Saturday, 2 November 2013
For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Romans 11:34
Paul cites a verse from Isaiah 40. Taken with its surrounding verses, we get a glimpse at the “depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” There Isaiah records the Lord’s majesty to Israel –
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?” Isaiah 30:12-14
Unlike human rulers – kings, dictators, presidents, emperors, etc., the Lord needs no counselor, nor is there anything that He lacks in wisdom or knowledge. If someone were to attempt to advise the Lord, that attempt would be futile. All things were created by Him and so all knowledge to be discerned from within creation by a created being is already known to Him. His mind is infinitely higher than the individual knowledge of man as well as the sum of the accumulated knowledge of man. In fact, if the storehouse of man’s knowledge were to be maintained and updated for all eternity, it would still be infinitely less than the knowledge of the infinite Creator; a finite can never attain to the infinite.
Because of this, there is none who can advise God on what to do. Our prayers which attempt to “help God along” in His decision process are futile. And our prayers which attempt to “mandate” or “claim” something from God border on blasphemy. He sees the end, we don’t. Therefore, to make a claim from God in essence assumes that the claim is in line with His future intentions; something we cannot know. If we claim prosperity or healing and God intended that we are to be poor or sick, then we have essentially usurped His divine will through our prayer.
And this avenue follows through with the subject matter of Romans 9-11. Whether we agree with Israel’s return; whether we accept God’s mercy upon Israel or not; and whether we like or don’t like the people of Israel – none of that matters. God has shown us in His word the state of the nation, the extent of His mercy, and the love He has for His disobedient people. For us to work against these things, or to pray against them, is only a sign of our own rebellion against Him. God is working out an immensely detailed and marvelous plan. Let us be found in accord with it, not striving against it!
Life application: In your prayers, don’t “advise” God on what He should do. And, in your prayers, don’t “mandate” to God what is right. Rather, petition the Lord for that which You desire and be ready to accept His answer – be it yes or be it no. He is God; the answer belongs to Him alone.
Lord, today I realize that not all things are centered around me. In fact, I don’t know if I will be alive tomorrow. Because of this, I see that I am wholly dependent on You for all things and that I have no right to claim anything from You. Forgive me for my presumptuous prayers of the past. In the future, I will ask and wait on Your answer, knowing that You have the best plan in mind for me. Amen.