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Israel's Election by God
Israel's Rejection of God
God's Ways Higher
God Not Rejecting Israel
depth of the
both of the
ways ! (NASB:
Amplified: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His
decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His
ways (His methods, His paths)! (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
ESV: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (ESV)
ICB: Yes, God's riches are very great! God's wisdom and knowledge have
no end! No one can explain the things God decides. No one can
understand God's ways. (ICB:
NIV: Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How
unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (NIV
NKJV: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of
God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
NLT: Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and
wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his
decisions and his methods! (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: Frankly, I stand amazed at the unfathomable
complexity of God's wisdom and God's knowledge. How could man ever
understand his reasons for action, or explain his methods of working? (Phillips:
Wuest: O the depth of the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of
God. How unsearchable are His judgments, and how untraceable the paths
Young's Literal: O depth of riches, and wisdom and knowledge of God! how
unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways! (Eerdmans)
Summary on the Attributes of God
Spurgeon on the Attributes of God
Israel of God - Is God "Finished"
with Israel in His prophetic plan?
Off Site - Table
Comparing/contrasting Israel & Church
Off Site - Does the Church Fulfill
Israel's Program? - John Walvoord
The Jewish People, Jesus Christ and World History
- S Lewis Johnson
Are you confused about God's plan for Israel?
Then I highly recommend Tony
12 Hour Course on Romans 9-11
in which he addresses in depth the question of What
Will Happen to Israel?
or see the individual lectures below)
Romans 9:1-5 Paul's Sorrow Concerning Israel
Children of the Promise
The Potter and the Clay
A Remnant Will be Saved
The Righteousness of God
Has Israel Not Heard?
God Has Not Cast Away The Jews
Life from the Dead
Two Olive Trees
The Salvation of Israel
Note that when you click the
preceding links, each link will in turn give you several choices
including an Mp3 message and brief transcript notes. The Mp3's
are long (avg 70+ min) but are in depth and thoroughly Scriptural with
many quotations from the Old Testament, which is often much less well
understood than the NT by many in the church today. Garland takes a
literal approach to Scripture, and his love for the Jews and passion to
see them saved comes through very clearly in these 12 hours of teaching!
Take your home Bible Study group through this series if you dare. Take
notes on the tapes as the transcripts are a very abbreviated version of
the audio messages. This course is highly recommended for all who love
Israel! I think you will agree that Tony Garland, despite coming to
faith after age 30 as an engineer, clearly has been given a special
anointing by God to promulgate the truth concerning Israel and God's
glorious future plan for the Jews. Garland has also produced more than
20 hours of superb audio teaching in his verse by verse commentary on
depth transcripts also available) which will unravel (in a way you did
not think was possible considering the plethora of divergent
interpretations) God's final message of the triumph and return of the
our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords! Maranatha!
OH, THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES BOTH OF THE WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: O
bathos ploutou kai sophias kai gnoseos theou: (Psalms 107:8-43;
Proverbs 25:3; Ephesians 3:18) (Ro 2:4; 9:23; Ephesians 1:7; 2:7;
3:8,10,16; Colossians 1:27; 2:2,3)
has the following thoughts on the riches of God...
remember well being taken one day to see a gorgeous palace at Venice,
where every piece of furniture was made with most exquisite taste, and
of the richest material, where statues and pictures of enormous price
abounded on all hands, and the floor of each room was paved with
mosaics of marvellous art, and extraordinary value. As I was shown
from room to room, and allowed to roam amid the treasures by its
courteous owner, I felt a considerable timidity, I was afraid to sit
anywhere, nor did I hardly dare to put down my foot, or rest my hand
to lean. Everything seemed to be too good for ordinary mortals like
myself; but when one is introduced into the gorgeous palace of
infinite goodness, costlier and fairer far, one gazes wonderingly with
reverential awe at the matchless vision. "How excellent is Thy
lovingkindness, O God!" "I am not worthy of the least of all thy
benefits. Oh! the depths of the love and goodness of the Lord." —
Feathers for Arrows
Our riches are beyond
the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side the
river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts, and
urge us onward. Truly is it said of us, "Happy art thou, O Israel; who
is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord?" — Morning and Evening
Weigh the riches of
Christ in scales, and His treasure in balances, and then think to
count the treasures which belong to the saints. Reach the bottom of
Christ's sea of joy, and then hope to understand the bliss which God
hath prepared for them that love Him. Overleap the boundaries of
Christ's possessions, and then dream of a limit to the fair
inheritance of the elect. "All things are yours, for ye are Christ's
and Christ is God's." — Morning and Evening
Will you take Jesus and "dwell
in Him?" See, this house is furnished with all you want, it is filled
with riches more than you will spend as long as you live. Here
you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on His love;
here are tables well-stored with food for you to live on for ever; in
it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look
out and see heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah! if you are
houseless, you will say, "I should like to have the house; but may I
have it?" Yes; there is the key--the key is, "Come to Jesus." "But,"
you say, "I am too shabby for such a house." Never mind; there are
garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though
the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for
the house by-and-by. He will wash you and cleanse you, and you will
yet be able to sing, "We dwell in Him." Believer: thrice happy art
thou to have such a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged thou art, for
thou hast a "strong habitation" in which thou art ever safe. And
"dwelling in Him," thou hast not only a perfect and secure house, but
an everlasting one. When this world shall have melted like a dream,
our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than marble, more
solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God Himself--"We
dwell in Him." — Morning and Evening
The riches of His goodness
are unsearchable; thou shalt never be able to tell them out or even
conceive them. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ! Shall such a
love as this have half our hearts? Shall it have a cold love in
return? Shall Jesus' marvellous lovingkindness and tender care meet
with but faint response and tardy acknowledgment? O my soul, tune thy
harp to a glad song of thanksgiving! Go to thy rest rejoicing, for
thou art no desolate wanderer, but a beloved child, watched over,
cared for, supplied, and defended by thy Lord. — Morning and Evening
Better have God for your
guardian, than the Bank of England for your possession. You might
spend the wealth of the Indies, but the infinite riches of God
you can never exhaust. — Morning and Evening
Other riches always bring
attendant griefs: none but the Lord's roses are without thorns. — The
All the riches of divine
grace you shall receive in plenty; you shall be as it were
drenched with it: and as sometimes the meadows become flooded by the
bursting rivers, and the fields are turned into pools, so shall you
be--the thirsty land shall be springs of water. — Morning and Evening
Blessed are the poor in
spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," with all its riches
and treasures. The whole exchequer of God shall be made over by deed
of gift to the soul which is humble enough to be able to receive it
without growing proud because of it. God blesses us all up to the full
measure and extremity of what it is safe for Him to do. If you do not
get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If
our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in
His holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting
with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low
for your own safety. When a man is sincerely humble, and never
ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely
any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be
blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with
our fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden.
This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of life, and you
will find an improvement in every case. Whether it be prayer or
praise, whether it be work or suffering, the genuine salt of humility
cannot be used in excess. — Morning and Evening
It is our own fault if we make
not free with the riches of our God. Then, since thou hast such
a friend, and He invites thee, draw from Him daily. Never want whilst
thou hast a God to go to; never fear or faint whilst thou hast God to
help thee; go to thy treasure and take whatever thou needest--there is
all that thou canst want. Learn the divine skill of making God all
things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, He can
be to thee instead of all. Let me urge thee, then, to make use of thy
God. Make use of Him in prayer. Go to Him often, because He is thy
God. O, wilt thou fail to use so great a privilege? Fly to Him, tell
Him all thy wants. Use Him constantly by faith at all times. If some
dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a "sun;" if some
strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a "shield," for He is a
sun and shield to His people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes
of life, use Him as a "guide," for He will direct thee. Whatever thou
art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest,
and just where thou wantest, and that He can do all thou wantest. —
Morning and Evening
Let us make daily use of our
riches, and ever repair to Him as to our own Lord in covenant,
taking from Him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men
take money from their own purse. — Morning and Evening
Fulness of riches is in Thee!
From Thee all mercies spring:
And grace and love, divine and free,
And power enlivening.
Out of the deep of every heart,
Let praise to Thee ascend:
Till Thou to heaven shalt us translate,
Where praises never end!
Frederic Louis Godet wrote
Like a traveller who has reached the
summit of an Alpine ascent, the apostle turns and contemplates. Depths
are at his feet, but waves of light illumine them, and there spreads all
around an immense horizon which his eye commands. The plan of God in the
government of mankind spreads out before him, and he expresses the
feelings of admiration and gratitude with which the prospect fills his
Newell commented that...
The last four verses are in the
nature of a doxology. The apostle's heart was filled with worship,
praise, and admiration as the full blaze of the divine plan fills the
horizon of his soul...Apart from revelation none can know God's mind,
just as no created being could ever be His counselor. No one ever earned
grace by first giving to Him in order to earn a blessing; but everything
is from Him, and through Him, and to Him, to Whom be glory forever.
(bathos from bathús = deep) literally describes a distance
below a surface and to the depth or a deep place. Figuratively bathos
describes a great or extreme degree of anything and as a quality in
relation to God it describes His inexhaustibility, His profundity, and
How great are Thy works, O LORD! Thy
thoughts are very deep. (Psalms 92:5)
(Spurgeon commenting on God's thoughts as very deep writes..."The
Lord's plans are as marvellous as his acts; his designs are as profound
as his doings are vast. Creation is immeasurable, and the wisdom
displayed in it unsearchable. Some men think but cannot work, and others
are mere drudges working without thought; in the Eternal the conception
and the execution go together. Providence is inexhaustible, and the
divine decrees which originate it are inscrutable. Redemption is grand
beyond conception, and the thoughts of love which planned it are
infinite. Man is superficial, God is inscrutable; man is shallow, God is
deep. Dive as we may we shall never fathom the mysterious plan, or
exhaust the boundless wisdom of the all comprehending mind of the Lord.
We stand by the fathomless sea of divine wisdom, and exclaim with holy
awe, "O the depth!" "
Bathos - 8v in NT - Matt.
13:5; Mk. 4:5; Lk. 5:4; Rom. 8:39; 11:33; 1 Co. 2:10; 2 Co. 8:2; Eph.
(ploutos from pletho = fill) can describe wealth, money,
possessions, or abundance. Here Paul is obviously not speaking of
worldly riches but of spiritual riches.
In Him (Christ) we have redemption
through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the
riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us (see notes
To me, the very least of all saints,
this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches
of Christ, (see note
Ploutos - 21x in NT - Matt.
13:22; Mk. 4:19; Lk. 8:14; Rom. 2:4; 9:23; 11:12, 33; 2 Co. 8:2; Eph.
1:7, 18; 2:7; 3:8, 16; Phil. 4:19; Col. 1:27; 2:2; 1Tim. 6:17; Heb.
11:26; Jas. 5:2; Rev. 5:12; 18:17
MacDonald sums up Paul's
concluding doxology as looking...
...back over the entire Epistle and
the divine wonders that have been unfolded. Paul has expounded the
marvelous plan of salvation by which a just God can save ungodly sinners
and still be just in doing so. He has shown how Christ’s work brought
more glory to God and more blessing to men than Adam lost through his
sin. He has explained how grace produces holy living in a way that law
could never do. He has traced the unbreakable chain of God’s purpose
from foreknowledge to eventual glorification. He has set forth the
doctrine of sovereign election and the companion doctrine of human
responsibility. And he has traced the justice and harmony of God’s
dispensational dealings with Israel and the nations. Now nothing could
be more appropriate than to burst forth in a hymn of praise and worship.
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course
of action, based on knowledge and understanding.
God alone possesses wisdom in
the absolute sense for
with Him are wisdom and might.
To Him belong counsel and understanding. (Job 12:13).
strikes many in the modern world as an "abstract" idea, one which is
difficult to define practically. Biblical wisdom however is to the
contrary imminently practical, representing in its essence the practical
skill for living successfully. Wisdom is the ability to judge correctly
and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and
understanding. As discussed below God Alone is the Source of this
quality of wisdom, quite different from the best wisdom of fallen men.
James describes men's
"not that which comes down from
above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish
ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing." This wisdom he
contrasts the wisdom of God which is "from above (and) is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits,
unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness
is sown in peace by those who make peace." (Js
3:15-18) This godly wisdom is made available to godless men
through the God-Man, Christ Jesus.
Paul, in describing the
gospel, wrote that
"the word of the cross is to those
who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the
power of God.19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of
the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is
the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this
age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since
in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to
know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message
preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs, and
Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews
a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the
called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom
of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the
weakness of God is stronger than men." (1Cor
Paul adds that
we do speak wisdom among those
who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the
rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom
in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the
ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this
age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have
crucified the Lord of glory;" (1Cor
How is God's Omniscience (knows
all things) compared to the Wisdom of God? In M H Smith's Systematic
Theology we read that
Along with omniscience God is said to
be all–wise. The distinction between knowledge and wisdom is
recognized in most languages. They are rooted in different capacities of
the soul. The source of knowledge is study; of wisdom,
discernment. Knowledge is discursive, wisdom intuitive. Knowledge
is theoretical; wisdom practical, teleological; it makes
knowledge subservient to an end. Knowledge is a matter of the mind apart
from the will; wisdom is a matter of the mind made subservient to
J I Packer says that...
God’s wisdom is seen in His works of creation, preservation and
redemption: it is His choice of His own glory as His goal (Ps 46:10;
Isa. 42:8; 48:11), and His decision to achieve it first by creating a
marvelous variety of things and people (Ps. 104:24; Pr 3:19, 20), second
by kindly providences of all sorts (Ps 145:13, 14, 15, 16; Acts 14:17),
and third by the redemptive “wisdom” of “Christ crucified” (1Co
1:18-2:16) and the resultant world church (Ep 3:10). (J. I. Packer
God's wisdom is infinite,
unsearchable, incomparable, and invincible. (See related topics:
Related Resources on Wisdom of
Attributes of God - The Wisdom of
God, part 1 - by Dr S Lewis Johnson
The Knowledge and Wisdom of God, part
2 - Recommended
Resource - includes Mp3,
Pdf or MS Word document. This is only one study out of over 100 in depth
lectures by Dr Johnson on Systematic Theology including studies of the
doctrines of God, Christ, the Spirit, Prayer, Salvation, etc. (click
for this extensive list)
The Wisdom of God
Bob Deffinbaugh, Th.M.
The Wisdom of God
by Stephen Charnock
Of the Wisdom of God
by John Gill
The Wisdom of God - Mp3
by Jerry Bridges
The Wisdom of God
by A.W. Tozer
Paul writes to the Colossian
saints that in Christ...
are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (see note
Arthur W. Pink wrote
God is omniscient. He knows
everything: everything possible, everything actual; all events, all
creatures, of the past, the present, and the future. (See related
Godet comments that Paul's
This depth is rich, not in darkness,
but in light; it is a depth both of wisdom and knowledge. —The two
kai , both...and ..., have the disjunctive sense; they
distinguish the two following substantives very precisely, however
closely allied their meaning may be. The second, gnosis,
knowledge , refers especially in the context to divine foreknowledge
, and in general to the complete view which God has of all the free
determinations of men, whether as individuals or as nations. The former,
sophia, wisdom , denotes the admirable skill with which
God weaves into His plan the free actions of man, and transforms them
into so many means for the accomplishment of the excellent end which He
set originally before Him.
Tozer commenting on the riches
of God to His children writes...
So there we are—and as Christians, we
are not only rich but nobly rich! Rich with riches which need no
apology. Riches which have no taint of having come to us through defiled
hands. I wonder when we will begin to behave and to live on the level of
our spiritual riches instead of acting like poverty-stricken creatures
trying to crawl under a leaf so we will not be seen? Let's let the world
know how rich we really are! Let's tell it—we are being kept by the
power of God unto an inheritance reserved in heaven for us! That is the
full-time business of the child of God! — Renewed Day by Day
Christian theology teaches that God
in His essential nature is both inscrutable and ineffable. By simple
definition this means that He is incapable of being searched into or
understood, and that He cannot tell forth or utter what He is.
This inability lies not in God but in
the limitations of our creaturehood: "Why inquirest thou after my name,
for it is secret?"
Only God knows God in any final
meaning of the word know: "Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but
the Spirit of God."
God in His essential Being is unique
in the only sense that word will bear. That is, there is nothing like
Him in the universe. What He is cannot be conceived by the mind because
He is "altogether other" than anything with which we have had experience
before. The mind has no material with which to start. No man has ever
entertained a thought which can be said to describe God in any but the
vaguest and most imperfect sense. Where God is known at all it must be
otherwise than by our creature-reason.
In a famed treatise on the Trinity
written in the third century, Novatian said: "Every possible statement
that can be made about God expresses some possession or virtue of God,
rather than God Himself. The conception of God as He is can only be
grasped in one way—by thinking of Him as a Being whose attributes and
greatness are beyond our powers of understanding, or even of thought."—
Renewed Day by Day
HOW UNSEARCHABLE ARE HIS JUDGMENTS: os anexerauneta ta krimata autou:
(Job 5:9; 9:10; 11:7-9; 26:14; 33:13; 37:19,23; Psalms 36:6; 40:5;
77:19; Psalms 92:5; Daniel 4:35)
from a = without +
= out + eraunao = to search or examine] = search out, focusing on the
intellectual aspect of the search) literally means "not searched out"
and thus it signifies that which is impossible to search out or fully understand. Unsearchable,
unfathomable, inscrutable ( not readily investigated, interpreted, or
Robert Morey adds that...
The word anexerauneta is a
plural neuter of anexereunetos and is a combination of "a" plus
exereunao which means to search out or explore something until you
understand it. God’s judgments are inscrutable, i.e. you may
investigate all you want, but, in the end, you will have to throw your
hands up and admit defeat. God’s judgments are “incapable of being
investigated as to their grounds or reason.” (Morey, R. A. The
Trinity : Evidences and Issues. Iowa Falls, IA.: World Pub)
TDNT writes that...
This postclassical word means
“inscrutable” and is used in Romans 11:33 for the mystery of God's way
of judgment with Israel that leads to grace. The term implies that the
question of the meaning of this judgment cannot be given any theoretical
human answer. (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
For man is born for trouble, as
sparks fly upward. But as
for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God; Who
does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. (Job
Who does great things, unfathomable,
And wondrous works without number.
I love Job's picturesque description
of our matchless Lord as he asks rhetorically...
Behold, these are the fringes of
His ways; and how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty
thunder, who can understand? (NASB,
Yet these are but [a small part of
His doings] the outskirts of His ways or the mere fringes of His force,
the faintest whisper of His voice! Who dares contemplate or who
can understand the thunders of His full, magnificent power? (Amplified,
Although Job's detractors were far
from kind to suffering Job, one of them, Zophar, does give eloquent
testimony of the Most High God declaring...
"Can you discover the depths of God?
Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? They are high as the
heavens, what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol, what can you know? Its measure is longer than the
earth, and broader than the sea. (Job
Elihu another of Job's friends
Touching the Almighty, we cannot find
Him out; He is excellent in power; and to justice and plenteous
righteousness He does no violence [He will disregard no right]. [Our finite brains cannot figure out His judgments and why even though
they might not be clear to us, they are perfectly just and holy judgments.
The psalmist declares that...
Clouds and thick darkness surround
Him. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. (Psalms
C S Lewis wrote that
Amiable agnostics will talk
cheerfully about ‘man’s search for God.’ To me as I then was, they might
as well have talked about the man’s search for a cat. (Surprised by
AND UNFATHOMABLE HIS WAYS: kai anexichniastoi ai hodoi autou:
(anexichniastos from a = without + exichniázo =
explore, to trace out) means that which cannot be traced out, which is past finding out
and thus which is impossible to comprehend. It describes that which is
impossible of understanding by human minds. Fathomless.
Morey notes that...
The word anexichniastoi
is the nomative plural masculine of anexichniastos which is a
combination of a plus exichniázo
which is derived from ichnos
(footprint). Only used once in the New Testament (Ed: Not true - see
Eph 3:8 below), it is found in the
in Job 5:9; 9:10; 13:24. It
offers a striking figure of speech. When following someone in the
desert, all you have to do is to trace their footprints in the sand.
From their footprints, you can discover where they came from and where
they are. But, when it comes to the ways of God, there are no
footprints in the sand. You must throw up your hands in defeat and
say, “God’s path is untraceable!” Dr. Randy Yeager comments
God’s thoughts, His philosophy,
the rationale behind His decrees defy human analysis. The hiss of the
serpent can be discerned unmistakenable in the effort to find a theology
that man can understand in all of its parts. Unregenerate philosophers
and theologians would never write what Paul has written here, and they
are contemptuous of what he has written. Their theology is clear to them
because it is the product of their own intellectual creation. (Morey,
R. A. The Trinity : Evidences and Issues. Iowa Falls, IA.: World Pub)
The only other NT use of
is also by Paul in Ephesians 3 where he writes that...
To me, the very least of all
saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable
riches of Christ (See note
(See related topic:
Do You Not
He has made everything
appropriate (KJV = beautiful) in its time. He has also set eternity in
their heart (Amplified = [a divinely implanted
sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun
but God alone can satisfy]), yet so that man will not find out (NIV =
fathom) the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
F L Godet comments that...
These two orders (God's judgments and
ways) of things are characterized by the most extraordinary epithets
which the most pliant of languages can furnish: anexereunetos, what cannot be searched to the bottom; anexichniastos"
, the traces of which cannot be followed to the end. The former of these
epithets applies to the supreme principle which the mind seeks to
approach, but which it does not reach; the latter to an abundance of
ramifications and of details in execution which the understanding cannot
follow to the end. These epithets are often quoted with the view of
demonstrating the incomprehensibility to man of the divine decrees, and
in particular of that of predestination (Aug.). But it must not be
forgotten that St. Paul's exclamation is called forth, not by the
obscurity of God's plans, but, on the contrary, by their dazzling
clearness. If they are incomprehensible and unfathomable, it is to man's
natural understanding, and until they have been revealed; but, says the
apostle, 1 Cor. 2:10. “God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for
the Spirit searcheth ( ereuna ) all things, even the deep things (ta
bathe) of God.” It is therefore in view of the unveiled mystery that the
exclamation is raised, as is done by Paul here: “O the depth of the
riches!” A fact which does not prevent the mind which understands them
in part from having always to discover in them new laws or applications.
John Piper comments that...
"Education about God precedes and serves exultation in God.
Learning truth precedes loving truth. Right reflection on God precedes
right affection for God. Seeing the glory of Christ precedes savoring
the glory of Christ. Good theology is the foundation of great doxology.
Knowledge is utterly crucial. But it is not an end in itself. It serves
faith and love. And if it doesn't, it only puffs up, as Paul says in
1Co8:1.Where education does not produce heartfelt exultation in God, it
degenerates into proud intellectualism. And where exultation is not
sustained and shaped by solid Biblical education, it degenerates into
proud emotionalism. God means to be known and loved. Seen and savored.
Pondered and praised. " (Sermon)
addressing God's "unfathomable...
ways" writes that...
it is clear from Scripture that
nothing God ever planned interferes with human responsibility. Nothing
God has ever said will happen in any way infringes on our free will or
choice. We are free to make choices. We know it. We feel ourselves free
to decide to do this or that, to do good or bad. Nothing God ever plans
interferes with that freedom of human choice. And yet the amazing thing
is that nothing humans ever do can frustrate God's sovereign plan. Isn't
that amazing? How can you explain that? No matter what we do, whether we
choose this or that with the freedom of choice we have, ultimately it
all works out to accomplish what God has determined shall be done. That
is the kind of God we have. Paul is not only impressed with God's
inscrutable wisdom and ways, but he contrasts it with the impotence of
man. He asks three very searching questions. If you have trouble with
this, try to answer his questions: His first one is, "Who has known the
mind of the Lord?" What he is asking is, "Who has ever anticipated what
God is going to do?" Have you? Have you ever been able to figure out how
God is going to handle the situations you get into? Oh, we all try, but
it never turns out quite the way we think it will, does it? There is a
little twist to it that we never could have guessed. (Our
Great and Glorious God)
J. B. Phillips wrote a book a number of years ago entitled
Your God Is Too Small exposing views of God that we all
hold to that are woefully inadequate. The "Cosmic Policeman"- the view
of God that he is standing around every corner just waiting for us to
slip up with respect to the law. Or the "indulgent old man" - a little
senile but very friendly, or the "frantic manager" - he’s got sweat on
his brow because the world is such a mess and he is trying to hold it
all together, or the "parental hangover" - all the warts and scars in
your parent’s lives that you project unto God. Every single one of us
here this morning has skewed views of God. Views of God that are skewed
because of our background, and our experiences or perhaps just simply
because of our ignorance. And we don’t realize that we are actually
worshipping an idol. Much of our lives and much of our time is spent
worshipping a figment of our own imaginations and what we fail to
realize is that God exists independently of our views of him. The God
who is there exists as he is regardless of our woefully, inadequate
views of him. And our goal as Christians ought to be to bring our
understanding of God in line with the truth of who he really is.
Henry G Bosch writes the
following devotional entitled "God's Ways" in Our Daily Bread...
After Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-16) had
experienced some especially trying times, the Lord told him to flee to
Zarephath where he could find food and shelter. Imagine Elijah's
surprise when he discovered that the widow who was to provide for him
was extremely poor! In fact, she expected that she and her son would
soon die of starvation.
How often God delights to astonish us by the wonder of His ways! Our
limited understanding of Him can be likened to a fly crawling on one of
the great pillars of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. What does that tiny
insect know about the architect's magnificent design? It sees only the
little space of stone on which it moves. The beautiful carvings and
ornamental work seem like towering mountains and deep valleys that only
impede progress and obscure the view.
We as Christians often see only our immediate circumstances and perceive
but a glimmer of God's marvelous purpose. The obstacles that block our
vision and get in the way of our plans are actually part of the
beautiful designs of divine grace.
Our heavenly Father knows exactly
what He is doing. Although His ways are unsearchable, He assures us that
all will work out for our good if we trust Him. (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
God's ways and judgments baffle those
Who do not see His perfect plan;
But those who trust His saving grace,
With wonder all His actions scan!-- H G B
God may conceal the purpose of His
ways, but His ways are not without purpose.
There was an article in Psychology Today several years ago that noted
that in spite of the claims that our society has become Godless,
ninety-five percent of the representative sample said that actually
believed in God. What has changed are not people’s affirmations of God,
but their belief about him. The study asked these people what they
thought about God by asking them several questions concerning what God
was like and giving an option of answers. The conclusion of the study
was that people had images of God today that are totally different than
how the Bible portrays him.
The hymn, "Lord, My Weak
Thought in Vain Would Climb", by Ray Palmer puts into verse the
essence of Romans 11:33 (play
Lord, my weak
thought in vain would climb
To search the starry vault profound;
In vain would wing her flight sublime
To find creation’s utmost bound.
But weaker yet that thought must prove
To search Thy great eternal plan,
Thy sovereign counsels, born of love
Long ages ere the world began.
When my dim reason would demand
Why that, or this, Thou dost ordain,
By some vast deep I seem to stand,
Whose secrets I must ask in vain.
When doubts disturb my troubled breast,
And all is dark as night to me,
Here, as on solid rock, I rest—
That so it seemeth good to Thee.
Be this my joy, that evermore
Thou rulest all things at Thy will;
Thy sovereign wisdom I adore,
And calmly, sweetly, trust Thee still.
was working even though nothing was
happening on the screen. The manufacturer's representative on the help
hotline said, "No problem. The computer is probably running an
application you can't see and is working in the background."
As I thought about the phrase "working in the background," I began to
realize how visually oriented I am in my relationship with God. If I
can't see something, I assume it's not happening. But that's not the way
I see a striking example of God's "behind the scenes" work in the
conversion of Saul. While Christians were suffering under his ruthless
persecution (Acts 8:1-3), God was preparing to transform him into a
dynamic representative of Christ (9:15).
Is there a situation in your life today where you cannot see God
working? It may be that your circumstances are resisting every attempt
at change. Perhaps someone you love is obstinately refusing to respond
to God. Even though it may appear that nothing is happening, God is at
work--behind the scenes, in the background, accomplishing His purpose. —
David C. McCasland
Behind my life the Weaver stands
And works His wondrous will;
I leave it in His all-wise hands
And trust His perfect skill. --Anon.
In the drama of life,
God is the director behind the scenes.
MIND OF THE
COUNSELOR ? (NASB:
Amplified: For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has
understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor? (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
ESV: "For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?" (ESV)
ICB: As the Scripture says, "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has
been able to give the Lord advice?" Isaiah 40: 13 (ICB:
NIV: "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his
NKJV: "For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His
NLT: For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be
his counselor? (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: For: 'Who has
known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become his counsellor?' ' (Phillips:
Wuest: for whoever knew the Lord’s mind? or who became His counsellor?
Young's Literal: for who did know the mind of the Lord? or who did become His counsellor?
FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD
OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR: tis gar egno (3SAAI) noun kuriou e tis sumboulos autou egeneto
(3SAMI): (Job 15:8;
36:22; Isaiah 40:13; Jeremiah 23:18; 1Corinthians 2:16)
first question contrasts the always limited knowledge of man with the
infinite knowledge of God. No created being can know
the mind of the Lord, except to the extent that He chooses to reveal it. No one is qualified to
advise God. God is so wise that He does not need our counsel, and would
not profit by it any
In Jeremiah we hear the
But who has stood in the council of
the LORD, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to
His word and listened? (Jeremiah 23:18)
The psalmist declares...
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders
which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to
compare with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They would be
too numerous to count. (Psalm
Spurgeon has these words on
Many, O Lord my God, are thy
wonderful works which thou hast done. Creation, providence, and
redemption, teem with wonders as the sea with life. Our special
attention is called by this passage to the marvels which cluster around
the cross and flash from it. The accomplished redemption achieves many
ends, and compasses a variety of designs; the outgoings of the atonement
are not to be reckoned up, the influences of the cross reach further
than the beams of the sun. Wonders of grace beyond all enumeration take
their rise from the cross; adoption, pardon, justification, and a long
chain of godlike miracles of love proceed from it. Note that our Lord
here speaks of the Lord as "my God." The man Christ Jesus claimed for
himself and us a covenant relationship with Jehovah. Let our interest in
our God be ever to us our peculiar treasure.
And thy thoughts which are toward
us. The divine thoughts march with the divine acts, for it is not
according to God's wisdom to act without deliberation and counsel. All
the divine thoughts are good and gracious towards His elect. God's
thoughts of love are very many, very wonderful, very practical! Muse on
them, dear reader; no sweeter subject ever occupied your mind. God's
thoughts of you are many, let not yours be few in return.
They cannot be reckoned up in
order unto thee. Their sum is so great as to forbid alike analysis
and numeration. Human minds fail to measure, or to arrange in order, the
Lord's ways and thoughts; and it must always be so, for He hath said,
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than
your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." No maze to lose
oneself in like the labyrinth of love. How sweet to be outdone,
overcome and overwhelmed by the astonishing grace of the Lord our God!
If I would declare and speak
of them, and surely this should be the occupation of my tongue at all
seasonable opportunities, they are more than can be numbered; far
beyond all human arithmetic they are multiplied; thoughts from all
eternity, thoughts of my fall, my restoration, my redemption, my
conversion, my pardon, my upholding, my perfecting, my eternal reward;
the list is too long for writing, and the value of the mercies too great
for estimation. Yet, if we cannot show forth all the works of the Lord,
let us not make this an excuse for silence; for our Lord, Who is in this
our best example, often spake of the tender thoughts of the great
Who has directed the Spirit of
the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult
and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of
justice and taught Him knowledge, and informed Him of the way of
understanding (Isaiah 40:13-14)
Paul quotes Isaiah in 1
For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE
LORD, THAT HE SHOULD INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
King Nebuchadnezzar the
greatest earthly king of his day after being humbled and then returning
to his senses, blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him Who
lives forever and ever testifying that...
All the peoples of the earth are
regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and
the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?
(Amplified "What are you doing")" (Daniel 4:35)
Who became His counselor -
(sumboulos from sún = together + boule = counsel)
is an adviser. It is one who informs about a fact or situation
and/or recommends a course of action.
Godet says sumboulos
"denotes one who deliberates with another, and can communicate to him
something of his wisdom."
Godet observes that this
bears on the relation between human
and divine wisdom. It is no longer merely the discovery of the secrets
of God by the study of His works which is in question, but some good
counsel which man might have been called to give to the Creator in the
organizing of His plans.
The word sumboulos denotes one who deliberates with another, and
can communicate to him something of his wisdom. It is therefore a more
exalted position than that supposed by the previous question.
Today in the Word has
the following story entitled "Less
Alfonso X, the king of Castile and
Leon known as “Alfonso the Wise,” was particularly famous for his
patronage of the arts and sciences. The most celebrated work done under
Alfonso’s sponsorship was the compilation of the “Alfonsine Tables,”
which were published on the day of his ascension to the throne and
remained the most authoritative planetary tables in existence for three
centuries. The preparation of the tables was very laborious, and Alfonso
remarked that if God had consulted him during the six days of creation,
he would have recommended a less complicated design.
LIFT UP THYSELF, MY
by Allen W. Chatfield
O Mind immutable!
O Light inscrutable!
Thine is the eye that guides the lightning fire,
In Thee the ages live,
Thou dost their limits give,
Who can Thy praises reach, Eternal Sire?
Thou art beyond the dreams of men;
Beyond the reach of mind, or highest angel’s ken.
O’er all Thy rule is spread,
The living and the dead;
To minds that be, the parent Mind Thou art;
All Heav’n Thou dost control,
Thou nourishest the soul,
And dost to spirit energy impart,
The Spring Thou art whence all things flow;
And from eternity the Root whence all things grow. (play)
GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE
BACK TO HIM AGAIN? (NASB:
Amplified: Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid
back or that he could claim a recompense? (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
ESV: "Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?" (ESV)
ICB: "No one has ever given God anything that he must pay back." Job 41:11 (ICB:
NIV: "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" (NIV
NKJV: "Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?"
NLT: And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: ' 'Or who
has first given to him and it shall be repaid to him?' (Phillips:
Wuest: or who has previously given to Him and it will be
recompensed to him? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: or who did first give to Him, and it shall be given back to him
OR WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM
THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN: e tis proedoken (3SAAI) auto
(3SFPI) auto: (Job 35:7;
Matthew 20:15; 1Corinthians 4:7)
Isaiah 40:14 With whom did He
consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path
of justice and taught Him knowledge, And informed
Him of the way of understanding?
No one has ever made God
obligated to him. What gift of ours would ever put the Eternal in a
position where He had to repay?
"Who has ever given God something
that he didn't already have?" Who has put God in his debt? "Why,
everything we are and have comes from him. He gives to us; we don't give
to him." There is nothing we could give to God that He doesn't already
own or have in abundance.
As C. S. Lewis puts it,
"To argue with God is
to argue with the very
power that makes it possible to argue at all!"
Speaking to Job, Jehovah asks
his choice suffering servant...
Who has first given to Me, that
I should repay him? Whatever is
under the whole heavens is Mine. [Therefore, who can have a claim
against God, God Who made the unmastered crocodile?] (Amplified,
Thomas Constable comments
Job’s observation that God has
never needed to depend on human assistance that puts Him in man’s debt (Job
is also true. The fact
that God makes people His partners in executing His will in the world
does not mean that He cannot get along without us. He can. (Tom
Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible)
(antapodidomi) means to give back (as repaying an obligation - Lk
14:14) thus practicing reciprocity with respect to the obligation. In a
negative sense it means to take revenge, pay back, requite, exact
retribution or give punishment that is deserved (Ro 12:19, He 10:30 both
quoted from Deut 32:35).
Antapodidomi - 7 NT uses - Lk.
14:14; Rom. 11:35; 12:19; 1 Thess. 3:9; 2 Thess. 1:6; Heb. 10:30.
For from Him and
through Him and
to Him are
things. To Him
Amplified: For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For
all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live
through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to
end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it). (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
ESV: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To
him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV)
ICB: Yes, God made all things. And everything continues through God and
for God. To God be the glory forever! Amen. (ICB:
NIV: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be
the glory forever! Amen. (NIV
NKJV: For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be
glory forever. Amen.
NLT: For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and
is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To
him be the glory for ever, amen. (Phillips:
Because out from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To
Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: because of Him, and through Him, and to Him are the all things; to
Him is the glory -- to the ages. Amen.
FOR FROM HIM
AND THROUGH HIM AND TO HIM
ARE ALL THINGS: hoti ex autou kai di' autou kai eis auton ta panta:
(1Chronicles 29:11,12; Psalms 33:6;
Proverbs 16:4; Daniel 2:20, 21, 22, 23; 4:3,34; Matthew 6:13; Acts
17:25,26,28; 1Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Colossians
1:15, 16, 17; Revelation 21:6)
of this great doxology - the primary
focus which harmonizes with the Romans 9-11 is God’s great plan of
salvation through history, not just for Israel but for all mankind. And
thus it is only fitting that Paul ascribe glory to Him Who is the
Source, Accomplisher, and Goal of man’s salvation, now
and forevermore, world without end. Amen.
Henry Alford labeled this
“the sublimest apostrophe existing
even in the pages of inspiration itself.”
From Him means God is the
all-sufficient cause and source of everything. God is the Originator of
all things. All things come from Him.
Through Him means God is the
mighty sustainer and worker. All things depend on Him.
Paul wrote to the Colossians
extolling our Lord Jesus Christ declaring that....
For by Him all things were
created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have
been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and
in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the
church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that
He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the
Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through
Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the
blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or
things in heaven. (See notes
A W Tozer wrote that...
An elementary but correct way to
think of God is as the One Who contains all, Who gives all that is
given, but Who Himself can receive nothing that He has not first given.
(The Knowledge of the Holy)
Christ created all things, sustains all things and reconciles all things!
As R Kent Hughes reminds us...
"One second without God’s power and
everything would disappear!...Matter is not God, but God is in
everything, and nothing works or exists except through his might." (Hughes,
R. K. Romans: Righteousness from heaven. Preaching the Word. Crossway
Thomas Constable writes
God is the source from which all
things come, the means by which all things happen, and the goal toward
which all things are moving. He is the originator, sustainer, and
finisher of everything ultimately (cf.
Colossians 1:16). In view of all these
things (vv. 33–36), He deserves all glory forever. (Tom
Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible)
To Him means God must call
every creature to account to Him. All things flow toward God. He is the
end purpose. All things will find their culmination in God. He is the
reason why all things exist.
To help appreciate Paul's description
of all things from Him, through Him and to Him, read Chuck Swindoll's
description of our tiny solar system, keeping in mind Who it is all
Imagine a perfectly smooth glass
pavement on which the finest speck can be seen. Then shrink our sun from
865,00 miles in diameter to only two feet … and place the ball on the
pavement to represent the sun. Step off 83 paces (about two feet per
pace) and to represent proportionately the first planet, Mercury, put
down a tiny mustard seed. Take 60 steps more and for Venus, put an
ordinary BB. Mark 78 more steps … put down a green pea representing
Earth. Step off 108 paces from there, and for Mars put down a pinhead.
Sprinkle around some fine dust for the asteroids, then take 788 steps
more. For Jupiter, place an orange on the glass at that spot. After 934
more steps, put down a golf ball for Saturn. Now it gets really
involved. Mark 2,086 steps, and for Uranus … a marble. Another 2,322
steps from there you arrive at Neptune. Let a cherry represent Neptune.
This will take 2 1/2 miles, and we haven’t even discussed Pluto! If we
swing completely around, we have a smooth, glass surface five miles in
diameter, yet just a tiny fraction of the heavens—excluding Pluto. On
this surface, five miles across, we have only a seed, BB, pea, pinhead,
some dust, an orange, golf ball, a marble and a cherry. Guess how far
we’d have to go on the same scale before we could put down another
two-foot ball to represent the nearest star. Come on, guess. Seven
hundred paces? Two thousand steps more? Forty-four hundred feet? No,
you’re way off. We’d have to go 6,720 miles before we could arrive at
that star. Miles, not feet. And that’s just the first star among
millions. In one galaxy among perhaps hundreds, maybe thousands. And all
of it in perpetual motion, perfectly synchronized, the most accurate
timepiece known to man. (Swindoll, Chuck: Mind Under Matter.
Publication of the First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, California)
Consider the following simple study
- observe and record the wonderful truths that accrue
- this would make an edifying, easy to prepare Sunday School lesson - then
take some time to give thanks for these great truths by offering up a
sacrifice of praise...through Him.
[NIV reads "through Him"],
John 1:10, Jn 3:17, Jn 14:6, Acts 2:22, 3:16,
Acts 7:25, Acts 10:43, Acts 13:38, 39, Ro 5:9
Ro 11:36 [note];
1Co 8:6, Ep 2:18
[note], Php 4:13
Would you like more study on the
wonderful topic of through Him?
Study also the
NT uses of the parallel phrase through Jesus (or similar
phrases - "through Whom", "through our Lord", etc) - John 1:17, Acts 10:36,
Ro 1:4, 5-
note; Ro 1:8-note,
1Cor 15:57, 2Cor 1:5, 3:4, 5:18, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:5-note,
1Th 5:9-note; Titus 3:6-note,
He 2:10-note, Heb 13:21-note,
All things are
from Him, through Him and to Him. To Him be the glory forever.
TO HIM BE THE
GLORY FOREVER AMEN:
auto e doxa eis tous aionas; amen:
(Ro 16:27; Psalms 29:1,2; 96:7,8; 115:1; Isaiah 42:12; Luke 2:14; 19:38;
Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21; Philippians 4:20; 1Timothy 1:17; 6:16;
2Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 13:21; 1Peter 5:11; 2 Peter 3:18; Jude 1:25;
Revelation 1:5,6; 4:10,11; 5:12, 13, 14; 7:10; 19:1,6,7)
Spurgeon words on giving God
glory will surely move you to take a moment today and do so and then to
contemplate how you might live your life daily to His glory. Herein is a
powerful devotional exhortation (read
also his preceding words on doctrine which prompted such devotion)
from one of God's sweetest singers...
I think that this sentence
should be the prayer, the motto for every one of us- “To whom be glory
for ever, Amen.”
To whom be glory for ever.
This should be the single desire of the Christian. I take it that he
should not have twenty wishes, but only one. He may desire to see his
family well brought up, but only that -
To God may be
glory for ever.
He may wish for prosperity in
his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this-
To whom be glory for ever.
He may desire to attain more
gifts and more graces, but it should only be that To him may be
glory for ever.
This one thing I know,
Christian, you are not acting as you ought to do when you are moved by
any other motive than the one motive of your Lord’s glory. As a
Christian, you are of God, and through God, I pray you be
to God. Let nothing ever set your heart beating but love to Him.
Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of every
enterprise upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive
whenever your zeal would grow chill-only, only make God your object.
Depend upon it, where self
begins sorrow begins; but if God be my supreme delight and only
“To me ’tis
equal whether love ordain
My life or death-appoint me ease or pain.”
To me there shall be no choice,
when my eye singly looks to God’s glory, whether I shall be torn in
pieces by wild beasts or live in comfort-whether I shall be full of
despondency or full of hope. If God be glorified in my mortal body,
my soul shall rest content.
Again, let it be our constant
desire, To him be glory. When I wake up in the morning, O, let
my soul salute her God with gratitude.
lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praises to the eternal King.
hymn "Awake My Soul and with the Sun)
At my work behind the counter,
or in the exchange, let me be looking out to see how I may glorify Him.
If I be walking in the fields, let my desire be that the trees may clap
their hands in His praise. May the sun in His march shine out the
Master’s glory, and the stars at night reflect His praise. It is yours,
brethren, to put a tongue into the mouth of this dumb world, and make
the silent beauties of creation praise their God. Never be silent when
there are opportunities, and you shall never be silent for want of
At night fall asleep still
praising your God; as you close your eyes let your last thought be,
“How sweet to rest upon the Savior’s bosom!”
In afflictions praise Him; out
of the fires let your song go up; on the sick-bed extol Him; dying, let
Him have your sweetest notes. Let your shouts of victory in the combat
with the last great enemy be all for Him; and then when you have
burst the bondage of mortality, and come into the freedom of
immortal spirits, then, in a nobler, sweeter song, you shall sing unto
His praise. Be this, then, your constant thought- To him be glory for
Let this be your earnest
thought. Do not speak of God’s glory with cold words, nor think of it
with chilly heart, but feel,
I must praise him; if I cannot
praise him where I am, I will break through these narrow bonds, and get
where I can.
Sometimes you will feel that you
long to be disembodied that you may praise Him as the immortal spirits
do. I must praise Him. Bought by His precious blood, called by His
Spirit, I cannot hold my tongue. My soul, canst thou be dumb and dead? I
must praise Him. Stand back, O flesh; avaunt, ye fiends; away, ye
troubles; I must sing, for should I refuse to sing, sure the very stones
I hope, dear friends, whilst
thus earnest your praise will also be growing. Let there be growing
desire to praise Him of Whom and through Him are all things. You blessed
Him in your youth, do not be content with such praises as you gave Him
then. Has God prospered you in business? give Him more as He has given
you more. Has God given you experience? O, praise Him by better faith
than you exercised at first. Does your knowledge grow? Oh! then you can
sing more sweetly. Do you have happier times than you once had? Have you
been restored from sickness, and has your sorrow been turned into peace
and joy? Then give Him more music; put more coals in your censer, more
sweet frankincense, more of the sweet cane bought with money. Oh! to
serve Him every day, lifting up my heart from Sabbath to Sabbath, till I
reach the ever-ending Sabbath! Reaching from sanctification to
sanctification, from love to love, from strength to strength, till I
appear before my God!
In closing, let me urge you
to make this desire practical. If you really glorify God, take care
to do it not with lip-service, which dies away in the wind, but with
solid homage of daily life.
Praise Him by your patience in
pain, by your perseverance in duty, by your generosity in his cause, by
your boldness in testimony, by your consecration to His work; praise
him, my dear friends, not only this morning in what you do for Him in
your offerings, but praise Him every day by doing something for God in
all sorts of ways, according to the manner in which He has been pleased
to bless you.
I wish I could have spoken
worthily on such a topic as this, but a dull, heavy headache sits upon
me, and I feel that a thick gloom overshadows my words, out of which I
look with longing, but cannot rise. For this I may well grieve, but
nevertheless God the Holy Ghost can work the better through our
weakness, and if you will try and preach the sermon to yourselves, my
brethren, you will do it vastly better than I can; if you will
upon this text this afternoon,
“Of him, through Him, and to Him are all things,” I am sure you will
be led to fall on your knees with the apostle, and say, “To Him be
glory for ever;” and then you will rise up, and practically in your
life, give Him honor, putting the “Amen” to this doxology by your own
individual service of your great and gracious Lord. May He give a
blessing now, and accept your thank-offering through Christ Jesus. (Romans
11:36 Laus Deo or Duo (sermon) (Pdf)
To Him be the glory...indeed
1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
2 Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
3 Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!
I love J Vernon McGee's
comment on this last phrase...
"To whom be glory”—the glory
belongs to Him in all ages. Are we robbing God of His glory by taking
credit for things we have no business
to claim? The glory belongs to Him. Oh, my friend, what a section of
Scripture we have been in, and we leave it reluctantly." (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson
C H Spurgeon writes the
following devotional on Romans 11:36...
“To whom be glory for ever.
Amen” — Romans 11:36
“To whom be glory for ever.” This should be the single desire of the
Christian. All other wishes must be subservient and tributary to this
one. The Christian may wish for prosperity in his business, but only so
far as it may help him to promote this—“To him be glory for ever.” He
may desire to attain more gifts and more graces, but it should only be
that “To him may be glory for ever.” You are not acting as you ought to
do when you are moved by any other motive than a single eye to your
Lord’s glory. As a Christian, you are “of God, and through God,” then
live “to God.” Let nothing ever set your heart beating so mightily as
love to him. Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of
every enterprise upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive
whenever your zeal would grow chill; make God your only object. Depend
upon it, where self begins sorrow begins; but if God be my supreme
delight and only object,
“To me ’tis equal whether love
My life or death—appoint me ease or pain.”
Let your desire for God’s glory
be a growing desire. You blessed him in your youth, do not be content
with such praises as you gave him then. Has God prospered you in
business? Give him more as he has given you more. Has God given you
experience? Praise him by stronger faith than you exercised at first.
Does your knowledge grow? Then sing more sweetly. Do you enjoy happier
times than you once had? Have you been restored from sickness, and has
your sorrow been turned into peace and joy? Then give him more music;
put more coals and more sweet frankincense into the censer of your
praise. Practically in your life give him honour, putting the “Amen” to
this doxology to your great and gracious Lord, by your own individual
service and increasing holiness. (Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and evening :
Daily readings November 17 AM).
F B Meyer commenting on "Of
Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things" writes that...
This verse reminds us of those
lagoons of perfectly still clear water, of which travellers tell. So
clear, that it is easily possible to look into their translucent depths
to where the submarine foliage waves! So deep, that the ordinary
measuring line fails to plumb them! All these words are monosyllables. A
child just learning to read could easily spell them out. But who shall
exhaust their meaning?
Of Him. — The entire scheme of
redemption; the marvellous history of the chosen people, with which this
chapter is occupied; the universe of matter, all are included in the all
things that have emanated out of God. No one has been his counsellor, or
given aught to Him. From all created things, which are as the stream,
let us climb to Him, who is their fountain, source, and origin; and in
Him let us learn to fill our own souls to the very brim.
Through Him. — Through Jesus Christ,
the Mediator, God has poured the entire grace and wealth of his nature
to bless and help us. There is no good thing that does not come to us
through the mediatior, of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Through
Him He made the worlds. Through Him we have received the reconciliation.
Through Him, also, all grace is made to abound towards us. Never forget
to magnify the Lord Jesus as the source of all your supply.
To Him. — Creation, Providence,
Redemption, are all tending back to God. The tide is setting in towards
the throne. A revenue of glory shall ye accrue from all that has
happened within the parenthesis of time. Every whit in the great temple
shall one day say “Glory!” (Our Daily Homily)
Let us join with the hymn writer
Horatius Bonar and sing out (play
GLORY BE TO THE GOD
Glory be to God the Father,
Glory be to God the Son,
Glory be to God the Spirit,
Great Jehovah, Three in One!
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
While eternal ages run!
Glory be to Him Who loved us,
Washed us from each spot and stain!
Glory be to Him Who bought us,
Made us kings with Him to reign!
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
To the Lamb that once was slain!
Glory to the King of angels,
Glory to the church’s King,
Glory to the King of nations!
Heaven and earth, your praises bring;
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
To the King of glory bring!
“Glory, blessing, praise eternal!”
Thus the choir of angels sings;
“Honor, riches, power, dominion!”
Thus its praise creation brings;
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
Glory to the King of kings!
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