God’s Omnipotence

Some words on the Almighty from a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon.

Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any:He is mighty in strength and wisdom.” (Job 36:5.)

“Begin at the beginning: the Lord is mighty—that is to say, God is so strong that power immeasurable and inconceivable belongeth unto him. ‘God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.’ All that God has already done proves his power, but we cannot even from his greatest works guess at what he is yet able to do. ‘Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? the thunder of his power who can understand?’ Since there is no bound to his power, and it would be sinful to attempt to limit the Holy One of Israel, we are free to believe that the Lord could work on even a more stupendous scale than he has done if so it pleased him. Search as long as you will, and by his help obtain as clear a discovery of divine power as was ever given to mortal mind, but recollect that he is past finding out, and that even if you saw him stand and measure the earth, and drive asunder the nations, and cause the everlasting mountains to be scattered, and the perpetual hills to bow, you would yet have to say with Habakkuk, ‘There was the hiding of his power.’

With the Lord nothing is impossible. Learn somewhat of his power from the following facts. First, all the power there is in the universe came from God at first, comes from him still, and at his bidding would in a single moment cease. Whatever of force there is in inanimate nature it is but God at work, he set the wheel of nature in motion, and at his bidding it would cease to turn. Whatever mental faculty there may be in cherub or seraph, angel or man, it is but an emanation from his creative energy, a ray from his eternal sun, which would cease if he restrained his might. If Jehovah willed it, yonder enormous orbs, which now revolve in order around the central sphere, would rush in wild confusion to inevitable destruction. The law of gravitation, which holds all things in their places, would be broken in an instant if he withdrew the force which makes the law a power; there would be no coherence among atoms, nay, the atoms themselves would dissolve into non-existence and leave one vast sepulchre, one universal void. Herein is power so great that we cry with Nehemiah, ‘Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.’

The great God can do all things without help. He needs no assistance from any created thing; indeed, there could be no such aid, since all the power of all other beings is derived from himself alone. Creatures do not contribute to his strength, they only manifest him, revealing the power which they have first of all borrowed from him. To achieve any purpose of his heart he asketh none to be his ally, for alone he doeth as he wills. What is more, he could with equal ease accomplish all his purposes if all created intelligences and forces were against him. It would make no difference to his supremacy of might though all the tremendous powers which have now been created should revolt; he that sitteth in the heavens would have them in derision. Even powers which set up their standard against him are beneath his control: his enemies are his footstool, out of their rage he bringeth forth his peaceful purposes; ‘he maketh the wrath of men to praise him, and the remainder thereof he doth restrain.’ Note well that when God hath done all that he pleaseth he hath not spent his strength. ‘He fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding.’ He watcheth always, but he never wearies so as to need to slumber: he worketh ever, but he never pauseth to take rest because of any lassitude or exhaustion; when he hath done all that he hath purposed to do he remains as ready to work as before; when he hath, according to our notions, gone to the utmost of his potency, he is but at the beginning. These are the skirts of his garments, but his full glory is not seen. I tremble while I speak upon that of which I know so little, but assuredly God is mighty in the most emphatic sense that can be conceived by the most enlarged intellect, yea, and far beyond all that hath entered into the heart of man.” 

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Magnanimity of God,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 23. Originally preached on October 21, 1877. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1877), 579–580. [Italics original.]