One of the most humbling truths about God is that he is incomprehensible; he is not able to be fully or exhaustively known by us.
In Psalm 145:3, David praises the Lord for his incomprehensibility:
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”
Not only is the Lord unable to be fully understood by us, but each of his attributes like love, justice, and faithfulness, are also incomprehensible.
Our Response to the Incomprehensibility of God
It would be easy for us to become frustrated by our inability to know God fully. However, this is an incorrect reaction to God’s incomprehensibility. Instead, there are major implications that this truth should have for us as Christians.
Humility Leads Us To Trust
First, we should be humbled by God’s incomprehensibility. Like many biblical writers, we should respond to this truth with reverent praise and thanksgiving. We serve a God whose character is far beyond that of any human.
Isaiah 55:8-9 shows the deep distinction between humans and God:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
This verse should be a comfort to us as Christ-followers. Whenever we are unsure of the work God is doing in our lives, let us remember we serve a God unbound by human limitations. We ought to surrender our lives to him who is high above our circumstances.
React with Reverence
In addition to responding with humility, we should respond to God’s incomprehensibility with a sense of wonder. This awe should get us to the point where we don’t see God as a mountain to climb, but rather as a person to know.
A powerful example of this is seen in the passion of a faithful pastor whose wisdom is evident in the wrinkles in his skin and the whiteness of his hair. He has a youthful energy and passion for knowing Christ and teaching his Word to others. Seeing a pastor like this preach zealously week after week proves the incomprehensibility of God. God’s incomprehensibility fuels him as he continuously tries to seek out more truth about God’s character.
Find Joy in God’s Infinitude
In addition to responding to God’s incomprehensibility with wonder, we need to respond with joy. Learn to delight in the fact that we will always have more to learn about our glorious creator.
The joyful attitude we should strive for is clear in Romans 11:33-34:
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
Desire to Know More About God
Knowing certain truths about God should be one of the central desires in our Christian life. What we can know about God’s character is precious, personal, and sufficient.
In Philippians 3:10, Paul states his great aim in the Christian life:
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
Knowing God Deepens Your Ability to Love God
Paul’s desire should be the desire of all of us. Our reverence toward the incomprehensibility of God should drive us to pursue the truths we can know about His character. Discovering these truths comes through devoted prayer and Bible study.
Theologian Erik Thoennes illustrates the intrinsic relationship between knowledge and love of God in his book, Life’s Biggest Questions when he says:
“Good lovers are students of the Beloved.”
As you study God and unearth more truths about him, be humbled by his incomprehensibility and motivated by his knowability. At the end of your life, may you be able to echo the words of Hilary of Poitiers:
“The perfection of learning is to know God in such a way that, though you realize he is knowable, you know him as indescribable.”