I have been meditating recently on some of the Questions that God asks. Much of my professional career – as a teacher, and as a Counsellor – has involved the constant use of questioning to get to the information I need. In many situations, I had made a preliminary guess (maybe even an assessment) of what I thought the problems might be, or where a student needed to re-visit a problem to get the correct answer.
But God does not ask questions because He is lacking in information. He asks questions because we are lacking in information. Such questions are designed to make us evaluate our situation, and our assumptions and beliefs concerning that situation. They serve to bring a new perspective on life and its meaning for us.
I have decided to focus on 10 such questions, and we will reflect on them one at a time.The first of these is;
“Where Were You?” (Job 38:4)
When Job is asked this question, God is reminding mortal man that He is a Sovereign and immortal Creator. The passage reads:
“The Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
With words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
And you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels a shouted for joy? “ Job 38:1-7 (NIV)
Job has experienced a sudden loss of all blessings external to himself, his possessions, his servants, and his sons. He then loses his own health, and to cap it all, his sincerity and faith are called into question by three so-called “Comforters”. With such comforters, who needs enemies? It must have felt like a hurricane had hit him from all sides.
God chooses this moment, after the “storm”, to explain the breadth of His power and wisdom. Job was not physically present when Creation took place, but God was. We read that:
“In these last days (God) has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by hHs powerful word.” Heb 1:2-3
God was sustaining Job through the most difficult of circumstances, and God has not changed. He will sustain you through whatever life holds for you right now, even though you may not fully understand how.
We may not be able to fully explain how God moves in time and space, but we do know that despite our current circumstances, God knows all things, He lives and He reigns, and is Lord God Almighty.
It is also a question that should make us look at our assumptions. Have you ever been in a gathering of people, lost in thought, your mind wandering off in all directions – and then someone leans in close and says, “Hey – where were you?” Anxiety can cause us to not be able to think well in the moment, as we are constantly fretting about other times and other places. I know that at times my own anxiety is shown very clearly in trying to second-guess situations. I try to plan and organise what I think will be needed! It takes the courage, wisdom and steadying voice of my husband to point out that I am often trying to prepare without the exact knowledge of what is required, and thereby reacting from a position of fear.
We might glibly state that we believe that God created the world. The truth is that He was able to do so without any help from us at all! And He can continue to create exactly what you need right now.
He is still able to do anything He chooses in order to bless us, care for us, and sustain us.
- In the storm of where you are, take a moment to consider where God was in Creation
- God takes an extremely long-term view of you. Stop trying to expect things to be “fixed” instantly
- Choose in this moment to renew your trust in His ability to sustain you through everything
- Take a moment to ask His help in re-focussing your perspective