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Read Introduction to Romans

 

33 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!

 

and His ways [roads] past finding out [untraceable]!

The reason God’s “ways” cannot be fully investigated is that they are “past finding out.” It is impossible to trace what God does in the universe and beyond. Mankind is confined to limited investigation when it comes to God.

“Past finding out” is from one Greek word referring to footprints that are untraceable. A hunter follows the track of an animal’s footprints. When it comes to an exhaustive tracking of what God is doing in the world it is impossible. We cannot fully discover the ramifications of an absolute, transcendent God who is infinite. We have to trust Him to reveal a portion of Himself.

It is impossible to understand all of God’s “ways.” As long as man is finite he will never be able to comprehend the infinite and eternal God. Finite man cannot fully comprehend how God works in the world; God’s ways are inscrutable.

No one has the capacity to finally discover why God does what He does. The only other time the New Testament uses this word is in Ephesians 3:8:

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

God’s “ways” refers to the methods by which He puts His purpose into effect. “Judgments” are God’s decisions about the universe but “ways” refer to the path His judgments take. Judgments cannot be searched to their end. Neither can finite man scrutinize fully the direction of what He allows to happen in the universe. We can know some things (1 Co 2:9-10) but not everything. We would need to be infinite to do that.

Ps 77: 19 Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known.

Ps 95: 10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’

PRINCIPLE:

No finite person can plumb fully an infinite God.

APPLICATION:

As human beings observe history and events in the universe nothing may make sense because they look at these things from a limited human viewpoint. It is impossible to see God’s purpose in history without revelation. God’s viewpoint cannot fit into the mold of man’s viewpoint.

Isa 55: 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

God does not deal with man on an equal basis because finite people are not absolute. However, from eternity and from His viewpoint He dealt with man in every sequence or situation man may face. In any situation within God’s creation He never finds Himself on the horns of a dilemma.

God determined that He would interact in one fell swoop with man giving him freedom to make decisions under His superintendence (concursus). However, God’s purpose, will and plan determines the framework of how He deals with people. God was free to decree or not decree in one situation or another. God and man are not equals on the same level. He allows us to function under His overall plan by a system of permissions; He decreed free will. God keeps everything on track to fulfill His ultimate purpose for creation.

We can trace what God is doing in the world to a degree but this is only possible through the Holy Spirit’s illuminating His Word and world for us.

1 Co 2: 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

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