Friday Reflection

9th October 2020

'things which are revealed ...'

The secret things belong
to the Lord our God,
but those things
which are revealed
belong to us
and to our children forever.

Deut. 29:29

During a seminar, the Swiss theologian Karl Barth,
was asked by a student,
"Dr Barth,
what is the most profound thing
you have ever learned
in your study of theology?"

Barth thought for a moment and then replied

"Jesus loves me,
 this I know,
 for the Bible tells me so."

The students giggled
at his simplistic answer,
but their laughter soon died away
as they realised that Barth
was absolutely serious.

Barth gave a simple answer
to the profound question which pointed to at least
two vitally important ideas.
that in the simplest Christian truth
there can be,
found an insight
that can occupy
the minds of the most brilliant people,
for a lifetime.

that however educated
and knowledgeable we may be,
we never really rise above
a child's level of understanding
when it comes to the mysterious
depths and character of God.

No human being has the ability
to understand God completely.

There is a built in barrier
which precludes a total
all-encompassing understanding of God
The problem is we are finite creatures;
God is an infinite being.

How can the finite
understand the infinite?
The answer is - they cannot!

A phrase was coined by Medieval theologians,
'The finite cannot grasp
(or contain) the infinite'.
Nothing is more obvious than
the fact that an infinite object
cannot be squeezed into a finite space.

As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed
in a mother's womb,
so you cannot understand
the work of God,
the Maker of all things.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV

God is incomprehensible,
but that does not mean
we can know nothing of God;
it just means that our knowledge
is incomplete and limited.
Do our friends, family and neighbours
know everything about us?
Of course not,
they know what they have gathered
by being in relationship with us
and what we choose to reveal to them.

It is the same with God
who us gives us enough knowledge of himself
so that we may be
in a loving relationship with him;
but there is always far more of God
than we could ever comprehend.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:9 NIV

So, we have to accept that we cannot
put God into the box
of our very limited understanding.
But we can love and trust him
in the knowledge
that he has a perfect plan
for our lives and will provide.
God knows what you need.
He knows what is best for you-
including in what quantity.

The fact is,
we can live with very little,
but we can never truly live without God.

He is what we need first,
foremost, and always.
He is the only one whom we truly can't do without!"

Charles Stanley,
The Blessings of Brokenness