Passages for Meditation: Deuteronomy 29 and 32; See selected verses on God’s transcendence
I have heard people say that they won’t believe in God because He doesn’t make any sense to them. I have even heard some go a step further in question and even judgment of God by saying, “How could a good and loving God allow this travesty to happen!” Certainly bad things happen in this world! Honestly, I must admit that there are a lot of things that I do not comprehend about God and His ways. However, that does not bring consternation to me; it brings comfort.
Here are my reasons for taking comfort in a God that I cannot fully comprehend. 1) The knowledge and power that would be required to create this world and universe certainly would be beyond my scope of comprehension and would require a Being worthy of my admiration, subjection, and worship. 2) If I could completely comprehend this Creator-God it would make me equal with Him. That is a scary thought because I know myself—limited, deceitful, selfish, thoughtless, wicked—well, you get the point. I don’t want God to be like me! If He was, He would not be worthy of my respect and worship. 3. What I can comprehend about God is a gift and blessing from Him that reveals His love, grace, and care for me, His creature. So, I take great comfort in the knowledge that God is transcendent or beyond me. I need to accept the truths about Him as He reveals them through His creation and written word.
I marvel at what Moses was inspired to says about God in two very revelatory passages:
1) Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” I must accept that there are some things in this life that God keeps from me for my own good. The things he does reveal are for my children and me that we might obey His good will for our lives.
2) Deuteronomy 32:3-4, “For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.” From these two verses we can learn much about the God who is:
a. His name is worth talking about as well as being excited about,
b. His greatness is recognizable in an expanding and ever-growing way,
c. He is the Rock signifying His stability and protective power,
d. He is perfect, therefore He does not err or make mistakes,
e. He is just, therefore He will always be fair with us and hold us rightly accountable,
f. He is faithful, therefore He will never let us down even though we may not understand the hardship He brings our way,
g. He is sinless, therefore He will never treat anyone in a wrong way,
h. He is upright, therefore He will deal with us in every appropriate and best way.
I encourage you to take some time and meditate on these three verses and what they reveal about the God who is. Let’s respond in awe and worship of our great Creator and Lord!
With Prayer, Mark © January, 2011
Selected Verses on the Transcendence of God
Exodus 33:14-23, And [God] said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And [Moses] said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
Isaiah 55:6-11, Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Psalm 97:9, For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
Psalm 108:3-5, I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
Jeremiah 23:23-24, Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.
Rom 11:33-36, 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.
Ephesians 4:4, There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Hebrews 1:1-4, Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.