After spending 11 chapters magnifying the grace of God shown to us in Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul broke out into a hymn of praise:
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33).
Have you come to this place before? A place of awe before an all-knowing, all-wise God?
Whenever we study the big questions of life, the big debates of our world, and the development of a biblical worldview, we can easily become smug and confident in what we know. We put God in a box and assume we have figured out His ways and His plans.
Reacting against this arrogant overconfidence, some Christians make everything about the Scriptures a mystery. They wonder whether we can know anything with certainty about who God is and what He has done.
The apostle Paul struck the right balance. Paul believed he knew things about God, and he held these truths with confidence. At the same time, the more Paul knew, the more he realized he didn’t know everything. In other words, though Paul could know many things about God with absolute certainty, he understood that he didn’t know God exhaustively.
So what was Paul’s response? He bowed his knees in worship. He proclaimed what he knew about God based on God’s revelation of Himself, and then he knelt in worship, fully recognizing his own limitations of knowledge. That’s where intellectual growth should lead us, not to overconfidence in our ability to figure God out but to our knees in worship, in awe of His goodness to us.