Summary: How did man begin? Verse 7 makes it clear that he was not born, but was formed. He was molded as clay in the potter's hand. He was a product of what already existed.
An old preacher from the back woods was teaching a class of children
about how God created man. He said, "In the beginning there was just nothin
at all. One day God was fooling around with some mud, and before you knew
it he had a man. He put that man up against a fence to dry there in the sun.
God liked that man, but he looked kind of lonesome standing there all alone,
so..."Just then a hand went up in the front and a little voice said, "If, as you
say, there just wasn't nothin at all at the beginning, where'd that there fence
come from?" The preacher paused for a moment and then exploded, "Its
them kind of questions that's ruinin religion!"
So often men are careless in their understanding of God's Word. Or else
they read their own ideas into it and then think the truth of the Bible is
endangered because they are confronted with an unanswerable question.
Questions can endanger man's subjective interpretation, but God's Word is
never threatened by questions. All believers who have any contact at all with
the world will have to face up to difficult questions sooner or later. Many
Christians fear to face these questions, not because there are no answers, but
because they do not know the answer. Lack of confidence causes the Christian
to fail as a witness. He knows if he opens his mouth he will get questions fired
at him that he cannot answer, and so he clams up and defends the idea of a
silent witness. The silent witness is inadequate in itself, for it only calls
attention to your self. It is only by word of mouth that you can bring Christ
into the picture, and without Him your witness will only impress others with
what a good person you are.
We need to realize that questions are often an open door to a great
opportunity for witnessing. We read in I Kings 10:1 that the Queen of Sheba
came to test Solomon with hard questions, and he amazed her, for he had the
wisdom to answer them all. We are not Solomon, but we have access to the
wisdom of Solomon, and we can seek the guidance of the same God who gave
him his wisdom. As Christians we ought to take full advantage of people's
questions. Youth and adults alike are questioning everything, and all that
many Christians are doing is lamenting the fact when they should be searching
for answers to these questions.
The question is one of the greatest factors there is in teaching and
learning. In the only reference we have to the boyhood of Jesus we find Him
in the temple asking questions of the scholars of His day. Jesus saw the value
of asking questions, and all through His ministry He was a master at asking
and answering questions. Parents so often fail to take seriously the questions
of their children. Many are like the father in Alice in Wonderland who said,
I have answered three questions, and that is enough,
Said his father; don't give yourself airs.
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off or I'll knock you downstairs!
This sounds more like Malice In Blunderland. Parents tend to go to one
extreme or the other. They are either indifferent, or they are over zealous and
elaborate on a subject beyond what the question was aimed at discovering.
Both are illustrated by the boy who came to his father as he was reading the
evening paper. He said he wanted to ask a question. The father did not care
to be disturbed and said, "Why don't you ask your mother?" "Never mind,"
said the boy, "I don't want to know that much about it." Both in society and
in our families we fail to make effective use of the question as a means of
extending the kingdom of God. It is time that we wake up to the great
possibilities for evangelism that are made possible through the questions that
people have. We need to stimulate people to ask significant questions, and
then be prepared to give an answer from God's Word.
There are limitations and dangers, however and we must be aware of
them. Paul warned both Timothy and Titus to avoid foolish and stupid
questions that lead to senseless controversy. There are many questions that
are foolish that they deserve to be ignored. Some people have a knack of
inquiring into the irrelevant and insignificant. A guide at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York City took a group through and pointed out
various masterpieces. He gave a brief list of the painters, and after he asked if
anyone had any questions. "Yes," said one lady, "How do you get such a high