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Q. Is it right to question God?

I’ve been trying to search for the answer to this question but nothing specifically states the it. All of them dance around the answer. But is it wrong to question God? Does God ask us to question him in the Bible? Where would be the place in the Bible to look this up? Thank you!!

–*****

Answer

Dear *****,

I think this is a great question. When you look at the questions that are asked in the Bible you find several categories. In other words, all questions are not the same (and thus, some questions may be legitimate, while others are not). Here are some of the categories that I find in Scripture.

1. Legitimate Questions Prompted by a Desire to Know or Understand

Jesus asked the Jewish teachers questions as a 12 year-old:

46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers (Luke 2:46-47).

The disciples asked Jesus questions to better understand what He was saying:

When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable (Mark 7:17).

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” 26 After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. 28 When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, Why could we not drive it out?” 29 And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer." Mark 9:25-29

His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant (Luke 8:9).

God asked Job questions to show him his insolence and to reveal his ignorance and disregard for His infinite wisdom:

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
3 “Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! (Job 38:1-3; see also the verses that follow)

Jesus asked His disciples questions to teach them, to test their understanding, and to get them to admit that what they were doing wrong:

27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29 And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter *answered and *said to Him, “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:27-29).

33 They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, "What were you discussing on the way?" 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest (Mark 9:33-34).

Jesus also questioned those who were His adversaries, to reveal their ignorance or sin:

35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” 41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, Then how does David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying, 44 THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”‘? 45 If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his son?” 46 No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question (Matthew 22:35-46).

The sincere questions of men and women who are seeking to understand what God is doing, or how, when, or why He is going to do it. This legitimate questioning of God happens frequently in the Psalms and elsewhere:

Why do You stand afar off, O LORD?
Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1)

1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death (Psalm 13:1-3)

31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:31-34)

5 And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, 6 “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.” 7 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” (Luke 21:5-7)

6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

2. Illegitimate Questions

A. Satan’s question to Eve (He sought to come across as her advocate, but he was really her adversary.):

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1-2)

B. The Questioning of Jesus by His enemies, in order to accuse Him:

9 Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse Him. Matthew 12:9-10

When He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question Him closely on many subjects (Luke 11:53).

C. When men question God’s wisdom, goodness, and actions:

18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, Why did you make me like this, will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? (Romans 9:18-22)

Conclusion

All of this leads me to this conclusion: It is right to inquire of God, for He is the source of all wisdom and every good gift:

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:7-11 (NASB)

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NASB)

But it is wrong to question in a rebellious and arrogant way Gods goodness, infinite wisdom, or love.

Related Topics: Character of God, Christian Life, Suffering, Trials, Persecution

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