July 16, 2023
The word exceeding or exceedingly seems like the perfect word to describe the works of God. He goes beyond all that we could ever think, dream, or even imagine. My purpose in this article is simply to draw your attention to what the scriptures say and how the words exceeding or exceedingly seem to have a “pick me up” to get our minds off what may be ordinary, drab, or even disquieting.
First, the definitions: Exceeding = exceptional in amount, quality, or degree. Exceedingly = to an extreme degree or extremely.
Please note: I’m using mostly KJV quotations because it seems to be more expressive in its use of superlatives. Case in point: consider the two translations of this very familiar passage.
Ephesians 3:20–21 (ESV) — 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20–21 (KJV) — 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
When it comes to what God can do, it’s important to realize He can do far more than we can ever think, dream, or imagine and the KJV seems to take us to the heights beyond our comprehension with the word “exceeding.” When you are in a bad situation and you are looking to God, it’s reassuring to be reminded of His great power, ability, and mind. But as we are reminded of God’s exceeding supply, we must also take note that the same power of God is at work within us.
Ephesians 1:18–20 (ESV) — 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
That is the same power, by the way, by which we believe and the same power that raised Christ from the dead. I’d say it’s exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, wouldn’t you?
2 Corinthians 4:17 (KJV) — 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV) — 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
Whatever affliction we may experience in this life, we can say with the apostle Paul that it is a light affliction compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18 (ESV) — 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
In 2 Corinthians 4:17 Paul is comparing that glory and says in the KJV that it is a “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The word “exceeding” takes us way beyond the norm, so we can rise above the self-infliction of focusing on the affliction and glory even in our affliction.
One more example: God’s exceeding great and precious promises.
2 Peter 1:3–4 (ESV) — 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
2 Peter 1:3–4 (KJV) — 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
There is something about God’s promises that make us rise above any occasion as we think about them. Peter says that those promises are “exceeding great and precious (KJV).” It’s important to take God’s promises seriously for sure because if God has stated it, it is true.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV) — 20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Titus 1:2 (KJV) — 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
This is not so much an argument for the KJV as much as it is the word exceeding or exceedingly. There’s not a day that goes by that God’s people do not need encouragement and when you meditate upon the superlatives of God’s word, particularly expressed in the KJV, you will find great encouragement to face life today.
Bob Brubaker, Pastor