Romans 11:33 – Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (NIV)
My Aunt Trudy was a professional tracer. No, she didn't try to find people who were lost or get information for bounty hunters; she traced blueprints and diagrams for a shipping engineering firm. She must have had a steady hand and a keen artistic eye, because tracing was a highly specialized skill.
She worked in the days before copiers and computers entered the workplace. Her task was to produce copies of intricate diagrams so that teams of engineers could work on building ships and engines, machinery and special parts. She must have pored over and traced hundreds of documents in any given year.
I like to think that what she did was a form of art and much appreciated by those who used her skills. She probably would have preferred to paint pictures and sketch drawings of her own creation, but she had a large family, so she did what she could with her artistic gifts to provide for all of them.
When Paul writes about the wisdom and knowledge of God, he states that God's paths are beyond tracing out. He means that God's infinite ways cannot be copied, no matter how wise and wonderful some people may be. There is a sense of reverence and awe in Paul's words. When he writes about God, the apostle cannot fully communicate what he means. In other words, God is beyond his knowledge and imagining; God cannot be confined to what Paul thinks and feels about Him.
Only in Christ do we get a true picture of God and what He is like. And it's only through Jesus that we can come into God's presence. We may not be able to trace God's paths, but we can follow in Christ's footsteps to find Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we all desire to find God and know Him. We all want to rest in His arms and abide in His presence. Guide us to God through Your words and Your Spirit. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.