We know so little about God, but we use big words as if we didn't.
Every statement from us about Christ is bound to be an understatement -- because of verses like Isa. 55:9
. Even if we have the words right, and that is usually when we are closest to just using Scripture, we still understate
in the sense that we don't really understand the concepts we use of God.
I am not yet speaking about God, but of the words themselves. Words, in the final analysis, are pitiful instruments to tell of the wonderful truths of God -- or many other things in this life. Very often, whether in some other branch of knowledge or in theology, we use words, not to come to grips with something hard to understand, but to make it go away
. We do this with a semblance of "having tackled the problem
We give a name to the strange force of electricity
. We tag it and bag it with eleven letters and neatly slot it away from our consciousness. But what is this electricity, really? Gravity
Such knowledge is too wonderful for us.Eternity
I have a chart, for instance, that I have used both in teaching at church and at the school to show that we don't really fathom what is involved by glibly saying God is infinite
. The demonstration works like this: I first ask them a "stupid" question, as one of my students might have categorized it: "How many infinities are there?" They almost invariably say "one".
Then I draw an X/Y chart on the board, showing, first of all, how there is an infinite number of positive numbers from zero to infinity. This is a no-brainer. Then I draw another line from zero backwards to negative infinity. Heads start scratching here -- the more insightful ones. This, after all, is another infinite set, and we have only drawn two lines!
I can then show them that there seems
to be -- I stay away from the indicative mode at this point; I want conclusions to come from them
, or not at all -- an infinite number of sets.
We have an infinity of all odd numbers; of all even numbers; of all multiples of, say, 8, and this can go on, well, ad infinitum -- each set trailing off into its own domain of infinity. All separate yet, so it seemed at first
, equal. An infinite number of infinities!
I finally end my demonstration with putting a large circle around the whole chart, saying that this represents all that we can fathom about infinity. Then I write a large "G" in front. And a large "D" at the other end, spelling "GOD". This spells out
the truth that God is bigger than we can ever imagine.I have since found out that my "discovery" has long been made by a mathematician of two centuries ago, George Cantor, and that there is a whole branch of math called "set theory".
We say God is "infinite". But we are saying much more than we can comprehend. How is God infinite?
Infinite in Time: Eternality.
Moses said of Him (Psalm 90:2
) “From everlasting to everlasting You are God.” "Everlasting to everlasting" means Eternal. Only God is truly eternal
. Though Christians have eternal life, it is only so from this time forward, not backward. See also Deut. 32:40; 1st Tim. 6:16.Infinite in Knowledge: Omniscient
(“all-knowing”). Psalm 139
describes this and the following two aspects of God -- omnipotent and omnipresence. Verses 1-6 refer to omniscience. Also, Psa. 147:4-5
. Everything God planned, He did from eternity past? He knows the future because His will is done in it and His wisdom and omnipotence brings it about.
Infinite in Power: Omnipotent
(“all-powerful”) “El Shaddai”. This is God’s total ability to achieve His perfect will. “Is anything too hard for God
?” (Jer. 32:17, 27
Infinite in Space (Immensity): Omnipresent.
He is everywhere. Psalm 139:7-12.
God fills every part of space with His whole Being! “Do I not fill heaven and Earth?” -- 1 Kings 8:27.
See also Isa. 66:1, Jer. 23:23-24.
This is not pantheism. God is everywhere, but He is not everything. “
Immensity” means not just that God is everywhere, but that He is fully present
in every place. All of God is in the room in which you, my reading friend, are reading these words, wherever you are.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
-- Psalm 139:7-10
Does this explain to you the idea of an infinite God? What questions does this raise for you that you'd like the community to help answer?