Who hath directed - This passage is quoted by Paul in Romans 11:34, and referred to by him in 1 Corinthians 2:16. The word rendered ‹directed‘ here (תכן tikēn ) is the same which is used in the previous verse, ‹and meted out heaven.‘ The idea here is, ‹Who has fitted, or disposed the mind or spirit of Yahweh? What superior being has ordered, instructed, or disposed his understanding? Who has qualified him for the exercise of his wisdom, or for the formation and execution of his plans?‘ The sense is, God is supreme. No one has instructed or guided him, but his plans are his own, and have all been formed by himself alone. And as those plans are infinitely wise, and as he is not dependent on anyone for their formation or execution, his people may have confidence in him, and believe that he will be able to execute his purposes.
The Spirit - The word ‹spirit‘ is used in the Bible in a greater variety of senses than almost any other word (see the note at Isaiah 40:7). It seems here to be used in the sense of mind, and to refer to God himself. There is no evidence that it refers to the Holy Spirit particularly. ‹The word spirit, he uses,‘ says Calvin, ‹for reason, judgment. He borrows the similitude from the nature of mankind, in order that he may more accommodate himself to them; nor, as it seems to me, does he here speak of the essential Spirit of God‘ (Commentary in loc ). The design of the prophet is not to refer to the distinction in the divine nature, or to illustrate the special characteristics of the different persons of the Godhead; but it is to set forth the wisdom of Yahweh himself, the one infinite God, as contradistinguished from idols, and as qualified to guide, govern, and deliver his people. The passage should not be used, therefore, as a proof-text in regard to the existence and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, but is suited to demonstrate only that God is untaught; and that he is independent and infinite in his wisdom.
Or being his counselor - Margin, as in Hebrew, ‹Man of his counsel.‘ He is not dependent for counsel on men or angels. He is supreme, independent, and infinite. None is qualified to instruct him; and all, therefore, should confide in his wisdom and knowledge.
In my earlier experiences in the message, I was called to meet this evil. During my labors in Europe and Australia, and more recently at the San Jose camp meeting in 1905, I had to bear my testimony of warning against it, because souls were being led to look to man for wisdom, instead of looking to God, who is our wisdom, our sanctification, and our righteousness. And now the same message has again been given me, more definite and decisive, because there has been a deeper offense to the Spirit of God. TM 478.1
God is the Teacher of His people. All who humble their hearts before Him will be taught of God. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” The Lord wants every church member to pray earnestly for wisdom, that he may know what the Lord would have him do. It is the privilege of every believer to obtain an individual experience, learning to carry his cares and perplexities to God. It is written, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” TM 478.2Read in context »
The pen of inspiration thus describes the power and majesty of God: “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? ... Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.... It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in” (Isaiah 40:12-22). 3SM 309.1Read in context »
Inspiration is revealed in this record of Christ's work. These closing chapters of the book of Isaiah should be diligently studied; for they are full of the gospel of Christ. They reveal to us that Israel was fully instructed in regard to the coming Saviour (Manuscript 151, 1899). 4BC 1145.1
10. Our Daily Reward—Whenever He comes to us, His reward is with Him. He does not leave it in heaven, but gives it to us every day. Daily He gives us confidence and light and blessing. Daily our hearts beat in unison with His great heart of infinite love (Manuscript 116, 1902). 4BC 1145.2
12-14. Man Can Teach God Nothing—[Isaiah 40:12-14 quoted.] Men sometimes suppose that they discover new scientific truths; but they cannot teach God anything. Our God is a God of infinite knowledge (Manuscript 116, 1902). 4BC 1145.3
18-28. Varieties of Gods Men Worship—The Lord urges His supremacy. But Satan well knows that the worship of the living God elevates, ennobles, and exalts a nation. He knows that idol-worship does not elevate, but that it degrades man's ideas, by associating with worship that which is base and corrupt. He is at work constantly to draw the mind away from the only true and living God. He leads men to give honor and glory to objects that human hands have made or to soulless creatures that God has created. The Egyptians and other heathen nations had many strange gods—creatures of their own fanciful imagination. 4BC 1145.5
The Jews, after their long captivity, would not make any image. The image on the Roman ensign or banner, they called an abomination, especially when these emblems were placed in a prominent place for them to respect. Such respect they regarded as a violation of the second commandment. When the Roman ensign was set up in the holy place in the temple, they looked upon it as an abomination.... 4BC 1145.6
To make an image of God dishonors Him. No one should bring into service the power of imagination to worship that which belittles God in the mind and associates Him with common things. Those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. They must exercise living faith. Their worship will then be controlled not by the imagination, but by genuine faith. 4BC 1145.7
Let men worship and serve the Lord God, and Him only. Let not selfish pride be lifted up and served as a god. Let not money be made a god. If sensuality is not kept under the control of the higher powers of the mind, base passion will rule the being. Anything that is made the subject of undue thought and admiration, absorbing the mind, is a god chosen before the Lord. God is a searcher of the heart. He distinguishes between true heart-service and idolatry (Manuscript 126, 1901). 4BC 1145.8
26 (Psalm 19:1). Angels Enlighten Minds as We Study God's Works—God calls men to look upon the heavens. See Him in the wonders of the starry heavens. [Isaiah 40:26 quoted.] We are not merely to gaze upon the heavens; we are to consider the works of God. He would have us study the works of infinity, and from this study, learn to love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God's love, care, and power. 4BC 1145.9
Satan will manufacture his diversions that men may not think about God. The world, filled with sport and pleasure-loving, is always thirsting for some new interest. And how little time and thought are given to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention from the confusion and perplexity around them, and admire His handiwork. The heavenly bodies are worthy of contemplation. God has made them for the benefit of man, and as we study His works, angels of God will be by our side to enlighten our minds, and guard them from satanic deception. As you look at the wonderful things God's hand has made, let your proud, foolish heart feel its dependence and inferiority. As you consider these things, you will have a sense of God's condescension (Manuscript 96, 1899). 4BC 1145.10
All Bounties Come to Man Through the Cross—The sun and the moon were made by Him; there is not a star that beautifies the heavens which He did not make. There is not an article of food upon our tables that He has not provided for our sustenance. The stamp and superscription of God is upon it all. Everything is included in and abundantly supplied to man, through the one unspeakable Gift, the only begotten Son of God. He was nailed to the cross that all these bounties might flow to God's workmanship (Letter 79, 1897). 4BC 1145.11Read in context »
Neither by searching the recesses of the earth nor in vain endeavors to penetrate the mysteries of God's being, is wisdom found. It is found, rather, in humbly receiving the revelation that He has been pleased to give, and in conforming the life to His will. MH 431.1
Men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah as revealed in nature. Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked that we might answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God and to teach us that our wisdom is limited; that in the surroundings of our daily life there are many things beyond the comprehension of finite beings. MH 431.2
Skeptics refuse to believe in God because they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which He reveals Himself. But God is to be acknowledged as much from what He does not reveal of Himself, as from that which is open to our limited comprehension. Both in divine revelation and in nature, God has given mysteries to command our faith. This must be so. We may be ever searching, ever inquiring, ever learning, and yet there is an infinity beyond. MH 431.3Read in context »