A Question or a Reply
He told her, He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." John 4: 16 (NIV)
As soon as children begin to develop a sense of wonder, they begin to ask why about everything that prompts their curiosity. As adults, we continue to ask questions about everything imaginable. Questions can be a great source for gaining knowledge or a great source for developing even more questions. I don’t believe questions are meant to bring contentment but to ignite our desire to see what our eyes cannot see.
When God asks a question, it is to receive a reply. Let’s look at a few questions God asked. The first question God asked Adam and Eve was, “Where are you?” Did God ask this question because He had lost His children or did God want His children to understand they were lost? Later in Scripture, we find Job asking God questions concerning his suffering. Job wanted information. But God wanted a reply. God responded to Job with a question: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” Did God need Job during Creation, or did God want Job to reply to gain a greater understanding of His sovereignty? What about the time the Samaritan woman came to the well for water and Jesus asked her about her love life? Did Jesus really want to know about her lovers, or did He want her to recognize Him as the Messiah and the source for love?
When God asks a question, it is not to gain information but to get a reply. God is the answer to all our questions, and our response to God’s questions should open our eyes to see God more clearly. As soon as Adam and Eve replied and told God they were hiding, they became aware of their nakedness and saw God as their covering for sin. Job’s reply opened his eyes to see God’s sovereignty and his need to know God as God over all. This is Job’s reply: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” And the Samaritan woman replied, “I have no husband.” Her response allowed her to see her need for love and to recognize God as the lover of her soul.
In all three of these encounters, God asked a question and expected a reply. Each person was in the presence of God, but did not see Him as the answer and hope they longed to know. Their responses led to repentance. And repentance led to revelation.
Jesus sat on a hillside talking to thousands of people and said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” When I’m going through difficult circumstances, I often struggle with the question, Why has God allowed this? When I respond to this question with surrender to the sovereignty of God, He opens my eyes to see Him in the midst of all my questions. My response changes the way I view my circumstances. But a new view does not necessarily change my circumstances. Surrender and repentance give me eyes to see His love and sovereignty and a pure heart to trust Him in the midst of my circumstances.
Do you desire God and need to see Him in the midst of all your questions? What is your reply? Remember, a question from God demands a reply, which will lead to revelation. Questions + Reply = Revelation.
Genesis 3:8-9, Job 38-42, John 4, Matthew 5:8
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