"I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad" (Psalm 119:96).
This is a meditation, a series of thoughts that germinated in my mind some years ago, but about which I cannot hope to comprehend. So, why bother? Well, when we consider God in any fashion we can never hope to have a full understanding of him. Still, to meditate on this very Subject is the essence of knowing God. So, it IS worth it.
Let me put a word before you. Plenitude. Simply put, it refers to the condition of being full or complete. In reference to God, it refers to one of his attributes, viz., his fullness, his total completeness, or his inability (if you will) to ever be lacking in any fashion. The above verse caught my attention some years ago, and it seems time to write something about it.
Perfection Is Limited
"I have seen a limit to all perfection, . . ." The Hebrew for this word (tiklah) can mean "finished, completed, accomplished, or fulfilled." We praise those of whom we can say they are "accomplished at something." Absalom, though the most handsome and charismatic in the land, had his great weaknesses. And though Solomon was the wisest of all time, even he fell dreadfully low due to his weaknesses. The best fade.
To do a good job, we describe with this saying: "You have to work hard at it." How many of us have heard or said, "Practice makes perfect?" It is an honorable thing to finish a job for sure. We admire men like Edison who labored fastidiously over the invention of the light bulb. He failed over a thousand times. But to him, those weren't failures. He said that they showed him a thousand ways it wouldn't work. Again, we admire his tenacity, his "sticktoittiveness." But at their very best, even the best things in life will all have a terminus.
Let me mention one more analogy. Think of a perfectionist. Know one? My Mom was that way. I have some tendencies that way. A job is never quite good enough for a perfectionist. They may have done a marvelous job, but they don't think so! Brahms threw music away, or didn't publish it if it didn't meet up to his high standards. The point? Even a perfectionist can only go so far. They will inevitably do marvelous work, far better than most, even to those in their own field who'd know the difference. Still, they are not happy. But they have to be finished some time. Even the best things in life will all have their terminus.
God's Word Is Without Limits
The Psalmist continues, ". . . but your commandment is exceedingly broad." The NIV uses "boundless." What does that mean? Well, in stark contrast to perfection, it would mean that whereas the most glorious gifts have inherent flaws built within; the most fastidious labors may produce great results and still their best can only go so far. On the other hand, God's commandment (viz., his Word) is very broad, boundless. What strikes me about this comparison is that there are definitely limits to God's Word. I mean that there are only so many chapters and verses and words in the Bible. All of the words fit within a defined limit, that is between two pieces of leather. So, what amazes me is that even though there are a set number of pages, the reach of the Bible is limitless . . . boundless.
Now, what does this mean to us? Tune in tomorrow or Wednesday for how this applies to you and me.