Well it is turning out to be a bit challenging to find time to write a blog post each week, nevertheless, I will continue trying! This weeks blog post is going to be a bit lengthy so I hope you have some time to spare.
In the past few months I have been pondering what it really means for God to be eternal and incomprehensible. In fact, the reason I first thought about creating a blog was because I knew that if I wrote a lengthy Facebook status detailing my reflections on this very topic, no one would take the time to read it lol. I want to take the time to analyze God’s eternal nature and ultimately end up discussing how His eternal nature literally makes Him indescribable and incomprehensible. I will also be touching on more Scripture in comparison to my first two blogs.
First I would like to discuss some uses of the word eternal. Is there a difference between God giving us eternal life and Him being eternal? Does that make us eternal too? But unlike God, we have a starting point to our existence, so how does that work? I did some studying on this and discovered that eternal can be used both to describe something without beginning and end (i.e. God) or to describe something without end but with a beginning (I.e. His eternal/everlasting covenant). Another way to think of it is that when we receive eternal life, it is HIS life we are receiving, which is eternal. I know this probably seems obvious to some, but I just wanted to cover my bases because as I was personally meditating on God’s eternal nature, I was reminded of the fact that we are given eternal life and knew that there had to be a distinction between the two ideas.
Now I’d like to shift gears briefly to recall some of my favorite passages of scripture in which we find details of His majesty and glory.
“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.” -Ex. 19:16-18
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” -Isaiah 6:1-4
Those are just two short passages to illustrate my point but if anyone has the time I would encourage you to read Rev. 4 and my all time favorite, Ezekiel 1. It is clear from these passages, especially Ezekiel 1, that God’s glory is magnificent and personally has helped me to establish a reverent fear of God. It is usually after reading these passages that we begin to understand God’s indescribability. Yet, these verses still describe Him. So what does it mean that He is indescribable and incomprehensible? My ultimate goal in this blog post is to prove God being incomprehensible doesn’t just mean He is really hard to wrap your head around or even that there is an infinite amount of information to be known about Him but rather that He is literally unable to be fully described or comprehended even if given an eternity. I believe that the key to understanding this is directly connected to our understanding of God’s eternal nature.
Now, (that was all intro btw lol) some of you may have seen a video thats been circulating social media recently of a theologian responding to an atheists question of “Who made God?” Without getting into his full response, the part to his answer that got me thinking was when He said that when God created the universe He created time, space, and matter. His reasoning was Gen. 1:1 “In the beginning (time), God created the heavens(space) and the earth(matter).”
So going back to God being eternal, part of what that means is that He not only has been here since the beginning and will be here till the end of time, but He also exists apart of time. So lets ask a question, did God exist before creation? It’s a trick question because the question is flawed. To say that there was anything before creation implies there being a timeline before creation, which there is not. Creation is when time began. He sees the universe and everything in it from beginning to end and yet for us who are limited by time both in this life and the one to come, the end of time will never come. And as tempting as it is to get into my thoughts on predestination vs freewill, I will save that for another blog post.
Now going back to the passages of scripture that we say proves God is indescribable. Although we can admit that what these men of God saw was very difficult to describe and they sometimes failed to find the right words to describe what they saw, it was still describable. But the fact is that every physical manifestation of God, whether through visions or what we will experience in heaven or have experienced in the spiritual realm, is still only a portion of Himself that has transcended from His existence outside of time, space, and matter into the universe that He created.
So what do I mean when I say He is literally incomprehensible? I mean that everything that we say, do, think about, and every idea that ever has been and ever will be, is thought of and described in terms of time, space, and matter. How do you describe or even begin to comprehend God when He exists outside of time, space, and matter? You literally can’t.
Anyone else feeling like Job at the end of the book when God rebukes him and he replies, “I am insignificant?” Perhaps this is part of why Solomon, in all his wisdom, insists that everything is meaningless all through Ecclesiastes. And yet as insignificant as we are and as incomprehensible as God is, He is still a personal God. He experiences emotion. He loves us deeply and sent His Son to be rejected and slain for us. Praise God that His love endures forever. This should compel us to fear Him all the more; to know the value He places on us despite our insignificance in comparison to who He is. Recently, a pastor friend of mine, while commenting on what it means to fear God, said, “ It isn’t an anticipatory ‘what if…?’ It isn’t a meditation over what God might do that you don’t like. It’s just a recognition, in the moment, that He is awesome.”
I think that is what we need in the Body of Christ today, to recognize that He is awesome and that He loves us. Then maybe we would straighten up and stop testing His patience, myself included. I want to conclude this post with one of my favorite verses that I have just recently decided to make my life verse.
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” -Ecclesiastes 12:13-14