“What happened to our idea of being a 'God-fearing' woman?” Author Jen Wilkins asks this question in the introduction to her book None Like Him. The phrase "God-fearing" has mostly gone out of style; in today’s Christian circles we’re much more likely to hear a woman being highly spoken of because she is “so close to Jesus.” Yet Proverbs 31:30 states that the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. We seem to have lost that fear, that reverential awe of who God is. Wilkins rightly points out that it is good to be close to Christ, to sense that nearness to God in the prayer of “Abba Father.” But sometimes we forget that there is another side of God. He is not just Father; He is King. He is not just near; He is also transcendent. He rules all things, governs as He pleases, and none can stop His will. This is what we must not forget if we are to grow in a healthy fear of the Lord. This is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).
Jen Wilkins’ book, which I highly recommend, deals with the attributes of God that He does not share with us. Many of His attributes, He wants us to have as well. He wants us to be holy as He is holy; He commands us to have the fruits of the Spirit (which He exhibits without fail). Yet, there are attributes of God that He does not share; these are his non-communicable attributes. Understanding these better leads us into fearing Him more. I briefly want to touch on one of these attributes here. May it challenge you as it has challenged me. (And please know that I am paraphrasing some of the ideas from Wilkins’ book, because she explains this concept in a way that has impacted me deeply).
God is infinite. I used to think that this idea just dealt with time, the fact that He is eternal. But the word ‘infinite’ means far more than that. Look it up and you will find definitions such as limitless, without bounds, immeasurable. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3) “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than the heaven – what can you do? Deeper than Sheol – what can you know?” (Job 11:7-8) No one can measure God; He cannot and will not fit into any boxes we try to put Him in. He will not be bound by the limits we may want to place on Him. He cannot be controlled by anyone, and He has no rivals, for He alone is infinite. If you are anything like me, you like to know the measurements of things: How large was the baby just born? How much longer till we ‘get there’? How many pages is this book? Our desire for knowing measurements and limits extends to others. We struggle with what we don’t know or understand in others, with that which can’t be measured. I have seen recently in my own life a struggle with not being able to understand why God acts the way He does. And I’ve realized it comes back to this concept. I want to understand God, to “measure” Him, if you will. I want Him to act in a way that makes sense to me. Yet God does not place Himself under the limitation of doing only that which makes sense to me, a mere human. No, God cannot be limited or measured. A big step to fearing Him is to understand this concept.
Yet I find it fascinating that the God who can be measured by no one knows the measure of all things. He has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and weighed the mountains in scales (Isaiah 40:12). He gave Noah the exact measurements of the Ark, and Moses the measurements for the tabernacle and its objects. He knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7), the amount of our tears (Psalm 56:8), and the number of our days (Job 14:5). Furthermore, He who cannot be limited gives us limits. Our bodies cannot keep going without sleep and nourishment. We are finite creatures who are utterly dependent on God for life and breath. Yet we try to be God. We seek to be without limits, pushing off the boundaries that God has placed on us. Starting with Adam and Eve in the garden who were forbidden to eat of the one tree, to the laws handed to the Israelites through Moses, to the commands throughout the rest of Scripture, we have bucked against the limits placed on us, wanting to be God ourselves. We forget that the limits God places on us are for our good. Praise the Lord that His immeasurability extends to His grace. We have received grace upon grace (John 1:16) and even in the abundance of sin, grace abounded all the more (Romans 5:20).
May our measurements and limits remind us that we are not God. May they remind us that there is a God in heaven Who is limited by no one. May accepting these truths, in turn, help us to become “God-fearing” women worthy of being praised, bringing glory to our infinite God.