JOB 11:7—Can God be known by humans?
PROBLEM: Job seems to imply that God cannot be known by human reason. Paul also declared that God’s judgments are “unsearchable … and His ways past finding out” (Rom. 11:33). On the other hand, the Bible declares that God has revealed Himself to all people (Rom. 1:20) so that they “are without excuse” (v. 20). Indeed, the Bible is said to be a special revelation of God by which we can know Him and serve Him (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
God cannot be known directly in this life, nor can He be known completely. For “now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor. 13:12). God can be known “by the things that are made” (Rom. 1:19), but He cannot be known in Himself. The following contrast summarizes the ways God can and cannot be known:
HOW GOD CANNOT BE KNOWN
HOW GOD CAN BE KNOWN
In Himself (His essence)
In His creation (His effects)
As Incarnate in Christ
While “no one has seen God at any time [in His essence]” (John 1:18), nonetheless, His only begotten Son has revealed Him. Thus, Jesus could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Geisler, N. L., & Howe, T. A. 1992. When critics ask : A popular handbook on Bible difficulties (228). Victor Books: Wheaton, Ill.