March 1, 2019
The Bible is a tricky source of information. It is God’s Word – plain and simple. In it, is the revelation of God. God makes Himself known through the Word He declared. He used His Spirit to take control of certain men throughout history to pen things about Himself that help us to understand God’s identity, purposes, and promises. There is much to be learned of God in the Bible! However, the Bible itself teaches that God is unsearchable. While Jesus promised that if we seek God we will find Him, our pursuit does not guarantee that we will come to know the fully glory and majesty of the eternally self-existing, self-sustaining Lord God Almighty. We can know God, but only to a certain degree in this life. As much knowledge as we think we can gain of God, it will always be the vast minority compared to all the things there is to know of God.
This is why God often appeared in different forms throughout the Bible. For example, the scriptures say that Moses enjoyed a unique benefit with God. In Exodus Chapter 33, the Bible says that Moses had such an intimate relationship that he spoke to God “face to face.” Yet, in the very same chapter, God told Moses that no one can see His face and live. How do these two ideas reconcile? While it is impossible to know the exact degree of revelation that Moses received, we can rest assured that Moses saw God in a way that was unique, profound, and exceptionally glorious. This does not mean that Moses saw all that God is. This does not mean that Moses saw the full splendor and majesty of Yahweh Elohim. The revelation that Moses saw was tempered by God and restricted by God to a large degree, yet it was still sufficient to change the physical complexion of his face, making it glow!
Consider Jesus Himself. Jesus told Philip at the Last Supper, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Does this mean that the physical appearance of Jesus was the full revelation of God’s glory? Of course not. In fact, the testimony of the Transfiguration of Jesus proves this point. When Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured, it was so overwhelming for them that they eventually passed out. Yet, only Peter, James, and John were privileged to see Jesus in glory. Nevertheless, it was not His full glory, which is why John saw Jesus appear differently in his testimony of the Book of Revelation. The point being that, whatever we think we know of God, there is infinitely more to know of Him. However well we think we know God, we don’t have a clue. The things He’s revealed to us are but the smallest percentage of the true magnitude of His identity.
This principle is taught clearly in the testimony of Job 11:7-12. In Job 11:7-12 the Bible continues to document Zophar’s rebuttal against Job’s speech. Though Zophar started his rebuttal against Job as a sharp accusation and verbal attack against Job, the points he makes about God are 100% true! This just goes to show, that while we may know things about God, it does not automatically ensure that we will conduct ourselves like Him. Zophar knew about the unsearchable glory of God, but communicated these truths in a manner that was hurtful, unmerciful, and arrogant. Zophar said these things about God that were true, thinking that he would be a helper to Job and a service to his friends, but instead, was a hindrance to Job’s comfort and contrary to God’s nature. It was Zophar’s own forgetfulness about God – the words that came out of his own mouth – that caused him to be hurtful instead of helpful.
Zophar asked Job a rhetorical question: “Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find the limits of the Almighty?”
The obvious answer to these questions is, no, you cannot. Zophar went on to state that deep things of God and limits of His power are higher than heaven and deeper than hell. Consider even the limitations of knowledge that we have on this planet to gain perspective. When we look out onto the ocean from the coast, it is true we can see the water, but can we see its end? Can we see its depth? There are plenty of resources available that enable people to look into space. We can see the light of stars, but can we see their end? Do we know how far they all go? This principle proves that, just because something can be seen or known to one degree, doesn’t mean that we have all knowledge and understanding of that thing. Scientists have not been able to explore every inch of our ocean’s floors. If we can’t even get to that which is in front of us, how much less are we able to know “the deep things of God?” Scientists haven’t even come close to scratching the surface concerning their understanding of space. How much less understanding then do we have of the One who holds the universe in the span of His hand while also sitting high above it in a plane of reality we can’t see?
This is an important principle to consider at all times. It is the remembrance of this truth about God that should cause us to approach Him with humility. For all that the human race thinks it has learned and accomplished, it is nothing. For all that theologians and Bible teachers have said about God, it is not even close as to what is TOTALLY true of God. This truth calls for the people of God to approach God with great caution and humility. This is why we are to fear God. As unsettling as it is to look into an abyss in the sea and not know what lies at the end, so too we respect the immeasurable glory, majesty, splendor, power, wisdom, and holiness of God. Remembering this truth should keep all of God’s people from speaking presumptuously, especially about God, and the details of His purposes and works.
The immeasurable and unsearchable nature of God also lends to the indescribable control and power God has. We know that God created the heavens and the earth by separating light form dark, who is to keep God from changing that condition? God separated the waters from the dry land in creation, but then showed His power to bring the waters back up to consume the dry land in the flood of Noah. Who was able to stop Him? Though God gave the world 120 years of warning, was anyone able to prevent the global devastation? In the end, all died but eight people as God swore. This proves that no one can contend with God’s power. When God passes by and declares judgment, no one hinders him. The Egyptians could not escape the Destroyer on the night of the Passover. The Assyrians didn’t even know what hit them when the Angel of the Lord passed through their camp to destroy 185,000 soldiers. If God desires to change the course of life in any way, can anyone stop Him? When God decided to restore Job from the devil’s attacks, did the devil have any power? When Jesus was sent to the grave, did the grave have any control to keep Jesus in the tomb? This is the power of our God!
Thus, Zophar reminded Job that God knows all things and deals with them accordingly. Though Zophar was stating this as an accusation against Job, falsely accusing him of hypocrisy, the principle is true of God anyway. Deceitful men might be deceitful to other men, but God sees the heart at all times and knows what’s going on. That which is hidden from people is never hidden from God. God sees wickedness, deceit, perversion, corruption, and all darkness even though it might not be visible to us. It might seem like God doesn’t see it because He takes His time to address it, but the scriptures are clear: All things are naked and open to Him Whom we all must deal with! There is nothing that catches God by surprise. Therefore, that power and wisdom that we can’t understand, will be used in equally incomprehensive ways to address these issues. All this to say, as people, we don’t really know what God is doing, and so we should reserve judgment and opinions about what we think we know of God.
Lastly, Zophar made a pretty comical remark about the true nature of mankind compared to God. He said, “For an empty-headed man will be wise when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man.” In other words, when a wild donkey can give birth to a man, then a foolish man can be wise. Obviously, this is impossible, showing depth of foolishness of mankind concerning the things of God. Consider the comparison that Zophar made. Zophar didn’t compare our foolishness to just any animal, but a wild donkey’s colt. This is not just any animal, but one of the dumbest of all animals. The donkey that Zophar referred to is not a trained donkey, but a wild one. A trained donkey is stubborn, but useful in some sense. A wild donkey cannot be trained. When a rider sits on it, the donkey, being overpowered and overruled will still try to go about its own way. This is a pretty good description of mankind. Though God be far above us, in control of all things, we like wild donkeys, seek to go our own way as if we can. We are the most stubborn and foolish concerning the things of God, and yet somehow feel that we can reproduce something of value and goodness for God? How can this be?
When understanding these truths, it is critical to remember that these are the very reasons why the just shall live by faith. This is why no person will be justified by the merits of their flesh; by the works of their hands; by the thoughts of their mind; by the words of their mouth. This speech from Zophar, though misdirected and misused, is true to show that ALL people fall short of the glory of God because God’s glory is incomprehensive. Thus, it is a privilege for anyone to have any degree of revelation of God in any form true to His Word. Still, that revelation is not meant to pump up and inflate the ego, but instead to break and humble the heart, producing the denial of self, repentance from self, and submission to the eternal and incomprehensive purposes of God by faith.