Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9
Why do we ask questions?
Well, it’s because we lack something.
Sometimes we lack information, so we ask someone more knowledgeable. Or we lack intimacy, so we ask a person a question to get to know them better. Or we lack understanding, so we ask for clarification and elaboration. In all three cases, we ask because we are in need.
But what about God? He asks questions, too. In fact, we see God asking questions over and over again in Scripture, but not for the same reasons we do. God certainly doesn’t need anything. He already knows all the answers. He already understands perfectly. He already has every perspective.
So why does He still ask?
God uses questions to force us to confront our own hearts. He questions us not because He needs to know and understand what’s going on, but because He wants us to know and understand the truth of what’s going on.
In light of that, here are three questions God is still asking:
1. “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
God first asked Adam this question after he had sinned in the garden. He wasn’t really asking for a location, as if He did not know where the first human are. Both Adam and Eve were created to live in fellowship with their Creator, and now they were hiding from Him. God wanted them to own what had happened; to confess; to return to Him in faith.
Similarly, God might ask us, “Where are you?” Not because He doesn’t know, but because He wants to bring us into the light instead of us trying to hide from Him in fear and shame.
2. “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)
Jesus asked this question to a man who had been sick for 38 years. For almost 4 decades, he had been lying by this pool, putting his hope in some old superstition about its magical qualities when it started to bubble. You would think the answer would have been an unequivocal, “Yes! Of course, I do!”
But maybe not, because you can get accustomed to a lot of things in 38 years. Perhaps so accustomed to your circumstances that you develop an attachment to them. Maybe healing is also available to us, but healing means letting go of what is familiar and comfortable. It means releasing ourselves totally to His care. It means trusting that He is better than whatever we are clinging to.
3. “Why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)
Peter got out of the boat. Despite the wind and waves, he walked on the water. But when he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to focus on what was around him, and when he did, he began to sink. But Jesus was there; he took Peter by the hand, lifted him up, and then asked this question.
I suppose you might read the question, “Why did you doubt?” as a chastisement as if Jesus was shaking his head in disappointment, but I don’t think so. I think He asked this with more of a smile on his face, the same kind of look a father has for a child who nervously jumps out of a tree into his arms. The father securely grabs his child, holds him tight, and says, “Did you really think I would let you fall?”
Yes, Jesus is still asking questions.
He’s asking us every time we are stuck in anxiety.
Every time we fret about tomorrow.
Every time we worry about the future.
He smiles and reminds us that our Father knows how to give good gifts and take care of us. After all, that same Father gave the life of His Son on our behalf – how will He also not also give us all good things? Why, in light of the cross and resurrection, would we doubt?
God will always ask questions that bring us in line with His will. Questions that move us deeper into intimacy with Him.
Let us embrace them.
And know that the Father is only waiting for us to acknowledge what He already knows.
Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor