Questioning God – Is that Biblical?

Human beings constantly seek to find answers to questions of life that baffle us or for which no “answer” is apparent. God made us ruler over all, only a little lower than heavenly beings (Angels) ( Psalm 8 ) with the distinctive trait of having a quest for knowledge and wisdom. Worthy of note, the first Sin that man committed was as a result of the Man’s desire to quench their thirst of becoming omniscient when the adversary (Satan) enticed Eve (and Adam) by saying “You will be like gods, knowing good and evil”. Furthermore, the Bible also teaches that a lack of knowledge leads to destruction (Hosea 4:6). So it would only be appropriate to say that “Man is an ‘answer-seeking’ being and ‘questions’ the things that the finite mind can’t comprehend.

Yes, we all question; we question situations, events, emotions, sickness and anything and everything that affect our lives or the lives of the ones we love. We question when things go our way and also when they don’t. Many a times, we find ourselves even questioning the omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnipresent (ever-present) God. Questions such as “Why me, Lord?” or “Why not me, Lord?” or “Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people?” As a child, I was told that God does everything for the good of those who love him ( Romans 8 ) and so we should not question God. So does this mean that questioning God when certain events transpire in our lives or in the lives of the ones we love, is unbiblical?

King David was asking – “Why, Lord do you care for mere mortals?” when he exclaimed “What is man that you are mindful of him; the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4). Job, the upright in deep anguish, reproved God (Job 40:2) requesting God to release him of his life (Job 6:8-9) saying I will speak in anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul (Job 7:11). When he made his case and his friends were saying that he must have done something wrong and was reaping the consequences, Job must have felt “Why me, Lord?” as he says “Tell me Lord, what charges you have against me?” (Job 10:2). Let’s look at an example, where when the angel Gabriel gave similar messages, it evoked different ‘questioning’ responses. When the angel Gabriel told Mary of the “virgin birth of Jesus” she responded not in a scoffing manner for she knew that since she was a Virgin, that would be impossible, instead she said “How can this be?” In contrast, notice Zechariah’s skeptical response , “How shall I know this?”, when the same angel told Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist that Elizabeth, his wife (who was well advanced in years) will bear him a son (Luke 1:13). Zechariah was not asking “How will you do this?” but “How can I know you’ll do it?” resulting in him being dumb till his son’s birth.

These biblical references lead me to believe that it is not a matter of right or wrong when we question God and yes it is okay to ask “why” and “how” questions to God. It is the “attitude” in which we question God that makes our questioning acceptable or not. King David questioned with an admiration of the extent of God’s care for inadequate man, Job questioned with an attitude of seeking God’s will. Mary asked in bewilderment, yet in belief that nothing is impossible with the Lord while Zechariah questioned God’s character by asking “How shall I know this?” in other words “Can I take you at your word, Lord?”

So the next time, when you are seeking answers and you feel like questioning God, if at all possible refrain from doing so, taking Him at his word by being still (Psalm 46:10) and considering the wondrous works of the God (Job 37:14) but if the human quest for knowledge gets the better of you, Question God ONLY with the right attitude in your heart. Anything contrary would make us ‘dumb’.