The Omnipotence of God in Psalm 139, part 2; Final

At this point let me go back to our working definition of omnipotence. God’s omnipotence means that a) He can do anything He pleases and that b) nothing is too hard for Him. But we have seen that in some cases He is not pleased to use His power because they are contrary to His nature. So God can do anything that is compatible with his attributes.

The great Puritan Stephen Charnock says the following:

“The power of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever His infinite wisdom may direct, and whatsoever the infinite purity of His will may resolve. . . As holiness is the beauty of all God’s attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the Divine nature. How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power His mercy would be but feeble pity, His promises an empty sound, His threatenings a mere scarecrow. God’s power is like Himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature.” (S. Charnock).[1]

Let’s consider the implications of God’s power to our lives.

We have often picked up a systematic discussion like the omnipotence of God and we are prone to say: “What does this have to do with me?” In similar words: “How does this apply?” Theology tends to sound very intimidating. When you think of words like omnipotence, if you are not particularly engaged in these types of discussions day-to-day, you might think that theology is reserved for the theologian or the pastor or the bright layman or laywoman. In fact, if you trace the history of the definition of theology in the last 400 years, you will notice that some have defined theology as an art like biology or physics or mathematics. It becomes fragmented or compartmentalized. That is, if you like physics, you study physics; if you like math, then you study math; if you like theology, then you study theology. If you take this definition, then theology is only reserved for the armchair theologian; the guy who sits in his chair with a pipe and a book and who can’t carry a conversation about anything else, but the intricacies of theological discourse. Some seminary professors fit this profile very well.

In the last fifty years, theology has changed drastically, particularly among young people. There are many reasons for this, but primarily the internet has made theologizing much more accessible. The media has brought religious conversations to the forefront of American life. As always, the media brings the worst representatives of the orthodox position to defend our position. Nevertheless, this has sparked a lot of theological discussion, whether poor and misguided discussion, or good and helpful discussion. The fact that a former pastor ran for president led to a lot of theological-type questions in a presidential debate. For good or for worse-probably for worse-people are talking about theology. But I think the most helpful contribution on this area to our Reformed tradition, has been the works of John Frame (He was James Jordan’s and Greg Bahnsen’s professor in seminary). Frame defined theology the following way: “the application of the Word of God by persons to all areas of life.”[2] In this definition, theology is much more practical. In fact, according to Frame, a man can spend 1,000 hours doing theology in his office, but if that theology cannot be applied, it has never been theology in the first place. So you see theology is orthopraxis.

Let’s go back to the implications of God’s omnipotence.

a)      The first implication of God’s power is that it is ground for religious praise. According to Galatians 4, you can either worship a powerful God or you can go back to worship the weak and feeble principles of this world. The implication of God’s power to our own lives is that it leads us to joyful praise. God’s wonderful deeds in creation and redemption are why our music ought to make explicit reference to God’s works. This is why we sing hymns that are filled with the expressions of the power of God. Further, this is why it is so important that as a church we continue to learn to sing the Psalms, because the psalms are a perfect, inspired hymnology for the Church.

b)      The second implication of the power of God is that you can have confidence on a universal premise: God can fulfill his promise to me, because he can do anything.[3] He is not bound by an external force; he is not bound by earthly circumstances.

c)      Thirdly, God’s power teaches us that He is in control of creation. We do not have to fall prey to certain hysterias about the end of the world coming from environmentalists. God is the One who preserves His creation. You can be certain that besides the flood of the ancient world, the next cosmic even to take place is not Global Warming, but the coming of Christ to judge the living and the dead and to purify this world and bring in His eternal kingdom, which shall have no end.

God can do whatever He pleases and nothing is too hard for Him. His power is everlasting and because of that His thoughts are precious. How vast is the sum of them!

What Psalm 139 teaches us is that the all powerful God knows you today and has known you from the time you were yet unformed. Even then His love was set upon you for your good and for His glory.

[1] Taken from A.W. Pink’s articles on the power of God in his book: The Attributes of God.

[2] See DKG

[3] DOG, Frame, pg. 517

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Psalms, The Attributes of God. Bookmark the permalink.

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