Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Answering A Question with A Question

(Submitted by Pastor Van)
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, "Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? "Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!  Job 38:1-3 

I tried to make it a practice with my daughter that when she called to ask my opinion of to answer some dilemma, my answer would be simply, “What do you think the answer is?”  When she responded, I would then ask another question to help her think through the problem. My purpose was not to be irritating but to accomplish a major purpose of parenting which is to teach our children to solve the riddles of life.  I knew there would come a time when I would not be present to provide a quick answer and she needed to be able to discern for herself.  
An Amazing Fact: Did you know that the longest list of questions found in the Bible is made up of questions asked by God?  In Job 38 and 39, God poses query after query to His servant Job, who has daily begged for answers to some tough, heart-wrenching questions of his own.  Instead of providing Job with simple answers, God delivers a string of thought-provoking riddles.  They start with words like "Who? Where? When? Have you? Can you? Do you know?" He describes all the miracles of the animal kingdom, and He talks about the weather and the solar system and other mysteries of nature.  It's as if God is talking to Job as a parent would talk to a child. 
God’s purpose in these questions was to help Job realize that His experience and knowledge far exceeded that of mortal men.  God asked Job questions in order to remind him that His ways are often beyond our understanding.  While Job was open to listening to his friends advice, God did not want to be heard on the same level.  Some people try to melt God down and put Him in a test tube so they can define Him and understand Him, but this is a mistake. The Bible says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways." Isaiah 55:9
When we humans ask a question, it's usually because we're lacking information. God, on the other hand, knows everything.  He's omniscient; nothing is a mystery for Him.  So, I started wondering, “Why are there so many Scriptures in which God asks a question?”  As I began looking through my Bible, I found hundreds of them!  What I've discovered is that God does not ask questions because He doesn't know the answers. He asks us deep, penetrating questions because He wants us to think.
The famous philosopher Socrates, who lived about 400 B.C., used the very same teaching method. Rather than merely giving his pupils the answer to a particular problem, Socrates would ask them questions that forced them to analyze the situation and find the answers for themselves, which in turn helped them learn each subject more thoroughly.  When God asks us a question, we really need to sit up and pay attention.  It may be that He is more interested in how we consider the question than how we answer it.
Apologetics is the defense of something.  Too many believers are unable to defend their faith because all they wanted was the answer, not the wisdom.  "Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord. Isaiah 1:18  God wants our mind as well as our heart.
Scripture to Claim:
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 1 Peter 3:15 

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