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Lines By Lee

I Have a Question


April 25, 2019

I have a question. I know you can’t answer me because you are reading this in the paper. But I wonder, what do you think about questions? What do you think about asking God questions in prayer? Do you consider it wrong to “question” the Lord? Many people do because they have told me…”I know we are not supposed to question God.” How do we know that? Years ago one could go to Radio Shack to buy a CB radio, walkie talkies, digital watch, calculator, a transistor radio, or a TV antenna. Back then they had a slogan – “You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers.” I guess they didn’t have the answer for keeping up with the times or staying in business!

It is correct that people have questions. People like me ask a lot of questions aloud. It is the only way I know to get acquainted with someone. Questions show interest. Questions have the goal of getting answers. Some folks do not ask much because they are afraid it is not a good question. They may not want to show ignorance. Today it seems that a majority of questions begin with, “OK Google.”

In the Bible we find God the Father and Jesus asking many questions. That is interesting to think about because they are all-knowing. Obviously when they asked questions it was not for them to learn something. It gave people an opportunity to answer and engage with them. Their questions provoked thinking. They often brought perspective.

In the Bible, the first recorded question in Genesis comes from the serpent…”Did God really say ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”(Genesis 3:1). From the start, Satan wants to throw darts of doubt at God’s people. He makes us wonder about God’s authority. The Devil wants us to think about disobedience or at least compromise. Those things lead to shame which leads to hiding. In the first incident of hide and seek God simply asks, “Where are you?” (3:9). It is not that Adam found some massive tree and was out of God’s sight. The Lord knew the garden and His two people well. This was not a case of “come out, come out wherever you are.” He knew exactly where they were. The Creator wanted a response. Adam gives Him an honest answer. The rest, as they say, is history.

In the next chapter God questions Cain, and Cain has a question for God. This sets a precedent for what we will see a lot of in the Bible. God knows everything but still asks questions. He knows what is happening with our hearts. God knows our mind and motives, but by asking us questions He pushes us toward self-examination. The Lord who made us wants us to engage with Him. There is no point in hiding or denying.

David knew he could not hide his sin, thoughts or locale from God. In Psalm 139 he asked some rhetorical questions…”Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (7). There is no question; the presence of God can be a comfort or a concern depending on what we have going on. We don’t have to ask the Lord to be with us or the missionaries. He already is (8-9).

Like many people, I like going to the beach. I am not one to lie in the sand though. I do like to play in the sand, swim, toss the Frisbee and walk with my wife. I like to stare at the waves and water. I often think of the same question that Isaiah had as I think of how “big” God is.

Who else has held the oceans in his hand?

Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?

Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?

Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?

Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?

Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?

Does he need instruction about what is good?

Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? (Isaiah 40:12-14).

One version asks, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand?” That deepest part of the palm is the hollow of one’s hand. I can get about a teaspoon in mine. God can hold the oceans, rivers, and lakes of the earth in His hand. He is a mighty big God, isn’t He? “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One (25). No answer needs to be given. He is God!

As to whether or not we should “question” God the only verse that does indicate caution may be…This is what the Lord says – the Holy One of Israel and your Creator: “Do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands”? (Isaiah 45:11). It certainly is not forbidding questioning the Lord. But we should be careful. As we wrestle with questions in our mind, we might as well express them to the Lord. He knows our thoughts. We should ask for what He wants and for His will to be done as our sovereign Lord. But when if and when we do question Him, remember that what He does for His children is for our ultimate good and His glory.

There is no question about it!


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