ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When God Responds to Us With a Question

Updated on August 22, 2017

We've been told that it's rude to answer a question with another question, but God isn't hesitant to do it when appropriate. Recently, a teacher going through the book of Joshua caused me to think about God's questions to ours.

In Joshua 7 God hears a question and replies with one of his own. The children of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, have taken the city of Jericho after God tore down the walls. Next, they begin to look toward the next city. A tiny, yet confident, force attacks the city of Ai but flee when they suffer a small number of casualties. Joshua and the elders begin to mourn and pray before the Ark of the Covenant. Here is what Joshua said to the Lord:

“Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?” (ESV)

It's interesting that Joshua first seems to whine like the people did before they crossed the Jordan, when he was so confident in God's promise and ability to do as He said. The whine then seems to turn to questioning God. Not to ask what the problem was but what was God going to do about it...how He would overcome the failure of the Israelites. And before we condemn Joshua, we must come clean and admit that we do the same thing WAY too often. We tend to remember our failures far more than we remember God's faithfulness.

The people's fear of God had been a tremendous advantage for the Israelites but Joshua feared, with that advantage gone, the enemy would be emboldened, knowing they weren't unstoppable. God's reply to Joshua's worry is blunt.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?" (ESV)

God gives a command and asks a question. Joshua asks something unnecessary; God asks something he already knows the answer to. God knew why Joshua was bowed down, and that he should be looking elsewhere for the cause of the problem. He then explains the reason for the failure of the Israelites:

"Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings." (ESV)

The failure was not on God's shoulders. He wasn't unfaithful; an Israelite was. Someone had gone against God's direct order and had taken spoil from Jericho, looking for personal gain in what was to be a victory for God's people as a whole. God was questioned but He had kept his promise. David Roper has said, "Joshua says to the Lord, 'It's your fault, because you brought us over the Jordan.' And the Lord says, 'No, it's your fault, because you have crossed over the covenant.'"

Joshua laid out his concern that the people of the land would no longer fear the Israelites...or God...because of God's perceived failure. His concern may have been valid but his blame was misplaced. The sin of man can blemish the name of God and, therefore, the name of God's people. We see that so obviously today. As followers of Christ go about in their own knowledge and power only to fall on our faces, the name of God is diminished in the eyes of a skeptical world around us. God has done great things and will continue to do them. His power has not waned over the centuries. We fail; He does not. Do we see the failures or shortcomings of the Church as God's weakness? If so, we're complaining in the wrong direction. We can ask the question but we should keep in mind God can ask His own of us.

© 2017 growingword

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)