Today, we started a Bible study on the attributes of GOD. The pastor leading it is recommending we think of it more as seeing the beauty of GOD. It sounds less bookish and gets to the heart of what we are talking about. He also suggested that we spend more time thinking and pondering in that uncomfortable place of thinking about who He is vs. rushing to application of what this means to me. It is part of each lesson. He is just encouraging us to take time to pause.
In preparing for the study, I have been touched. Even if you aren’t using it to study with a group, I think you will enjoy reading the book! It is None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin.
The forward of the book spent time reminding us why the fear of GOD is so important. And yes, that word means fear as well as awe. It pushes us to think about this verse:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
Psalm 111:10 ESV
It is starting with the attribute of GOD as being infinite. It is one I have been familiar with for a long time…in my head. But the way she talked about it, put it in a new category for me. She contrasted our being able to be measured at birth to His characteristic of being infinite. There is nothing about GOD that can be measured. That is the difference between being infinite and being finite.
A further concept was that our tendency is to want to measure Him because then, we can manage Him. But because He is infinite, measuring Him or in some way, trying to quantify Him or put Him in a box, is not possible.
Even though our infinite GOD can’t be measured, our suffering and sin can be measured…and it is finite!
A further comparison that is going to have me thinking for awhile, is the ability for our sorrow and our sin, to be measured. They all have a limit and a boundary to them that GOD does not have. They can be measured. They aren’t infinite like GOD is.
It gives new meaning to these familiar verses:
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Psalm 56:8-9, 11 ESV
This refers to our sorrow and suffering
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners,
so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Now the law came in to increase the trespass,
but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
so that, as sin reigned in death,
grace also might reign through righteousness
leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:19-21 ESV
This refers to our sin.
No matter how overwhelming our grief, pain, suffering, it can still be measured and quantified. God can never be limited in any way. This also includes His mercy, comfort, forgiveness, and grace as well.
How often does our suffering, fear, anxiety and broken-heartedness feel so immense, so out of control, so overwhelming? But the truth is that can all be measured. It has limits to it.
GOD has no limits. He is infinite. When you think of the most overwhelming thing facing you right now, if you are a child of GOD, remember that He has no limitations. His ability to deal with ANY problem, sin, suffering or fear, is limitless. His perspective is through and more complex than any of ours could ever be!
One difficulty is that when we deal with an infinite GOD, our temptation is to try to contain Him and put Him in a box of our making. It is to our own detriment.
One of our women shared this with us, and it gave me just a taste of what infinite means. I’ll share it here with you. It gives the feeling of both the hugeness of GOD as well as His understanding of tiny details. If you have walked with Him for very long, you will understand that this gives a perspective on his infinity.