Summary: Questions! Questions! Questions! If God knows everything why did he ask so many questions of so many people? Through the questions God addressed to Adam and Eve after the fall into sin we learn why God asked many of his questions. He called on sinner
This morning I am going to test your knowledge of the Bible—specifically the Old Testament. As I quote a series of questions I want you to identify the person to whom God was speaking. Here are the questions. “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?” (Genesis 4:6) Of whom did God ask those two questions? The LORD addressed those words to Cain. The second question is a little easier. “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Genesis 18:14) The Lord asked those two questions of Abraham after Sarah laughed at the thought of having a child in her old age. “Who gave man his mouth?” (Exodus 4:11) To whom did God address that question? He was speaking to Moses when he was making excuses about why he wouldn’t be any good as God’s spokesman. Here is another question from God for you to consider. “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) The Lord asked that question of the prophet Ezekiel in his vision of the valley of dry bones. Here is one final question for you to match up to the person to whom it was spoken. “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” (Jonah 4:9) God asked Jonah that question when Jonah was grumbling about the vine God had given him to use for shade.
Now I have a question for you about God’s questions. If God knows everything why did he ask so many people so many questions? Obviously God wasn’t expecting answers to his questions. He knew the answers before he asked them. When God asks a question it is for the benefit of the person to whom he is speaking. All the questions that I just quoted were intended to lead an individual to some truth that God wanted him to understand.
In our Old Testament lesson for this Sunday we heard God ask Adam and Eve a series of questions. All the questions had a purpose. God wanted to confront them with their sin and lead them to repentance. He could then comfort them with the promise of a Savior. Although they may be worded differently we find God asking us the same kinds of questions he asked Adam and Eve. He has the same purpose in mind. He wants to confront us with our sins so that he can comfort us with a Savior. May the Holy Spirit bless us as we consider the fact that:
“A GRACIOUS GOD CALLS TO US”
I. To confront us with our sins
II. To comfort us with a Savior
It was a question that led to the mess in which Adam and Eve found themselves when God called to them in the garden. Satan had asked Eve a question. You may remember it. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1) Once the seeds of doubt about God’s love were planted in Eve’s mind the tempter went on to declare, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) The father of lies told the truth when he offered that encouragement to Eve to disobey God’s command. Indeed, she would be like God knowing good and evil but that would be a tragedy for her and her children after her. Satan’s question was intended to separate her from God and lead her to an eternity in hell.
God’s questions, on the other hand, had a far different purpose. In his grace, that undeserved love we cannot understand, God used a series of questions to expose the sin in the hearts of Adam and Eve. Since they didn’t go to God, he came to them. Like a patient parent God gently led them to see their sin so they could also see their need for a Savior. He then provided a promise concerning that Savior. Today a gracious God calls to you and to me--the children of Adam and Eve. Through his holy Word he asks searching questions of us. He does this to confront us with our sins in order to comfort us with a Savior. May we listen and respond to his questions.
Our Old Testament lesson for this Sunday tells the sad story of Adam and Eve’s shame over their sin. “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?’” God knew where they were. But in order to confront his creatures with their sin God brought himself down to their level. He took on a physical form to walk to them and talk with them. Perhaps through that action we can see a shadow of the time that God would become fully human to undo the damage Adam and Eve’s sin caused. Although God would have had every right to quickly return them to the dust from which they had been created, in love he called out to them to restore the relationship with him that they had broken.