Tag Archives: questioning God

September 27; How?

Joel 3; Malachi 1-4

I don’t know about you, but reading Malachi makes me uncomfortable. Every time God says something, the people question Him. It almost seems like they are insisting God defend His position against them. Just the thought of demanding God explain Himself makes me feel uncomfortable.

But it must not have bothered Israel at the time. God told them He had loved them. “How?” they asked. God told them they were showing contempt for Him. “How?” they asked. And when God said they’d shown contempt by offering defiled food on the altar, the Israelites asked, “How?”

Oh, it doesn’t even end there. The Israelites questioned God when He told them to return to Him, and when He accused them of robbing Him. “How are we to return?” “How do we rob You?”

I might talk like that to a co-worker. It’s doubtful I’d talk like that to an employer. I’m pretty sure I’d never talk like that to my dad. But I can’t even imagine a time when I would be so arrogant to talk like that to a Holy God.

That’s not to say I don’t have questions once in a while. I noticed two key verses in Malachi that tell me how to handle my questions.

(3:7) “Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.

(4:4) Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

If I want to know how I’ve offended God, how I’ve disobeyed, and how I’ve grieved Him; if I want to know what sin is I need look no further than Scripture. Every answer to every question is lovingly written there by God Himself.

So after reading Malachi today, I realize the only “How” I want to come out of my mouth when talking to my Lord is the one followed by, “…can I serve You?”

Inquiring Minds

Habakuk wasn’t afraid to question God. “Why, God?” he asked. He listened to God’s reply, then went on to ask “What about this?” Habakuk is an example of an inquiring mind, and God made inquiring minds.

I’m not interested in pouring over ancient history to put a time-line on these prophecies. But some people are, and that’s ok. I think Scripture teaches that God wants us to dig, to learn, to be awed by creation, and to love him enough to get to know him. The problem is when we assign human attributes to God, when we try to define him by ways we understand.

We can’t know anything about God that’s not revealed in his Word. Studying history, or reading commentaries (as helpful as they are) to come to an understanding of God isn’t necessary. Reading the Bible is.

God isn’t afraid of our questions. He created us with the ability to think and wonder. But he will reveal only a portion of Who he is, give only the answers we NEED to know this side of heaven.

So go ahead and ask. Then accept the fact that there are some things we cannot know. If we were able to know everything God knows, he’d be us.