33 Oh, the depth of the riches
and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments
and untraceable his ways!
34 For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?
35 And who has ever given to God,
that he should be repaid?
36 For from him and through him
and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever. Amen.
Paul includes the above hymn of praise in his letter to the believers in Rome. The words acknowledge God’s awe-inspiring sovereignty over all things, His infinite wisdom and power, the fact that He is the source of all life and goodness and beauty. Therefore it is right that He should be forever glorified. This hymn reminds us of God’s praiseworthiness and yet at the same time it highlights one of the frustrations we sometimes have when it comes to God…
“How unsearchable His judgements and untraceable His ways!” Wouldn’t we love to understand God, to know what He is thinking, to have insight into His plans. Especially now during this time of uncertainty. We’d love to know when God will end the pandemic, when nations will begin to recover from the after effects. We’d love to know what His plan is for us, for our family, our Church, our nation. Many have prayed and prayed but no one really has an answer. God does mercifully reveal things to us, but we’ll never know the whole plan, we’ll never fully understand what He does and why He does it.
Verse 35 refers a line from Job 41:11 and emphasises the fact that God owes us nothing for, as verse 36 makes clear, all that we have, all that exists is already a gift from God. It is appropriate that Paul refers to the story of Job as we see in that account that God does not justify Himself before Job. In fact, speaking from the mighty storm, He asks Job the question of who he is to demand an answer from God, he who doesn’t understand how the earth was created and sustained, he who speaks of things he doesn’t truly understand.
God doesn’t owe us any explanation or justification. His judgements are unsearchable, His ways are untraceable. And yet, despite owing us nothing, He gave us everything when He gave His own Son for our sake. He is both Great and Good.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.