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Read Romans 11:25-36

 

Trusting The God We Don’t Fully Know

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
~Romans 11:33

Digging Deeper: There’s a lot in Romans 11 that, quite frankly, is impossible to get your brain around!  Like how God hardened Israel’s heart (Romans 11:7-10), or this whole business of election and the full number of the Gentiles (Romans 11:7,25,28), or how God’s uses the misfortunes of some to create blessings for others (Romans 11:12,30-31), or how God is using his kindness to the Gentiles to create jealousy in the Jews (Romans 11:11) or how God has bound all men over to disobedience so he can show mercy to them all. (Romans11:32)

Huh?  Give you a headache?  Yeah—me, too!  I can understand why, after all those mind-teasing theologies, Paul exclaims,

“No one can explain the things God decides or understand his ways.”
(Romans 11:33, NCV)

Yes, there is a whole lot more to God that we don’t understand than what we do understand! So if you ever run into someone who thinks and talks like they’ve got God all figured out, know this: They are an egghead!  The truth is, when you delve into some of these deep and mysterious truths, it can get a little intimidating, if not downright scary and unsettling. But here is a rule of thumb when you get to stuff like this and you are a little overwhelmed:

You can always trust God!

God is good, all the time—you can take that to the bank!  And although he is too deep to always explain himself to us, we can be assured that he is too kind to ever be cruel and too wise to ever make a mistake.  I like how the Message translates these verses on the mysterious ways of God—I think they not only shed some needed light on this matter, but they gift us with a whole lot of comfort as well:

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God,
this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.
Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough
to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge
favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes
from him; Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

Having trouble figuring God out? I get you!  But here’s what I’m committed to; what I’m staking my whole eternity on: Everything ends up in him…always glory…always praise!

I’d encourage you to go with that, too!

“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that
bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. ”
~Mark Twain

This Week’s Assignment:

Read: Romans 11:1-36

Memorize: Romans 11:33,

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!

For Your Consideration: There are several things in this chapter (as well as throughout Romans) that might leave you scratching your head.  For hundreds of years, theologians and laymen alike have debated “election” versus “free will” with no clear resolution to the debate.  Likewise, certain statements are made by the Bible’s human authors that seem to run against the grain of what we know to be true about God, such as the one in Romans 11:32, “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”  Do you think there are some things in Scripture that we should just chalk up to Romans 11:33?

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