Mysteries of the Bible
No finite mind can fully comprehend the character or the works of the
Infinite One. We cannot by searching find out God. To minds the
strongest and most highly cultured, as well as to the weakest and most
ignorant, that holy Being must remain clothed in mystery. But though
"clouds and darkness are round about Him: righteousness and judgment
are the foundation of His throne." Psalm 97:2, R.V. We can so far
comprehend His dealing with us as to discern boundless mercy united to
infinite power. We can understand as much of His purposes as we are
capable of comprehending; beyond this we may still trust the hand that
is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love.
The word of God, like the character of its Author, presents mysteries
that can never be fully comprehended by finite beings. But God has given
in the Scriptures sufficient evidence of their divine authority. His own
existence, His character, the truthfulness of His word, are established
by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant.
True, He has not removed the possibility of doubt; faith must rest upon
evidence, not demonstration; those who wish to doubt have opportunity;
but those who desire to know the truth find ample ground for faith.
We have no reason to doubt God's word because we cannot understand
the mysteries of His providence. In the natural world we are constantly
surrounded with wonders beyond our comprehension. Should we then be
surprised to find in the spiritual world also mysteries that we cannot
fathom? The difficulty lies solely in the weakness and narrowness of the
The mysteries of the Bible, so far from being an argument against it,
are among the strongest evidences of its divine inspiration. If it
contained no account of God but that which we could comprehend; if His
greatness and majesty could be grasped by finite minds, then the Bible
would not, as now, bear the unmistakable evidences of divinity. The
greatness of its themes should inspire faith in it as the word of God.
The Bible unfolds truth with a simplicity and an adaptation to the
needs and longings of the human heart that has astonished and charmed
the most highly cultivated minds, while to the humble and uncultured
also it makes plain the way of life. "The wayfaring men, though
fools, shall not err therein," Isaiah 35:8. No child need mistake
the path. Not one trembling seeker need fail of walking in pure and holy
light. Yet the most simply stated truths lay hold upon themes elevated,
far-reaching, infinitely beyond the power of human
comprehension,--mysteries that are the hiding of His glory, mysteries
that overpower the mind in its research,--while they inspire the sincere
seeker for truth with reverence and faith. The more we search the Bible,
the deeper is our conviction that it is the word of the living God, and
human reason bows before the majesty of divine revelation.
God intends that to the earnest seeker the truths of His word shall
be ever unfolding. While "the secret things belong unto the Lord
our God," "those things which are revealed belong unto us and
to our children." Deuteronomy 29:29. The idea that certain portions
of the Bible cannot be understood has led to neglect of some of its most
important truths. The fact needs to be emphasized, and often repeated,
that the mysteries of the Bible are not such because God has sought to
conceal truth, but because our own weakness or ignorance makes us
incapable of comprehending or appropriating truth. The limitation is not
in His purpose, but in our capacity. Of those very portions of Scripture
often passed by as impossible to be understood, God desires us to
understand as much as our minds are capable of receiving. "All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God," that we may be "thoroughly
furnished unto all good works," 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
It is impossible for any human mind to exhaust even one truth or
promise of the Bible. One catches the glory from one point of view,
another from another point; yet we can discern only gleamings. The full
radiance is beyond our vision.
As we contemplate the great things of God's word, we look into a
fountain that broadens and deepens beneath our gaze. Its breadth and
depth pass our knowledge. As we gaze, the vision widens; stretched out
before us we behold a boundless, shoreless sea.
Such study has vivifying power. The mind and heart acquire new
strength, new life.
This experience is the highest evidence of the divine authorship of
the Bible. We receive God's word as food for the soul, through the same
evidence by which we receive bread as food for the body. Bread supplies
the need of our nature; we know by experience that it produces blood and
bone and brain. Apply the same test to the Bible; when its principles
have actually become the elements of character, what has been the
result? what changes have been made in the life? "Old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians
5:17. In its power, men and women have broken the chains of sinful
habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become
reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne
the likeness of Satan have been transformed into the image of God. This
change is itself the miracle of miracles. A change wrought by the word,
it is one of the deepest mysteries of the word. We cannot understand it;
we can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures, it is "Christ
in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27.
A knowledge of this mystery furnishes a key to every other. It opens
to the soul the treasures of the universe, the possibilities of infinite
And this development is gained through the constant unfolding to us
of the character of God--the glory and the mystery of the written word.
If it were possible for us to attain to a full understanding of God and
His word, there would be for us no further discovery of truth, no
greater knowledge, no further development. God would cease to be
supreme, and man would cease to advance. Thank God, it is not so. Since
God is infinite, and in Him are all the treasures of wisdom, we may to
all eternity be ever searching, ever learning, yet never exhaust the
riches of His wisdom, His goodness, or His power.
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