The Mysterious Ocean and Human Conceit

A few weeks ago while visiting the coast of Maine, we watched two scuba divers get ready for a dive. They carefully checked each piece of equipment and every seam in their rubber suits before easing themselves beneath the waves. What wonders would they encounter, unknown to landlubbers like ourselves? From where we stood the ocean extends mysterious and deep to the farthest horizon—an unknown universe beneath the waves.

From time immemorial human curiosity has inspired expeditions to plunge beneath the ocean surface, to search the impenetrable jungle, to climb the highest peak, to explore space. And yet with each discovery, the universe’s enigma’s multiply. What marvels await us in the deepest troughs of the ocean? What spectacles may be encountered on distant planets? Each new discovery serves but to unveil a myriad more imponderables.

Why then do we demand absolute knowledge of God, the creator of all that exists? Why do we expect to understand everything about how God operates? Such conceit! Job, through his mysterious sufferings and undeserved trials learned to become more humble. God spoke to Job. “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?…Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?…Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea?…Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? …Can you bring forth the constellations in their season?” (Job 38:2,4,16,31,32).

Job replied, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know…therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:3,6).

Wise men and women throughout the ages have acknowledged humbly the inscrutable wisdom of God. Moses wrote, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). What we need to know and do is clearly laid out for us in the Word of God. There’s no mystery there.

But because of the very nature of God, our understanding will always be limited. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my way, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8,9).

Let’s celebrate the mystery that is our God! “The Lord is the great God…In his hands are the depths of the earth…The sea is his, for he made it…Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:3-6).©

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