MARCH 28, 2017 – GOD RISES ABOVE RATIONALITY

Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

—Job 26:14

Now the holy man of God said, “Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?” (Job 26:14). All that we can think or say is rational. But God rises above rationality. He rises as high above the rational as He does above the physical. God is of an essence and substance the like of which nothing else exists in the universe. He is above it all—and yet we can know a little portion of God’s ways. When I preach on the being of God, the attributes of God, when I talk about what God is like, and what kind of God He is, I approach it respectfully, from afar. I point with a reverent finger to the tall mountain peak which is God, which rises infinitely above my power to comprehend. But that is only a little portion. The paths of His ways cannot be known; the rest is super-rational….

How terrible it is that, in the presence of this awesome, awful God, some people are untouched by it all! How frightful, how awesome, how awful it is! We don’t want to hear about God. We want to hear about something that can tickle our fancy, that can satisfy our morbid curiosity or our longing after romance. AOGII040-041

I see such a little portion, Lord, of who You are, and yet how awesome are Your ways! May I never be untouched by what I see of You. Amen. [1]


14 For Job these manifestations and deeds are but mere shadows or whispers of the smallest part of God’s might. We stand merely at the fringe of his majestic power. Who among us can even begin to comprehend this fully, let alone fully realize the thunderous might of which he is capable? How beautifully and humbly Job asserts the majestic omnipotence of God! But he ends the poem convinced of the mystery that surrounds that omnipotence.[2]


26:14 the outskirts of his ways These mighty acts of God give only a glimpse of His power.

how small a whisper The mighty thunder and wind is only a whisper to God. This description anticipates God’s response in ch. 38, where God speaks from a whirlwind. Elsewhere, God speaks in a whisper (1 Kgs 19:11–13).[3]


26:14 Behold, these are the fringes of His ways. Poetic language reminding his counselors that all that could be said and understood by man was only a glimpse of God’s powerful hand.[4]


26:14 the outskirts of his ways. Job is aware that such phenomena only hint at the full extent of divine power. Since even there, God’s ways lie beyond human comprehension, Job’s friends are presumptuous to suppose that they can unerringly interpret God’s dealings with him.[5]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Smick, E. B. (2010). Job. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 Chronicles–Job (Revised Edition) (Vol. 4, p. 817). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Job 26:14). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Job 26:14). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 797). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.

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