Monday, February 5, 2018
Psalms 145:3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
Math was my favorite subject in school. I loved the logic and consistency of it. It was black and white. There were rules to follow and predictable results. My mind was captivated by the process of problem solving. The fact that all problems could be resolved fascinated me. But the more I learned, the more I realized how much more there was to learn.
I remember one rule from early in math class – always reduce your answer to its simplest form. While two fourths is the correct answer when adding one fourth and one fourth, it is not its simplest form. The correct answer would be one half. That rule is especially significant when solving algebraic formulas which contain unknowns. The goal is to figure out what “x” is, and the only way to do that is to begin reducing all the other elements of the formula to their simplest form.
The difference between algebra and God is that God cannot be reduced, nor can He be solved – His greatness no one can fathom. But there is a process of simplification that can help us to understand and appreciate His greatness. The Psalmist uses that process in Psalm 145. After declaring the greatness of God, he seeks to understand God better by looking at the individual attributes of God in their simplest form.
The first thing he does is talk about the great work God does. The nature of God is revealed in the nature of His work. In verses four through six he declares the great work that God has done.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.
The Psalmist then begins to speak of the individual attributes of God as they relate to our experience of Him. He makes things simple. We need simple sometimes. We need to be able to touch God at a specific point. We need to know He is approachable and can relate to our immediate need. In His totality He is unfathomable. In His simplicity He is relatable. Let the simplicity of God touch you today as you read the Psalmist’s description of Him, and find the point where you need to relate today.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food (He is our provider) at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him…
We cannot fathom the sum total of God. He is beyond human comprehension. But He has revealed Himself in simple terms to us so that we can relate to Him. When life seems too complex to understand, and God seems beyond your reach, then do this – reduce your problems to their simplest form. Then look to the individual characteristics of God. There is an understandable attribute for every part of your problem.