September 21, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out. For, Who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him and it shall be recompensed unto him again. For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory forever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-35).
Few expressions of worship can rival Paul’s words at the end of Romans 11. His mind has surveyed God’s ways in salvation to the guilty (Romans 1-8). He has been lost in wonder at God’s sovereign ways with nations, especially Israel (Romans 9-11).
There are many mountain peaks in Romans, places to which Paul comes and you wonder if truth can get any greater. There is the summation of salvation in Romans 5:1 (Peace); the freedom from condemnation in Romans 8:1 (Perfection of Relationship), The Security of salvation in Romans 8:35-39 (Permanency); but here it is The PERSON of God Himself; here then Discourse, Dialectics, and Doctrine give way to Doxology.
His worship celebrates:
God’s Wisdom –
His wisdom created worlds. That is the theme of chapter 1. His wisdom conceived and carried out the redemption described in chapter 3-8. He did this without any cause in us, cost to us, conditions placed upon us, or compromise to His character. As well, His wisdom controls nations (9-11). Amazingly, the rejection of Israel has meant the riches of Gentiles; and the restoration of Israel will mean something akin to the resurrection of Nations.
Rome may boast in its military might and the wealth that it has accumulated with it. But God’s wealth is not measured in human currency. This is the God who has no needs; He is complete in Himself. He is marked by moral wealth: Goodness and forbearance (2:4); Glory (9:23); and Grace (10:12). This is the God Who has no deficiencies – Perfect in every detail. This is the God Who seeks no counsel – sufficient in Himself.
He is Inscrutable in His ways; He is past finding out; there is no tracing of His footsteps. His ways are ways of peace, prosperity, and profit to all humanity.
He is the:
Cause of All – ek; everything is from Him
Controller of All – dia; Everything is by Him
Consummation of All – eis; Everything is for Him
He is the only beauty and the only worthy object in all the universe. He is above our concepts; He is outside of our confines; He is in no need of our contributions. He does not need our counsel. He is the sovereign and glorious. And He is our Father.
1. Can you see how this ascription of praise, this doxology, naturally leads to the appeal of Romans 12:1?
2. “Past finding out” is the word used in Ephesians 3:8, “Unsearchable.” Here in Romans 11:33, the word for “unsearchable” is not found anywhere else in Scripture.