Question God

Scott Stevenson

“You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?”  Romans 9:19–21

I have seen people question God often and at times; the world can influence Christians to question God without reverence.  I know I have done this at times because it has become the norm, but when I spend time in the Word of God, it resets my conscience.  In other words, I get my questions answered correctly, and I learn to ask God the right questions.  It is not that God does not want us to ask questions.   I can't know all there is to know about Him and His ways, but it is a matter of having perspective when you have questions.

I want to take the text in Romans 9:19 and examine what is being said.  Paul was in great anguish in speaking about his Jewish brothers in understanding that God justifies all by faith, and He has the right to choose and reject whom He wills.  We are talking about God, who is omniscient, yet we who do not know everything questions the One who does.  When it comes to God’s sovereignty, man has a problem dealing with perspective.  This is due to the crippling effects of sin.

I like Mr. Charles Spurgeon’s take on the problem man has with God’s sovereignty:

"No doctrine in the whole Word of God has more excited the hatred of mankind than the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God. The fact that “the Lord reigneth” is indisputable, and it is this fact that arouses the utmost opposition in the unrenewed human heart."

Paul points this out in Romans 9:11-12:

“Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”  Romans 9:11–13

Paul expected the questions to start, so he asked the question that was already on their minds, "Is there injustice on God's part?  By no means!"  Romans 9:14.  You have to examine the text to understand what is going on.  When you read, "The older will serve the younger", it did not happen that way.  There is God’s perspective, and then there is our perspective.  Esau never served his brother, but his descendants the Edomites did ( 2 Sam 8:14).  The part where God states, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated", is not what you think.  God's choice was relegated to a higher choice rather than hate.  (see Matt. 6:24; Luke 14:26; John 12:25 scripture interprets scripture)  A better way of putting it, God is the absolute standard for righteousness, or He would not be God.  That is why it is so important not to read the Bible as a "book" but as God's holy, living word.

Paul gives us the answer we all should use as a template when we have questions for God:

“For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  Romans 9:15–17

This brings us back to Romans 9:19 where the question is asked,"Why does he still find fault?"  That was the question put to Paul by the group of believers who gathered in Rome.  Paul pulled no punches and gave them the proper perspective immediately!  Now depending on the hardness of our hearts, we will either accept or reject the answer, but the evidence of faith is how we respond to the Word of God.  Paul, from his own experience, knew it was futile to resist the Lord as He (Jesus) explained to Saul/Paul in Acts 26:14:

 “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?  It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’”  Acts 26:14

GOAD ( דָּרְבָן , dorvan, מַלְמָד , malmad; κέντρον, kentron). A piece of wood from which the bark has been stripped.  One end has a pointed spike and the other a flat chisel-shaped piece of iron.  Used to prod oxen while plowing, and to clean the plowshare (Judg 3:31; 1 Sam 13:21; Eccl 12:11; Acts 26:14). 1

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1 Halcomb, T. M. W. (2012). Goad. In (J. D. Barry & L. Wentz, Eds.) The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

You know what that says to me?   It is not about us.  God is sovereign, and He can do what He wants…perspective!  Thank God He wants to show us mercy through His Son Jesus Christ.  The greatest thing about God’s plan is that the Almighty considers us.  Ask God for forgiveness if you questioned Him with wrong motives or attitude.  Stop kicking large sticks with spikes protruding from them.   The God we serve is gracious and merciful, don’t let the sin of pride keep you from the many blessings God has for you...any questions?

 

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