The doctrine of revelation says that God has made Himself known. He has revealed Himself in creation (i.e., general revelation) and He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures (i.e, special revelation). The doctrine of incomprehensibility says that there is infinitely more of God than what He has revealed. Thus, God is infinitely more glorious than the revelation we have of Him in creation and in the Scripture.

We know what we know of God through His revelation of Himself. This DOES NOT mean, however, that we comprehend all of what we know of Him from creation and Scripture. What God HAS NOT revealed we can never apprehend; but even what God HAS revealed we cannot comprehend. Eternity could be spent exploring only what God has already revealed of Himself to us.

Even though we are told in Scripture in various ways that God is “unsearchable” (cf. Job 11:7-9; Romans 11:33), this is not to discourage the “searching out” of God. It is simply a reminder to us that in all of our “knowing” of God, we must confess there is infinitely more we cannot know. The saints of God do KNOW Him, otherwise we do not possess eternal life (John 17:3). Yet we read in Job 36:26, “Behold, God is great, and WE KNOW HIM NOT, neither can the number of his years be searched out.” We know Him, yet we do not know Him.

This should not lead to despair or frustration. Rather it should lead to worship, seeing His incomprehensibility is one of the things that makes God glorious. We can’t take God into our laboratory and analyze Him as if He were some finite creature or chemical compound. There is and always will be a “beyondness” to God. What we know is “a little portion” of Him (Job 26:14).

The truth of God’s incomprehensibility magnifies other Biblical truths. For example, consider the fact that our infinite God has condescended to finite and fallen humans and has entered into a relationship with them (“I will be their God and they shall be my people”). Or consider that this incomprehensible God, in making us His people, has done more than just make us forgiven citizens in His kingdom. That would be amazing in itself! But this God has adopted us, calling us His sons and daughters and making us joint-heirs with the Son of His love!

Don’t misuse the doctrine of incomprehensibility by throwing up your hands and asking, “What’s the use?” The doctrine is not meant to obstruct your “searching out” of God. Rather, it should remind you that as you search, worship! Let it lead you into the wonder of God who has condescended to lowly men and women.