In this heart-warming chapter Dr. Robert Morey discusses the “Incomparability of God,” an attribute that recognizes his ultimate uniqueness. Dr. Morey begins the chapter defining this often overlooked attribute of God saying:
The God of the prophets and apostles is so wonderful in all His being and attributes that He cannot be reduced to the level of the pagan gods or man. God simply cannot be “compared” to the gods or man as if they were His equals. What the gods are like has no bearing whatsoever on the God who is there and who has revealed Himself in Scripture.
Although natural religions have always interpreted their concept of the gods in terms of their own human finiteness, God has revealed that He is not like man or his false gods. Thus God cannot be compared to them, for He is “better” in quality by being Divine and “greater” in quantity by being Infinite. This is one of the major Biblical themes of God’s glory.
Dr. Morey gives an exposition of several Bible passages that support the doctrine of the incomparability of God. He writes, “God is the incomparable GOD because He is the Creator, the sovereign Lord of all things, and the omniscient One who foreknows the future!”
Who is like Thee among the gods, O Lord?
Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders (Exodus 15:11)?
Miriam’s song of triumph after Pharaoh’s army perished in the Sea magnifies the sovereign power of God. Which of the finite pagan gods can do what Yahweh has done? He is incomparable in His character and power.
There is none like the God of Jeshurun…
The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms…
So Israel dwells in security (Deuteronomy 33:26-28).
In Moses’ farewell blessing, he blesses Asher by teaching him the incomparability of Yahweh. He alone is the “eternal God” who transcends space and time. His sovereign power, or “everlasting arms,” is the only basis of security for God’s people.
My soul shall rejoice in the Lord;
It shall exalt in His salvation.
All my bones will say,
“Lord, who is like Thee,
Who delivers the afflicted
from him who is too strong for him” (Psalm 35:9-10).
As David sees his enemies approaching with a force too great for him to overcome, he cries out to God for deliverance. In his prayer he reminds the Lord that He is incomparable in His mercy as well as in His judgment.
But to the wicked God says,
You thought that I was just like you;
I will reprove you (Psalm 50:16, 21).
God begins His address to the wicked in verse 16. They are condemned because they hypocritically speak of God’s statutes and covenant while rejecting God’s revelation! But their greatest crime is their wicked assumption that God is limited just like them. They are able to abandon themselves to sin because they think that God is limited in knowledge and does not know what they are doing, and that God is limited in power and cannot do anything about it anyway. God is going to “tear them into pieces” because they have “forgotten” what God is really like (v. 22). Humanists always assume God is “just like man.”
For Thy righteousness, O God,
reaches to the heavens;
Thou who hast done great things;
O God, who is like Thee? (Psalm 71:19)
In the context, the Psalmist focuses on the “righteousness,” i.e. justice, of God because it “reaches to the heavens,” i.e., is infinite. This infinite justice of God is declared to be incomparable and becomes the basis of his hope that God will deliver him from his enemies.
There is no one like Thee among the gods, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Thine.
For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds;
Thou alone art God (Psalm 86:8, 10).
David cries out for deliverance to a sovereign God who is “great” in His being and works. God’s sovereignty is so complete and universal that even David’s enemies are under the control of God! David’s enemies can “choose” to do him harm, but God is in control and will deliver His people.
The Lord is high above all nations;
His glory is above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
Who is enthroned on High,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth (Psalm 113:4-6)?
The Psalmist begins in awe with a vision of the transcendence of God over man (“the nations”) and nature (“heavens and earth.”) This transcendent God is sovereign over all things for He is “enthroned on high.” He is called “the Most High God” no fewer than forty-six times in Scripture.
But does this mean that He is not immanent “in” the world because He is transcendent “above” it? No, the Psalmist believes that God is both transcendent and immanent. The Lord “humbles Himself to behold” all that takes place in heaven and in the earth.
The Psalmist thus concludes that God is incomparable because He is transcendent, sovereign, and omniscient. The gods of the heathen are not transcendent, sovereign, or omniscient. They are “of” the world as well as “in” the world. But the True God is “above” the world (transcendent), “over” the world (sovereign), “in” the world (immanent), and knows all “about” the world (omniscient). God is GOD because of these things.
To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him (Isaiah 40:18)?
Isaiah 40 is the passage of full mention on subject of the transcendence of God. He is depicted as the sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe, who sits enthroned far above all earthly powers. The nations are only “a drop in a bucket” or “a speck of dust on the scales” (v. 15).
All the inhabitants of the earth are “like grasshoppers” (v. 22).
Thus it is absurd to make an idol and compare it to God (v. 18). What is an idol but a manmade god (vv. 19f.). How can such ignorant gods compare to the True God, who is omniscient (vv. 13-14)?
To whom then will you liken Me?
That I should be his equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their hosts by number
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the
strength of His power
Not one of them is missing (Isaiah 40:25-26).
God is not only incomparable because He is transcendent and omniscient, but also because He is omnipotent. His omnipotence is revealed in creation and providence. He created the stars. This shows His omnipotence. He knows them all by name which reveals His omniscience. And His power sustains them in their orbits, which reveals His Providence. The gods of the heathen are limited in power and knowledge. The God of Israel should not be compared to these idols.
I am the first and I am the last,
And there is no God besides Me.
And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it;
Yes, let him recount it to Me in order,
From the time that I established the ancient nation.
And let them declare to them
the things that are coming
And the events that are going
to take place (Isaiah 44:6-7).
Isaiah now bases the incomparability of God on His eternity. As “the First and the Last,”God is transcendent over time itself. Thus he appeals to God’s absolute and infallible foreknowledge of the future as proof of His uniqueness. Which of the gods of the heathen can “recount” history from “the beginning to the end”? Which of them can tell us future events? Only the true God can do this.
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning
And from ancient times
things which have not been done,
Saying, “My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish
all My good pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
No wonder pagan philosophers have always attacked God’s foreknowledge and foreordination of the future! Since Isaiah records God’s claim that He is GOD because He foreknows and ordains the future, the heathen have always made their chief attack on those very attributes. Once God is denied knowledge and control of the future, then He is “just like” their gods.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Isaiah now tells us that God’s thoughts and ways cannot be compared to man’s thoughts and ways. The limitations of man’s thoughts and ways should not be placed on God. Man is not the measure of all things. God is His own interpreter and He has made it plain that He is not a man and should not be limited in power and knowledge as if He were a man (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9).
Humanistic theologians are forever trying to instruct God as to what He may and may not do. They try to inform the Holy One about what is just and unjust. They are cosmic “back-seat drivers” who gripe and complain about the direction in which history is going, and who then take it upon themselves to tell the Almighty how to run the world He made for His own glory! Their conceit and imprudence know no bounds!
There is none like Thee, O Lord;
Thou art great, and great is Thy name in might.
Who would not fear Thee, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is thy due!
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like Thee…
But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King…
Thus you shall say to them,
“The gods that did not make the heavens
and the earth shall perish
from the earth and from under the heavens.”
It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding
He has stretched out the heavens…
Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge;
Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols;
For his molten images are deceitful,
And there is no breath in them…
The Portion of Jacob is not like these;
For the Maker of all is He,
And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance,
The Lord of hosts is His name (Jeremiah 10:6-16).
The true God cannot be compared to such absurdities. He is the omnipotent Maker and Sustainer of all things. All attempts to lower God down to the level of the finite gods of the heathen are sheer “stupidity,” says Isaiah.
Dr. Morey concludes chapter six by summarizing the chapter saying:
These Biblical passages are clear enough to establish the doctrine of the incomparability of God. Why then should we follow the processians in rejecting those very attributes of God which make Him different from and superior to the gods of the heathen? Why reduce God to the level of pagan deities by claiming that He cannot know or control the future? If God is no better or greater than man or his manmade gods, why believe or worship Him? Are we really any better off if God is no longer GOD?
Such searching questions as these can be ignored only at the peril of one’s immortal soul. Theology is not a game but a matter of eternal life or death. If you want a finite god, then you must choose Baal and serve him. But if you want to serve Jehovah, then you must accept Him as He has revealed Himself in the Bible: the omnipotent, omniscient, sovereign Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth.
Dear explorers, the God that is revealed in Scripture cannot be compared to anything. If you have received the new life given to the Father’s elect by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ, then remember this attribute in your worship and praise. As we continue our worshipful exploration of the attributes of God, let us never overlook the attribute discussed in chapter six.