Is this quote really true? Can we understand everything so we can explain it? Last week I shared how there continues to be a battle for the Bible. However, today’s battle is not simply over the inerrancy of Scripture but also the sufficiency of Scripture. It seems like every time I see someone say that the Bible is sufficient, there will be someone who will ask this question.
If the Bible is sufficient for everything that pertains to life, then how do you explain __________?
It is true that there are some things in the Bible that I don’t understand and can’t explain. I don’t understand how this complex universe could be spoken into existence out of nothing (ex nihilo). Nor can I explain how God’s Spirit can come and indwell every person who is born again. However, this does not mean that I must look outside of the Bible to be able to explain or understand certain realities of life.
If I could completely understand and explain everything that is in God’s Word, it would mean that I would be equal to God. Only God is all wise and He needs no one to instruct Him. Man, on the other hand, is not omniscient and has limited understanding because he has a finite mind.
No matter how many advancements are made in science, it can never be an absolute source of truth. This is because science can only tell us what makes up God’s creation and the creation ordinances God put into place for it to operate. The same is true for anything that man develops in an effort to explain any aspect of life.
Job asked God why he was going through such pain and suffering. After all, Job knew that he tried to live a life of integrity. If he loved God and served Him, why did God allow all this torment to come into his life?
It is interesting to read the account of Job and realize that God never directly answered Job’s questions. Instead, God asked Job a series of questions. I would encourage you to read the exchange between God and Job in Job 38-39. After Job’s friends tried to explain why Job was going through all of his suffering and Job had given his answers to their attacks, God spoke. He said to Job,
Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Job 38:1-2 (NKJV)
God asked who is trying to “darken His counsel”. What God said to Job was who is man that he would try to damage the integrity of His wisdom? How was Job doing this? Job was questioning the integrity of God’s wisdom with words that showed no knowledge. The term “knowledge” means discernment or understanding. In other words, God was letting Job know that mere mortal men can never fully understand God and His ways. Whenever someone tries to do this, their words have no knowledge!
To prove His point, God asked Job some probing questions that no man, even a righteous man like Job, could answer. God’s first question was enough to silence not only Job but also his friends.
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Job 38:4-5 (NKJV)
God continued to bombard Job with questions.
Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place? Job 38:12 (NKJV)
Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. Job 38:16-18 (NKJV)
Do you know the time when the wild mountain goats bear young?…Have you given the horse strength?…Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south?…Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high? Job 39:1,19,26-27 (NKJV)
You and I can study creation and we can see how it works. However, we cannot answer the question, why does everything work the way it does? That is because we are not God. Only God can answer the questions that He asked Job.After God questioned Job about his understanding of the created world, God gets to the heart of man’s inability to completely understand all of life. Again, I encourage you to read Job 40-41. God begins with this question,
Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Job 40:1
God then confronts Job with this piercing question.
Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Job 40:8-9 (NKJV)
There are other passages of the Bible where one can find God letting man know that He is God and we can never fully comprehend His majesty, power and glory. Isaiah 40-41 come to my mind. As I read these chapters, I am overwhelmed by the wisdom and power of Almighty God. Isaiah sums all of this up with these words from God.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For 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 (NKJV)
What am I trying to say in all of this? It is simply this. God’s Word is true, inerrant and sufficient for all matters of life! The fact that we cannot fully understand and explain everything that is in the Bible does not negate its authority. It simply means that He is God and we are not!