Summary: Pentecost 14(A) - Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of our God! We cannot always understand God’s ways but we can always glorify God’s wisdom.
OH, THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES…OF GOD! (Outline)
September 2, 2007 -
PENTECOST 14 -
INTRO: The more we learn the less we understand. Our simple lives of decades ago are overshadowed by the complexities of an educated society. Even those basic components of education have been replaced. Education has progressed beyond the simple 3 R’s: reading, writing, ‘rithmetic. Today students are educated about calculators, computers, constant change. The more we learn the less we understand.
Even today’s scientists admit that life is so complex as to be inexplicable. They have analyzed DNA. You may have seen that complex, spiral chain model. To have that genetic code in each and every living cell goes beyond what science can explain. The simple cell has become complex. The more we learn the less we understand. Even creation theories have been studied and replaced. To try and explain it all scientists consider a big bang theory. We would this big bang God’s creating word – Let there be…. Faith takes what seems complex and makes it simple. "Then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it"(ECCLESIASTES 8:17).
Like the apostle Paul we stand in awe and wonder and declare:
OH, THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES…OF GOD!
I. We can’t always understand, but:
II. We can always glorify God.
I. WE CAN’T ALWAYS UNDERSTAND
A. The words of our text are a conclusion to chapter 11 of Romans. In chapter 11 Israel is an example.
1. Israel had rejected God and now his word would move on to the Gentiles. (READ chap. 11.)
2. Now Paul stands in wonder and awe – OH, he writes. This is an exclamation of wonder.
B. Verse 33a describes this wonder and awe of a believer towards God.
1. God’s knowledge and wisdom is deep. Knowledge is the facts and details known by God.
2. Wisdom is how God puts to use his knowledge. Think of creation as an example.
a. The sun rises and sets is a fact. b. This provides days and seasons as God’s wisdom.
C. Verse 33b describes how the ways of the Lord are beyond the understanding of mere mortal men.
1. God’s ways are always best – filled with divine knowledge and wisdom.
2. Who knows or can question God and his ways? Verse 34. No one advises the Lord.
D. Here lies the problem in our modern day society. Man constantly tries to put himself in the place of God. How arrogant of man to think that he has caused global warming. Even more arrogant is the fact that man thinks he can change the climate of this great planet with feeble efforts. Worse are those who think that they are in charge of life itself. Our nation suffers with the slaughter of innocent children day after day after day. On 9/11 about 3,000 people were killed. Each day about 4,000 innocent children are put to death in our country because of selfish and senseless abortions. Let us not forget mercy killings or other assisted deaths where man thinks he is god. "Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed"(JOB 14:5).
E. At times in this life we may even question God. We want to know all the answers to everything all the time. We desire to have everything spelled out for us clearly and concisely. But life is messy. We simply cannot understand all of the ways of God in this sinful, earthly life. We do know that God works out all things for the good of those who love who love him. We do know that God invites us to come before him. "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him"(JAMES 1:5). God freely gives. Oh, the depth of the riches of God!
F. Truly, who can honestly, completely understand God’s great love and mercy for each one of us? We know, believe, and confess that Christ is our Savior. But the depth of the meaning of the riches of God might easily escape us. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich"(2 CORINTHIANS 8:9). None of us would do what Jesus did. We die and we go to heaven. We will never, ever have another thought concerning the sinful world we have left behind. We will certainly not want to go back. BUT this is exactly what Jesus did. Our Savior left heaven (riches) and lived here (poor) for us: For us and for everyone, even those who despised him. Oh, the depth of the riches of God! Who can understand?