August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019
Romans 11:33-36
by Dr. Janet K. Sweet
Clergy of Midway Memorial / Prospect UMC (Knoxville, TN)
Appalachian District

This passage begins with what seems like a loud gasp,  “Oh!” “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” Maybe we should gasp too. “Oh, the depth,” implies great deepness, so great that one gasps. The image that comes to mind is looking into the depths of the dark ocean waters from a pier. How deep is it? We cannot imagine! So, too we cannot imagine the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God.

Because there is such depth, there is also a hiddenness. Part of Daniel 2:21-22 speaks of hiddenness as well. “God gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding, he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness.” What is it that truly lies hidden in the depth of these riches, wisdom and knowledge?  What lies beneath presents a mystery for us as we cannot see how far the depths extend. The depths are unreachable and out of sight. Whenever we look at the ocean we know there are hidden depths-- things we cannot see beneath the surface.  Yet, as our large public aquariums reveal, all kinds of life live in the depths.  So it is with the depth of God’s riches, wisdom and knowledge:  so hidden, so deep, we can never see all of it. We cannot imagine what lies there, what great treasures He possesses to share with us. Yet there is life within it. God is God and infinitely able. He will, in his own way reveal what we need to know.

This is not a pie-in-the sky theology. Paul is not speaking hypothetically. I say this because I have personally experienced the depth of his riches, wisdom and knowledge.   I have plunged into its depth finding what I need to cope with life’s challenges.  I have lived with an alcoholic father, suffered divorce, raised two children alone and battled discouragement all along the way. But in all my experiences, the depth of his riches, wisdom and knowledge has overwhelmed me.  I know many others have felt this grace as well. Our experiences elicit the response: “I am blessed!”

So, how can I live each day to demonstrate my trust?  Foremost, I do not ask what tomorrow will bring. I simply ask for the courage to dive into the depth of his riches, wisdom and knowledge each day.  I allow the wonders of His riches, wisdom and knowledge to create a sense of exaltation in my spirit. It is rather like standing at the beach seeing the thunder of the ocean waves and gasping, “Wow!”  The grace of God revealed in Romans 11: 33-36 makes me say, “Wow!” Today and every day, may we all truly live in awe of the wondrous grace of Jesus. Let us also freely share this awe with others.