Many doctrinal statements and creeds refer to God as being infinite. According to Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary the word infinite means, “Without limits; unbounded; boundless; not circumscribed.” He mentions that the word can be “applied to time, space and qualities.” Then he says, “God is infinite in duration, having neither beginning nor end of existence. He is also infinite in presence, or omnipresent, and his perfections are infinite.” Clearly, the man who gave us our first American English dictionary had a high and reverent view of God. No doubt, he came to have this understanding of God through the Scriptures. How do you view God? Do you see Him more clearly through your Bible reading? Do you think of him as beyond measure and without limits in His Being and Nature?
Having covered many of God’s attributes in these devotionals, we can sense that they all seem to have this infinite quality of being without limits and boundless. However, there appears to be only one verse in the KJV that directly uses the word infinite in relation to God. It is in reference to His understanding. Psalm147:5 says, “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” The ESV translates the verse this way, “His understanding is beyond measure” which clearly gives the meaning of being infinite. Logically, for God to be infinite in understanding He would also have to be infinite in knowledge (omniscience), infinite in location (omnipresent), and also infinite in time (eternal). Furthermore, God’s infinite understanding makes His love, grace, mercy, kindness, and judgment without measure as well. Truly our God is infinite or without limits in all of His attributes!
So then, how can the truth about God being beyond measure affect our daily lives? I find it instructive that the Bible specifically says that God’s “understanding is infinite” because each day we, His creatures, need to understand. We will never have true understanding in this world until we acknowledge God!
First, we must live our lives knowing and acting upon the truth that understanding is a gift from God:
Exodus 31:3, And I have filled [Bezaleel the son of Uri] with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
It then should not be surprising that Scriptures tells us “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). Can you see how understanding becomes synonymous with knowing God?
Secondly, we must avoid the daily temptation to lean upon our own understanding by remaining humble and dependently trusting of God:
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Thirdly, we must call upon the Lord for wisdom and understanding as Scripture exhorts us to do:
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Knowing God, whose understanding is infinite, is awe-inspiring! Let’s worship Him together!
With Prayer, Mark
© October, 2012
Scripture quoted without reference: ESV – Emphasis added
Verses for our meditation: God Is Infinite in Understanding
Job 12:13, With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
Psalm 147:1-7, Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!
Isaiah 40:28, Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
1 Chronicles 22:11-13, [David speaking to Solomon, said,] Now, my son, the LORD be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the LORD your God, as he has spoken concerning you. Only, may the LORD grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the LORD commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.
1 Kings 3:7-12, [Solomon prayed,] “And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.
1 Kings 4:29-31 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations.
Daniel 1:17, As for these four youths [Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego], God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Colossians 2:1-3, For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
1 John 5:20, And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.