Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes (Romans 11:33-36)
Amazingly, most people don’t take the time to think very much about God—even some Christians become so wrapped up in their daily lives, that they don’t take the time to consider his greatness. Our society is so busy with itself that it seldom takes the time to consider the eternal.
However, we need to take the time to ask the important questions. Who is God? What is he like? How can we attempt to describe him? What are his attributes? How does he deal with human beings? Does he have a plan for this world? How is he working out that plan? How has he chosen to reveal Himself to us? These are some of the most important questions we should be asking. It is too bad that we do not give them the attention they deserve.
But that is the whole point of Paul’s letter! He has been answering every one of these important questions about God. By doing this, he has been bringing us into an encounter with this God. When we are brought into an encounter with the living God, we can never go away from that encounter unaffected. When we consider the greatness of God, we can’t help but being deeply moved. We can see here that it certainly moved Paul.
Paul moved from theology to doxology. He moved from pondering the greatness of God to praising the glory of God. This is what an encounter with God will do for you.
Encountering God inspires his praise. We see this in Paul’s opening declaration. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! This is his response to a thorough consideration of God. That is what he has been doing in these chapters of Romans. In this letter, Paul has tried to present a comprehensive understanding of God and his plan. Just the consideration of these truths causes Paul to burst into a doxology of praise—just like me, he probably wanted to jump up and run around his room, shouting, “Yippee! Yahoo!”. Just setting them down on paper has caused Paul to make contact with the living God. The effect of this contact is praise.
Indeed, praise is the normal response to an encounter with God. When we are ushered into the presence of the majesty and greatness of God, we stand in awe. We experience a taste of how wonderful he is. We glimpse his glory, behold his beauty, taste his goodness, feel his love, and it takes our breath away. Everything within us longs to burst forth into praise.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome