O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
My text consists of monosyllables, but it contains the loftiest sublimities. Our great God alone can expound this verse, for He only can worthily set forth His own perfections. May He do so now! Consider —
I. THE DOCTRINE. All things are of Him as their source, through Him as their means, to Him as their end. They are of Him in the plan, through Him in the working, and to Him in the glory which they produce. Taking this general principle, you will find it apply to all things.
1. To the whole range of God's works in creation and providence.
(1) There was a period when God inhabited eternity in His self-contained and solitary greatness. All things must be of Him in design, for there was no one with whom He could take counsel. Before His works of old, eternal wisdom brought forth the perfect plan of future creations, and every line must have been of the Lord alone. He might have made a different universe, and that He has made it what it is was because He saw fit to do so.
(2) When the plan was all laid down this was not enough; mere arrangement would not create. "Through Him" must all things be. There was no raw material ready, and there was none to help. He speaks, and the heavens leap into existence. He speaks again, and worlds are begotten with all the varied forms of life so fraught with Divine wisdom and matchless skill. Through Him were all things, from the archangel down to the insect. The same finger paints the rainbow and the wing of the butterfly. He who dyes the garments of evening in all the colours of heaven has covered the kingcup with gold, and lit up the glowworm's lamp. Nature is as it is through the energy of the present God. Out upon those men who think that God has wound up the world like a clock, and left it to work for itself. Wherever thou art, thou art in God's workshop, where every wheel is turned by His hand.
(3) But the great glory of all is that everything is to Him. God must have the highest motive, and there can be no higher motive than His own glory. When there was no being but Himself God could not have taken as a motive a creature which did not exist. The good of His creatures He considereth carefully, but even that is but a means to the main end. And the day shall come when even the fall will be seen not to have marred the Divine glory. His enemies shall bow their necks, whilst His people shall cheerfully extol Him.
2. To the grand work of Divine grace.
(1) Here everything is of God. The plan of salvation is no concoction of priests, but the offspring of a wisdom no less than Divine. None but God could have imagined a plan so just to God, so safe to man. And as the great plan is of Him, so the fillings up of the minutiae are of Him. God ordained the time and circumstances of the first promise, and the hour when the great promise-keeper should come, etc. Every stitch in the noble tapestry of salvation is of the Lord.
(2) Through Him. Through Him the Son of God is born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Spirit. In the great redemption God alone is exalted. And as through Him the atonement, so through Him the application of the atonement. By the power of the Spirit the gospel is daily preached, and through Him men are called and saved.
(3) All is to Him; we have not a note of praise to spare for another.
3. To the case of every individual believer.
(1) Of whom comes my salvation? That which is born of the flesh is flesh.
(2) Did it not also come through God; through faith, which was the operation of the Holy Spirit? And what didst thou believe in but in Jesus the Lord?
(3) Is it not also "to Him"?
4. To Christian work.
(1) The power comes from God.
(2) The success comes through God.
(3) The honour is to God.
II. DEVOTION. "To whom be glory for ever, Amen." This should be —
1. The single desire of the Christian. He may desire prosperity or to attain more gifts and graces, etc., but it should only be that "to Him may be glory for ever."
2. Our constant desire at our work behind the counter, or in the exchange, or walking in the fields, etc.
3. Our earnest desire. Do not speak of God's glory with cold words, nor think of it with chilly heart.
4. Our growing desire. You blessed Him in your youth; do not be content with such praises as you gave Him then.
5. Make this desire practical. Praise God by your patience in pain, your perseverance in duty, your generosity in His cause, your boldness in testimony, your consecration to His work.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
To whom be glory for ever. Amen. — As the rivers return again to the place whence they came, they all come from the sea, and they all run into the sea again; so all our store as it issued at first from the fountain of God's grace, so should it fall at last into the ocean of His glory.
Parallel VersesKJV: O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!