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God’s Judgments Are Unknowable

How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
–Romans 11:33

In Romans 11, Paul said that God’s knowledge is unsurpassed and His wisdom is undeniable. In verse 33, he said God’s judgments are unknowable. “How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” The word “judgments” refers to the decrees or the decisions of God that make up His plan. God’s judgments lead to God’s will, which in turn achieves His purpose.

God, knowing our sinful state and having the wisdom to design a plan to bring about our salvation, has made certain decrees, decisions, and judgments to institute His plan. For example, He made the judgment that Caesar Augustus would issue an order that all the world should be taxed. He made that decree to get Mary and Joseph exactly where they needed to be for the birth of Christ. He has made all these various judgments, decisions, and decrees that are part of His will. Notice in Romans 11:33 that the word “will” is singular. God does not have many wills; He has one will. God does not have many plans; He has one plan. God’s will is His secret plan that governs everything that happens in the universe. God does not have a perfect will and a permissive will. He does not have plan A, plan B, and plan C. He has one will, one plan that governs everything. And God’s plan is big enough to encompass the fall of Lucifer, the rebellion of Adam and Eve, and the murder and torture of God’s own Son on a cross. God’s plan encompasses all those things. Ephesians 1:11 says God “works all things after the counsel of His will”–singular. God has one plan that governs everything.

God’s plan, for the most part, is secret. We do not know what the plan is. But we do know this: God’s plan is working together ultimately for God’s purpose. And what is that purpose? Paul told us in Romans 11:36: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” God’s plan is working together for one purpose, and that is to bring glory to Himself.

We are so egocentric that we often have a hard time with that truth. We think all God’s plans revolve around us. For example, why did God create this world? We say, “So we could enjoy it.” There is an element of truth in that, but the ultimate truth is found in Psalm 19:1, which says, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God.” God created this world to give glory to Himself. Why did God send Jesus to die on the cross for our sins? We say, “So that we could be reconciled to God.” There is a measure of truth in that, but Ephesians 2:7 says God’s ultimate reason for saving us was that “in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace.” God’s ultimate purpose is to bring glory to Himself. Do you see how this is working? God, out of His wisdom and His knowledge, has formulated a secret plan to achieve His purpose. That plan was formulated and set into effect before the foundation of the world.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Paul’s Praise Chorus” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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