Skip to content
Oct 19 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Gray Day Meditation

Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Jeremiah 9:12
When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman . . .” Revelation 17:6-7

This is the way of prophecy; it ventures into the territory of imponderables and mysteries. It divulges a secret, yet even then the message or vision remains inscrutable until explained.

Of all God’s gifts to humankind, reason is among the most wonderful. It allows us to rise above mere sense perception and animal instinct (the “limbic system”). It is not simply our capacity to learn that is so amazing, but our capacity to learn from the extrapolations of sense perception; from immaterial models we invent in our minds; and from logic as we work our way through a sequence of premises, a series of related facts, events, or numbers.

It is right and glorifies our Creator to use reason to comprehend our universe and ourselves, from micro to macro and top to bottom. But we do run into sealed vaults and locked doors–things that cannot be accessed by reason or understood by observation. Nor is it possible that these mysteries could eventually be solved by science given enough time and resources. Rather, these belong to a “category” that lies outside the questions, subjects, tools, concerns, and intentions of science. They do not even belong to the order of things that are verifiable. If we accept them, it is for reasons other than what reason or science can provide.

Soren Kierkegaard wrote during a time when scholars (and highly educated preachers) had become enamored with reason and were heady over the potential of the human mind. This concerned him. He recommended setting limits to rational inquiry into certain subjects so that the researcher would not inadvertently kill the specimen he was analyzing (e.g., “peace,” in The Sickness Unto Death) or the soul of the researcher (e.g., “love” in Works of Love).

To confess to God “I do not know” (Ps. 71:15) or “O Lord God, You know” (Eze. 37:3) is to admit that we stand at one of those locked doors. Unless it is unlocked by “the mouth of the LORD,” we will remain in ignorance–an ignorance which it is our wisdom to humbly accept.

There is no harm in asking questions, in curiosity, or looking into things as far as we are able.

The wonder of God’s grace is that, beyond the gift of reason, he has also given us revelation, unlocking some of the doors that otherwise would not be pried open. Even today, he is unlocking doors. As for everything else: Faith.

Leave a comment