Over the years, a phrase that I’ve heard a lot really concerns me. It occurs in some conversations about spiritual things. Someone will say, “Well, I like to think of God as…” and then they will throw out an idea that isn’t biblical, but just what they are comfortable with personally. The reality is that fully understanding God is beyond us as created beings. While He has chosen to let us in on a lot, there is infinitely more outside our knowledge.
In our reading this week, we come across Romans 11:7-8 which says in the NIV, “What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8 as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day." The context of this is that the people that God specially revealed Himself to, fell into a pattern of arrogance and a lack of humility towards God. When someone chooses to go this route, God will often try to get them to change their mind, but He will never force it. He also can decide to let them wallow in their thinking with a “spirit of stupor,” which means leaving them to their own self-centered thinking. God isn’t being unjust or unloving in this; instead He is letting people who have chosen not to trust and obey, have their way without interference. Make no mistake about it - no one will be separated from God now or in eternity by mistake.
In our reading this week, we are getting a picture of God as the sovereign king of the universe. He isn’t a cosmic grandparent that is easy to take advantage of and fool. No, He is all-knowing (omniscient), eternal and all-powerful (omnipotent). When we underestimate Him and overestimate ourselves, we step into a spiritual danger zone. When we rely on our own picture of Him instead of the one He has clearly revealed in the Bible, we are risking everything.