The proper response to doctrine 

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?” – Romans 11:33-34

Having considered everything he’s written about in chapters 1-11, laying out God’s amazing redemptive plan, the gospel of which he’s not ashamed as it is the power of God for salvation, Paul now breaks out in joyous doxology.  Here is the proper response to doctrine.  When we learn about God, it should drive our hearts to awe and adoration.  Here’s what Paul’s looks like:

Oh, the depth, he begins.  He stands in awe, like one who stops to consider and think about just how far away is the ocean floor from the surface.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God.  These three are collectively talking about the mind of God, His thoughts, His plans, His ways.  We’re reminded of Isaiah 55:8,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

The depth of God’s mind should humble us before Him and submit us to His will.  It should cause us to behold His beauty and delight.

Paul, then, borrows from Isaiah to continue expressing his awe.  It doesn’t seem like he’s quoting here in the way of proof-text, but rather he’s using biblical language to praise God.  He says, For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?  The obvious answer is, “No one.”

And yet how often have we and/or others presumed to tell God what He ought to do?  How even more often have we been angry with God about His decisions?  We can be like petulant children, mortified that our mom didn’t buy us the candy bar that we so rightly deserved.  And we’re convinced that if we throw a fit in the store, we’ll get that candy bar.

A parent’s mind is higher than a child’s mind.  God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge–oh, the depth!  Let these verses strike a glorious fear in you, sheep.  And may we trust God and worship Him in all things.


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