The Mathematics of God
Mathematics was a subject I hated so much in my secondary school days, perhaps because my brain was too small to comprehend it. For me, then, mathematics was one mystery which I felt I never would unravel. As a matter of fact, the slightest mathematical equation gave me ringing headache. Although I ended up, without indulging in any form of examination malpratice, making a last credit in Mathematics, it remains a subject I will only like to take in my dreams.
Mathematics, at least, usually involve an intricate manipulation of figures and, in the case of Algebra, the simultaneous manipulation of numbers and alphabets. Mathematics, although a subject disliked by nine of every ten Nigerian students I have met - perhaps including the reader, is, however, one of the most important subject in human civilization.
Many of the physical and applied sciences, I once read in a tattered-looking encyclopedia, will be completely useless without Mathematics. This is a mild way of saying that many of the technological inventions in the modern world today would have been absolutely impossible without Mathematics.
While man has made monumental advancement in science and technology due to his perfect mastery of mathematics, I have come to understand recently that God, too, has his own mathematics - one more complex to comprehend and grasp than the toughest mathematical equation ever solved within the four walls of any known university, from Harvard to Cambridge, from University of Ibadan to the University of Benin.
With the aid of the most sophisticated calculator in the world, the mathematics of God still remain very difficult to solve. The mathematics of man, the one you and I were taught at college, is based chiefly on numerical logic and reasoning, making it predictable and universal. But the mathematics of God is based on gross illogicality, irrationality, and insensibility.
In the mathematics of man, one plus one is equal to two. But in the mathematics of God, one plus one is equal to one. This is why God shortly after creating Eve in the book of Genesis introduced a theorem yet to be comprehended by the finest professor of mathematics in human history. The verse below captures the theorem "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis 2:24).
How can one be added to one and the results will still be one? As illogical and laughable as this godly theorem may seem, it is the basis of every enviable marriage. Those who are enjoying a sweet marriage, truly, will attest to this irrational principle: a man and his wife must die, killing their selfish interest, resurrect, and then come alive to live as one.
I stated, obviously, in the opening paragraph of this article that I detested mathematics so much. Nevertheless, I think, at this moment I need to honestly tell the reader that there were exceptions to some topics. They were Quadratic Equations and Arithmetic Progressions - my small brain was able to miraculously capture those topics. Despite my profound knowledge of these topics, however, I should still confess very frankly that there is a striking 'rocketometric' progression I have found in the bible. The verse run: "How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?" (Deuteronomy 32:30).
Rationally, you would have thought that if one should chase one thousand, two should chase two thousand - the same way you would have thought that if a man can clear a piece of land in two days, two men should clear it in a day. Well, in the mathematics of God things don't work base on logic; some queer, incomprehensible rules determine results not common sense. This verse is deep. It is merely, to me, stressing the power of unity - the incredible possibilities encapsulated in human harmony.
In earthly mathematics, five fishes and two loaves of bread can, at best, feed five mouths. The disciples of Christ knew earthly mathematics very well, little wonder they told Christ to send the multitude away, away into the villages to buy food. But there was a superior mathematics, a divine mathematics known to Christ alone. In this genre of mathematics, which was eventually demonstrated (to the awe of the twelve disciples and several generations to come), five loaves of bread and two fishes became excessively sufficient, feeding five thousand men excluding women and children.
The mathematics of God is not what the human reasoning can unravel; you can use you calculator and tables when solving academic mathematics but you require an incredible measure of faith when solving the mathematics of God. The scriptures expressly noted that "without faith it is impossible to please God...." Thus, only men of faith can attempt questions relating to the mathematics of God - I beg your pardon - your fragile brains can't.
Ademule David, a young banker and student of human society, writes from Lagos.