This posting is a response to a blog entitled “7 Things You Won’t Find in the Bible… I Dare You to Look.” I am taking that challenge! The third listed phrase was “God works in mysterious ways.” I would agree that the phrase is not found in our English Bible—but what about the principle behind the phrase?
Words by themselves are meaningless—it is only when we attach meaning to the words that communication occurs. The principle behind this phrase can be found in the Bible, but the phrase can be heresy when different meanings are behind the words and the phrase.
God works in mysterious ways~The author of that piece supported the position with the following. “Though uncertain in origin and certainly not found in Scripture (the phrase may originate from William Cowper's hymn ‘God Moves in a Mysterious Way’).” The author also uses the following Scriptural references which to me actually support the principle!
(1) “The secret things belong to the Lord our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
(2) “And we know that all thing work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Throughout Scripture we read about the mystery of God, His wisdom, and the life of godliness we are to live. Two examples: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7). “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:Godwas manifested in the flesh,justified in the Spirit,seen by angels,preached among the Gentiles,believed on in the world,received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
Job had this to say, “Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered… Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy? Look, He scatters His light upon it, and covers the depths of the sea” (Job 36:26, 29-30).
Once again, we find that while the exact phrase is not found in our English Bibles, the principle behind the phrase is clearly a Biblical concept.