Knowing Our Incomprehensible God – October 16, 2020

A.W. Tozer rightly stated, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”[1] This is because your view of God will dictate your view of life. A resplendent view of God resulting in a passionate relationship with Him brings with it a calm assurance, peace, and joy through every circumstance in life. Unfortunately, we often view God in a distorted way. We emphasize certain attributes of God while minimizing (or ignoring) other attributes. Even more subtly, we often tame God into a being we can wrap our minds around.[2] When we do this, we reduce God to a finite being and bring needless anxiety into our lives. For this reason, we will be walking through the attributes of God over the next few weeks. Our goal is to reveal in God’s majesty, become overwhelmed by His mercy, and find hope in His person. When we come to a proper view of God, we will then be able to view life properly.

But we must ask the question, “Can we know God?” Scripture clearly teaches us that we can indeed know God. Romans 1:19 informs us that nature helps man know about God “because God has shown it to them.” Further, we can know God in a very personal way through salvation in Christ (Matt. 11:27). Yet, we often fail in our knowledge of God because we seek to know God through our own wisdom (1 Cor. 1:21). This is an important but subtle point to understand. This deals with the attribute of God known as God’s incomprehensibility.

Incomprehensibility states that while we can know God, we can never know Him fully. Psalm 145:3 informs us that God’s greatness is unsearchable. 1 Timothy 6:15-16 informs us that no one has seen God or can see Him because he dwells in unapproachable light. So, while we can know God, we can never know everything about God. Every aspect of our knowledge of God is limited by our finiteness.

Consider the statement of Isaiah, “To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike?” (Isaiah 46:5). When we describe something to someone who has never seen that thing, we are relegated to likeness descriptors. We begin to compare that thing to other things the individual is familiar with. Yet, we understand in that conversation that we are not doing the description justice. How much more is this the case with God. No man has seen him and there is nothing like Him. There is only one God. This is important for two reasons.

First, this assigns great value and majesty to God. Consider the narrative in Exodus 33 in which Moses requests to see God. God responded that no one can see Him and live. So, in Exodus 34, God placed Moses in a cave, passed by, and let Moses see the remnants of His glory. Confronted with God’s majesty, Moses was overwhelmed by the greatness of God. When Moses came down from the mountain, the people could not look at him because the remnants of God’s glory caused his face to shine like the sun. Do not minimize God. There is nothing in this world to which we can aptly compare God. Your God is great! So, do not put God in a box of your making. Do not limit God where He has not limited Himself.

Second, this ought to bring comfort. This incomprehensible God has entered into our lives, he has informed us about him. He has made aspects of His being comprehensible. We are not agnostic. We believe that we can know God and know about God because God has made Himself known to us. He does this through nature (Romans 1; Psalm 19), through Christ (John 1), and through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He does this because of His great love for you. But this means that we have the Supreme Being caring for us. In this midst of the storms of life, there is nothing that can overwhelm God. Who is like our God? No one! Who can overcome our God? No one! What can remove God from His place? Nothing! That’s your God! Incomprehensible, surpassing all we could ever imagine.

[1] A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers, 1961), 1.

[2] This is the argument of Matthew Barrett in his book None Greater. Matthew Barrett, None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2019).