The difficulties and mysteries of Scripture
(William Bacon Stevens, "Follow Me!")
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 29:28
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts — neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "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
The difficulties and mysteries of Scripture, necessarily result from the relations between God and man:
God the infinite — man the finite;
God the holy — man the sinner;
God a Spirit — man a creature of flesh and blood;
God in Heaven — man on earth;
God inhabiting eternity — and man the creature of a day;
God the Sovereign of the universe — and man the tiny, puny rebel to His throne.
Mark these contrasts — measure their diversity. The very statement of them shows how impossible it is for man to be able to fully comprehend God or His dealings.
The question was asked of old, "Who, by searching, can find out God? Who can find out the Almighty?" And Solomon, the wisest of men, declared, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter." For if man knew as much as God — he must have the mind of God and the wisdom of God!
For eighteen hundred years the mind of man, with its measuring lines — has been endeavoring to fully understand God and His ways, and compute the measurements of His great truths — and yet they are no nearer the solution now, than when first revealed. There they stand in the firmament of theology, the great unresolvable nebulae of revelation; and no magnifying power of man's optics, and no space-penetrating power of man's devising — can unfold those mysteries, which at once challenge and test, the faith of man.
There can be no revelation of God which is free from mysteries — because human language cannot embody celestial thoughts and modes of divine existence. And the human mind could not comprehend terms and phrases which would truly reflect the person, glory, and work of the Almighty.
Divine thoughts, before they can be taken into our minds, have to be diluted into human words.
Divine things have to be symbolized to us, by human or earthly types.
And divine beings have to be described to us, by terms borrowed from human existences and of purely earthly signification.
Hence, in the process of translation, dilution, and illustration — no one attribute of God, no one truth of God — can be fully revealed and understood.
We can only see the earthly side and the earthly terminus — the heavenly side and the heavenly starting-point, are all beyond our reach — far away out of sight! And there we must be content to let it be, ever standing with our eyes upturned to Jesus, holding in one hand the great doctrines of revealed truth, and in the other the precious assurances:
"What I am doing, you do not understand now; but you shall know hereafter." John 13:7
"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12