God tells us that while we live on earth, some things about his plan will remain a secret: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deut 29:29).
Not knowing all of God’s secrets drives Type-A, figure-everything-out people (like me) crazy. Yet Moses tells us that God has structured the universe so that we’ll never figure some things out this side of eternity.
That means if we make our faith contingent on being able to figure everything out, we’ll never believe. It’s not that if you’ll just read one more book, attend one more lecture, or meditate on one more truth that it will all at last make sense. It’s literally impossible, God says, on this side of heaven to understand all that he is doing.
I’m not urging you to adopt a blind, naïve faith. I’m just saying that if God does indeed exist, he surely is a God of incomprehensible wisdom, and we should approach him as such—assuming that some of what he does lies beyond our grasp. Don’t flatter yourself; you can’t engage in a battle of wits with the One who fashioned your brain.
We know that Moses, who wrote these things about God, had his own unanswered questions. At the end of his life, Moses was forbidden from entering the promised land because he lost his temper one afternoon, smashing his staff into the rock to draw water from it rather than speaking to it like God had commanded (Num 20:7–12). For that, he was forbidden entry into the promised land after forty years of faithful leadership. What he did was wrong, but I still sympathize with Moses. The Israelites were acting like spoiled toddlers. I would have probably gone “Old Testament” on them long before Moses did and used that stick on far more than the rock’s face.
Did Moses see this as a fitting punishment? We don’t know, but I have a hard time seeing how he could have. He had been ready to go into the land forty years prior. It was the Israelites’ lack of faith that kept him out the first time.
Even so, Moses did not cross out or asterisk all the things he had written about God’s faithfulness and steadfast love. Instead, he composed a new song about them, a song that the book of Revelation says we will sing with him throughout eternity:
Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. (Rev 15:3, emphasis mine)
Moses declared that God’s ways were altogether true and righteous even when he couldn’t understand them. He knew the God who had spoken to him out of the bush was the I AM of perfect truth and justice.
Greear, J. D., and David Jeremiah. 2018. Not God Enough: Why Your Small God Leads to Big Problems. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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