I was recently reading the story of Elijah and came upon his journey to Mt. Horeb. He was running from Jezebel when God says to him “Elijah, why are you here?” It caused me think of all the others that God asked questions of: to Adam, “Where are you?” “Who told you you were naked?” and “Have you eaten of the tree?” To Cain after he had killed his brother, he asked him “Where is your brother?” To Jacob, he asked him “What is your name?” To Sarah when she was told in her old age that she would have a son and she laughed, he asked her “Why did you laugh?” To Moses when he was standing before the red sea “Why are you crying to me?”
Our God is a God of questions, questions to which he who knows everything already knows the answer. God doesn’t ask questions because he needs more information but to illuminate, to illicit a response, questions asked to cause us to think and engage, questions asked to cause us to own our stuff.
For years I’ve prayed that I would know His ways, his heart, why he does what he does. I believe that something of the Father’s heart is revealed in all these questions. This is probably the most important thing in that it gives us an opportunity to come clean about what we’ve done and it keeps Him from having to accuse us with our wrong.
If you remember one of the names of our enemy is, “The Accuser of the Brethren.” It shows his character not our Father’s. Our Father’s is “one who restores” not “one who accuses”. Look at Elijah’s response to God’s question. Elijah’s very clear, “I’ve been zealous, I’m the only one, and I’m running from Jezebel”. God hears, corrects, and restores him and sends him back to the battles. Then we have Cain who answers God’s question with another question and doesn’t come clean and is not restored. So I pray that when Father questions us that we may have the grace to respond as Elijah did and so like him be restored and sent back to our calling.