Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty to perfection?
That there is a first and supreme cause, who is the Creator and Governor of the universe, is a plain and obvious truth which forces itself upon every attentive mind; so that many have argued the existence of God, from the unanimous consent of all nations to this great and fundamental truth. But though we may easily conceive of the existence of the Deity, yet His nature and perfections surpass the comprehension of all minds but His own.
I. GOD IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE IN RESPECT TO THE GROUND OF HIS EXISTENCE. God owes His existence to Himself, yet we are obliged to suppose there is some ground or reason of His existing, rather than not existing. We cannot conceive of any existence which has no ground or foundation. The ground or reason of God's existence must be wholly within Himself. What that something in Himself is, is above the comprehension of all created beings.
II. GOD IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE IN RESPECT TO MANY OF HIS PERFECTIONS.
1. Eternity. God is eternal. He never had a beginning. We can conceive of a future, but not of a past eternity. That a being should always exist without any beginning is what men will never be able to fathom, either in this world, or that which is to come.
2. Omnipresence. The immensity of the Divine presence transcends the highest conceptions of created beings. God is equally present with each of His creatures, and with all His creatures at one and the same instant.
3. Power. God can do everything. His power can meet with no resistance or obstruction. Who can stay His hand? The effects of Divine power are astonishing.
4. Knowledge. That knowledge takes in all objects within the compass of possibility. Such knowledge is wonderful; it is high; we cannot attain unto it.
5. The moral perfections of God in extent and degree surpass our limited views.
III. GOD IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE IN HIS GREAT DESIGNS. None of the creatures of God can look into His mind and see all His views and intentions as they lie there. His counsels will of necessity remain incomprehensible, until His Word or providence shall reveal them to His intelligent creatures.
IV. HE IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE IN HIS WORKS. Their nature, number, and magnitude stretch beyond the largest views of creatures. No man knows how second causes produce their effects; nor how the material system holds together and hangs upon nothing.
V. HE IS UNSEARCHABLE IN HIS PROVIDENCE. Whatever God has done, He always intended to do; but we do not know at present all the reasons of His conduct, nor all the consequences that will flow from it. Respecting future events, God has drawn over them an impenetrable veil. Improve and apply the subject.
1. In a very important sense God is truly infinite. To be incomprehensible is the same as to be infinite.
2. The incomprehensible nature of the Supreme Being does by no means preclude our having clear and just conceptions of His true character.
3. If God be incomprehensible by His creatures, we have no reason to deny our need of a Divine revelation.
4. If God is incomprehensible in His nature and perfections, then it is no objection against the Divinity of the Bible that it contains some incomprehensible mysteries.
5. Then it is very unreasonable to disbelieve anything which He has been pleased to reveal concerning Himself, merely because we cannot comprehend it.
6. Ministers ought to make it their great object in preaching, to unfold the character and perfections of the Deity.
(N. Emmons, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
WEB: "Can you fathom the mystery of God? Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty?