Posts Tagged ‘Ecclesiastes 11:5’

You cannot understand the activity of God

May 15, 2018

Ecclesiastes 11-5

The Verse of the Day for May 15, 2018 is found in Ecclesiastes 11:5 in the New Living Translation:

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

This verse reminds us that God, the creator of the universe, is far beyond our ability to comprehend. In thinking about this verse, the word “unsearchable” comes to mind, a term discussed in previous blog post that is revised and re-posted here:

Romans 11:33 (AMP) also 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 us 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.”

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

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

God of wonders

May 15, 2016

Ecclesiastes 11-5

The Verse of the Day for May 15, 2016 comments on the inability of humanity to comprehend the “works of God”, as expressed in Ecclesiastes 11:5 (Amplified Bible):

Just as you do not know the way and path of the wind or how the bones are formed in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

The Common English Bible offers this rendering:

Just as you don’t understand what the life-breath does in the fetus inside a pregnant woman’s womb, so you can’t understand the work of God, who makes everything happen.

Elsewhere in Ecclesiastes, Solomon confirms that God’s way and all his works far surpass the human mind:

Ecclesiastes 8:17 (AMP):

17 and I saw all the work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though man may labor in seeking, he will not discover; and [more than that], though a wise man thinks and claims he knows, he will not be able to find it out.

The writer of Ecclesiastes goes on to confirm this about God:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11 He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.

We find another illustration of the incomprehensible greatness of God Almighty in Romans 11: 33-35., as the Apostle Paul offers what has been designated as a doxology or hymn of praise. Derived from two Greek words, doxa, meaning “glory” and legein, meaning “to speak,” these verses give praise to the indescribable virtues of God.

Romans 11:33-35 (AMP)

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?

We conclude our reflection on the works of the Almighty with Chris Tomlin, offering this musical proclamation: “God of Wonders”: