Tag Archives: doubt

July 30; Questions Not Asked

Jeremiah 22:1-17; 2 Kings 23:31-37; Habakkuk

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “When I get to heaven the first thing I’m going to do is ask God why…?” “Why is life so hard?” “Why do bad people prosper and good people struggle?” “Why do non-Christians get away with making life miserable for Christians?” “Why are there diseases, wars, catastrophes…”

Habakkuk had questions, and his sound pretty much like ours. He asked, “Why are you ignoring me, God?” “Why do you tolerate wrong?” “Why do your enemies swallow us up?”

In other words, “Why isn’t life fair?”

What we see here in Habakkuk is a man’s frustration, expressing his honest feelings about life. Is there anything wrong with that? I’ve always been taught that the only stupid question is the question not asked. Now I’m wondering if that is true.

God answers the prophet. And he starts by telling him to “Write this down.” Whenever one of my professors used to say that, I knew that what was to follow was something I shouldn’t ignore, something he expected me to understand and remember.

God’s reply to Habakkuk is a wake-up call. In effect He is saying He really doesn’t need us to tell Him what is wrong in the world. And to be sure we understand that he is not unaware, He gives warnings to five different classes of people.

Woe to thieves and dishonest people. (2:6-8)

Woe to people who use people to get ahead. (2:9-11)

Woe to bullies and criminals. (2:12-14)

Woe to drunks, lewd and violent people. (2:15-17)

Woe to idolators. (2:18-19)

God’s not blind. He sees what is going on. And He will take care of it. Sin will be punished.

Then God reminds us, “But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” (2:20) In other words, “I’m God. You aren’t. Shut your mouth.”

In 2:4, God says something that hit me. “See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous will live by his faith.” I believe God is telling us that when we have the nerve to demand answers from Him, we become puffed up, we try to put ourselves on equal footing with God. Those questions don’t come from a good place in our hearts.

In fact, those who are truly His trust Him. The righteous don’t need answers, they live by their faith in God instead.

Habakkuk speaks again to God in chapter three. This time he says, “You’re right, God.” The prophet says things like, “I stand in awe of you. We’ve seen your glory in creation, your splendor in a sunrise. We’ve seen  your heavy hand of discipline and your control over nature. You scare me, God. And I rejoice in you. I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk submits to the Sovereign God and says “…in wrath remember mercy.” In other words, “Do what you need to do, God. We deserve it. But please have mercy on us, too,”

Habakkuk starts out by asking God to defend Himself. God reminds Habakkuk who he is talking to. And Habakkuk replies by bowing before a Holy God.

He ends his book with,”The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enable me to go on the heights.” The answers to his questions don’t seem to be all that important any more. He turns his focus instead to God.

So, no. When I get to heaven the first thing I’ll do is NOT ask God anything. I’m going to spend the first billion years at His feet, loving Him, being loved by Him, simply drinking in His Presence. Then, after a billion years or so, if a question comes to mind, I’ll sit with my precious Savior another billion years before I ask.

 

Stay With Me

Have you ever seen a frightened toddler? Maybe a barking, nipping dog scares the little one, or a spider crawling out of a flower he’s just put his nose into takes him by surprise. The natural reaction is to jump into Daddy’s arms. Then what? That baby climbs frantically higher to get away from that which is scaring him. And if he could, that child would crawl right into his Daddy’s skin for safety. At that moment of fright, the child just can’t get close enough to his father.

I was reading I Samuel 22 this morning and like what David told Abiathar when Saul was trying to kill them both: “Stay with me. Don’t fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.” (vs 23)

I hear Jesus saying the same to me about our mutual enemy, Satan. Jesus, whom John describes as the Word, Creator of all that is made, who came to earth in the flesh and blood body fully God, fully human. Jesus, who willingly went to the cross so that I can be forgiven. Jesus, who died, defeated death and the power of sin, and rose again. Jesus who bodily went to heaven and sits on the throne from where he whispers in my ear:

“Stay with me. Satan is my enemy, too. And if you stay close to me, you shall be safe.”

Jesus. My Protector! My Savior!

Dear Abba Father, Thank you for your protection. You’ve told us to come to you like little children, and I see that in what I read this morning in your written Word. Sometimes it feels like I can’t get close enough to you. I want to crawl right into your skin. So I thank you for reminding me that YOU are my protector. It’s not, how close can I get to you. But how much do I trust your strong arms. So as I jump into those arms through reading your Word and praying, I want to thank you for your promise for my soul’s safety. Keep me close to you where I am safe from Satan’s snarling teeth. I trust you completely.

November 25

I Corinthians 1-4

Paul spends a lot of time talking about wisdom here in these chapters. The intellectuals of the day may have put themselves above the message of faith and the apostle, who spoke their language, called them out on it.

1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

Paul quoted Isaiah 29:4 where it says God will frustrate the intelligence of the intelligent.

Where is the wise man?… Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

Paul, who was probably as smart and as schooled as any of the people he was writing to said he put aside everything except Jesus Christ, the crucified Savior so that their faith would be based on Jesus alone and not on Paul’s wisdom. 
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” (3:19)

i don’t care how smart you think you are. You may have an IQ that rivals Einstein or you may have studied philosophy with the greatest thinkers of our time. My prayer, however, is that you won’t talk yourself out of a relationship with your Savior.

You may sit and imagine how you would have done things differently if you were God. But you aren’t God. You may question a God who allows evil, sickness, wars, famine. But you don’t know the mind of God and you never will this side of eternity. 

Don’t listen to the foolishness of men who deny God’s existence when the evidence is so apparent that not only does he exist, but his creation is beyond anything you could come up with on your own.

Do you doubt? Do you have questions? Have you read the Bible with an open mind? Put away the commentaries and the textbooks and just read God’s Word. Ask him to reveal himself to you and I promise you he will.

Dear God, I pray for those who read this blog today and are still unsure of the Truth. Open minds and hearts today, Lord, and may each one put away their foolishness and submit to your godship. Thank you for your Word, for Jesus and his sacrifice on our behalf. May we all bow before you, confess our sin and our helplessness, and allow you to pour your grace on each one. I pray for intelligent, thinking people today who still need the Savior.