From the Word
33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
Romans 11:33–34, RSV
Paul writes these words against those impudent questions of wise reason, why God punished and rejected the Jews, and allowed the condemned heathen to come into gospel grace; why he so administers justice as to exalt the godless and allow the godly to suffer and be oppressed; why he elected Judas as an apostle and afterwards rejected him; why he accepted a murderer and malefactor. With these words he would command these would-be wise to cease their impertinent strivings after the things of the hidden Majesty, and to confine themselves to the revelation he has given them. All such prying into the secrets of God are in vain and are harmful. If you were to search forever you would nowhere attain the secret purposes of God, but you would only jeopardize the welfare of your own soul.
If you wish to proceed wisely you can do no better than to be interested in God’s Word and works. In them he has revealed himself, and in them he may be comprehended. He presents you his Son on the cross—this is the work for your redemption. In it you may truly apprehend God, and learn that he will condemn you on account of your sins, but give you everlasting life, if you believe.
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. In this you will have enough to learn and ponder. You will marvel at the wonderful revelation of God, and you will be delighted with him and love him. It is a mine which can never be exhausted in this life, no matter how much we study. Even the angels never tire in its contemplation, but find unceasing joy and pleasure in it.
I say this so that we may be prepared to instruct those we may meet who, assailed and tormented by such thoughts of the devil, are led to tempt God. Such individuals must be reminded of these things, and reproved by them.
Luther, Martin, and John Sander. Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year. Augustana Book Concern, 1915, pp. 252–53.