Divine Perfection

Every facet of God is essential to make him perfect. Explaining all the implications of this glorious truth is such an enormous task that I will limit myself to just a few examples. In fact, there is so much to it that it is way beyond my intellect to do justice to this fascinating but supremely important topic.

It is not because of the slightest flaw in God that one can say little about the character and abilities of God without mentioning something that someone will balk at. It is because our mind tricks us into imagining the impossible: what might happen if that side of God rebelled against the rest of him and went rogue. Of course, nothing could be more patently absurd. I must address this matter, however, because anyone lacking the courage to think this through could end up either with a grotesquely mistaken conception of God or secretly fearing that God might actually be like that hideous being.

We have seen in the main webpage that no attribute of God exists in isolation. It is always exquisitely melded with every other divine attribute to produce something overwhelmingly desirable. Were this not so, some sides of God would indeed be disconcerting.

For instance, everyone who genuinely understands the gravity of sin knows that wages of just one sin – any sin – is death, and therefore knows it would be suicidal not to run from any powerful, morally perfect being who sees through all hypocrisy and is committed to the execution of justice. The only exception would be if that passion for justice were combined with the flabbergasting love and genius needed to create a just alternative to what we each deserve. Likewise, anyone having stupendous physical power would be terrifying, unless he were equally endowed with love and wisdom.

On the other hand, no matter how nice infinite love might be emotionally, it would be of little practical use if God lacked the power to give us what we need or the wisdom to know what is appropriate.

Love without justice and righteousness would also be alarming. Do we really want a God who loves sadists so much that he empowers them? We all desperately need mercy – a delay in the execution of justice to give us abundant opportunity to repent and be forgiven and transformed so that we no longer need to be punished – but do we really want a God who holds no-one accountable for their actions; warmly allowing evil to flourish for all eternity?

We so often see the need for justice, and even crave its swift execution, but we suddenly change our view when it comes to having our own sins punished. We yearn for a God who is appropriately angry when people hurt us but not when we hurt others. We hypocritically label the offenses of those who hurt us as major but tart up our own offenses as minor or excusable and then want God to be partner in our hypocrisy. We each want humanity’s judge to be impartial, except when it comes to us. God alone has the perfect mix of checks and balances.

Only God has the mind-boggling mental capacity to have a truly eternal perspective and comprehend all the myriads of intricate chains of events set off by the tiniest actions and sent hurtling through time, with some quickly fading and others slowing gathering momentum for God knows how many generations. And he alone can astonish us by seizing, twisting and weaving hate-filled acts hurled at God in satanic fury until what started off as senseless evil, end up as masterpieces of divine goodness. Who would have guessed, for example, that Joseph, who suffered one despicably evil act after another after another, would one day look back on it all, triumphantly declaring, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good,” (Genesis 50:20)?

Infinite intelligence is beautiful only if matched by supreme righteousness and goodness. And no matter how intelligent someone is, he cannot make wise decisions if he does not have access to all the relevant facts, through being timeless, omnipresent and able to read minds. And knowing the smart thing to do is useless unless matched by all the power needed to do it, plus the love to want to do it.

And no-one but the Almighty is able to so abundantly compensate people for all eternity for earthly afflictions and heal so perfectly that Paul, whose suffering and glimpse at divine mysteries exceed almost all of us, could write:

    Romans 5:3  . . . we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that . . .

    Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.

As the NIV renders another of Paul’s famous pronouncements: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). And this comes from the pen of the one who suffered horrifically.

We could devote all eternity to discovering every facet of God and exploring the way each beautifies and perfects all of the others. Consider, for example:

    Jeremiah 9:24 . . . I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth . . . (NIV)

Exploring all the ways that “loving kindness, justice and righteousness” perfectly balance each other would be a long and thrilling journey.

God is great, not merely in power but in the beauty of his ways, and this is true only because there are so very many sides to him, each of which is more essential for perfection than finite minds can comprehend.


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