The Scriptures are full of references that speak of the awesome nature of our God, as well as His wonderful character.
Verses such as Exodus 15:11 teach us that the God whom we revere, fear and love is unique among the pantheon of ‘gods’ that are worshipped by people ignorant of the Truth – “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” Job 37:16 records a fundamental principle of truth that God is perfect, or complete, in His knowledge of everything – “Do you know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” Psalm 139:4, 17-18 teaches us that God is intimately interested in us as part of His creation and that we should likewise express a deep interest in His thoughts – which can only be read in the Holy Bible and nowhere else – “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with You.” Psalm 145:3, in line with several other verses such as Psalm 147:5, reveals that God’s greatness is beyond human comprehension – “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.” The wise man, Solomon, whose wisdom and understanding of the ways of God both spiritual and natural was only exceeded by the Lord Jesus Christ, wrote in Ecclesiastes 8:16–17 that it is not possible for man to ever come to a full understanding of any particular subject, let alone the whole of nature or Scripture! God, through the prophet in Isaiah 46:8-9 and 55:8-9, challenges His creation to acknowledge that He is quite alone in regards His power, authority, wisdom and knowledge. Yet God is also concerned that He is seen as approachable by His creation – Jeremiah 32:17-19 “Ah, Lord GOD! It is You who have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for You. You show steadfast love to thousands, but You repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.” The Apostle Paul, in Romans 11:33, tells us that God’s ways are beyond the comprehension of mortal man. He is not saying this to discourage us from contemplating the majesty and wonder of our God but to ensure that we are aware of the reality of the situation – God is far superior to all of His creation in every aspect – “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!” The Apostle also cautions us in 1 Corinthians 3:18 – 20 that we should resist any attempt to think that we can ‘outsmart’ God – “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness,’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.’” Also refer to Job 28:24; 38; 39; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 40:28; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 3:19-20 which speak of His Omniscience (i.e. God is all knowing).
Passages such as 1 Kings 8:27; Job 38:19-20, 32-33; Psalm 11:4-5; 139:1-2; Jeremiah 23:23-24 speak of His Omnipresence (i.e. God is everywhere), and verses such as Job 33:4; 42:2; Psalm 33:6; 104:30; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15-16 speak of His Omnipotence (i.e. God is all powerful).
Moses in Deuteronomy 32:4 tells us that God is perfect in His work – “The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.” The same sentiments are expressed by David in 2 Samuel 22:31 – “This God—His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him”, words which he uses again in Psalm 18:30.
So the God with whom we have to do is a Creator who is supreme, all knowing, all wise, all powerful, everywhere in time and space and found in everything good. But He is also a God who wishes to be intimately connected with the lives of His people whom He created for His glory and honour – if they would but seek Him and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
Thus it comes as no surprise that the Scriptures also tell us often that man is in a far inferior position when it comes to knowledge and power, and is thus in no position ever to think that he can teach the Almighty Creator. Job puts it very bluntly in Job 9:2 – 4 “Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God? If one (human) wished to contend with Him, one could not answer Him once in a thousand times. He (God) is wise in heart and mighty in strength —who has hardened himself against Him, and succeeded?” Job continues the thought in Job 21:22 saying: “Shall any teach God knowledge?” Job’s Creator confirms Job’s mindset in Job 40:2 – “Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct Him? He that reproves God let him answer (for) it.” Isaiah in 40:13-14 is inspired to record that when God created the world around us there was no one of superior intelligence, knowledge or experience to teach Him, and as for man – all of humanity are less than the dust that is so light that it does not disturb the finest of measuring balances. The theme of the infinite majesty and authority of God as well as His being far above human teachers is visited by the Apostle Paul in Romans 11:33-34. The Apostle Paul also refers back to Isaiah 40 in 1 Corinthians 2:16 to speak of the utter futility of man thinking that he can instruct God. Consider also Job 15:8; Jeremiah 23:18, Proverbs 3:5; Isaiah 5:21.
So why the question of our title?
Because, sadly, there are some people who think that humans can know better than the Sovereign of the universe, who think that they can improve on what God has done with and in His creation! So we read comments such as –
“….. there are many, many, examples in the biological creation which do not speak of a wise designer or omnipotent engineer. There are redundancies, genetic errors, physical defects, sub-optimal or useless features, some features which even endanger the life of the creature to which they belong, all of which fail to give glory to God, and do not show forth His intelligence.
“The human body is full of them.
- asymmetric ligaments in the ankle (predisposing us to sprains).
- blood vessels badly routed to and from our legs (putting pressure on a vein which causes dangerous clots).
- a blind spot in our eye (reducing the quality of our vision).
- a retina which is inside out (reducing the resolution of our sight).
- body hair which is almost all useless (reducing our ability to moderate our body temperature).
- lungs connected to the foregut (resulting in danger of choking to death).
- muscles that wiggle our ears and which cause goosebumps (both completely useless and serve no practical function).
- long nerves which take unnecessary and complicated detours instead of going straight to their target (a waste of resources).
- an oviduct which is too long (resulting in danger of a tubal pregnancy, killing mother and child), when we don’t even need an oviduct.
- a birth canal positioned in a narrow pelvis (endangering the infant during birth), when it could have bypassed the pelvis.
- sinus canals which are badly positioned for bipedal orientation (resulting in poor drainage which can cause health problems), but which work much better when we’re on all fours (hmmm…).
- jaws which are so overly crowded with teeth (resulting in impacted wisdom teeth), that we typically pull several of them out just so we can eat and talk more easily.
“And I have only listed the most obvious examples. There are more. And this is only one species; I haven’t even started on classic examples of flawed features belonging to species like the spotted hyena, which screams in pain as it gives birth as the inadequately ‘designed’ birth canal actually ruptures and tears, often resulting in the death of the mother and the death of the child (60% of them suffocate in the birth canal). Nature is full of these examples, and you have an uphill battle explaining why God made such stupid design decisions, which could easily have been avoided and which mere human engineers can improve on.”
Just what is our relationship with our Creator? A consideration of verses such as Isaiah 45:9; 64:8 and Jeremiah 18:6 teach us that we are mere clay pots in the hand of a Master Potter – how dare we think that we can teach Him anything. And lest we think that this is a lesson just for Israel the Apostle Paul brings these principles to mind and applies them to us in Romans 9:20-21 – “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is moulded say to its moulder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honourable use and another for dishonourable use?” These passages and others such as Ecclesiastes 6:10 should surely teach us to tremble in His presence and be in awe of His majesty – “Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with One stronger than he.”
Let the words of God through His prophet bring our thoughts to a conclusion – “Your perversity! As if a potter shall be regarded as the clay! That the product of its maker says, ‘He did not make me,’ and the thing made into shape says of its potter, ‘He has no understanding.’” (Isaiah 29:16)