Romans 11:33: Unsearchable Judgements; Inscrutable Ways

Outline

  • Unsearchable and Inscrutable
  • Judgements and Ways

Introduction

When you tell a stubborn child, ‘You won’t be able to do this.’ It makes them more determined to do it. When you tell them, ‘You won’t be able to understand this,’ you get the same result. When you say to a stubborn sinner, ‘You are forbidden from doing that.’ They go ahead a do it, curiosity, stubbornness, rebellion all woven together, it is a familiar sight. When it comes to the knowledge of God, we are the same way. We will not be told that there are limits to our understanding. We view the unknown God like we view the unknown universe, with a bit of time, perseverance and ingenuity I can crack the mystery and get answers. But Paul reminds us that when it comes to the knowledge of God we are learners not Lords. ‘How unsearchable are His judgements and how inscrutable His ways!’ How do we feel being confronted with a God we will never master?

But there is another problem we have. Instead of seeing ourselves as being under the judgement of God in our perversity we have put God under our judgement. Blind to the sinfulness that shapes our worldviews and assumptions we rise up to declare God unfit to exist or rule the universe. We hear discussions about an all powerful God who determines all things from the beginning and inflated with a sense of our omnicompetence we judge God’s actions, we put Him on trial, we peer down our noses at Him. We judge His plan, we judge His decisions, we judge His character, we judge His power. Forgetting our place, forgetting our ignorance, and blind to the fact that God has granted to us our reasoning faculties which have been given limits, we put God in the dock. But not Paul. Paul reminds us that God is unsearchable and inscrutable, that His ways and judgements are beyond our ability to scrutinise. Today we want to more deeply acquaint ourselves with this fact, that we cannot judge God or His ways, not only that it is morally wrong but practically impossible. Today we want to place ourselves not judges over God but as worshipping and trusting in reverent submission under God.

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