Question:

There is a phrase used that I've heard which I am not sure I understand. The unsearchable riches of God. Why do people say, "unsearchable riches?" By reading and study of the Bible we can learn what God wants and learn what Jesus did, said, and taught. But "unsearchable riches" must mean more than I understand. Please, would you clarify this for me? I have seen this phrase in the Bible as well, but I didn't understand it there either.


Answer:

"But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause - who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number" (Job 5:8-9).

"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable" (Psalm 145:3).

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable" (Isaiah 40:28).

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?" (Romans 11:33-35).

"To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him" (Ephesians 3:8-12).

"Unsearchable" in these passages does not mean "unable to be examined." Rather it is in the sense of mapping out a territory. God is so infinite and the things that He does is so vast that we are unable to completely map out all that He has done and plans to accomplish. In the Greek, the word is anexichniastos, which means unable to track or unable to map.

The phrase comes from Ephesians 3:8 in speaking of the Jesus' saving of mankind. God has revealed through the church and the teachings of Paul and the other apostles His eternal purpose of saving man through Jesus Christ. Yet who among us can say that we fully and completely grasp the extent of God's plans or all the things He did to accomplish this goal or all the reasons why certain actions were done or even exactly how Jesus is able to save us by his death?

We can discuss just this one subject to the end of time and not cover all the possibilities or the reasons. We know what God has revealed to us and we see hints of vast things happening behind the scenes, but we aren't able to map all of it out. We admire and praise the wonder that Jesus should come and save us, but still we realize that what he did for us is beyond human understanding.

"Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it"" (Isaiah 55:6-11).