Journal July 12, 2020
Dominion Baptist Church
June 28, 2020 AD
1 Samuel 17:9
9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
DOXOLOGY (PART 4)
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out. 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? 35 “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?”
VS. 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? We cannot understand nor interpret the infinite God, being mere finite creatures. The Lord Jesus Christ said: All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:27). Paul is still considering God in our text; but now he turns our attention away from God’s attributes—the perfections of His wisdom, knowledge, judgments, and ways—to our limitations as measured by them. He tells us again that we are not like God. God has incommunicable attributes, those He does not share with us because He cannot, and God’s communicable attributes, which He does share with us. These communicable attributes are those we have been looking at in this doxology—knowledge, wisdom, the ability to make plans and decisions, and the capacity to act. We understand what is being discussed when we say that God has these attributes or possesses these attributes, because we have them ourselves. We know things, possess a measure of wisdom and make plans and then act upon them. But even in this area we do not measure up to God. In fact, our knowledge, wisdom, planning, and acting are so far from His that comparison is futile. The book of Job deals directly with the extreme limitations of our knowledge. When we think upon Job, we realize he was a fortunate individual in many ways. God had blessed him, he was wealthy, he had a wonderful family, enjoyed good health, and was a godly man. God called Satan’s attention to Job by asking him, have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one that fears God and shuns evil? But shortly after, all Job’s possessions were taken from him. His goods were all stolen or destroyed, his ten children were killed, and Job was afflicted with painful boils that covered him from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head. Satan had reduced him to absolute and utter misery. He sat in ashes, suffering both within his soul and body. Job had three friends that came to sympathize and offer counsel. The bulk of the book is made up of their discussions with Job regarding his condition and explain what had happened, with Job’s response. By our standards they did a fairly good job of assuming that this is a moral universe of cause and effect and who guides it was God.Evil does not triumph, and virtue is rewarded. Their reasoning and comments were correct; but they did not know this was a war between God and Satan, and Job was the battlefield. The war was started by Satan trying to convince God that Job only served God because of what he got out of it; while God maintained that Job loved Him because of who God was regardless of what it might bring upon him personally. It was God that allowed Satan permission to strike Job’s possessions, family and later his health, but though Job was personally crushed by these disasters, we find him worshiping God saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. (Job 1:21-22).Now Job’s friends had no knowledge of this war. Although these friends started out right, read the comments they made in chapters 4 through 37, which also contain Jobs response, most of the friend’s comments are mere nonsense. This is why God rebuked them. Listen to Job tell them: I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25-26) Starting in Job 38 God rebukes them for not being able to explain the origins of the earth, in 38:4 God asks, where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding. Today in the year 2020, scientists are not much closer to explain this than Job and his friends were. Today, with all our scientific advances we cannot predict the hurricanes accurately, we are so wise we cannot control them. In chapters 37—39 God rebukes Job and his friends for their ignorance of all-natural forces—light and darkness, rain, snow, wind, the detailed works of the heavens, animal instincts and behavior; the migration patterns of birds and fish along with many other observable phenomena. The point is if they could not explain what they could see, how could they expect to explain what they could not see? Obviously not at all. They could not contribute to God’s perfect knowledge in any respect. The only thing they could do is what Job does at the end in the end of the book, Job 42:1-6: Then Job answered the LORD and said: I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, who is this who hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen please, and let me speak; You said, I will question you, and you shall answer Me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see You. Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. We do not know the mind of God, what we need is to do is stand in awe of Him and sin not.
The second half of this verse (Romans 11:34) is who has become His counselor? This part deals with wisdom and how little of it we possess. We look now at the book of Ecclesiastes revealing the limits of man’s earthly wisdom, just as Job showed the limitation of man’s knowledge. It begins the words of the son of David, Absurdity, frustration, futility, and nonsense (margin for vanity) says the preacher; all is vanity (worthless). In this life man is caught up with his thoughts of how wise he is, that his pleasure is the most important thing, while wisdom and folly are foolishness, and work or riches have no purpose or reason. J.I. Packer author of ‘Knowing God’ has done several helpful stories on Ecclesiastes, here is the way he puts it: “Look (says the preacher) at the sort of world we live in. Take off your rose-colored spectacles, rub your eyes, and look at it long and hard. What do you see? You see life’s background set by aimlessly recurring cycles in nature (1:4ff). You see its shape fixed by times and circumstances over which we have no control (3:1ff.; 9:11f.). You see death coming to everyone sooner or later, but coming haphazard; its coming bears no relation to good or ill desert (7:15; 8:8). Men die like beasts (3:19f.), good men like bad, wise men like fools (2:14, 17; 9:2f.). You see evil running rampant (3:16; 4:1; 5:8; 8:11; 9:3); rotters get on, good men don’t (8;14). Seeing all this, you realize that God’s ordering of events is inscrutable; much as you want to make it out, you cannot do so (3:11; 7:13f; 8:17 rv; 11:5). The harder you try to understand the divine purpose in the ordinary providential course of events, the more obsessed and oppressed you grow with the apparent aimlessness of everything, and the more you are tempted to conclude that life really is as pointless as it looks. But once you conclude that there really is no rhyme or reason in things, what profit—value, gain, point, purpose—can you find henceforth in any sort of constructive endeavor (1:3; 2:11, 22; 3:9; 5:16)? If life is senseless, then it is valueless; and in that case, what use is working to create things, to build a business, to make money, even to seek wisdom—for none of this can do you any obvious good (2:15f., 22f; 5:11); it will only make you an object of envy (4:4); you can’t take any of it with you (2;18ff.; 4:8; 5:15f.); and what you leave behind will probably be mismanaged after you have gone (2:19). What point is there, then, in sweating and toiling at anything? Must not all man’s work be judged vanity (emptiness, frustration) and a striving after wind (1;14rv)?” What Packer writes is true isn’t it? The Christian knows somewhat of what God is doing in our lives through Jesus Christ, but one of the greatest proofs that we lack wisdom is that we spend so much of our time and energy acquiring things that are eventually going in the trash heap. Most of us have not really learned the earthly wisdom of the Book of Ecclesiastes. Yet so many of us suppose that we can criticize God for what He is doing in our lives. Why there are those that presume they could tell God how to do things better; don’t believe me? Just really listen to man’s conversation when it rains on a planned outing, or snows before a trip is started before Thanksgiving or Christmas. I think that gives you an idea of what I am writing about—but it is worse than that. We who think we are teachers often need to learn again the first principles of the oracles of God. Lets look at what Paul told the Corinthians, Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (I Corinthians 1:20). We need to learn that again. We need to hear again Paul’s rebuke as he wisely asks the Romans “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? We must give an honest answer—not any mortal. Not anyone of us can contribute to the knowledge or wisdom of God in any respect. So where does this leave us? It is obvious that it is not intended to leave us in our folly. We are not called upon to be either ignorant or foolish. But we are to trust Gods word to develop our minds, grow in true spiritual wisdom and understanding. How? Learn that there is no true wisdom except in God, Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. we will never achieve wisdom unless we begin with Him. Even though you begin with God, you will never fully understand His ways. God says in Isaiah 55:8: For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Also: There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’S counsel—that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21). Finally, James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Catechism Question 30
Q: Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist?
A: Christ humiliation consisted in His being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried, and in continuing under the power of death for a time.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.