Unsearchable

Romans 11--33-36

Revised and re-posted is the following blog entry:

The Verse of the Day for May 17, 2016 is found in Romans 11:33 (AMP) which sets forth the incomprehensible greatness of God Almighty:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways!

Here is the rendering in the New International Version:

[Doxology] Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

The final section of Romans 11 is designated as a doxology or hymn of praise. Derived from two Greek words, doxa, meaning “glory” and legein, meaning “to speak,” Romans 11:33-36 give praise to the indescribable virtues of God:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it would be paid back to him? 36 For from Him [all things originate] and through Him [all things live and exist] and to Him are all things [directed]. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen.

In the Book of Job and in the Psalms we find similar sentiments expressed:

Job 5:9 (NLT):

He does great things too marvelous to understand.

He performs countless miracles.  

Job 11:7-9 (NLT)

“Can you solve the mysteries of God?

Can you discover everything about the Almighty?

Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—

And who are you?

It is deeper than the underworld*—

What do you know?

It is broader than the earth

And wider than the sea.

The Psalmist also notes the incomprehensible nature of the Creator in Psalm 139:1-6 9 (NLT)

O Lord, you have examined my heart

And know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up.

You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You see me when I travel

And when I rest at home.

You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say

Even before I say it, Lord.

You go before me and follow me.

You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

Too great for me to understand!

In describing the ways of God, one of the terms used is “unsearchable” which is also translated “indelineable, marked by being impossible to plot, travel, or trace to the end of, therefore, incomprehensible or impossible to understand.” Another synonym would be “inscrutable.” Countee Cullen, renowned poet of the Harlem Renaissance, makes this statement regarding the nature of God in the poem “Yet Do I Marvel”:

 Inscrutable His ways are, and immune
To catechism by a mind too strewn
With petty cares to slightly understand
What awful brain compels His awful hand.

All in all, it clearly becomes evident that God’s ways are not our ways; indeed, His ways are past finding out.

Here is a musical rendering of Romans 11:33-36:

Gwen Smith offers another contemporary song of worship “Unsearchable”:

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