By: Dennis Bates
Have you ever wondered why? I have and I’m sure lots of people have if they would only admit it. Why?
Why did God take seven days to create the earth? Surely he could have done it in less time since He is all powerful and all everything. Why did He wait so long to create people? Why the man first and then the woman from man? Why didn’t he use better materials than dust?
Why did He give man free will and then hold him accountable for exercising it? Why not just make him smart from the beginning. Why right and wrong? Why not only right? Why make man at all? We’ve been nothing but trouble since He created us. Why did He need us? Why did He need the hassle?
Why did He choose the Hebrews? Why didn’t they listen when he told them things and why did they keep straying away even after He showed them time and time again what would happen to them when they did?
Why did God allow Satan to exist to begin with? Why not snuff him out as soon as he showed up down here on earth? Why did God let Satan mess with Adam and Eve; why does God let Satan mess with us?
Why did He make us so we have to struggle so much; why not make it easier? Why sin and the biggest why of all: why did He let His only Son die to get rid of it? For that matter, once He did die, why wasn’t sin gone forever. Why is it still around?
The list of why’s is endless if you really let yourself get started. Better minds than mine have come up with elaborate sytems and theologies to address all these questions and hundreds more, but ultimately theyget to the end of their explanations and I haven’t read one yet that couldn’t be totally confounded with one more question beginning with the word “Why?”
If you think about it, the question “Why?” is probably the first question a child asks when they learn to talk. We all asked it. “Why, Daddy?” Why do I have to go to bed now; why do I have to eat broccoli; why can’t I just go where I want to; why did my dog die?
Do you remember asking those questions, or, at least, do you remember having to answer them when your children asked them? I do. And if you remember, there comes a point in the endless litany of why’s where you finally just throw up your hands and give that answer we all promised ourselves we would never give: “Because I said so; that’s why.” It’s pretty much the answer of last resort and we give it for two reasons.
First, we may not know the answer, but if you tell a child that, his next question may be another why? They assume we know everything, and we hate to admit to them that we don’t. Second, we give it because we just can’t stand the single syllable question any more, especially since it will most assuredly be followed by the same question over and over again. Why begets why, begets why, especially when you are a child. There is only so much begetting any of us can take.
God answers differently and for far better reasons. When Job asked God why, ultimately God said He would tell Job why as soon as Job proved that he could give orders to the morning and show dawn its place. In other words, God told Job that even if He answered his questions, Job would never be able to understand God’s answers, let alone do what God could do.
I’m not suggesting that we stifle our imaginations or curtail our quest for understanding. Those are good things that help us dig deeper. Just don’t be surprised if ultimately you get to the same point Job did…the same place we all get, and we find that God’s best answer is “Because I said so.”
That’s the point where real trust and faith take over.