Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992




What is the thing that teenagers seem to want most, until they get it? They want independence! When they get it, they begin to wonder just why they wanted it. It means responsibility. It means working. It means being on their own for support. It means paying their own dentist and doctor bills. It means taking care of their own car if they can afford one. It means not having all the answers that they thought they had. It means many other things!

This is not to point fun at teenagers. It is to point out that independence isn't the ultimate high that we all think it is. It has a tremendous amount of responsibility attached to it.

Independence in the context of God is again similar to our own human experience, yet is so much more than the independence that we have. God has the perfect independence which naturally carries the perfect amount of responsibility. He is responsible for all that goes on in the universe.

This by the way is a philosophical argument against the Deist that says that God is far off. God would not be far off allowing the creation to go its own way if He were responsible.

In comparing the human/deity independence, we need to consider that the human grows into his independence. As a baby learns to move about in the home there are immediate limitations placed upon the child. As they move toward the nick-nack shelf they are warned that it is a no-no. As the child learns to handle things safely and carefully, then the parent may allow the child to play with the nick-nacks.

We have a very nice organ that was given to us by my wife's mother. Faith is very protective of it, yet we want the children that come to our home to enjoy those things. We had three grade schoolers that came some time back and they wanted to play the organ. I sat with them and gave them a brief introduction to how to use some of the options. Then I gave them a good warning that if they abused the organ that they would not be allowed to continue. I gave them complete independence to use the organ in light of not abusing it or our ears with volume. ALL WENT WELL! They operated independently and exercised great responsibility.

God on the other hand did not need to mature to gain His independence. HE IS INDEPENDENT by His very nature. He always has been, and He always will be independent. In fact the thought of always been, and always will be, are somewhat misleading in that they indicate the possibility of not being independent. This is not the case. He IS independent by nature and can be nothing else.

Let's define a couple of terms before we move on. Freedom is ".....the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action....." (By permission. (From Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.) Totally free to choose without pressure.

Independent is, ".....not dependent:..... (1): not subject to control by others:.....Not requiring or relying on something else:....." (By permission. From Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.).

The difference between these two terms would be that INDEPENDENT is completely free from all encumbrances and the impossibility of encumbrance as well, FREEDOM indicates the possibility of encumbrance indeed, the term free indicates encumbrances may have been present in the past.

God's independence is determined by His nature and nothing that is without.

Independence includes all areas of His being:

1. His existence, which is underived and absolute Jo. 5:26. He relied upon nothing to exist. He exists because of His nature.

2. His knowledge, which is unlimited and true Heb. 4:13.

3. His action, which is at His will and discretion Gen. 1:1. He did not have to go through fifteen government agencies to get the zoning changed for a universe. He just did it without needing to ask anyone. (also see Acts 17:24)


1. He is free from all encumbrances and depends on nothing nor does He respond to outside pressures. We can also bend His ear anytime that we want and ask Him to do things for us and expect Him to respond to us!

At the same time we can bend His ear on one item that He says no to and keep bending His ear. He, however, is not encumbered by our petitions. He does not have to do as we ask Him to do!

On the light side, God is similar to a politician - free from outside pressures, doing what He wants. He is also free not to listen to those speaking to Him. (Politicians, once elected do little that the voters really want them to do. He votes on issues as he desires.)

2. There is no force outside His own being that can change his mind nor alter His character. He WILL BRING ALL THINGS THAT HE HAS PROMISED, TO PASS.


The word according to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary means, ".....impossible to comprehend.....unintelligible....." (By permission. From Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.)

"...existential phenominology seeks to elucidate the existential nature of social structures by uncovering the surface institutional phenomena of the everyday, accepted world; by probing the subterranean, noninstitutional social depths concealed from public gaze, by interpreting the dialectic between the institutional and the noninstitutional..." (SOCIOLOGY OF THE UBSURD. page 71)

Did you get that? Was it intelligible to you? That was a quote from a text book in a sociology class I took years ago. As time goes on and I reread this quote as an illustration, I find that I understand what it is saying - SCARRRYY!

Tozer introduces his chapter on incomprehensibility with the thought that we cannot answer the question "What is God like?" "This book is an attempt to answer that question. Yet at the outset I must acknowledge that it cannot be answered, except to say that God is not like anything; that is, He is not exactly like anything or anybody." (Tozer, A.W.; "THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY"; Lincoln, NE: Back to the Bible, 1961, p 31)

A man named Spenser stated "God is the great unknowable." (The old song, "Getting To Know You" does not compute with God.) Someone reading Spenser said, "Spenser knows a lot about the unknowable."

He, being an infinite Being CANNOT be comprehended by finite beings. We mentioned Webster's definition. It contains a term which does not apply to God. "unintelligible." This implies something that can't be understood because you can't make sense of it. For example, the sound of computer data being transferred is unintelligible to the ear but with a computer you can understand it easily.

God is completely understandable when He communicates with us. The term incomprehensible has the idea that we can never comprehend all He is. Though we have been studying Him and His attributes we are doing so in our finite minds and we aren't even smearing the surface of what there is to know about Him. We can never in our finite minds comprehend His being.

He is however knowable. Matt. 11:27, "All things are delivered unto me by my Father, and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, except the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Through the Lord Jesus, we can know God in our limited capacity. (See also Jo. 17:3, Phil. 3:10, I Jo. 4:7.)

His greatness is unsearchable Ps. 145:3, "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: and his greatness is unsearchable." We will take about one hundred pages, looking at God and we will only begin to study Him. If you studied God for the rest of your days, I am sure that you would never feel that you had studied God. You would not have totally searched out all the data concerning God.

His understanding cannot be searched Isa. 40:28, "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding." He can understand all things; He understands all things. We in our finite minds struggle with many things because we cannot understand all things.

His works are great and unsearchable.

Job 5:9, "Who doeth great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number;"

His judgments are unsearchable Rom. 11:33, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" I suspect that as the Lord begins judgment, we will stand confused as to why He does things as He will. He has perfect knowledge, perfect justice, and perfect understanding. We will falter before His use of such attributes. I trust that He will take time to help us understand things.


1. If he is incomprehensible then we can have an eternal theology proper class and never run out of information to study. Would anyone care to sign up for it? I think that I will, because the Lord teaches it.

2. We should never become proud of how much we know of God, for even one that has studied God all his life is only beginning.

3. If He is unsearchable, and we now know that He is, then how can we ever think that we have nothing to study in our quiet times. Indeed, how can we be satisfied with only a few minutes of quiet time a day?