God loves questions. Do you know that? So much so that in Genesis 18 He led Abraham in a series of questions designed to show Abraham what He was thinking. He helped Abraham arrive at the conclusion that He, the Lord, was already at.
Job had a lot of questions too, but do you realize how many questions God asked Job? Sixty. I never realized it was so many. And the beautiful thing is, His questions to Job are His answer.
In chapter 41 of Job, God says to Job, “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?” His point is that Job would never dare to challenge Leviathan, and yet he was challenging God. Why did he? Why do we?
And yet God didn’t strike Job down for his impertinence. And He doesn’t with us, either. Why not?
Because it’s okay to wonder, and it’s okay to question. But like anything else, questioning is about what’s in your heart. When I was a child, I was perplexed (and bothered) by the dissimilar treatment that Mary and Zachariah got when they questioned God. Zachariah said, in Luke 1 “How shall I know this…?” (in response to learning from Gabriel that he would be a father). For that question, Zachariah won a grand prize of being mute until his son was born.
But just a few verses later, Mary, too, is visited by Gabriel, and given pretty unbelievable news. Her reaction is almost verbatim: “How can this be…?” But in this case Gabriel responded with information to help her understand. Sometimes questioning God is challenging Him, and sometimes it’s just wondering. And maybe sometimes, He’s the only one who knows our motives.
Questions show ignorance. But sometimes asking the questions shows ignorance. There’s a difference between wanting to understand and insisting on understanding. And there shouldn’t be more wondering than trusting. There shouldn’t be more questions than praises.
I ask a lot of questions that don’t have answers; drives my family crazy. Sometimes one of my kids will say to me (with the slightest trace of weariness in their voice): “Questions that don’t have answers, Mom…” A fair amount of my questions have to do with Scripture, because it interests me, but the fact is that anything that’s not written is because He didn’t want it written. We can ask, we can ponder, we can wonder, we can discuss. And maybe that’s all good, and maybe that’s what He wants, but a lot of that questioning is going to be futile until we get to heaven. And, when I get to heaven, will I even still want to know? I might not even care anymore, right?
So I’m pointlessly, aimlessly wondering about what God’s doing and why, I go with the lyrics of a Rich Mullins song from days gone by. It’s called Alrightokuhhuhamen, and there’s a part that says, “you can argue with your Maker, but you know you just can’t win… As it was in the beginning, it will be until the end, so let me hear you say, ‘Alright, OK, uh huh, amen.’”