A Discourse Upon the Power of God
Job 26:14
See, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

The text is a lofty declaration of the Divine power, with a particular note of attention — "Lo!" Doctrine. Infinite and incomprehensible power pertains to the nature of God, and is expressed in part in His works. Though there be a mighty expression of Divine power in His works, yet an incomprehensible power pertains to His nature. His power glitters in all His works, as well as His wisdom.


1. Power sometimes signifies authority. But power taken for strength, and power taken for authority, are distinct things. The power of God here is to be understood of His strength to act.

2. Power is divided ordinarily into absolute and ordinate. Absolute is that power whereby God is able to do that which He will not do, but is possible to be done. Ordinate is that power whereby God doth that which He hath decreed to do. These are not distinct powers, but one and the same power.

3. The power of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatever He please, whatever His infinite wisdom can direct, and whatever the infinite purity of His will can resolve. Power, in the primary notion of it, doth not signify an act, but an ability to bring a thing into act.

4. This power is of a distinct conception from the wisdom and will of God. They are not really distinct, but according to our conceptions. We cannot discourse of Divine things, without absolutely some proportion of them with human, ascribing unto God the perfections, sifted from the imperfections, of our nature. In us there are three orders — of understanding, will, power; and accordingly three acts — counsel, resolution, execution; which, though they are distinct in us, are not distinct in God.

5. As power is essentially in God, so it is not distinct from His essence. Omnipotence is nothing but the Divine essence efficacious ad extra. It is His essence as operative.

6. The power of God gives activity to all the other perfections of His nature; and is of a larger extent and efficacy, in regard of its objects, than some perfections of His nature.

7. This power is infinite. A finite power is a limited power, and a limited power cannot effect everything that is possible. The objects of Divine power are innumerable — not essentially infinite. God can do infinitely more than He hath done, or will do.

(1) Creatures have a power to act about more objects than they do.

(2) God is the most free agent. Every free agent can do more than He will do.

(3) This power is infinite in regard of action. In regard to the independency of action. It consists in an ability to give higher degrees of perfection to everything which He hath made. As His power is infinite, extensive, in regard of the multitude of objects He can bring into being, so it is infinite, intensive, in regard of the manner of operation and the endowments He can bestow upon them.

(4) This power is infinite in regard of duration.

8. The impossibility of God's doing some things is no infringing of His almightiness, but rather a strengthening of it. Some things are impossible in their own nature. Such as imply a contradiction. Some things are impossible to the nature and being of God. Some are impossible to the glorious perfections of God. He cannot do anything unworthy of Himself.


1. The power that is in creatures demonstrates a greater and an inconceivable power in God. Nothing in the world is without a power of activity according to its nature. All the power which is distinct in the creatures must be united in God.

2. If there were not an incomprehensible power in God, He would not be perfect.

3. The simplicity of God manifests it.

4. The miracles that have been in the world evidence the power of God.


1. In creation.

(1) His power is the first thing evident in the story of the creation.

(2) By this creative power God is often distinguished from all the idols and false gods in the world. How doth the power of God appear in creation? The world was made of nothing. The creation of things from nothing speaks an infinite power. The power appears in raising such variety of creatures from this barren womb of nothing.

(3) God did all this with the greatest ease and facility. Without instruments. By a word; a simple act of His will. Note also the appearance of this power in the instantaneous production of things.

2. In government. God decreed from eternity the particular ends of creatures, and their operations respecting those ends. As there was need of His power to execute His decree of creation, there is also need of His power to execute His decree about the manner of government. All government is an act of the understanding, will, and power. This power is evident in natural government, which consists in the preservation of all things, propagation of them by corruptions and generations, and in a cooperation with them in their motives to attain their ends. In moral government, which is of the hearts and actions of men. And in gracious government, as respecting the Church.

3. In redemption. This is the most admirable work that ever God brought forth in the world. This will appear —

(1)  In the person redeeming.

(2)  In the publication and propagation of the doctrine of redemption.

(3)  In the application of redemption — in the planting grace; in the pardon of sin; in the preserving grace.


1. Of information and instruction. If incomprehensible and infinite power belongs to the nature of God, then Jesus Christ hath a Divine nature, because the acts of power proper to God are ascribed to Him. Hence may also be inferred the deity of the Holy Ghost. Works of omnipotency are ascribed to the Spirit of God.

2. The power of God is contemned and abused. Contemned in every sin; in distrust of God; in too great fear of man; and by trusting in ourselves. Abused when we make use of it to justify contradictions; by presuming on it, without using the means He hath appointed. This doctrine is full of comfort, and it teacheth us the fear of God.

(S. Charnock.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

WEB: Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways. How small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?"

The Thunder of His Power
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