(Friends: during this series, the messages may frequently be longer than usual due to the subject matter. Thanks for your patience, and I think you will find the considerations interesting, and hopefully, helpful in our walk with the Lord. Glen)
“Biblical Confirmation of An Inexplicable God”
We would suspect that a God beyond definition who nevertheless desires to reveal Himself would provide clues in His Word to guide our awareness of what we can know, and what we cannot know
He does, telling us outright that some truths are available, while others are not.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
A vivid illustration of this truth presents itself on the first day of creation. “Let there be light ” pronounces the Lord (Genesis 1:3). “And there was light.” Interestingly, however, God never defines light in Scripture any more than He defines Himself. He describes many of its characteristics and properties, as well as the relationship of His creation to Light. But never does He seek to provide in His Word a detailed definition of this firstfruits of His creative work. The closest He comes exists in the Apostle John’s declaration, “God is light” (I John 1:5). This does not help us, however, since we can define neither God nor light.
This perfectly accords with the scientific view of light. For centuries, physicists have studied light. They have discovered many of its properties and characteristics, and have harnessed the knowledge to make light an invaluable tool in our lives, from bulbs to lasers. However, as this is written, the scientific community admits, “We don’t know what light is.” Despite the vast amount of study, research, and utilization of light, a simple definition of the reality, as with God, escapes human understanding. Thus, the very first aspect of the Lord’s creative process – “Let there be light” – reflects the mystery of His own existence and being. “The secret things belong to the Lord…”
Another Scriptural illustration of a God beyond definition presents itself in the experience of Israel, His chosen earthly people. After their deliverance from Egypt, the Lord provided sustenance for their long sojourn in the wilderness.
“And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was” (Exodus 16:13-15).
In the original Hebrew, the word manna means, “What is it?” God’s people did not recognize the physical sustenance He provided. They partook of the manna after learning it was God’s provision of food, but never does He explain to them that the small round wafer actually consisted of sustenance beyond earthly reality and description. “Man did eat angels' food: He sent them meat to the full” (Psalm 78:25). Israel survived by partaking of manna. Never, however, did they know what it was.
In similar manner, we “live and move and have our being” in God. He gives to us “life and breath and all things.” “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” “To live is Christ,” and our generous Lord opens His hand and “satisfieth the desire of every living thing.” As in the experience of Israel, however, God is manna to us when it comes to definition. “What is it?” Or rather, “What is He?” The Bible unapologetically leaves us in darkness regarding this question for which an answer may seem vital, but which actually requires no explanation by God.
Tomorrow we will consider the reason God provides no definition of Himself to our hearts and minds. The explanation concerns both our proper understanding of Him, and of ourselves.
“The King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.”
(I Timothy 6:16).