Jun 26, 2006

Our Infinite God

Psalm 147:5

“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure” (Ps. 147:5).

One of the most common ways to speak of the Lord is by way of negation. Basically, the way of negation involves describing something according to what it is not. For example, when we call God immutable, we are saying that He is not subject to mutation; that is, He does not change. Likewise, in defining our Father as infinite, we are saying that He is not finite. To be infinite means God’s being and greatness have no limitations.

This is what is taught in today’s passage, as well as many other passages. Psalm 147:5 applies the concept of infinity when it reveals that our Creator’s understanding is “beyond measure.” If something is beyond measure, it is necessarily infinite, and other translations, such as the KJV, actually use the term infinite in this verse.

We speak of infinity on a fairly regular basis, even though the term is almost impossible to grasp. As human beings who are subject to a limited lifespan and limited resources, how can we really conceive of someone who is boundless?

Two other ideas that we use every day are “time” and “space.” But while we are aware that time is passing, can we really define the term? Certainly it is true that we can measure time, and we do so relative to the motion of certain objects in a certain space. The length of days, for example, is measured by the rotation of the earth on its axis. Yet without motion or change we could not measure the passage of time, and it is doubtful whether we would experience it at all.

Similarly, it is hard to grasp the concept of space. Commonly, we think of space as “nothing,” but this cannot be the case. If there was “nothing,” then we truly cannot call it “no thing.” If “no thing” existed it would be something, and if something, then it could not be nothing. There has never been a time when nothing existed, for if no thing ever was then there could be no something today.

Thinking about such things too much might give us a headache, but the point is that both time and space can be measured. Yet the Lord cannot be measured; He is infinite and so fills and stands sovereignly over all time and space.

Coram Deo

God is not bound by the limitations of time and space, for He is not subject to finitude as we are. He can see the end and the beginning, and He is the infinite ground of all reality. This does not mean we cannot distinguish the Lord from creation. He exists in all places, but He cannot be absorbed fully into His creation. And though He transcends time, He can still enter into it in order to accomplish redemption. Meditate on our Father’s infinite character today.

For Further Study