealed himself in Christ Jesus? We have graciously been given the privilege to have an intimate relationship with the God of the universe and we can call him Abba or Papa! He sent our elder Brother Jesus and he who knew no sin became sin so that we might have a right to the tree of life (2 Cor. 5:21).

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