“The secret things belong to the Lord our God,
but the things revealed belong to us…”
Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV)
We live in an exciting age of scientific discovery. There are so many things we can learn as we read the books and magazines that describe the latest word on some scientific frontier. Our society is driven by the appetite for knowledge.
Children in school are taught to ask “Why?” from the earliest grades onward. Also we know that children will ask “Why?” without being taught to do so. They seem to be programmed to investigate and search for answers.
Such curiosity to explore and seek to satisfy the inquisitive nature in us is very good. Many famous scientists have been able to discover cures for some diseases by investigating the matter.
Louis Pasteur, a French scientist in the 1800’s had three children die of typhoid and that tragedy pushed him to look for some way to prevent the deadly illness. Many credit him with the first vaccines for several diseases.
Some well meaning Christians think we should not ask questions about our faith as it may lead to the destruction of our beliefs. This is a sad way of living. We are naturally inclined to ask why and we need to make inquiries about our faith and why we believe what we do. We should ask why God allows this or does that in His creation.
Searching the activity of God for meaning is not sinful. The Lord often gives answers to our inquiries. We are allowed to come to Him and seek to know why certain things happen to us. Many stories are recorded in the Gospels of people coming to Jesus with questions. He was very willing to meet their need for information. Even some times when the questions were only tricks to trap Him, He would answer the inquiry.
Mark 12:18-27 tells the story of the Sadducees coming to Jesus with a trick question about the resurrection at the end time. It was clearly just a set up to trap the Lord. However, Jesus gave them an answer right from the part of the Old Testament they accepted. Jesus used Scripture to shed light on the matter.
Whether it is a question in the realm of science or seeking to understand our painful situation, God is willing to disclose answers for us. In the area of suffering and grief there is a lot said in the Bible about the source of suffering and how to best cope with it.
However, there are limits to what God has chosen to reveal to us about the way the world works. Our verse indicates that there are questions we can ask for which God has not provided answers. This brings us to the topic of faith. In some very difficult situations we are called on by God to leave off asking “Why?” and trust Him. Faith supports us where reason fails us.
When we have exhausted our efforts to know why certain things have happened we go to our verse for today and accept what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12 “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully…” (NIV).
When we see Jesus, then and only then, we shall understand all the reasons why things happened as they did. When you have exhausted your ability to understand will you leave it with a loving and sovereign God? God’s answers are worth waiting for.