Knowledge of the Holy: part 9

As I continue to read through Tozer, it strikes me that the foundational attribute of God from which must flow our acceptance and understanding (limited though it may be) of all attributes is infinitude.  If God is infinite, then He is necessarily omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, transcendent, faithful, self-sufficient, love, mercy, grace and just.  He is the Perfect Creator.  Though we may attempt to understand His attributes by beginning with any of the above, we cannot be remotely successful if we do not believe and trust that He is infinite.  He had no beginning and He has no end.  In Him exists all creation and all time.

In discussing the Wisdom of God, Tozer says, “The idea of God as infinitely wise is at the root of all truth” (60).  In discussing omnipotence he says,”Grant that God is infinite and self-existent and we see at once that He must be all-powerful as well, and reason kneels to worship before the divine omnipotence” (65).  Finally, his explanation of transcendence: “He is as high above an archangel as above a caterpillar, for the gulf that separates the archangel from the caterpillar is but finite, while the gulf between God and the archangel is infinite” (70).

God is infinite.  He cannot be understood in terms of time, except in the negative–i.e., all that characterizes time is antithetical to the essence of God.  The same is true of space.  He is neither big nor small, more nor less.  For Him, there is no before, no after. He is. (Indeed one of His own preferred names is I AM.)

When we try to wrap our heads around the attributes of God, it is essential that we keep His infinitude before us.  When we try to understand Him within the limits of time and space, we find ourselves in a maze of seeming contradiction and paradox. How can the vengeful God of the Old Testament be the loving God of the New Testament?  How can the infinite become the incarnate?  How can the One be three?  How can the Judge be the Sacrifice?  Truly the questions of my unbelieving friends are almost welcome in their ignorance to the questions that knowing God raises.  But in the light of infinitude, I find my questions stemming from just as much ignorance as my unbelieving friends.  Paradox only survives in the finite.  In the infinite, paradox becomes clear. (Frustratingly, I am still bound by the finite!)

There are questions about God that I will never be able to answer.  These are things that I must accept through faith.  Indeed, all people–believer or unbeliever–must at some point take life on faith.  The question then is really in what have I put my faith?  Have I put it in human nature and understanding, or in the Infinite Creator?  Do I trust myself with my 36 years of memory (the first 2 years being a blur) and limited international travel, or the Infinite Creator of time and space?  This is the question we all must answer, and do answer in the daily choices we make.  Job knew it.  For all his cries of injustice and self-righteousness, he knew that God was holy, that He was the giver of life, and so being, could take life as well.  Job, in the end, had his trust in God and nothing else.  And that was enough.  Is that enough for me, or do I need all the answers in order to believe?


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