Thursday, February 09, 2006
He asks, “So is God glorified in questions or answers, or questions and answers?”
I wonder. Can Shep’s question alone glorify God? Or does it need an answer from me?
Seriously, I’ve been thinking about this all afternoon. It’s a sort of variation on the chicken and the egg debate, I think.
I’d say we can glorify God with questions or answers . . . or games or lessons or stories or movies or kisses or baked goods or any number of things. Often in various combinations. (Stories and baked goods are my favorite.)
I’d say we can glorify God with questions or answers as long as our motives and attitudes are pure.
I’d say we can glorify God with question or answers . . . because God Himself is the Answer. To paraphrase John Eldridge in Waking the Dead, God is the meaning of life. Any honest question will lead to Him.
Everyone who points to God brings Him glory if they do so with a right heart.
Everything that points to God potentially brings Him glory if the audience/reader has a right heart.
My dad asked me if there was an example in the Bible of someone who glorified God through questions.
I thought of Job. God glorifies Himself through questions. He tells Job, “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me” (Job 38:3; 40:7).
My first thought about Job was this: God doesn’t provide any answers because he doesn’t have to. Job and his friends know the answer. And so do we.
While that sounds cool, it’s not quite right. God asks questions and demands answers from Job. So Job’s answer is part of God’s glory in this case.
But that’s not quite right either. Am I to assume that God somehow needed Job’s answer to receive glory? Definitely not! All glory belongs to him and returns to him.
Here’s another way of asking Shep’s question: Do we dishonor God through questions or answers, or through questions and answers?
Again, I think the answer is both. We can dishonor God with good questions. (It goes without saying that evil questions dishonor Him). But we can also dishonor God with answers.
Isn’t that what the Pharisees did? They were whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones. Death and emptiness wrapped up in all the right answers.
Right answers don’t mean anything unless we offer them in love and humility to bring honor and glory to the Word, the Answer Himself. Right questions don’t mean anything unless we ask them in love and humility to bring honor and glory to the Word, the Answer Himself.
In God alone is all meaning and truth--whether that truth comes through questions or answers. Or both.
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