This post’s goal is to get you to think deeper & higher about God, expand your faith & stretch your mind. This is a follow-up post to the previous one about truth in regards to research. This topic is exciting for those of us w/ a holy passion for the things of God. This adventurous post arouses me, because of the way God gave this to me when I prayed for Him to show me what to write next. Our Creator showed me 3 verses: PRV 25:2, plus 2 verses where Paul quotes ISA 40:13 (1 COR 2:15 & RM 11:33). Then I realized He was directing me to build on my last post, but in a direction that would help all of us spiritually! God has intentionally hid things, so the spiritually minded can go on a treasure hunt!
Last post explained how so many research studies have false conclusions, often because the studies ignore the large complex set of factors involved in observed events. Further, qualified conclusions, while accurate, are not the simple universal answers that are popular. The lie can be more popular & believable than the truth w/ the masses; a similar thing happens with the subject of God! Truth is like a diamond with facets that appear opposites…or to describe it another way, life & spiritual truths are full of paradoxes. What is a paradox? It is when two views appear to contradict each other, but both are none the less true….in other words their truths are held “in tension”. If we can embrace the full truth of the paradox, we grow in wisdom; if we throw either truth out we cheat ourselves with a superficial understanding that unfortunately is not half the truth, but becomes a lie when it is viewed as the whole truth. If we brush paradoxes aside, the unexamined paradoxes of God will come back to haunt us. The real God is a complex God. Even angels are curious to figure out God’s ways. 1 PTR 1:12b
Let’s give a few Biblical examples of paradoxes: Flee evil—stand firm against evil. Answer a fool—don’t answer a fool (these paradoxical commands are back to back). Don’t judge—judge wisely. One is saved by faith not works—but there is no saving faith if there aren’t works. The Prince of Peace (Yahshua) says he didn’t come to bring peace. He tells us not to resist evil—but resists evil constantly by what he does. He says the wicked want signs, yet he gives the believers many signs. (This sampling is only a start to all the Biblical paradoxes.)
Ancient kings would have various ministers & advisors, like our President’s cabinet, but when it came time to make a decision, the king (& president) had to synthesize all the various partial views, biased in favor of each advisor’s values & viewpt., in order to make a decision in line with the bigger picture. Numerous times, Hitler’s generals during the war realized that they had only a small piece of the picture compared to Hitler’s access to everything, for instance, the day after FDR, Stalin, & Churchill’s Yalta summit, he had the transcript of the whole affair w/ the allies’ complete plans. (Of course, that didn’t stop the generals after the war from making him out to be the person who lost it by crazy decisions, for instance, claiming Hitler made crazy decisions for Stalingrad & Dunkirk. In the former, he probably did the best that was possible, in the latter, von Rundstedt gave the halt orders several times, & Hitler then gave approval.) I digress about kings, presidents & dictators making decisions, because PRV 25:2 compares the how inscrutable the decisions of rulers are, to remind us that the King of Kings is even more inscrutable! Great & good King Hezekiah (c.741 B.C.-687 B.C.) was a righteous, Spirit-led man who wanted his subjects to be wise.(2 KGS & 2 CHR) He selected unpublished proverbs of Solomon & added them on to the scroll of Solomon’s proverbs, the enlarged manuscript is now the Bible’s Book of Proverbs. Proverbs 25 has some that Hezekiah selected; its beginning verses discuss kings. Solomon, when he loved the Lord asked for wisdom (1 KGS 3:16-28) & God opened up the hidden things (1 KGS 10:3). (Unfortunately, the wisest man fell the farthest, & due to the influence of the satanic paganism of Solomon’s wives, later became an occult leader, now popular w/ Masons.)
O.K. let’s dissect PROV. 25:2… in the orig. Heb. both lines end w/ the same word… “[It is the…] Glory of God (elohim) to conceal (haster) a matter (dabar), but Glory of Kings to search out a matter.” (I put the orig. Hebrew words in parens.) Verse 2’s context (vs.3) reveals that the matter that God hides (haster) is how the act of creation was done, the matter that Kings search out are affairs of state, which are the king’s duty to understand. God’s magnificent glory & dignity is elevated by hiding His wisdom in how Creation happened. In verse 3 “heaven & earth” (a Heb. term for the universe) is described as “unknowable”, likewise a king’s heart is difficult to figure out. Many Bible verses state that no one can figure out how God did Creation. Solomon’s use in this proverb of the generic word “elohim” (rather than the personal name YHWH) is interpreted as emphasizing the vast transcendent Creator of the Universe, rather than a personally known Father God. Hezekiah knew how a king has glory & elevation above the common subjects, how much more so is the King of Kings Creator of the Universe above all. Part of God’s attraction is our awe of Him; He is far more than just our Father, but the unfathomable source of the entire Universe! (Space doesn’t permit me to explain the other 2 verses I was shown: 1 COR 2:15 & RM 11:33.)
Proverbs 25:2 teaches us it is God’s glory to conceal a matter. Yahshua also intentionally concealed spiritual truths by parables, & he explained in MT 13:10-17 why he concealed truth in parables. He also loved to use paradoxes to confound the Pharisees (who were often simplistic & rigid w/ truth) when they tried to trap him. For instance, when they complained about activities on the Sabbath, he told the story of David eating the holy showbread. (MT 12, MK 2, LK 6). He shocked them into silence! Part of understanding paradoxes is understanding spiritual timing…there is time to everything as ECCL teaches.
We have space for one paradox about God that is worthwhile to explain. We have an all-knowing omniscient God who can totally forget our sins! Let’s look at each facet (side of the diamond—side of the paradox). An all-knowing God can’t be surprised or not know something (or so we assume). If He is totally aware of everything, that even precludes us having a real relationship w/ Him. (Yet, Scriptures show otherwise.) Further, specific verses say He sees all our sins! PS 90:8, PS 19:12. And woe to anyone hiding sins (ISA 29:15, HOS 7:2) And who of us is w/out sin!?… On the other side of the coin, many Scriptures say He forgets sin: O.K. a forgetful God like a dear old grampa doesn’t even seem like the type to judge us, or to even be on top of what’s happening. Yet we are told repeatedly throughout the Bible He forgets our sins when He forgives them. Now the answer is this…being all-powerful, God has the ability to dissociate. He places self-imposed limits upon what He is aware of. Those limits don’t come from any external source, only His own power which He uses to love us, have a relation with us & assist us. He shows surprise in His actions w/ men because He has self-limited Himself so that He can love & relate to us. David, a man after God’s own heart, writes a beautiful Psalm that illustrates how God subordinates his knowledge (limits His knowledge) in order to love us. I quote: “Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses. For they have been from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness sake, O Lord.” (PS 24:6-7)
We wash our babies clean. We erase the blackboard. We look the other way not to see our child’s gift, even though we can discern what it is under the wrapping paper, so that we can be surprised when we open it. We forgive our children daily. The Almighty God is able to do these things too. God is love, not knowledge. Wow what a wonderful God. Discovering God is like a trek up Mt. Everest thru the clouds. At the top, both the stars look different plus where one was at the bottom looks different too. But more than that, the view at the top is so awesome. As we discover more about God, the view gets more awesome. Let’s keep climbing!