Sunday, August 1, 2010

Asking the Wrong Questions by Dudley Hall

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.  Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in the synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me...?" John 18:19-21

     The mind is a wonderful thing. It is part of God's creative generosity in making us in his own image. But, like all gifts, it can be misused and often contributes to the confusion mankind has in relating to God.  We like to understand everything that is happening. We go further. We demand to know. When the answers are not to our liking, we often become cynical.

     God is not obligated to explain anything. He could go on being God without any justifiable indictment even if he never offered an explanation for anything that happens. However, it is his nature to make himself known, and he will not deny his own nature. He delights in giving understanding to those whose hearts are aligned with his. So the problem is not the mind after all - it is the heart.

     God has successfully expressed his sovereignty throughout history without violating the dignity he imparted to his highest creation. He does not create puppets on strings to mimic obedience or to play the role of the villain. His control is so immense that he can make sure everything happens on time while still giving mankind the privilege of making choices that have corresponding consequences. There is a purpose in his kingdom, and he does rule. There are reasons for what happens and the heart that desires to cooperate with Him can know those reasons.

     The Jewish leaders were going through the motions of questioning Jesus so they could say they gave him the benefit of the doubt. They wanted to claim honest inquiry, but they didn't want to know him. They wanted to keep what they already treasured, and he was threatening that. Their questions were accusations in disguise. Had they really wanted to know, they would have been granted heavenly illumination to explain what their physical eyes had observed.

     Trust makes the heart pliable. Enoch learned that to walk in faith is to first believe that God exists, and that he rewards them that seek him (Hebrews 11:5-6). Questioning the obvious leads to confusion about everything. Living by faith in God as Father is not complicated. We choose to take his word on reality rather than some other opinion. Then we respond to him as the source of all things and the ruler over all things. This opens the heart to hear more and makes it a fertile ground for truth to grow.

     If you have honest questions that seem to stump you, hold your heart up to God for his examination. He will search you and expose what must be eliminated. He longs to share with his sons as much as they can handle. They are his partners in carrying out his purposes on earth.

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