We learn three things about the Depths of the Decisions of God in Rom. 11:33-36.
First, God is Immeasurable in His Decisions. God is immeasurable in the riches of His knowledge, and wisdom. Paul said, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God” (Rom. 11:33, ESV)! The word, “depth,” refers to the depth coming from the riches, wisdom, and knowledge of God in the divine plan of redemption. It is the depth of His goodness, the depth of His kindness. In Rom. 2:4, Paul wrote of “the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience” that leads to repentance. It refers to the depth of God’s grace that leads to salvation. It is so deep that it is immeasurable.
It is said that knowledge is the content of information, but wisdom is knowing how to handle it. What is the knowledge of God according to Paul in Romans? The knowledge of God is the information concerning the sin and rebellion of humans against God. It is the information concerning death as the wages of sin and the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
The wisdom of God in Romans is seen in the handling of the human problem of sin in the gospel of Jesus Christ. God showed His wisdom by using the present rebellion of Israel to bring about the blessing of Gentile believers. Conversely, He showed that wisdom by using the blessing of Gentiles to bring about Israel’s repentance. Thus, Paul ends chapter 11 with these words of adoration of the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
Paul says that the judgments of God are “unsearchable.” The judgments of God are the decisions and decrees of God. (Gingrich) The judgments of God are unsearchable (Gk. anexereunetos), “impossible to search out or fully understand, unfathomable.” (Friberg) Nobody can fathom God’s decisions. Nobody can understand His decrees. Nobody can measure His judgments.
Paul also says that the ways of God are “inscrutable.” I see a parallelism here. The judgments of God are the ways of God. God’s judgments, God’s decisions are unsearchable. God’s ways are inscrutable.
The word, “inscrutable” (Gk. anexichniastos), means, “not to be tracked out or detected” (Friberg). The picture here is of a footprint in the sand that cannot be traced or detected. Asaph wrote, “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen” (Ps 77:19). Have you tried searching for a footprint on the sea?
Thus, the word inscrutable means, “mysterious, fathomless, inexhaustible.” (Gingrich) As God’s judgments are unsearchable or impossible to understand, so are God’s ways inscrutable or impossible to comprehend. (Louw-Nida) We can only stand amazed at God and adore God. We can never fully understand the decisions of God. What can be understood must be limited. (Charles Hodge) If we can fully grasp God, then God must be limited.
It is because God is immeasurable in His judgments and unfathomable in His ways that He is an inexhaustible source of all knowledge and wisdom.