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ŇO the Depth!Ó
We cannot understand the goodness and severity of God in his infinite sovereignty. But beholding these things we have cause to worship this great God (Matthew 11:20-26).
Through the fall of Israel, God has brought salvation to elect Gentiles. Through the salvation of elect Gentiles, God is bringing his saving mercy and grace again to Israel, saving his elect among them by the gospel. And, in the end, all Israel, all of GodŐs elect, shall be saved. Not one of GodŐs elect shall perish.
It is the great glory of God that in all things he is infinite. The very fact that God is infinite and incomprehensible is the basis of PaulŐs praise. A god who can be understood is no god at all. But our God is infinite. He is beyond comprehension. The very Person of our God, his character and his works, his grace and his salvation, his purpose and his providence, is a mine so deep that no one can reach its depths, so full of riches that no one can calculate its fulness.
No mere creature will ever fathom the wisdom of God. Here Paul speaks specifically of the wisdom of GodŐs secret and eternal decrees. No man shall ever comprehend the perfect knowledge of the eternal God. Neither men nor angels have any perfect knowledge of God who knows all things. The judgments God exercises upon men and nations are beyond the reach of manŐs discernment. And the ways of God in providence no one can find out. It is enough for us to know that —
ŇGod moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.Ó
If GodŐs infinite wisdom and knowledge are beyond the reach of human thought, if his judgments are unsearchable, and his ways past finding out, who is there in heaven, in earth, or in hell who can defy his supremacy (Romans 9:14, 19-21)?
No man knows the mind of God. His thoughts, his purpose, and his will are totally unknown unless God himself reveals them. And this revelation is made by Christ alone and in the Book of God alone. Only he who dwells in the bosom of the Father can declare him.
God has never taken counsel with any of his creatures, and never will. The counsel of peace and the covenant of grace were established between the Persons of the sacred Godhead. God needs no counsellor, for he is infinitely wise. And no man is capable of giving him counsel. That would be like the sun seeking light from a candle (Isaiah 40:13-17; Job 38:4-7).
What nonsense it is for any man to prescribe to God what he must do, or teach him how to govern the world! God is no manŐs debtor. If God owes you anything, he will surely pay. But he owes you nothing, except the wages of sin, which is death. All of these things are true with regard to creation and providence, but Paul is specifically talking about election, redemption, and salvation. God has mercy on whom he will. God devised a way to save his chosen: Substitutionary Satisfaction! And God ordained the best possible way of saving his chosen by which we will be made most beneficial and he will be made most glorious.