Is It Wrong to Question God?
People have questions that only God can answer. Some people are afraid to question God for fear that He will retaliate and make their lives more difficult. Therefore, they never question God.
Then there are some people who question God about everything. God has answered many of our questions in the Bible through the lives of his prophets and others. When you read the Bible, you will see that many servants of God questioned him. Therefore, it is not blasphemy to question God about things that concern you.
Biblical People Who Questioned God
In Judges 6, Gideon is threshing wheat in a winepress. Everybody knows that wheat should be threshed outside where the wind can blow the chaff away. Gideon was doing it inside to hide from the Midianites who had been taking the Israelites' crops and the livestock for seven years. That left the Israelites scrambling for food.
An angel of the Lord visited Gideon, and the judge began to ask him a series of questions. According to Judges 6:13-14, Gideon asked question after question without giving the angel a chance to answer.
"But sir," Gideon replied, "if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."
Gideon sincerely wanted answers to his questions. However, God did not punish him for asking those questions. Neither did God answer him directly. Instead, God gave him a task to complete.
Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Job, David, Habakkuk, doubting Thomas, and Peter are among those who questioned God.
While Job sat covered in sores on the ash heap, he questioned God. Job who faithfully served God had lost everything, including his ten children. So, Job questioned God through the entire book. He didn't understand why God was allowing him to suffer. Job got to the point where he questioned his own birth.
However, God did not answer Job until the end of the book. Even then, God did not answer Job directly, Instead, He asked Job a series of rhetoric questions. In the end, Job understood and accepted God's way.
David had some interesting questions for God. He didn't ask them in an accusatory way. Neither did he ask them out of anger. He sincerely wanted answers to some tough questions that only God could provide. David usually questioned God by asking, "Why?"
- “O Lord—how long?” (Psalm 6:3). The psalmist was anxiously waiting to see God’s plan fulfilled.
- “What is man that You are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). David was amazed that God cares about the sinful man and he wanted to know why.
- “Why do You hide in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). David longed for God's presence.
- How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:1-2) David asked four "Why?" questions in two verses. He felt abandoned even by God.
- “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1). David wanted to know who would be able to live with God.
- “How long, O LORD?” (Psalms 35:17; 94:3) David questioned God in faith. He knew God's righteous judgment was coming because he trusted God, but he was anxiously waiting and wondering why God's action was delayed.
Sometimes David got answers. Sometimes he got silence. But even when David’s questions weren’t answered, his faith in God was stronger than his need to know.
The entire book of Habakkuk contains only three chapters. Habakkuk questioned God about Him using the Babylonians to execute judgment on His own people.
Habakkuk 1:2-4, "Yahweh, how long will I cry, and you will not hear? I cry out to you “Violence!” and will you not save?" God explains that He would use the Chaldeans for His righteous purposes by sending them to punish His own people. God explained that He will also judge the Chaldeans, and much more harshly.
At the end of the book in Habakkuk 3:17-18, Habakkuk accepted God's answers to his questions and expressed his ultimate faith in God, even though he didn't fully understand. Even though the main part of the book was about Habakkuk's questions, he ended it with praise.
"For though the fig tree doesn’t flourish, nor fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive fails, the fields yield no food; the flocks are cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in Yahweh. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!"
Reasons to Question God
There is nothing wrong with asking God questions when it is done with the right attitude and for the right reason.
There is nothing wrong with asking God questions about which path to take in your spiritual development. Like David, our "Why?" questions will help us process what we are going through.
God often will not give us the answer we want to hear or the one we expect, but God's answer is always the right one.
Be Careful When Questioning God
When we are angry, upset, frustrated and are hurting, we tend to lash out and say the wrong thing not only to God but to other people. God will not punish us for asking him questions just like He did not punish biblical people for questioning Him. However, here are some things to be careful about when you do question God.
- When you are angry with God
- When you accuse Him of not doing the right thing
- When you try to make God do what you want God to do
God is not obligated to answer any of our questions. He wants us to trust Him at His word. Even so, we question God because we believe the answer will give us some comfort. Questions can be a great help when we are trying to process the way things are going.
God is a good God. God is a loving God. God is a question-answering God. However, answers to some of our questions will not be given to us while on this earth. We have to trust God enough to know that His way is the best way no matter what the answer is or if the answer never comes.