Speaking to the Soul – January 18

A short reading and prayer for today

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NLT

Paul has spent three chapters agonising over the issue of his people, the Jews. He is desperately keen that they should follow Christ and receive the gift of salvation. But Paul acknowledges with pain that they have, to a large extent, rejected the offer of new life in Jesus. I love the way in which he ends this part of the letter. He does so in worship by celebrating the greatness of God’s riches, wisdom and knowledge. In the previous chapters he has given the best of his mind to setting out the dilemma and his thinking about the situation. But, at the end of the day, he knows how real are the limits of his understanding, and he rests in the fact that God’s ways are infinitely beyond our ways. He uses verses from Isaiah 40 to acknowledge that there will never come a time when we are called upon to give God advice, and no one will ever be able to outgive God.

We all live with many mysteries in this life. However hard we think things through, there will come a time when we have to face up to the fact that we haven’t got the answers. Whether you are wanting to explain the wonders of a sunset, the beauty of a flower, or the miracle of life, you will never arrive at a complete explanation. You will need to come to God in worship because in his greatness he is worthy of all our praise. And the same is true if you reflect on the suffering of innocent people in the world, or the injustices that so many endure or the cruelty that blights so many people’s lives. It is important for us to apply the best of our minds and efforts to these situations, but our thinking must finally lead us to worship a God whose love, mercy and grace are infinitely beyond anything that we could ever achieve.

As you reflect on the wonders, mysteries and challenges of life today be sure to come before God in worship and praise.


For what specific reason are you worshipping God today?


Almighty God, I worship you. Amen

Photo – Silver Birch