Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Questions, Questions, Questions
I’ve often been intrigued by the questions people ask and what we can learn from them. Michael Card, in one of his songs, uses the phrase “questions often tell us more than answers ever do.” I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that one can learn a lot from questions.
I’ve noticed that the Bible contains a lot of questions. God, people and even Satan ask questions. Sometimes it’s to find out answers and sometimes it’s to provoke thinking.
From time to time in this blog I’m going to probe some of the things we can learn by looking at the questions that are asked.
Today’s question is found in Deuteronomy 3:24 and is asked by Moses, “O Lord God, you have begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like your works and your mighty deeds?”
Moses had led the people of God out of Egypt and through the wilderness right up to the border of the promised land. At one point along the journey, Moses had disobeyed the Lord when he was told to speak to a rock to produce water out of it but instead he hit it twice with his staff. For this infraction, God forbade him from entering the promised land.
What I’m interested in today is the question Moses asked. Moses had seen countless miracles at the hand of God. He had seen the Red Sea split open so that they could walk through. He had seen the Lord supply food in the wilderness. He had seen the peoples’ shoes not wear out, etc. When Moses asked the question he said, “You have begun to show your servant your greatness and mighty hand.” In other words with all of these miracles, Moses was convinced that this was only the beginning. God had just begun to show what he could do.
Based on that observation Moses asked the main part of his question, “What god is there in heaven on earth who can do anything like your works and your mighty deeds?” The answer is “none”. There are no other gods who can do these things. That is why, in the Ten Commandments, God tells us that “you shall have no other gods before me.” It is not as though God is on an equal par with other gods and simply wants an unfair advantage over them. That is something we as human beings would do. God tells us not to be proud and lifted up against our fellow human beings. But with God there are no fellow gods. He is the only God and therefore has the right to be jealous and angry when we substitute something that is not a god into the place of worship that rightfully belongs to God alone.
There is no other god like the God of the Bible. No other man-made god or imagined God has done or could do all that The God has done.
You may have read some of my postings about truth in recent days. The Bible is claiming that the God it describes is the one and only true and living God. There is none other. God often does things we don’t understand, as in this story of Moses not being permitted into the promised land after all those years of faithfulness. But as much as we may not understand or even like it, we don’t get to choose the God that exists. If I may say it reverently, we are “stuck” with the God that is actually there. He is the one we are called upon to serve and worship.