According to Joe Boot, Jesus asked over 100 questions of others in the New Testament (How Then Shall We Answer, 57). With this in mind, I was struck by God’s approach to Adam and Eve while reading this morning.
When they attempted to hide from God’s presence, He said to Adam: “Where are you?” He didn’t say, “Come out from the trees. I know what you’ve done.” He asked a question. Though the reasons for this may be multi-faceted, one thing seems clear: the question served Adam. Asking this question helped foster self-examination, reflection and confession. The question had exposing power. The where question was inseparable from the why question? And why questions get to the heart.
Adam told God why he was hiding. Yet, God responded with another question: “Who told you that you were naked?” And another question: “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Adam admitted it but, in his new chains to sin, he assured God that he wasn’t fully responsible. He didn’t own his sin. Pointing his finger at others (even God!), he said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree and I ate.”
Adam became defensive. He wouldn’t take full responsibility for his wrong. God’s questions brought this to light. His questions had exposing power. They got to the heart. Did Adam stay comfortable in his self-defensive spirit. We don’t know. This self defending reflex is something I know all too well, but God is too good to allow me to keep the posture for too long. Often, asking myself questions helps expose the error of my way.
God asks questions. We should too. Granted, the entire context is of Genesis 3 is one of outright disobedience (and deception). Even so, one things seems clear: by asking questions, we can serve others. Do you ask lots of questions? If not, why?