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 true knowledge of God is founded in a deep sense of our ignorance of Him. They know Him best who are most humble that they know Him no better. In this chapter Job celebrates the power and wisdom of God as manifest in the works of creation.
I. HOW LITTLE A PORTION DO WE KNOW OF HIS BEING. That there must be some intelligent, independent, first cause of all created nature is most certain. This first Being must subsist necessarily, or by a necessity of nature. But have we any idea what that means? If He be necessarily existent, He must be eternal. But a Being subsisting of Himself from all eternity, surpasses the utmost stretch of our imagination. If God necessarily exist, He must be omnipresent, or present in all places. But what idea can we form of the Divine immensity?
II. THE MANNER OF GOD'S EXISTENCE AS MUCH EXCEEDS ALL OUR COMPREHENSION AS THE NECESSARY PROPERTIES OF IT. How can we suppose that it should not? If Scripture does not explain to our understanding the peculiar mode or manner of His existence, or a distinction of subsistence in the Divine essence, why should the mystery of it be a stumbling block to our faith, when in the world of nature we are surrounded with mysteries which we readily believe, though no less incomprehensible?
III. HOW LITTLE WE KNOW OF THE DIVINE PERFECTIONS. Both His natural and moral perfections leave our thoughts labouring in the research infinitely behind. What those perfections are, as subsisting in a limited degree in creatures we know, but what they are as existing without limits, or to the utmost extent in God, we know not.
1. When our minds are once satisfied and established in the doctrine of the Divine perfections, let no difficulties or objections that may arise from our contemplation of the works of nature, or the ways of providence, be suffered to weaken our faith therein.
2. When we are speaking of the Divine attributes we commonly say they are infinite, that is, they have nothing to limit, obstruct, or circumscribe them, or that they extend to the utmost degree of perfection.
3. The attributes of God are sometimes divided into His communicable and incommunicable attributes. By the former are meant His moral perfections; such as His wisdom, holiness, goodness, etc., which in various degrees He communicates to His creatures. By the latter are understood those attributes which are appropriate to Deity; such as absolute independence, self-sufficiency, eternity, immensity, and omnipotence, which are in their own nature incommunicable to any finite subject.
IV. HOW LITTLE DO WE KNOW OF THE WORKS OF GOD. How few of them fall under our observation! Look at the minute animal work; at what is revealed by the microscope. Look at the great world; or at the finished mechanism of our body. How astonishing the union of two such opposite substances as flesh and spirit.
V. HIS WAYS OF PROVIDENCE ARE AS UNSEARCHABLE AS HIS WORKS OF POWER. Whilst His thoughts and views are not as ours, but infinitely more extended, it is no wonder that there should appear to us inextricable mysteries in the course of His providential conduct.
VI. HOW LOW AND DEFECTIVE IS OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD OF GOD. In a revelation that comes from God, it might reasonably be expected that we should meet with some hidden truths or sublime doctrines which surpass our understandings.
(1) How humble we should be in view of our ignorance.
(2) Speak of God with the profoundest reverence.
(3) Be thankful for what we know of God, and try to increase it.
(J. Mason, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?