“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”—Romans 11:33-36
Paul rejoices in God’s sovereignty in Israel’s history, both in the nation’s blindness and eventual eagerness to embrace Jesus as Messiah. Contemplating the mysterious and yet glorious greatness of God and His purposes, Paul breaks out with adoration and humble worship. Surely we all agree that at this point, we enter a realm that is beyond our experience.
The word “unsearchable” means “untraceable,” which stresses that our knowledge of God is limited. Theologians are right to tell us that we can know God truly, but of course we cannot know Him exhaustively. “Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known” (Psalm 77:19).
Paul asks two questions. First: “Who has known the mind of the Lord or been his counselor?” The answer, of course, is that God does not need consultants; He never forms a committee for input, nor does He have to spend time trying to assess the consequences of His actions. He has everything under His sovereign control and knows all things, both actual and possible.
Next, Paul asks if God needs our gifts? Is He lacking in something we can help with? No, for all things originate from Him; we can give Him nothing that He has not given to us in the first place. All things originate from Him, all things continue by His powerful hand, and all things contribute to His ultimate glory. God’s only restrictions are those He places upon Himself.
This week let our prayers focus on the adoration and worship of our Heavenly Father. Let our requests be few but our praise be exuberant and spontaneous.
Let Us Pray
Father, we pray that You might impress on our hearts Your greatness and glory. Let the thought of Your complete sovereignty over all things cause us to both fear You but also to worship You with joyous awe. Let Your power and the mystery of Your purposes not discourage us but rather spur us on to greater faith and devotion. In our worship, let us have a settled confidence that You do all things well.
I pray for _____ that they might not rebel against Your authority in their lives. Help them to submit, humbly confessing that You are God and have the right to rule as You wish among the kingdom of men. Cause them to realize that nothing else matters except Your glory. May they thank You that we can be Your children, both now and forever.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.