Incomprehensible: Can You Really Know God?
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7)
Who is God? Do you know Him? Do you know all about Him? Is this even possible?
God is incomprehensible – this is putting it bluntly; the fact is that God is greater than anything you and I can grasp. Not in the sense that reason and logic don’t work when wrestling to figure this out, but in the sense that we can never understand Him fully.
The difficulty in this quest to know God begins with the fact that we are finite and He is infinite. Remember, He fills all of time and space yet is not limited by the laws of time and space. He has no beginning and no end. He is surrounded by “thick darkness” and yet “lives in unapproachable light” (Psalm 97:2, 1 Timothy 6:16). So knowing God is not an easy task.
This is not to say that everything about God is a secret that cannot be discovered. He is incomprehensible, but It’s more along the lines of a reality that we humans lack the capacity to understand properly. Consider, for example, other difficult theological concepts such as the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and Scripture written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Christians accept these as facts by faith without knowing all the details about how they work.
God Reveals Himself to Us
No man or woman can claim to know everything about God. Yet it would be just as wrong to doubt whether what we do know of Him constitutes real knowledge. Being made in God’s image gives us a fighting chance to know about Him and to know Him relationally, even if in a limited way. God certainly helps by revealing Himself to us through Scripture and His creation. In these and other ways, He has “stooped to our level” and made accommodation for our weakness and inability to know and understand Him completely.
One way theologians have explained this relationship is with the analogy of a parent talking to an infant child. Baby talk cannot convey the fullness of what a parent has to communicate, and an infant can only interpret the information using his or her limited ability. Still, mutual love and trust actually exist in the parent-child relationship. The parent and child experience two-way communication through words, sounds, and body language. Yet no one would question or demean the infant’s inability to fully comprehend everything about his or her parents and their attributes of sovereignty, love, kindness, gentleness, and strength.
Incomprehensible Love – The Incarnation
This brings us to the marvelous miracle of God presenting Himself to mankind as a man via the Incarnation. In Jesus, now God has a body with a face, hands, and feet. His eyes looked right at Peter. He spoke directly to John. He ate food with His disciples. His side was pierced with a spear, causing real blood to flow from His body when He sacrificed His life for our sins on the cross. Now He sits at the right hand of the Father. These things do not fully describe who God is or what He does, but they make sense to us mere mortals. It is God speaking in a language that we can understand, making it possible for us to know Him to some degree.
God presented Himself to us in this way that we might grasp something of His goodness, His power, and His awesome love. He did it to draw us to Him, so that we might trust Him and pursue a relationship with Him. How can we not respond with wonder and love and worship?
Heavenly Father, you are beyond my ability to fully comprehend. Yet you have revealed yourself in ways that allow me to know you and love you. My knowledge of you and your ways is limited, and I’m okay with that fact. I acknowledge that you are God and I am not. So please accept my worship as sincere even though I am finite, mortal, and much like a small child.
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of five illustrated children’s books designed to help parents instill a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their preschoolers. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now!