When God questions you

Published 6:27 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

When God asks a question, it obviously isn’t for His information.

He’s the omniscient, all knowing, creator of everything (Psalm 139:1-6; Isaiah 46:8-10; Matthew 6:31, 32; John 2:24, 25). Why would He need to ask anything for His own information?

Rather, when God questions people, it is for their information. That is, He asks questions to get people to examine themselves in light of the current situation. We frequently use the question He asked Adam, “where are you?” as an example of this (Genesis 3:9).

This is also the first time God asks a question of man in the Bible. Obviously, God didn’t need Adam to tell him where he was. He wanted Adam to think about where he was as a result of his sin.

When I ran a complex search looking for everywhere in the Bible that God is the speaker and the sentence type is a question, it came back with 1,124 results in 291 verses, not including the questions Jesus asked. These questions from God, and the frequency of them, shows the importance of self-examination. Paul exhorted, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified (2 Corinthians 13:5).” Just think of how many questions we would have from God if we also included such Holy Spirit inspired questions. Paul said again, “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another (Galatians 6:4).” And as we partake the Lord’s Supper, that memorial observance is to be a regular time of self-examination in our reflection on the sacrifice of Christ. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup (1 Corinthians 11:28).”

The questions that God asked were connected to specific events and/or situations that His people faced. We too face such conditions in our daily Christian living. When we find ourselves in similar conditions, we should apply these questions to ourselves and examine ourselves in the various situations we encounter in common with our biblical brethren.

Some questions are asked in rebuke of some action to bring about repentance. Some questions are asked to encourage in times of trouble. Some questions are asked to prompt reflection and meditation for reaching the right conclusion. Some questions are asked to show faulty reasoning and to point the mind in the right direction. Wherever we find these questions, we would be greatly strengthened if we learned how to apply them to ourselves.

Norm Fields is a Minister of the Church of Christ Northside