August 14 I Saturday
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.” —Job 11:7-9
To what extent could God be known? From the opening verse of this devotion, Zophar, one of Job’s friends, is basically asking, “Can the finite know the infinite? Can the temporal know the eternal? Can a man know God?” When we try to understand something we cannot see, we usually think in terms of compare and contrast. But to whom or what could we compare and contrast God? The prophet Isaiah ponders the same question as he writes, “To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?” (Isaiah 40:18, NKJV). To begin to describe God is like an ocean, we cannot fathom the vastness of it. We can take a little glass and put some of the ocean’s water in it, which can give us a little picture of what is in the ocean, but it does not encompass the entire ocean.
God, the Creator, transcends everything in His creation. This is why we cannot prove to the skeptical mind the existence of God. If we could prove God by putting God into some category or equating Him with something, He would not be God, because God transcends everything there is in His creation. Hence, we have some difficulties when we talk about knowing God and the knowability of God.
For example, with the Trinity, Scripture reveals to us that there is one God, but it also tells us there is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is clear that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet, the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit and the Spirit is not the Father, which altogether defies human logic to grasp the three are One.
The classic definition of the Trinity comes from The Athanasian Creed. Athanasius was the 20th bishop of Alexandria in Egypt during the third century. Part of the Creed goes, “The Father is immeasurable, the Son is immeasurable, the Holy Spirit is immeasurable. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Spirit is eternal. And yet there are not three eternal beings; there is but one eternal being. So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings; there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.”
It may be daunting to start trying to comprehend God, but may we find encouragement praying as Paul did, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give [us] the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that [we] may know Him better” (Ephesians 1:17).
Prayer: Immeasurable God, I cannot fully fathom all that You are. Thank You for inviting me into a relationship with You, so I can know You more. Amen!