I am OK with not Understanding Everything

Recently I memorized Psalm 131, and it has been of GREAT comfort to me.


1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.

There are things I still cannot grasp about God. Things I cannot understand. This passage tells me even King David, the man after God’s own heart, felt the same. Martin Luther said that it is clear that there are things that angels, with fear and trembling, dare not ask. Following their example, he said, he knew there were things God had not revealed that he would not question. John Calvin’s favorite verse was Deut 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children forever.” There are things that God has not revealed that we will probably never be able to understand.

Is that OK with you?

It’s not intellectual suicide, because we have convincing, logical reasons why the Bible is the revelation of God… and it is logical that if it is God speaking in the Bible, then of course we can trust that there are things He says we can’t grasp yet.

In other words, I don’t understanding everything in the Bible, but I know that God was in Christ and that God is behind the Bible (indeed, that God was in Christ is the only convincing explanation for His life, death and resurrection!). And so I accept what I cannot understand on the basis of what I can understand!

The bottom line is this: Sometimes I want answers; but God gives me presence. I want explanation; I get revelation. I want reasons; I get Jesus. “If my mind is the size of a soda can, and God is the size of all the oceans, then it is silly for me to think that he is only as large as the amount I can get into my little can.”

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  1. Bob Cleveland   •  

    It’s good to be OK with not knowing everything, in light of Romans 8:26, which says we don’t, anyway.

    Even about some things we really deem important.


  2. Bob Cleveland   •  

    And, incidentally, I was taught that as the introductory lesson as a Presbyterian. We cannot understand everything that God reveals.

  3. Pingback: The Children's Ministry Blog Patrol (October 2009) « Dad In The Middle

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